Why Car Won’t Stay Running Unless Foot Is On Gas?

Have you found yourself in a condition where your car won’t stay running unless foot is on gas? If yes, then this is often a big problem that can’t be overlooked. A car that doesn’t run if your foot isn’t on the gas all the time has low fuel economy. Hence, continuing to drive the vehicle with this problem could take a crucial toll on your pocket and mind.

There could be many reasons behind this issue like faulty fuel pump, improper airflow into the cylinders, dirty filter, etc. Moreover, low compression levels, bad TPS, and a faulty idle air control valve can also cause this issue.

Why Car Won’t Stay Running Unless Foot Is On Gas?

There are six major problems that make the car won’t stay running unless foot is on gas.

1. Improper Air Flow:

Suppose there’s an obstruction within the trail of airflow into the combustion cylinders. This might be due to the residual debris within the air inlet or another obstruction within the car air passage. In this case, the only way you will get the required airflow is by pushing the accelerator.

2. Filter Is Dirty:

If you don’t maintain your car regularly, that might cause an unclean filter. Rust forming on the filter can also end in its malfunctioning. The filter is responsible for keeping dirt and debris out of the engine of your vehicle. Having a dirty filter means dirt and debris can enter the engine. This results in incomplete combustion of fuel which suggests the car needs excess gas to run. Hence, you’d wish to stay your foot on the gas to run the vehicle.

3. Compression Level Is Low:

The engine combustion process incorporates pressing an air-fuel mixture within the confined area of the cylinder of your car engine. The combustion and ignition within the engine are the processes responsible for running the car. The low compression level indicates that the combustion is getting hampered. As a result, the air can’t reach your engine’s cylinder. This needs your car won’t stay running unless foot is on gas.

4. Faulty Fuel Pump:

The fuel pump is responsible for transferring fuel from the car’s fuel tank to the engine’s combustion engine. Hence, your car may require excess gas because of improper combustion within the engine.

5. Faulty Idle Air Control Valve:

The idle air control valve is responsible for checking the number of air that’s imagined to mix with the fuel before entering your car engine cylinders when the engine is running at low speeds or in idle condition. If the air calculated isn’t appropriate, then the resultant air-fuel mixture won’t be efficient. As a result, you’ll need to push the accelerator more to run the car.

6. Bad Throttle Position Sensor (TPS):

This sensor is responsible for monitoring the engine’s air intake amount. If it doesn’t function efficiently, then the air intake by the car engine would get hampered, and you won’t be able to run it if you don’t keep the accelerator pushed. The TPS sends the throttle position to the car’s Engine Control Unit (ECU).

The ECU calculates the number of fuel injected into the injectors so that the air-fuel mixture’s ratio is correct. If the TPS sends a wrong signal, then the fuel quantity supplied to the injector will also be incorrect, then the car might stay idle if your foot isn’t on the gas.

How To Obviate This Problem?

Here is the solution for the car won’t stay running unless foot is on gas.

  • If there’s an obstruction within the air passage of the engine, then simply cleaning it’ll do the trick. Clean the air inlets, air passages, and thus the world around the combustion cylinders. Then, check if the matter is gone or not.
  • Visually inspecting a filter will allow you to understand if it’s dirty and rusty. Clean the filter to need out the obstructions and debris of the filter. Then, check if the matter is resolved or not.

  • First, examine your car’s compression level. If it’s but 100PSI per cylinder, then there is a leak within the compression system. So, you’d wish to exchange the leaking a neighborhood of the compressor during this case. The leaks are generally seen within the top shaft, piston, or compression valves.
  • If your fuel pump is malfunctioning, then the only solution here is to exchange it. A fuel pump allows the liquid to run into the engine. So, replacing it’ll confirm the engine receives proper fuel-air mixture, and you don’t need to push the accelerator excessively to run it.
  • If the idle air control valve isn’t working correctly. Then, you’d wish to exchange it by popping the engine hood when the car is cool. Locate the idle air control valve, unplug its electrical connector, and deduct it. Then clean the region and deduct the gasket. Place a replacement idle air control valve and a gasket. Bolt it in and reattach the electrical connector.
  • The Throttle Position System is there to observe the air entering your car engine. So, repairing the TPS will now regulate the airflow into the car engine. You’ll try reprogramming the TPS sensor or replacing it completely, as per its condition.


If you notice that the car won’t run unless your foot is on the accelerator, you would like to catch on fixed immediately. Within the above article, we discuss possible reasons behind car won’t stay running unless foot is on gas. Getting this problem resolved will enhance your driving experience and also confirm that you’re safe while driving. You’ll avoid this type of issue within the longer term by regularly maintaining your car and checking the dust-prone components of the vehicle.

Leave a Comment