When your throttle gets jammed, what should be your first and immediate response?
I was faced with a real life scenario like this 2 months ago. I was on my way to class and I had just pulled on to the freeway and was pinning it. I happened to be late for class and wanted to make a quick pass around a car, a few seconds later, pass completed and I was easing of the throttle but the throttle didn’t come up with my foot, the car kept revving and I was fast approaching vehicles ahead.
At this point I’d like to open a what would you do poll to get your reactions but let me just crack on to the right thing to do and the wrong things to do.
What I did to save the situation after a brief 1 second panic was I first stomped on the brakes which didn’t really stop the car, the engine just grunted the tranny shifted to a lower gear n gave more power, and then I remembered what my old man told me years ago and this saved me a whole lot of trouble, money and probably my life, considering there were trailers ahead. He told me, when your throttle goes outta control, jam it into neutral(Thanks Dad), and then brake.
I quickly did this, slowed down with my hazard lights on and then I checked, the pedal was stuck under my foot mat. I simply adjusted the foot mat backwards and exonerated the pedal and kept on going safe and sound.
Now, the only right thing to do when this happens to you, in a manual or automatic transmission car is to throw the gear into neutral and then apply your brakes find a lay-by stop and turn off the engine.
Brakes only: Applying brakes only won’t really slow you down in time especially if there’s an obstacle not far from you(you’d be trying to shave off the car’s momentum while fighting an angry engine).
E-Brakes: Applying your e brakes in such a scenario would be the worst idea you’d ever come up with because if its a front wheel drive or all wheel drive vehicle the rear wheel would lock up while the front goes out of control and you’d end up fishtailing allover the place, if you don’t hit anyone you’d likely end up in a roll-over crash scenario. For a rear-wheel drive vehicle it would lock up the drive wheels too(if the e-brake isn’t worn out), but will you be prepared for the following skid? And it still won’t disconnect the engine from the wheels which means that the wheels could still break free from the e-brake callipers and keep going.
Turning off the engine: In a manual this would cause the drive wheels to lock up and slow down abruptly while going into an uncontrolled skid, brakes and steering would go offline and u might end up locking the steering system completely.
For an automatic transmission vehicle the car won’t halt abruptly, but you still have the steering and brakes problem with chances of mistakenly locking up the steering wheel.
Now your throttle could get jammed for a couple of reasons.
1) You could be in my foot mat scenario, maybe it wasn’t placed properly after leaving the car wash. Check to see that the foot mat is pulled clear of the pedal.
2) A disconnected throttle cable. When you finally come to a halt and turn off the engine on a lay-by somewhere safe check the throttle system to see if its a disconnected cable or call a mechanic.
3) Bad Return Spring: The return spring for the throttle may have collapsed or dislodged from its fixture, you could try fixing it or call up a mechanic.
These are some of the common reasons why your throttle could get jammed.
I hope I have properly armed you with enough info for an emergency event like this.
Have a nice day folks.