Throttle position sensor replacement from $339
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Throttle position sensor replacement
How much does a throttle position sensor replacement cost?
An internal combustion engine requires a mixture of air and fuel to provide the energy for combustion. This air-to-fuel ratio needs to be correct for the engine to run smoothly and to deliver a prompt response to the driver’s throttle demands.
The air enters via the air intake system and travels through an air filter, mass airflow sensor (MAF), throttle body and then into the intake manifold. The amount of air flowing through the air intake system is monitored with sensors providing data to the ECU to determine how much air is flowing and how much fuel will be required to get the correct air/fuel mixture.
The amount of throttle being requested by the driver is monitored by a throttle position sensor (TPS) which determines the airflow through the throttle body. The throttle position sensor plays a crucial part in the engine management system and if it fails, the check engine light may appear and you may notice engine misfire and/or poor performance.
When you notice any of the signs the throttle position sensor is faulty, have an AutoGuru qualified technician diagnose and replace the sensor so you can get back to a reliably responsive vehicle.
What is a throttle position sensor?
The throttle position sensor is an electrical device encased in plastic. It will have one or more electrical connector slot/s that allow it to be plugged into the engine control unit (ECU).
The throttle position sensor is usually situated next to the throttle body. In some cases, it connects with the butterfly spindle to monitor the throttle position. However, on ‘drive-by-wire’ or electronic throttle control (ETC) systems it can also control the throttle position. It controls the rate and volume of airflow into the engine.
The sensor side that connects to the throttle body can have a tooth or notch that adjoins the throttle valve. It will either move with the throttle and gauge how far the throttle is open or closed, or it will move the throttle. This depends on the throttle system in the vehicle.
On some modern vehicles, the throttle position sensor no longer needs to make direct contact with the throttle valve. With new technologies, the sensor can pick up changes in resistance or magnetic fields, and use these to determine what position the throttle valve is in.
Symptoms a throttle position sensor needs replacing?
- Check engine light on
- Cruise control issues
- Engine misfire
- Poor performance
How is a throttle position sensor replaced?
- Throttle position sensor is located
- Electrical connector/s from the throttle position sensor are unclipped
- Throttle position sensor is removed
- Old throttle position sensor compared with the new to ensure they are the same
- New throttle position sensor fitted
- Electrical connector/s clipped in
- Functionality is tested
Tips to remember
The correct screwdriver should be used as the space in the engine bay is limited and screws can be easily stripped.
The new TPS may need to be adjusted to make sure the factory-defined minimum idle speed is set correctly. This can be done with a multimeter or by viewing the idle speed and manually adjusting the TPS.
After the TPS is replaced the idle position memory needs to be reset or cleared. This will need to be done with a scan tool or by manually resetting the idle position memory.
How important is replacing the throttle position sensor?
Any time the air/fuel mixture is incorrect is cause for concern and the problem should be rectified as soon as possible. There is the chance of engine damage if this issue is left for too long and driving an unhappy car is never a relaxing drive.