I've been teaching my friend to drive stick on my Subaru 2004 Impreza Outback Sport, and the gas was a little sticky/crunchy, so it was hard to give just a little gas. It was either none, or a little too much.

I used a general automotive spray oil to lube the pedal, which didn't help, so I lubed the springed throttle mechanism under the hood where the cable from the pedal attaches (proper names for all of these things would be a nice bonus to an answer to my question -- what are all these parts called?).

This fixed the problem initially, but now that it's like, 0 degrees outside, I find the throttle even stickier. Not crunchy like it was before, but if I step on the gas, the rpms will stay high, even if I've let off the pedal.

This problem does seem to go away when the car is warmed up. So, Im thinking I used the wrong kind of oil, and it's seizing up in the cold?

Any recommended fixes? Could I degrease and relube these parts in a better way? Maybe this is just a general problem with the cold?


  • 1
    The engine will always idle high when it's cold. Have you watched the throttle while someone else steps on the gas (gear in neutral, handbrake on, obviously)? Is it sticking?
    – jscs
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 20:04
  • Another thing to check is that the cable is at the right tightness. Should be somewhere in the range of 1/8" to 1/4" deflection. The lever should not move instantly when you press/pull on the cable, but it shouldn't take an overly large amount of cable movement either.
    – jscs
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 21:07

1 Answer 1


There are many lubricants that get 'gummy' with cold.

Perhaps the following will help.

Let the motor idle and become warm. if it takes 15 minutes or more, fine. Just ensure the area you have an issue with is warm.

Turn the motor off. (safety first)

Use a carb cleaner to spray off the oil you used to lubricate.

Procure a product with Molybdenum-disulfide. It will work in any temperature. It is a dry lubricant. Various auto parts stores carry it. It's ideal to lubricate the inside of cables. It can be messy but it works.

Best of luck.

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