On my Ford F pickup cylinder four speed manual transmission...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | May 01, 1995

Dear Tom and Ray:

On my 1980 Ford F150 pickup (8 cylinder, four speed manual transmission), the accelerator pedal sticks down when starting in cold weather. I have had the carburetor rebuilt. Another mechanic said it must be moisture in the gas that is freezing, but using dry gas doesn't help either. Because the engine races wildly, the truck is unusable until the outside temperature rises above 32 degrees. Then it runs fine. Any suggestions?

TOM: My guess is that water is getting into your throttle cable, John, and turning to ice. There's not enough ice in there to resist the force of your foot stepping down on the pedal. But it's enough to resist the force of the little spring that's responsible for releasing the cable when you lift off the gas.

RAY: There's a little, rubber boot at the end of the throttle cable that's supposed to keep moisture out, and yours is probably missing.

TOM: So you have two choices, John. Either replace the throttle cable, or build a heated garage.

RAY: The cable is cheaper, but a heated garage is definitely a good thing to have. Ask my brother. He sleeps in his whenever his wife throws him out of the house.

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