How to tighten your throttle cable
by Sean Bradshaw - firstname.lastname@example.org
A few notes before you start: 1. Don't drop anything while you're doing any of this, that's bad. It's not a fun or easy thing trying to reach your arm all the way under your engine and near your oil pan, it's warm and you think you're going to burn yourself. Should you drop something, wait like 20 minutes before going for it if your engine was warm to start with. You're not near the exhaust manifold so it's not really hot, but still you don't want you hand down there cooking too long. And 2. you'll need 2 pairs of pliers, or 2 sets of suitable wrenches, I didn't measure the site of the nuts, but the 4 of them you need to adjust should all be the same size.
The basic premise is that if your throttle is tight, you can feel when you're giving it gas and then as soon as you lose contact with the pedal, you aren't accelerating. It helps in shifting and it makes the car feel really responsive, I recommend the effort to do it.
Okay, so I had a vague idea when I popped the Hood
of where the throttle cable was, but just to be sure I popped the Hood
, sood at just the right angle to look through the Hood
opening near the window and pumped the gas. I was right, and this is what it looks like.
When you look under your Hood
you'll instantly recognize it, it's the only thing with a cable that's anywhere near accessible. Your job will be to actually move the two adjustment nuts and then tighten down the cable. You can see one of them just to the left of where the actual cable disappears.
Below you see the cable itself and the two adjustment nuts. I had to disconnect mine so that I could get the leverage to turn the nuts, there were a few tight spots, even after I got out what appeared to be glue locking it in.
So you spin the nut closest to the throttle body until you can hold that screw against the mount and there isn't any slack on the cable, then you screw the other nut so that the cable is firmly held in place. This is actually a little tricky, because as I found out, if you make it too tight, your throttle will be pulling and when you start the car it will idle higher than normal. Don't do that. Definitely test it after you lock it down to make sure it's idling where you think it should depending on your current engine temperature. Probably a bad idea, but I did this after work, so my engine was warm and so I knew where it should have idled, and 3000 was way to high compared to the typical 750ish. I loosened it a few turns and then it was fine.
Next up was Steve Won's suggestion to also tighten it at the Cruise Control this means taking out this large piece of plastic covering the left front corner of your engine.
Getting out the little plastic tabs that hold this cover in is possible 2 ways, push up the plastic center pin to release the tabs around it under the cover, or if you yank hard enough they will pop off and fly out at you at tremendous velocity, look out. There are a few of these that you will have to just yank because you can't get under them very well at all. They still work if you do this once, but will probably get loose if you do it numerous times.
Once you have this cover off, you repeat the tightening process which you should have mastered by now on the left side of the cruise module. You'll see the two tightening nuts and it's a little easier to do this one, on mine they weren't nearly as sticky.
Once again though, don't over tighten them, after you complete this step, make sure to test and confirm that you aren't idling too high.
That's it, you're done. Go test your new accelerator pedal and see how it feels. I think it makes the car feel more precise, and as Steve said, "makes the car feel more 'new', less sloppy. And shifting is again made less jerky, and more consistent."