Could a new fuel pedal spring interfere with the throttle?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Oct 01, 1999

Dear Tom and Ray:

I purchased a 1984 four-cylinder Toyota Camry, and I love the car. However, one
thing is driving me crazy: The accelerator is so lightly sprung that you cannot
let your foot rest against the gas pedal without the car accelerating. When
driving, I was spending more time keeping my foot OFF the pedal than on. This
made my whole right leg ache. So I hooked up a stronger return spring under the
hood on the carburetor linkage, and now the pedal feels great! My concern is
this: Will this extra tension mess up the automatic choke and the cruise control?
Will these features be damaged because they will have to work harder against this
extra tension? -- Charlie

TOM: I can say without a shadow of a doubt that your new spring will not harm the
automatic choke one bit, Charlie. How can I be so sure? Because you don't HAVE an
automatic choke. You don't have carburetor linkage, either. This car is fuel
injected. And that's exactly why your new spring won't hurt anything.

RAY: The warm-up mode and the cruise control both work on a feedback system
controlled by the car's computer. So if you set the cruise control to 55, and the
car is only going 45, the computer will adjust the throttle position until the
vehicle speed-sensor says the car is going 55, no matter how stiff the throttle
spring is (within reason).

TOM: And the same is true during warm-up mode. If the computer wants the engine
to be running at 1,800 rpm for the first 90 seconds, it bypasses the throttle
entirely and increases the rpm by opening the idle air control.

RAY: There is only one thing to be concerned about, Charlie. You want to make
sure that your new spring doesn't interfere with the free operation of the
throttle in any way. If the throttle linkage were to get caught up in the spring,
it could be very exciting -- especially if it happens at high speed. So have a
mechanic check that out very carefully, OK?

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