Many modern vehicles use an electronically controlled throttle system, affectionately referred to as “drive-by-wire.” However, there are still vehicles on the road equipped with traditional, mechanical throttle cables, otherwise known as accelerator cables.
A mechanical throttle cable is used to link the accelerator pedal to the engine throttle plate. When the driver pushes down on the pedal, the cable pulls the throttle open, allowing air to enter the engine.
Most of the time, a throttle cable will last the life of the vehicle. In some instances however, the cable may need to be replaced due to being stretched, snapped or bent.
Part 1 of 3: Locate the throttle cable
In order to safely and efficiently replace your throttle cable you need a couple of basic tools:
- Free repair manuals - Autozone provides free online repair manuals for certain makes and models
- Protective gloves
- Chilton repair manuals (optional)
- Safety glasses
Step 1: Locate the throttle cable. One end of the throttle cable is located in the engine compartment, attached to the throttle body.
The other end is on the driver’s side floor, attached to the accelerator pedal.
Part 2 of 3: Remove the throttle cable
Step 1: Disconnect the throttle cable at the throttle body. This is usually done by either pushing the throttle bracket forward and sliding the cable out through a slotted hole, or by prying off a small retaining clip using a screwdriver.
Step 2: Disconnect the throttle cable from the retaining bracket. Disconnect the throttle cable from the bracket that holds it to the intake manifold by pressing on the tabs and wiggling it out.
Alternately, it may have a small retaining clip that must be pried off using a screwdriver.
Step 3: Pull the throttle cable through the firewall. Pull the new cable from the engine compartment into the interior.
Step 4: Disconnecting the throttle cable from the accelerator pedal. Typically, the throttle cable is disconnected from the accelerator pedal by lifting up on the pedal and sliding the cable through the slotted hole.
Part 3 of 3: Install the new cable
Step 1: Push the new cable through the firewall. Push the new cable through the firewall and into the engine compartment.
Step 2: Hook the new cable up to the accelerator pedal. Slide the new cable through the slotted hole in the accelerator pedal.
Step 3: Reconnect the throttle cable to the retaining bracket. Re-connect the throttle cable to the bracket by pressing on the tabs and wiggling it it, or by sliding it into place and securing it with the retaining clip.
Step 4: Reconnect the throttle cable at the throttle body. Reconnect the throttle cable by either pushing the throttle bracket forward and sliding the cable out through a slotted hole, or by sliding it into place and securing it with the retaining clip.
That’s it - you should now have a perfectly functioning throttle cable. If for whatever reason, you don’t feel like tackling this job yourself, the team at YourMechanic offers expert throttle cable replacement service (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/accelerator-cable-replacement).
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Replace a Car Throttle Cable and was authored by Mia Bevacqua.