Throttle Position Sensor Symptoms (Causes & Solutions)

Will you like to know some Throttle Position Sensor symptoms?

Most present-day cars use a technical system for your throttle to relate the information to your vehicle’s computer.

The longer you push the handle determines how well the throttle valve will open. Likewise, the longer you push the pedal determines how well the regulator will be opened. Your TPS(Throttle position sensor) measures the closing and opening of that regulator.

Assuming your TPS is bad, you may begin to experience some unusual signs such as surging or stalling. These signs are not only annoying; they can also become risky sometimes. As you read further, you will understand the signs of a defective TPS and how to fix it.

We will now discuss the signs of a bad TPS. These are the various general sign of a faulty sensor.

1. Rough Idling

When your car is idle, there is some little shift in the location of the throttle. It can open a little, letting in an adequate amount of air so the vehicle can keep functioning while idling. So, a faulty sensor may cause some quaver in the location of the throttle. Rather than standing still, it may close and open a little. This will make the RPMs of the engine dither other than remaining constant. If you realize that your car is becoming roughly idle, then you may blame your TPS.

2. Persistent Engine Stalling

A risky sign while driving your vehicle is the frequent stalling of the engine. While driving, if your Throttle Position Sensor makes the butterfly regulator in your throttle close so much, it will make your vehicle engine go bad or die. A faulty Throttle Position Sensor can affect the fuel injection system in your vehicle. It may not transport adequate fuel to the tank engine, which can also make your car stop. If this often happens, you should get a mechanic to check your car to know if the sensor of your TPS is the problem.

3. Check Engine Light Shows

A verified engine light could indicate many issues, and a faulty TPS may be one of these issues. Since your car’s TPS controls the air your manifold receives, a faulty sensor lets either too small or too much air. There is a further sensor in the car, such as the accumulation of airflow sensor, which measures air readings.

Once the reading is beyond the standard limit, this will trigger the check engine check light. You should get a mechanic shop with a scan tool to read the problem codes in your ECU to determine if your warning light results from your TPS.

4. Poor Fuel Economy

Given that the throttle body sensor is connected with your tank engine’s fuel/air ratio, a faulty sensor can make your vehicle consume so much fuel.

Your car’s fuel pump may pump excess fuel or gas by the injectors if the sensor is not in the right location.

Even if the car does not require excess fuel, the computer thinks this happens because the Throttle Position Sensor analysis is becoming bad. This makes more fuel to be sent to the ignition chamber, wasting a reasonable quantity of fuel. As your fuel use increases for no absolute reason, you may have your TPS checked for issues.

5. Weak or Poor Engine Performance

Expect your car to move too fast as you push the gas pedal down to the footing or floor. If it does not move, it might be that the throttle regulator is not widely opened enough. A faulty TPS may be the issue. You may discover you are holding the gas switch too hard so you can get the exact amount of action by your engine. When this happens to you, think of carrying out a test on your Throttle Position Sensor. It may be bad, thus causing issues with the opening of your throttle.

6. Limp Mode Activated

Your vehicle’s computer is possibly very smart and quickly discovers a problem with your car. It may put your vehicle in limp mode if it detects an issue with the Throttle Position Sensor. The limp mode indicates your car’s ignition timing and decreases the engine’s performance or efficiency.

This is to assist in preventing damage to the car’s engine. It permits you to move the car to a mechanic shop or home, but every performance feature of your vehicle is disabled. So a certified mechanic should check it once whenever your vehicle switches to limp mode.

7. Bucking or Jerking Of Vehicle

This sign is very clear. When the TPS fails or gets seriously faulty, it will make your vehicle surge or buck as you move because the sensor reading varies everywhere in the location, and the RPMs of the engine increase and then fall low. This steady variation in RPMs is the reason for the bucking of your car as you move. It might make you think that your transmissions are falling. This experience can be annoying and also risky. You should quit driving the vehicle immediately and get a mechanic to check it.

8. Difficulty In Shifting Gears

As unlikely as it may seem, your automated transmission uses data to spot your throttle to decide when you are to change gears. Also, it uses this data to decide how tightly it has to move. But if the information collected is wrong, it may have issues changing gears. You may also realize that your vehicle is changing gears too fast or refuses to change gear quickly. You may think you require a transmission fix, but the issue may be connected to your TPS.

Also Read: Wheel Alignment Cost

What Is a Throttle Position Sensor, and What Is Its Function?

To know if it is becoming faulty, you will need to understand what a TPS is and its function.

The job of a sensor is to detect the location of the throttle and relate the same to the ECM (Engine Control Module).

The Throttle Position Sensor plays a significant role in deciding the right fuel-air combination in the engine as part of a car’s fuel system. TPS data are combined with so much other information, like engine speed, airflow, and temperature.

How Does a Throttle Position Sensor Work?

Before modern cars, TPS was connected to the throttle and would watch its location through contact. Recently, technological advancement has permitted the sensors to function without direct throttle contact.

In some situations, the Throttle Position Sensor uses the Hall Effect to carry out its function, which includes magnetic fields moving as the throttle locks and unlocks. The sensor reads these changes and relates them to the ECM to decide the correct position of the throttle.

That reading allows the car’s computer to determine the amount of fuel to convey into the engine at a given time. But, of course, this is a basic edition of the procedure and might differ from model to model or brand to brand.

Cost of Replacing A Bad TPS 

An engine requires the right quantity of air, just as it requires the right quantity of gas/fuel. If the engine doesn’t get enough air, its internal ignition process is adjusted. This means insufficient generation of power and a lot of other issues.

You’ll not be capable of delaying this condition for so long. Finally, you don’t have an option but to ensure that your vehicle is diagnosed by a qualified mechanic.

If it indicates that your throttle location sensor is faulty, you have to change it immediately. The price for replacing the TPS is between $110 – $200. The components or parts are between $75 – $105; also, the workmanship costs $35 – $95.

Also, you will give an account of any extra charges and taxes that are added. You don’t need to pay above $250 to replace your throttle position sensor. You may find a lower price if you buy at a cheap mechanic.

Throttle Position Sensor

How To Replace a Throttle Position Sensor

Lets get to know how to replace a bad or failing Throttle Position Sensor:

Step 1: Disconnect the Battery

Before you start, get the -ve terminal cable battery detached. This is to avoid damaging other hood components and unnecessary shocks to you.

Step 2: Unplug Old Sensor

As soon as you’ve found the position of the sensor, you can unplug the wire that links it with the car’s computer system. Unplug it carefully, taking note of any clips that ought to be shifted.

Step 3: Remove Mounting Screws

Once it is detached, shift the screw holding the sensor together. Take notice of this should there be any need for reuse when you want to install a new one.

Step 4: Remove Old Sensor

Unplug the previous sensor and trash it by the local regulations.

Step 5: Mount and Screw In New Sensor

Using the reverse process, turn or screw in the newly installed sensor to the place where the old one was removed.

Step 6: Re-Plug Wiring Harness

Reconnect the wiring attached to the newly installed sensor carefully, paying proper concentration to clips that must be united for better installation.

Step 7: Reconnect Battery Cables

Finally, reconnect the terminal of the -ve battery. The work is done! Congratulations!!

Steps to clean a Throttle Position Sensor

The above signs can be connected to an unclean throttle position sensor sometimes. Therefore, it can be cleaned instead of completely buying a new one to replace it. This saves cost and time also.

Simply follow the process to disassemble it, spray the empty part of the sensor with brake cleaner or WD40. Repeat these 3 to 4 times, then allow it dry.

Also, all the stifle bodies are not similar, so we should get a qualified mechanic to do this instead.

Also Read: Temporary Fix for Crankshaft Position Sensor (Expert Guide)

Frequently Asked Questions – Throttle Position Sensor Symptoms

What happens when the throttle position sensor goes bad?

The vehicle’s throttle body will not function when your TPS becomes faulty. It either stays locked up, or it will not close well, and this is a serious problem. If it remains closed, your engine will not obtain air and will not launch.

What problems can a bad throttle body cause?

When the throttle body is faulty, it might interrupt the engine’s fuel/air mixture, leading to an irregular running condition and misfiring.

How do you fix a throttle position sensor?

Unhooking your battery’s negative cable for about five (5) minutes to detach the fuse from your engine power unit is the simplest way to fix your throttle position sensor.

Can TPS affect transmission?

The position of your throttle sensor is used to manage the quantity of fuel that the engine receives, control the vehicle’s speed, and determine the engine load. If this fails, then it can lead to automatic transmission problems or hard-shifting problems.

Will a bad TPS throw a code?

If the power value is sporadic, not present, constant, or slow, a bad Throttle position sensor can set an issue code in the computer & this can trigger your engine check light.

How do you test a throttle body sensor?

Ground the connector’s terminal while putting the multimeter search on red to positive and dark to negative, ensuring that the throttle is completely closed by rotating the key without powering the car. Then study the voltage. The Throttle positon sensor power should be in between.

Can throttle body cause rough idle?

If your vehicle becomes rough when idle, it might just be that the throttle body is dirty. The body of the throttle is in charge of the quantity of air received by the engine, and once it becomes dirty, the engine’s idling will not be smooth.

What is the code for the throttle position sensor?

The P0122 – TPS/Switch A low circuit input is the most common throttle position sensor code. This happens after the ECU discovers that the A circuit TPS generates lower energy than needed.

Do you have to reset the computer after replacing the throttle position sensor?

The code will go away after changing the throttle body of your engine if the engine’s light is not off and has an awaiting code. The ECM computer would require some hard reset if only the code was not a temporal one.

Conclusion – Throttle Position Sensor Symptoms

The important part of your vehicle’s fuel management method is your TPS. Unfortunately, when your TPS sensor is bad, it can make your car have abnormal signs that may become risky.

For example, you might discover that the car starts surging and bucking as you drive or does not accelerate properly as you press the handle. Whichever way, have the mechanic correct the problem immediately. It is not usually too expensive to fix, luckily.

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