The accelerator cable in your car is what allows you, as the driver, to control the speed of your vehicle by pressing down or releasing the pressure on the accelerator pedal. The cable itself is made out of metal wire, and it is encased in rubber and metal. Because you use your accelerator every time you drive, many times during even the shortest trip, the cable takes a lot of wear and tear. Constant friction can result in wear, and if it wears too much, it can break. Obviously, when this happens, the outcome is never good – you could end up stopped in heavy traffic, when climbing a hill, or in any number of other adverse conditions.

How long you can expect your accelerator cable to last will depend in large measure on how often you drive. The more use the accelerator cable gets, the more prone it is to wear and tear. Usually, you can expect to get five years from your accelerator cable before it needs to be replaced.

Usually, your accelerator cable won’t simply “let go.” You will notice one or more of the following signs:

  • Car jerks when using cruise control
  • No engine response when you depress the accelerator pedal
  • No engine response unless you push down very hard on the accelerator pedal

Accelerator cables are typically quite durable, but if you suspect that yours is failing, you should have it checked out by a qualified mechanic. A professional mechanic can do an examination, and if necessary, replace your accelerator cable.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does an Accelerator Cable Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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