CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Unwanted Acceleration

I unfortunately purchased a 2006 Ford Taurus, more reliable than I thought it would be, but it accelerates on it’s own. The cruise control doesn’t work - I read this in another post about the problem. To stop it I kick down the accelerator until it snaps back under my control. I don’t think the acceleration problem is just Toyota, I think it’s a part common to several models of cars made in the mid 2000’s. Does anyone else have this problem? Have other drivers kicked the accelerator down (like taking off the choke) to make it quit accelerating? Should I be worried it might accelerate out of control?

It’s a used car and odds are this problem is related to something that is not a manufacturing defect at all.

This could be caused by any one of a number of things; worn throttle cable, Idle Air Valve needs to be cleaned or replaced, throttle plate needs to be cleaned (induction cleaning as it may be referred to), binding cruise control servo cable, etc.

I must clarify, I did buy it used in 2007 and it’s been behaving this way since. I live down 4 miles of dirt road and it seems to want to accelerate on it’s own mainly on the bumpy dirt road portion of my drive.

Have you ever had anyone look into solving this problem? It sounds like a sticky/dirty throttle body or possible weak return spring to me. The affected Toyota models have drive by wire throttles, which replaces the traditional cable-actuated throttle body with a system of electronically measuring the position of the accelerator pedal and actuating the throttle plate via an electric motor. Your issue is almost certainly mechanical and should be easy to fix. The Toyota issue is most likely electronic, being new technology nobody is familiar with, and is obviously a challenge since there doesn’t seem to be a known solution to the problem.

Nope, never had it checked. I just wondered because of the Toyota thing and I’m able to kick it down to make it quit. This morning on the highway it started it’s haunted acceleration thing, but it made for a nice commute! I just had to kick it down to get off the highway.