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The gas pedal (accelerator) on my car developed an issue where it only works if I press it some 80% of the way down. That leaves very little room for controlling the acceleration and as a consequence the drive has become a bit jerky--the pedal will suddenly kick in when pressed most of the way down and only then start accelerating.

What could be the issue?

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Make, Model, Year, engine size? –  Larry Mar 25 '13 at 3:56
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Depends a wee bit on whether it is a cable throttle linkage or fly-by-wire. It being a Jeep, I'm assuming cable here.

  • First thing I would check when looking at throttle response is that the throttle cable has no slack in it. If it is slack, the first pedal movement will just take up that slack. As @BobCross commented, this will also lead to your top acceleration being way down on the expected acceleration.
  • Next, with the bonnet (hood) open, I'd manually move the throttle actuator. If it moves quite far before any change in revs then it may need adjusting.
  • After that I'd want to check airflow and the fuel path into the engine, as blockages here (or a faulty fuel pump) could cause symptoms similar to this.
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For slack cable, might want to point out that max acceleration will be WAY down. –  Bob Cross Mar 25 '13 at 16:02
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