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Throttle Position Sensor Symptoms – Ways to Find A Faulty One

A bad throttle position sensor will result in many serious problems on your car if you do not detect its failures soon. That is true. A malfunctioning throttle position sensor will send wrong data to your car’s computer, causing your car to shake heavily and to be less fuel-efficient than normal. Therefore, learning some common throttle position sensor symptoms is very important to prevent any further damages. If you are seeking for an useful article writing about this topic, congratulations as you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s roll up our sleeves and get started now!

What Does A Throttle Position Sensor Do?

Before digging down to the bad TPS symptoms, let’s learn about what a throttle position sensor does for your car.

The throttle position sensor (know as TPS) is a component of your car’s fuel management system. It works to make sure that the precise amount of fuel and air is delivered to your car’s engine. It transmits the most direct signal to the fuel injection system of what power needs are being created by the engine. Its signal is calculated continuously and incorporated many times per second with other data such as air mass flow, engine RPM, air temperature, and how fast the throttle position changes. The collected data is used to determine exactly the amount of fuel delivered to the engine at any specific time.

If the TPS and other sensors work well, your car will accelerate, coast and cruise effectively and smoothly like what you want, while being at optimal fuel level.

What Happens If Your Throttle Position Sensor Is Faulty?

The TPS can be faulty due to many causes. When it happens, it leads to poor fuel economy and moreover puts you and other drivers around you in danger. It can also result in issues when setting base ignition timing, or changing gears. The TPS can gradually fail or all at once. In most situations, when the TPS is broken, the Check Engine Light will turn on to warn you about the issues. Additionally, most carmakers supply a “limp home” mode of operation with decreased power if there is a failure in your engine. This is made to enable a driver to get off a crowded highway in a safer way.

And when you detect there is a problem with your TPS, everything you need to do is to replace it immediately. When replacing the TPS, you have to clear related fault codes and may be need to reprogram the software of the new TPS module to fit with other engine management softwares. The best way is bringing your car to a skilled mechanic who can inspect and install the right replacement part.

Common Throttle Position Sensor Symptoms

Here are some common throttle position sensor symptoms or failing throttle position sensor to watch for:

1. Poor Acceleration

Find out throttle position sensor symptoms
Poor acceleration is one of the throttle position sensor symptoms

A poor acceleration is one of the telltale symptoms of a bad throttle position sensor. If you are experiencing any delay between the time you press the gas pedal and the time the vehicle moves further, you must take the car to an automotive expert.

2. Inappropriate Stalling

Inappropriate stalling is a clear sign that your vehicle has symptoms of bad throttle position sensor. Although, stalling can be a sign of any other car problem as well, yet if it happens regularly, this can be the major reason. So do not ignore the issue. And, to avoid any major problem in future, gather some basic knowledge and maintenance tips for your car.

3. Speed Acceleration

This is one of the key throttle position sensor symptoms. Sometimes, the vehicle increases its speed abruptly. This usually happens on highways when the speed surges increase the speed of the car. Take your car directly to a car specialist to avoid any kind of accident.

4. Difficulty In Switching Gears

Know about throttle position sensor symptoms
Switching gears are the throttle position sensor symptoms

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Your car may face problem in switching gears with faulty throttle position sensor. When gearing up and down, you may face problems that show the sensor of the car is not doing very well. If this is the sole issue in your car, chances are that there is a problem in the transmission system. However, if this problem combines with the acceleration issue, it is signal of a malfunctioned throttle position sensor.

5. Service Light Signaling

Signaling of service light can mean a lot many things, but a potential reason can be improper throttle position sensor. A faulty sensor does not mean the car will explode while driving, but it is a serious issue to you and your vehicle. When service light signaling appears, take your vehicle immediately to a service center. Try not to extend the issue for too long, or else the car may stop working and even may have issues repairing it.

Along with the above mentioned, several throttle position sensor symptoms reveal its poor functioning. TPS is small and intricate; therefore, only an expert can solve the trouble.

Make sure to keep your car in its best position to avoid any kind of sudden breakdown.

How to stop car hesitation (throttle position sensor)? Watch the video below:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Throttle Position Sensor?

The average price for replacing a throttle position sensor varies from $159 to $211. Parts costs somewhere between $98 and $133 while labor costs are priced between $61 and $78. Estimate does not consist of fees and taxes.

2. Can I Drive With A Bad Throttle Position Sensor?

A bad throttle position sensor can cause inability to shift up, rough or slow idle and lacking power when accelerating. Driving with these symptoms will put you and other drivers around you in danger so you should bring your car to a mechanic as soon as possible.

3. How Long Do TPS Sensors Last?

The batteries in the TPS sensors are made to last 5 years. They are built into the sensor so they can not be replaced like those of a flashlight. Hence, it is recommend to replace TPS sensors every 5 years.

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3 Comments
  1. Oscar says

    Thanks much for your in depth knowledge..I’m currently going through the above symptoms.my mechanic had tried working on it but I think the best thing is to replace!

  2. fred says

    hi good day! i have my car checked for high idling during start up and driving. the mechanic said that it has a problem with the throttle body. may i ask if it can be fixed or replaced. i prefer fixing first and i would like to ask your expertise on this problem.thank you. my car is toyota wigo 2014.im from philippines. thank you in advance for your help.

  3. ARVIND PATEL says

    Dear Tsukasa Azuma.
    I have 2000 Toyota Camry V6 XLE made in Japan.
    There is some noise coming from Intake Manifold. It gets louder when you drive. It is made from metal. How to clean this one? I have checked all over internet to find the solution. Nobody seems to have similar problem. The car has around 200,000 miles on it. Other than that it runs well.
    Regards.
    Arvind Patel. Canada.

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