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Intermittent Accelerator Issue

I am a U.S citizen living in Astana, Kazakhstan. When I first moved here in 2013, I bought a 2012 Lada Niva. It is such a fun car; hard to drive and no frills but a blast for sure.

For most of the last three years, the Niva has run beautifully, even in -40 degree weather, which we get sometimes. However recently, the Niva has started to have a strange quirk. I will be driving and press on the accelerator. The car will be moving and the accelerator will depress physically, but the engine will not respond. In fact, it will go down to idle speed. If I let up on the accelerator and depress again, it resets itself and it works fine until the next random episode.

This has just started since my last fill up. It has only happened maybe seven or eight times total. (some form of vapor lock?)

A little bit about this Russian built car: 1.8 liter 4 cylinder engine with fuel injection, all time 4 wheel drive with 4 high/4 low options as well as differential lock on the fly. For my needs, I almost always keep it on 4 high. The 4 high setting has not been changed since this issue began.

Hope you guys can help because my Russian is terrible. Thanks.

Is there a cable connecting the accelerator pedal to the throttle body, or is it ‘drive-by-wire’, with electrical throttle activation?

While I really have no clue, if it was me I’d put some “Dry Gas” chemical in the tank. You may have water in the gas you bought.

No Lada experience other than reading about restoring older versions, but I think this is probably a throttle body problem. It probably sticking from grit and oil accumulation & just needs to be cleaned is all. This may require the throttle body be removed and the cleaning done on the bench, don’t know. A fuel injection system problem could cause this symptom too, like a faulty air flow sensor, causing it to run way too lean when you step on the gas pedal, but less likely. Does this car use diagnostic codes? If so, that’s probably the place to start.

I seem to recall Lada models from some years ago, some of them used rotary engines. Probably they bought the engines from Mazda.

Due to the fact this car is only 5 years old, I’m assuming it has an electronic throttle

A good throttle body cleaning probably couldn’t hurt, and it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, in any case