Mysterious Car Acceleration



Recently, I was driving my 1998 Ford Taurus when the battery seemed to shut off briefly (0.5 seconds), and then it switched back on. I thought, “That’s odd”, when suddenly my cars RPM went from 1 to 2 (don’t remember the units?thousands maybe?). I was driving maybe 30 MPH and it kept doing this. Going from 1 to 2. The engine would rev and the car would lurch forward. I took it to a shop where they ran a scanner on the computer of the car. An error code came back having to do something with the throttle? No one went into details. They said they weren’t skilled enough to fix it nor did they really know what was up. I’ve driven it since and it has not repeated the problem. My dad thinks maybe moisture got into my gas tank and caused that. Any ideas??? I’m scared to drive my car!? It’s not even a Toyota!


You need to post the exact OBD code. Most likely it was for the TPS, but you could also have an IAC problem.


I doubt the problem was water in the gas.

Without knowing the actual diagnostic code we’re just guessing. There is a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) and an Idle Air Control (IAC) valve, either of which might have something to do with the surging.

I don’t think this car has an electronic throttle. It’s more likely to have a cable.

We really ought to have more information about the “battery seemed to shut off.” Can you give us some detail on what happened? Be as specific as you can.


Well, I had my radio on while driving and for a split second the radio shut off as well as an orange engine light came up. This was all VERY briefly. My mom then drove my car and she said everytime the engine would rev, there was a clicking noise and the orange light would blink.


I just called the shop and they said that the scan came up with a TPS error and Mass Airflow Sensor error.

I just looked up symptoms of a bad TPS and they seem to all fit the bill. For the past month my car has seemed to guzzle gas like NO other. How much would this cost to fix?

Also, what is the function of the Mass Airflow Sensor? Would that need to be replaced also?


The radio cutting out plus the light on the dash says to me you have a corroded or loose electrical connection or less likely a bad alternator.

Get the battery and alternator wires and ground wires checked.