How to Replace a Car's Accelerator Cable

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 15-35
What You'll Need
Screwdriver set
Socket wrench set
Throttle cable

A car’s accelerator cable is under considerable stress during driving, so you may need to replace it at some point. Any moving parts are subject to wear and tear due to friction and other factors, so this cable usually needs replacing occasionally. Fortunately, replacing the accelerator cable in a car is not a particularly complicated task, and you can save a worthwhile bit of cash by doing it yourself. Follow the simple steps below.

Step 1 - Know When Your Accelerator Cable Needs Replacing

If you find that when you are driving the car, the accelerator pedal is not as responsive as it once was, the most likely explanation is a worn out accelerator cable. The first thing to do if the engine is not responding quickly enough when you put your foot down is to replace the cable. This will likely fix the problem.

Step 2 - Locate the Accelerator Cable

First, open the car’s engine compartment and locate the accelerator cable. Look for the throttle lever either by a lever attached to a cable or, on older cars, close to the carburetor. If you have any difficulties finding the throttle lever, refer to the owner’s handbook specific to your car.

Step 3 - Remove the Old Cable

There should be a screw on a barrel clamp attaching the accelerator cable to the throttle lever. Detach this by loosening the screw. Detach the other end of the cable from inside the car where the gas pedal is. Simply pull the cable out.

Step 4 - Install the New Cable

Make sure you have the right cable and inspect it to make sure that it has no blemishes such as kinks or rough edges. Also, be sure that the accelerator cable has the right gauge so that it will fit properly. Carefully insert this cable into the guiding tube from inside the car. This tube will lead to the outside of the engine section.

Attach the cable to the pedal in the manner specific to your car and attach the other end onto the barrel clamp at the other end, exactly where you removed the old cable. When you attach the other end of the cable to the barrel clamp, make sure that it is as taut as possible before tightening the barrel clamp. If you do not do this, the engine will not respond adequately when you push down on the gas pedal.

Step 5 - Test the Car

The process of replacing your accelerator cable should not have taken too long, but for those who are not comfortable with working with the components of their cars, it may be preferable to take it to a mechanic. If you have installed the new cable as instructed, and are adhering to the guidelines specific to your car, you should find that the vehicle is now far more responsive when you press the accelerator pedal.