Car Won’t Stay Running Unless Foot Is On Gas

Have you found yourself in a condition where your car won’t stay running unless foot is on gas pedal? If yes, then this is a serious problem that can’t be overlooked. A car that doesn’t run if your foot is not on the gas all the time has low fuel economy. Hence, continuing to drive the car with this problem could take a heavy toll on your pocket and mind.

There could be many reasons behind this issue like faulty fuel pump, improper airflow into the cylinders, dirty fuel filter, and so on. Moreover, low compression levels, bad TPS, and a faulty idle air control valve can also cause this issue.

6 Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Stay Running Unless Foot Is On Gas

1. Improper Air Flow

If there is an obstruction in the path of airflow into the combustion cylinders. This could be due to the residual debris in the air inlet or some other obstruction in the car air passage. In this case, the only way you can get the required airflow is by pushing the gas pedal. 

Air intakes/ inlets

Solution: If there is an obstruction in the air passage of the engine, then simply cleaning it will do the trick. Clean the air inlets, air passages, and the area around the combustion cylinders. Then, check if the problem is gone or not.

Checkout our article on understanding the work of cold air intakes.

2. Fuel Filter Is Dirty

If you don’t maintain your car regularly, that could lead to a dirty fuel filter. Rust forming on the fuel filter can also result in it malfunctioning. The fuel filter is responsible for keeping dirt and debris out of the engine of your vehicle. Having a dirty fuel filter means that dirt and debris can enter the engine. This results in incomplete combustion of fuel which means the car needs excess gas to run. Hence, you need to keep your foot on the gas to run the car.

Fuel Filter

Solution: Visually inspecting a fuel filter will let you know if it is dirty and rusty. Simply clean the fuel filter to take out the obstructions and debris of the filter. Then, check if the problem is resolved or not. 

3. Compression Level is Low

The process of engine combustion incorporates pressing an air-fuel mixture in the confined area of the cylinder of your car engine. The combustion and ignition in the engine are the processes responsible for running the car. The low compression level indicates that the combustion is getting hampered. As a result, the air can’t reach your engine’s cylinder. This requires you to place your foot on the gas pedal else the car won’t run.

Solution: First, examine your car’s compression level. If it is lower than 100PSI per cylinder, then there is a leak in the compression system. So, you need to replace the leaking part of the compressor in this case. The leaks are generally seen in the head shaft, piston, or compression valves.

4. Faulty Fuel Pump

The fuel pump is responsible for transferring fuel from the car’s fuel tank to the engine’s internal combustion engine. Hence, your car may require excess gas due to improper combustion in the engine.

Solution: If your fuel pump is malfunctioning, then the best solution here is to replace it. A fuel pump allows the liquid to run into the engine. So, replacing it will make sure the engine receives proper fuel-air mixture and you don’t need to push the gas pedal excessively to run it.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to replace a fuel pump:

5. Faulty Idle Air Control Valve

The idle air control valve is responsible for checking the amount of air that is supposed to mix with the fuel before entering your car engine cylinders when the engine is running at low speeds or in idle condition. If the amount of air calculated is not appropriate, then the resultant air-fuel mixture won’t be efficient. As a result, you’ll need to push the gas pedal more to run the car.

Fuel Pump

Solution: If the idle air control valve is not working properly. Then, you need to replace it by popping the engine hood when the car is cool. Locate the idle air control valve, unplug its electrical connector, and remove it. Then clean the region and remove the gasket. Place a new idle air control valve and a gasket. Bolt it in and reattach the electrical connector.

6. Bad Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)

This sensor is responsible for monitoring the engine’s air intake amount. If it doesn’t function efficiently, then the air intake by the car engine would get hampered and you won’t be able to run it if you don’t keep the gas pedal pushed. The TPS sends the throttle position to the car’s Engine Control Unit (ECU). The ECU is what calculates the amount of fuel to be injected into the injectors so that the air-fuel mixture’s ratio is correct. If the TPS sends a wrong signal then the fuel quantity supplied to the injector will also be wrong, and so the car might stay idle if your foot is not on the gas.

Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)

Solution: The Throttle Position System is there to monitor the air entering your car engine. So, repairing the TPS will now regulate the airflow into the car engine. You can try reprogramming the TPS sensor or replacing it completely, as per its condition. Here’s a video tutorial to help you out:

Final Thoughts

If you notice that the car won’t run unless your foot is on the gas pedal, you must get it fixed immediately. In the above article, we discuss possible reasons behind this issue along with appropriate solutions. Getting this problem resolved will enhance your driving experience and also ensure that you are safe while driving. You can avoid this type of issue in the future by regularly maintaining your car and keeping a check on the dust-prone components of the vehicle.

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