So here’s the problem:
My mom bought a 2007 Ford F150 (automatic) a few months ago to pull a horse trailer with. Since then, she’s used it to get back and forth from work, run errands, as well as pull the horses around. It’s only been on one road trip for a horse show so far, so it doesn’t have very many miles on it yet.
Soon after she bought it, she was trying to slow the truck down with the brake, and the truck accelerated instead. That happened three times that day. She chalked it up to a weird fluke, and kept driving it. It didn’t happen again until last week. Once again, she went for the brake, and it accelerated, three times in one day.
She brought the truck to the dealer, convinced they would be able to figure out what was wrong with it. To the contrary, the dealer claims that since it hasn’t happened when they’ve been driving it, there’s nothing wrong with the car. They’ve checked out the computers in it and everything and claim that there’s nothing wrong and won’t give her a loaner. My mom called Ford, and they had a similar response, although they helpfully advised her to buy a new truck.
Has anyone else heard of this problem? Has it happened to you? And what could possibly be wrong with the truck? Any help would be really appreciated, as we’re all very concerned about the safety of this vehicle but we’re having a really hard time coping without it.
So here’s the problem:
Yeah, unexplained acceleration has been documented many times over with various vehicles. I had it happen to me once and it was terrifying. I barely got the car under control before I would have plowed into someone ahead. In my opinion there is only one thing besides you that can floor the accelerator petal, and that is the cruise control. I felt it go down beneath my foot and stay down. I disconnected the cable for the cruise control and never had the problem again.
The usual, somewhat glib, answer is that she is hitting the accelerator instead of or in addition to the brake pedal. Is she used to driving pickups? The pedal spacing may be very different from her previous vehicle.
Thanks very much for that information. I’ve been poking around and have found other instances of it happening, as well as problems with Ford’s cruise control in general. Out of interest, what kind of car did you have when it happened to you?
She’s pretty good with the pickup, and has had large vehicles for as long as I can remember (including a Ford Explorer). She said there was no way that she had touched the brake pedal, and I’m inclined to believe her, as I remember when she was teaching me to drive how much she warned me against doing just that. Thanks though!
Audi 5000 had this problem about 20 years ago. It was quite controversial whether it was a car problem or a driver problem.
I recommend that you teach your mom how to move the shift lever into neutral. Pressing the clutch pedal is a technique that is second nature to anyone who drives a manual transmission. This is one of those logical things that the driving public has forgotten about…how to free the engine from the driving wheels in an emergency.
Other than that, I’d suspect the cruise control.
She did put it in neutral, and that was the only way to get it to stop. She drove manual until about ten years ago when she decided to switch to automatic so she could teach us on it. But we’re definitely checking out the cruise control.
The vaccuum brake booster has a hole in the diaphragm probably. this is a pretty common thing, someone should have thought of it. The vaccuum booster uses engine vaccuum to assist pushing the brake pedal. When the pedal is pushed, it takes air from the engine and allows more fuel in. This causes the engine to accelerate. Replacing the brake booster should fix it. Good luck!
I would find the fuse for the cruise and remove it and try to drive it awhile to see if it fixes the problem. If that fuse also controls other items then just disconnect the cruise cable going to the throttle body and drive it to see if problem reoccurs.
I saw that miswritten part. Thanks. I hardly touch the brake pedal either.