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Hyundai Won't Accelerate due to Throttle Position Switch Problem

Is your Kia / Hyundai refusing to accelerate when you press the gas pedal?

In this article, we will discuss common problems that can cause Kia and Hyundai vehicles to not accelerate. In one situation a Kia was only accelerating to about 15 mph and would not go any faster than that.


Kia or Hyundai vehicles may fail to accelerate due to problems with the throttle position switch. When the driver presses the gas pedal the maximum speed that car be reached is about 10 or 15 mph. Some symptoms include that the engine has no power when you press the gas pedal or that the RPMs will not go past 2000.  

The first warning that you may get is the check engine light will come on. Soon after you may notice that the engine or vehicle speed does not increase when you press the gas pedal.  It is common as well for this issue to be intermittent at the early stages.

It is easy to misdiagnose this problem as an engine misfire. Thus changing the spark plugs is not going to solve the problem if the issues are caused by a faulty throttle position sensor. You may also wonder if the car is out of gas. That's why it is important to read the CEL

Common Causes


Hyundai Kia Engine Has No Power / Very Weak


Throttle Position Switch 

The most common issues that will make your vehicle not accelerate is a faulty throttle position switch also referred to as the TPS. The Throttle Position Sensor is a potentiometer that controls the throttle valve. Check with the dealer to see if they have an updated position switch.

Replacing the TPS at the dealership can cost around $400-$600 USD depending on your location and model. Replacement TPS for Kia and Hyundai can also be purchased on eBay, here is a TPS listing for Kia/Hyundai. 

Catalytic Converter

A bad catalytic converter can also cause your Kia / Hyundai not to accelerate. Typically you can get to speeds over 50mph when the catalytic converter is defective, but it may take a while for the car to get up to that speed. When the catalytic converter gets clogged it creates excessive backpressure, and thus the vehicle loses power. You can have a muffler shop perform a backpressure test on your vehicle.

This will confirm if the catalytic converter is defective or not. Replacing cat converters can be expensive. They can cost close to $1,000 if you want an OEM catalytic converter but aftermarket units cost only $200-$300 USD at a muffler shop.

If you are up to the challenge you can order a universal catalytic converter online for under $100 and replace it yourself. 

How to diagnose

Several fault codes may be present when the vehicle fails to accelerate. You can use OBD2 scanner reader to retrieve the codes from your car. 

Here is the list of codes that were triggered by a defective TPS.

Engine won't rev past 2000 RPM

  • P0123 - Throttle Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit High Input

Car Engine Hesitates when pressing gas pedal

  • P0222 - OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input

Engine shuts off when idling

  • P2101 - Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit Range/Performance

How to replace Throttle Position Sensor

Faulty Throttle Position Switch?

  1. Open the hood. 
  2. Disconnect the negative battery terminal. 
  3. Locate the electronic throttle body. The throttle body is mounted on the intake manifold assembly.
  4. Remove the air intake hose.
  5. Disconnect the electrical connector from the TPS.
  6. Remove the 4 bolts on the TPS using a 10 mm socket.
  7. Reinstall in reverse order. Tighten the bolts to 11.5 Nm.


jennifer coppolino, 2019-08-07

My car seems to be having this problem & I have taken my car to the Hyundai dealership over 4 times . They have kept it for weeks at a time but claim that they cant find amy problems with my car. My car is dangerous to drive. The dealership claims the problem doesn't happen when they drive the car but it happens to me EVERY time I'm driving the car !! this is very frustrating and upsetting.

Maher, 2019-11-05

Ok jennifer i have the solution for u my car i have changed three sensors last week i almost jailed a part shop dealer then i tried something....... I removed the air sensor as they mentioned that u should change it and covered it with aluminium foil paper with only the two bolts holes open and mounted it back to its place and the rev. Came back to normal and i still drive and no complains abt it...... My car is a hyundai getz 2009 model

WS, 2019-08-20

I have had this happen.... dies down and then seems to jump gears... Tranny is good... I just had new plugs and wires put on.. (140K miles) hit a code PO121 so I replaced the TPS after clearing the code.. Now it does it again..2 times since. but..no check engine light... no code. Now what I do is remove both cables off the battery and hold them together for 5 or 10 min. reattach and it works...for a few days... New plugs/wires and TPS....??????

Manuel Alvarez, 2019-10-01

I’d you get a answer with this problem, mine goes 15 miles than stops and engine sounds accelerated than comes back to coast for 2-5 miles p/h

wes mccurry, 2019-10-22

look at the crank shaft sensor

By YOUCANIC on Apr 22, 2019


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