When you notice your car is not accelerating at all or going slow, but the RPMs go up automatically, it is a really concerning issue. This can be a sign of malfunction, which can lead to severe damage to the vehicle.
But don’t yet freak out if your car won’t accelerate, but RPMs go up. There are some quick fixes to this issue.
Actually, any issue with the transmission system or failure of the air flow sensors are mostly responsible for this.
But there are also some other reasons which act strongly behind the irregular increase of the RPMs.
This article can surely help you to know the actual reasons behind the automatic increase of your car’s RPM even when the car is not accelerating.
Besides, you will also get to know the quick fixes to resolve this issue so that it doesn’t affect the other vehicle parts.
How to Measure RPMs When The Car Is Not Accelerating
It is essential to measure the RPMs of your car to know the overall condition of the engine. By measuring RPMs, you can learn about how fast the engine is spinning and generating power at a certain moment.
When the car is accelerating, it is natural that the RPMs will go up according to the engine speed.
But due to several reasons, the RPMs might go up even when your car is not accelerating. This is a clear indication that you should look out for the actual reasons behind this.
But before that, it is important to measure the RPMs so that you can understand whether the RPMs fluctuation is unusual or not.
The most used tool for measuring RPMs is the tachometer. Besides, you can use the electronic scan tool or timing light for this purpose.
If you are not familiar with mechanical tools, it is better to use the tachometer or the timing light.
You will find the tachometer in your vehicle dash, which measures the RPMs and displays them automatically.
The timing light is found attached to the engine spark plug wires. You can measure the RPM with the help of the pulsing light generated by the timing light.
An electronic scan tool is basically a versatile tool that can read various engine information, including the RPMs. Generally, professionals and vehicle mechanics use this scan tool by connecting it to the vehicle’s diagnostic part.
Why Does Your Car not Accelerate But RPMs Go Up?
Suppose you stepped on the gas pedal of your car and the RPM was going high, but suddenly you noticed that the car was not accelerating. Basically, every component associated with the engine might affect the RPMs of your car.
There could be several reasons behind this issue, and you should detect them as soon as possible so that dealing with such a situation becomes easier. The possible reasons are stated below.
Failure of the Transmission
Transmission failure can create malfunctions in the engine and the associated vehicle parts. Mainly the fluid and air filters are responsible for any complication in the transmission.
You can use an OBD2 scanner to find the errors in the transmission. If you notice any unusual error codes in the scanner, surely, there is a glitch in the system, or it might indicate the failure of the transmission too.
When the transmission fails to work properly, the engine gets affected, and the RPMs go high without keeping track of the engine acceleration. As a result, you will notice unusual fluctuation of the RPMs without engine acceleration.
Low Level of Transmission Fluid
There is an optimum level of the transmission fluid, which is essential for the overall performance of the engine. When the fluid level goes down, it can affect the engine’s spinning speed, and eventually, the RPMs can rise uncontrollably.
Often, you might find the transmission fluid dark and red, which is an indicator that you should replace it immediately because dirty and dark transmission fluid cannot initiate the engine properly.
So, if you are noticing your car is not accelerating, but the RPMs are rising continuously, the transmission fluid might be the actual culprit behind this.
Issues with the Control Unit
The ECU (engine control unit) is responsible for regulating the entire mechanism of a vehicle. If there is even a single glitch in the ECU, the engine performance might drop down and affect the RPMs.
A faulty control module might act unusually when you are starting your engine, and the RPMs rise up without any acceleration.
Often, the ECU needs to be upgraded after a time period in certain vehicles.
Otherwise, the engine can have issues with acceleration after losing compatibility with other vehicle parts.
Faulty Torque Converter
A torque converter allows necessary rotation between the transmission and the vehicle engine. When the torque converter fails, your car engine will have difficulty moving while accelerating. As a result, the RPMs might go up unusually.
You can detect a faulty torque converter by the vibrations and shuddering while driving. The car will vibrate, and the RPMs will rise even if you are not driving so fast.
So, if you are experiencing such symptoms while driving, it is pretty much sure that the torque converter might have failed.
Failure of Air Flow Sensor
The airflow sensor of a vehicle ensures the right amount of air intake inside the chamber. By using this sensor, you can also measure the amount of air that is entering the vehicle’s engine.
If the sensors are damaged or fail completely, it will be difficult for the engine to intake air inside. Besides, a faulty air sensor might send wrong signals to the control module, which affects the acceleration of the vehicle engine.
As a result, you may notice your vehicle is not accelerating; but the tachometer will still detect the continuous rise of the RPM.
Clogged Exhaust Filters
The exhaust filter separates the unnecessary and toxic particles from the air that flows through the exhaust pipe. It is connected to the exhaust pipe, and you can change and replace it when the filter is full.
If the exhaust filter of your vehicle is clogged, it cannot filter the air, and your vehicle might face trouble while the engine initiates.
In such a situation, the check engine light flashes, indicating an immediate replacement of the filter.
Due to clogged exhaust filters, your car will not accelerate according to the rise of the RPM, and you will notice unusual acceleration.
Car Not Accelerating But RPMs Going Up − Quick Fixes
Basically, it is way too complicated to fix your car in such cases as the transmission is not so easy to repair or replace.
So, it is advised not to handle the vehicle parts single-handed if you are not so familiar with mechanical tasks.
But some easy techniques might help you to fix your car temporarily so that you can handle it until going to a professional mechanic. Here are some quick fixes for your convenience.
Checking the Exhaust Filters
As clogged and full exhaust filters are common reasons for the malfunction of a vehicle engine, you should check the filters quite often. Try to clean the filters with a hard, bristled brush and damp cloth.
But if it seems too difficult to clean those, take your car to a professional mechanic to clean the filters properly. In case the filters get clogged completely and cause issues in engine acceleration, replace them with the help of a professional.
Replacing Faulty Clutch
If you have a manual transmission in your car, you might notice that the clutch is worn out because of using it for a long time.
In such a case, replace the clutch as soon as possible because it can prevent your car from accelerating while the RPMs are going high.
Maintaining the Optimum Fluid Level
If you identify your car not being accelerated when the RPMs go up just because of the low fluid level, it is necessary to refill it.
Otherwise, it can prevent the proper flow of fluid to the engine, and eventually, the engine will take time to accelerate.
Replacing Damaged Wiring and Connectors
Damaged wiring systems, faulty spark plug wires, and connectors are often responsible for most engine malfunctions. If you are experiencing transmission issues related to acceleration, always check the wirings properly.
In case there are damaged wires associated with the engine and transmission, repair or replace them immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why does the rpm go up after pressing the gas?
When you accelerate a car, the engine receives a high amount of fuel from the fuel reservoir. As a result, the engine spins faster, and the RPM goes higher when you are pressing the gas.
- Are faulty spark plugs responsible for high rpm?
Faulty spark plugs can be partially responsible for higher RPM because any glitch in the spark plugs can cause excessive burning of the fuel that increases the RPM of your vehicle’s engine.
- Is high rpm safe for the vehicle engine?
Generally, a higher RPM is not dangerous for the vehicle engine as the engine is designed to take the toll of this high speed. But if you drive at high RPM regularly, it can cause wear and tear to some vehicle parts.
Whether your car has an automatic or manual transmission, it is not usual to notice your car not moving when the RPMs go high. So, hopefully, you got it clear why sometimes your car won’t accelerate but RPMs go up.
Actually, the best thing you can do is to take your car to a professional to know the underlying reasons behind this issue and fix them accordingly.