Car Won’t Accelerate but RPMs Go Up: What Should You Do?

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Car won’t accelerate, but RPMs go up is a common problem in cars, but it comes with a lot of causes, making it difficult to fix the problem. If you notice that your car isn’t accelerating but the revolutions per minute are increasing, it’s best to visit a mechanic.

What to do When Car Won’t Accelerate but RPMs Go Up

It’s best to avoid ignoring the problem if your car is accelerating, but the RPMs don’t go up, as it can cause further damage to your car. In this guide, we take a closer look at the reasons why your car is not accelerating with the RPMs and what you can do.

What Are the Reasons Why the Car Won’t Accelerate but RPMs Go Up?

The reasons why the car won’t accelerate but the RPMs go up include a bad fuel system, clutch disc, ignition system or transmission, a dirty throttle body or plug, vacuum leaks or leaking intake manifold, or a faulty catalytic converter. It’s important to inspect the car and find the cause.

There are several reasons why your car is not accelerating, even if the RPMs are going up. Tere might also be a problem with the engine control module. There could be a problem with the fuel, mechanical, or ignition system.

Faulty Fuel System

If your fuel system is faulty or damaged, it will stop the engine from getting the right amount of fuel. This can make the engine stall or run erratically. There are different things that can be wrong with your fuel system, including a clogged fuel filter, a leaking fuel line, or a faulty fuel pump.

Technician Repairing The car Fuel System

Bad Clutch

Another reason why your car won’t accelerate with the RPMs is clutch problems. If you are using a manual transmission, the clutch might get damaged. The clutch won’t engage, and this would cause the engine to rev without moving. Check for a leak in the hydraulic system or a worn clutch.

Clutch of the Car Outside of Engine

Defective Ignition System

There might also be ignition system issues that are contributing to the car not accelerating. If the plug wires are damaged, it will stop the spark from igniting the fuel, causing it to misfire. Your engine might also run erratically.

Ignition Spark of Car

Dirty Throttle Body

A dirty throttle body would cause the car to stall or hesitate when you start the car. The throttle body is meant to regulate the amount of air that enters the engine. If it is dirty, it will stop the air flow, and the engine will run inconsistently. The throttle position sensor will also be affected.

Throttle Body Of Car_s Engine

Transmission Issues

There can also be an issue with the transmission of your car. If the gears are not shifting well, the car will stall or hesitate when driving. There could be different transmission problems, including worn-out gears, low transmission fluid, or a damaged shift solenoid.

Transmission Of A Car from A Closer Look

Vacuum Leak

Another possible problem that is stopping your car from accelerating with the RPMs is a vacuum leak. There is a vacuum that helps the engine function properly, and if it is leaking, it can cause the engine to stall or run erratically. It can be because of a cracked hose, faulty gasket, or an intake manifold leak.

Any of these could stop the car from accelerating, and it would stall or hesitate instead as the RPMs go up. If you don’t know what the problem is, you should contact a mechanic to check and fix the issue.

Leaking Intake Manifold

A possibility is having a leak in your intake manifold, which would stop your car from accelerating. The air intake manifold supplies the engine with air, so if it leaks, the engine will run lean.

Used Intake Manifold of A Car

Faulty Catalytic Converter

There might also be a problem with the catalytic converter. If the catalytic converter is not working due to clogging, a faulty ignition system, or a problem with the oxygen sensor, it would make the engine stall and can also cause it to overheat. It’s best to inspect the converter properly and find the exact issue.

Catalytic Converter of A Car

Dirty Spark Plug

Your spark plug would become dirty with the buildup of residue or dirt on it. Different causes include oil, carbon deposits, or fuel, which would eventually leave deposits on the plug. When the spark plug is dirty, it can stop the engine from igniting, and this would stop the car from accelerating.

Dirty Versus Clean Spark Plug

Bad MAP/MAF Sensor

Depending on your engine, you either have a Manifold Air Pressure sensor or a Mass Airflow Sensor. If either of them is not working properly, it will cause issues in your car. The mass air flow sensor checks the amount of air entering the engine and is located after the air filter. If it is not working, your engine won’t function properly, and it can cause damage.

Leaking EVAP System

If the Evaporative Emissions System is not working, it will stop the car from accelerating and meeting up to the RPMs. The system is meant to control the emissions of fuel vapors to the fuel tank and stop them from entering the atmosphere. You can inspect the system to find out if it is damaged.

Fouled Engine Air Filter

If you have dirty air filters, it will affect the acceleration of your car. The filter is designed to trap dirt and other contaminants before it enters the engine. As time goes on, it becomes blocked and less effective at trapping contaminants.

A Clean Air filter In hands of a Mechanic

Since it is blocked, there will be a lack of airflow into the engine, which makes it hard for it to accelerate.

Transmission Fluid Level Is Low

If you don’t have enough transmission fluid in your car, the engine will rev, but the car will not move. It’s a good idea to check the transmission fluid with the dipstick. You can pull the dipstick out of the transmission, clean it, and then put it back in. Then, pull it out and check the fluid level. You should wait for the car to warm up and check the level.

Faulty Torque Converter

Another sign has a bad torque converter. If the torque converter is damaged, it will not engage the manual or automatic transmission. You might notice the car vibrating, shuddering, lagging, or slipping instead of accelerating while the RPM goes up. If you notice this, it’s best to get it repaired immediately.

What Should You Do When a Car Won’t Accelerate but RPMs Go Up?

When a car doesn’t accelerate but RPMs go up, you should check the check engine light that is usually found on the dashboard. The engine warning light would come on when there is engine damage or transmission. If the light is on, use the OBD2 scanner to find the cause.

In some cases, the check engine light goes off automatically, but if it flickers, that means that there is something wrong with your car. You should plug the scan tool into the OBD port under the dashboard. Then, check for the trouble codes. It would show you the exact reason why your car is not accelerating.

If the check engine light is not on, you can check the transmission fluid and engine oil, as these can stop the car from working. If the levels are high, the next thing is to visit a mechanic or repair shop. The mechanic will inspect the possible causes of the problem and repair it for you.

How Can You Check The RPM of Your Car?

You can check the RPM of your car by using a tachometer. The tachometer is a device that is located on the dashboard of your car. It automatically measures the RPM as you are driving and will display it in numerical form.

A tachometer measures the RPM of your engine as it is attached to the plug wire. It emits a pulsing light, and it is this light that is used to measure the revolutions per minute of the car. You should hold the tachometer to the plug wire while the engine is running to read the RPM.

You can also use a timing light to check the RPM of your car. A timing light is a special tool that can be connected to the plug wire in the engine. Then, it gives off a pulsing light, and this would measure how fast the engine is rotating.

You can also consider using an electronic scan tool to check the RPMs of your car. The electronic scan tool is a high-quality tool that is commonly used by mechanics and professionals. You can connect it to the diagnostic port to read your engine data, including RPM.

What Are the Advantages of High RPM?

The advantages of high RPM are that it allows the car to accelerate quickly. If you are driving on highways or going on a freeway, you need a car with a high RPM. If your car is not accelerating when you have high RPM, there is something wrong with it.

If your car has high RPM, it is also useful for towing heavy loads. If you are driving a truck or an SUV, a higher RPM will give your car more torque and power. It would be easier to move loads and heavy objects with a high RPM.

Another advantage of having a high RPM is that it makes it easier for you to drive on hills and rough roads. If your car is driving up a steep hill, the RPM gives you all the power that you need to get to the top of the hill.

Keep in mind that some cars have a higher RPM than others. The size of the engine would determine the RPM, as a larger engine comes with a higher RPM. Also, the gear ratio can affect the RPM. Finally, a heavier car has a lower RPM than a lighter car.

What Are the Disadvantages of High RPM?

The disadvantages of high RPM are that it can cause the engine to overheat. The higher RPM causes the engine to work hard and generate a lot of heat which can lead to overheating. Also, a car with high RPM will have lower fuel efficiency.

If you’re trying to reduce your consumption of fuel and save money on gas, you need to keep your RPM very low. Also, a high RPM puts a lot of stress on the engine and its components, and it would make it wear too early. You should focus on keeping your engine RPM low to protect your engine.

There are advantages and downsides to having a high RPM. But, you would have to determine whether you want to get the advantages and ignore the disadvantages. Keep in mind that if you run your car at a high RPM, you need to monitor the fuel consumption and temperature of your engine.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can Stop Your Car From Accelerating When You Press the Gas?

A dirty or clogged fuel filter can stop your car from accelerating when you press the gas pedal. Your car will be struggling to accelerate because of problems with the timing belt, fuel injector, or spark plugs. In most cases, your car will be low on fuel.

How Can You Fix Acceleration Issues?

You can fix acceleration issues by cleaning or replacing the filter of your car when your acceleration is acting sluggish. You should also install new plugs into the car because the old ones might be causing your car to misfire or hesitate. In the worst cases, visit a mechanic.

Why Is Your Car Revving Without Accelerating?

Your car is revving without accelerating because of a slipping transmission. If you press down on the gas and your engine roars without accelerating, you should inspect the transmission. It might also happen when you are accelerating on ice or in mud.

What Could Be Causing My Car to Not Accelerate Even Though the RPMs Are Increasing?

If you’re facing chevy 350 TBI acceleration problems, several factors could hinder your car’s acceleration despite increasing RPMs. Potential causes include fuel system issues, such as a clogged fuel filter or malfunctioning fuel injectors. Additionally, ignition problems, worn-out spark plugs, or a faulty throttle position sensor can also contribute to the problem. Proper diagnosis by an experienced mechanic is crucial to resolve the issue efficiently.

Why Does My Car Jerk When I Try to Accelerate?

One common issue drivers face is their car jerking when shifting from park. There are various reasons for this problem, including a malfunctioning transmission, low transmission fluid, or a clogged fuel filter. It’s important to have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic to identify and resolve the underlying cause of this car jerking sensation before it leads to further damage.


If your car won’t accelerate, but RPMs go up, you should use an OBD2 scanner to check the problem or visit a mechanic. Here’s a rundown of what our article covered:

  • If your car is not accelerating even with the high RPMs, it might be because of a faulty fuel system, catalytic converter, clutch, and ignition system.
  • If your car is not accelerating with the RPMs, you should check for the engine warning light or visit a mechanic.
  • You can check the RPM with a tachometer, a timing light, or an electronic scan tool connected to your plug wire.

It’s best to visit a mechanic immediately if you notice that something is wrong with your accelerator. There are many reasons why the car isn’t accelerating with the RPM, so it might be hard to pinpoint the cause.


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