The Accelerator

Also called the “Gas pedal”. This pedal is connected to a valve on the engine, so when you press it, the engine gets more fuel and can produce more power. When the engine is running and the gas pedal isn’t being pressed, it runs at what’s called “idling speed”. This is the slowest that the engine will run without stalling.

Where you might get confused:

  • Coming off the gas pedal means that it’s easy to think that the engine will stop.
  • More gas feels like more speed.

The reality:

Coming off the gas pedal slows the engine down and leads to “engine braking”. But if the car is still moving, this doesn’t mean that the engine will stop since the fuel valve will still stay partly open. Because of this, you’ll find that if you’re already moving and approaching a situation that you’re not sure of, you can keep the brake just covered for as long as you need to and find that you won’t stall. The engine will keep you moving.

The amount of gas you need to use doesn’t always relate directly to your road speed. Other things, like the effects of gravity, or what you do with the clutch at low speeds will also play a part.

More driving advice on driving can also be found here:

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