We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Accelerator?

By Jeremy Laukkonen
Updated Feb 26, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In an automotive application, the accelerator is typically the pedal that a driver uses to increase the engine speed. The accelerator may be commonly known as a gas pedal, though it usually directly affects the air intake rather than the gas. In most vehicles the accelerator is connected to a butterfly valve via mechanical linkage, and depressing it allows more air to enter the engine. This will typically also increase the amount of gas being combusted, as the carburetor or fuel injection will tend to equalize the fuel/air ratio as the volume of air increases.

In carbureted vehicles, the accelerator is typically connected via a cable or other mechanical means to a butterfly valve inside the carburetor. Depressing the gas pedal in these applications will cause the butterfly valve to open, allowing more air to enter the engine. Most fuel injected vehicles operate in a similar way, though the valve that the accelerator controls is typically in a throttle body. This valve generally performs the same function as one inside a carburetor, allowing the gas pedal to directly affect the volume of air that enters the plenum.

Some vehicles use a type of electronic throttle control. These cars typically have a sensor located on the accelerator in the place of mechanical linkage. The sensor will typically send a different signal, depending on how far the gas pedal is depressed. The engine control module (ECM) can then use this signal to determine how much air the throttle body should allow into the plenum, indirectly allowing the driver to control engine speed.

Many other applications also use a some type of accelerator. Airplanes typically use a thrust lever to control engine output. In multi-engine aircraft, each engine may have its own thrust lever. These levers can usually be adjusted individually to achieve the desired amount of thrust from each engine. Some aircraft will also include thrust reversers, in which case each thrust lever will typically be accompanied by a reverser.

Jet engine aircraft will often include an accelerator system known as an autothrottle. Rather than setting each thrust lever manually, these systems may allow the pilot to choose the desired speed or thrust. The system can then automatically adjust the power of each engine to achieve the desired characteristics, resulting in better fuel economy and less work for the pilot. An autothrottle may be automatically set for optimum takeoff, cruising, or a number of other different conditions.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.