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What does the throttle position sensor do?

What does the throttle position sensor do?

In the operation of an engine, certain components play a key role in ensuring optimum performance. One such component is the throttle position sensor. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the role, function, and importance of the throttle position sensor in keeping your engine running smoothly.

What is the throttle position sensor?

Located between the air filter and the intake manifold, the throttle position sensor (abbreviated TPS and also referred to as the throttle body) controls the amount of air entering your vehicle's engine. Its job is to measure the opening angle of the throttle valve in the engine's air intake system. This information is then transmitted to the car's electronic control unit, which uses the data to regulate the amount of fuel injected into the cylinders. In short, its job is to precisely control the intake of air and fuel into the engine, which directly affects its performance.

Where is the throttle position sensor located?

The throttle body is located between the air filter and the intake manifold. On new vehicle models, it is controlled by the accelerator pedal position sensor.

How does the throttle position sensor work?

Consisting of a tube with a pivoting flap, the throttle position sensor controls the amount of air entering your car's engine. As a potentiometric sensor, it measures the angle of rotation of the throttle shaft. When you depress the accelerator pedal, the mechanical lever connected to the throttle moves the potentiometer, causing a change in the sensor's internal electrical resistance. This change in resistance is then converted into an electrical signal that accurately represents the throttle opening angle. This signal is transmitted to the vehicle's ECU, which interprets it accurately and then uses this information to make precise adjustments to the engine's fuel injection and ignition.

The importance of the throttle position sensor to engine performance

By providing the ECU with accurate information about the throttle opening angle, it can make precise adjustments to the amount of fuel injected, ensuring optimum combustion and better engine performance.

Bad throttle position sensor symptoms

The following are the most common symptoms of a bad throttle position sensor:

Check engine warning light

One of the first symptoms of a bad throttle position sensor is that the check engine light on your dashboard will flash to warn you when a sensor is deteriorating. If the check engine light is on, look for any other strange signals and troubleshoot as soon as possible before the problem gets worse.

Poor fuel economy

Due to engine inefficiency, poor fuel economy is one of the inevitable symptoms of a bad throttle position sensor. The throttle position sensor works with other sensors to make sure the engine gets everything it needs to run properly.

When these sensors begin to deteriorate, your car's computer will receive incorrect data, causing your engine to receive incorrect inputs. It then tries to overcompensate for these discrepancies.

Sudden engine slowdown or stalling

Faulty accelerator position sensors can cause erratic idling due to fluctuating airflow. If your car misfires, idles, or stalls while you're driving, you probably have a faulty throttle position sensor.

Starting and acceleration problems

Also due to fluctuating airflow, a faulty throttle position sensor can cause all kinds of performance problems. Your engine may start but have little or no power, run briefly and then stall. Alternatively, it may cause your car to buck spontaneously during acceleration for no apparent reason, or result in weaker-than-usual acceleration.

Sudden jerk or shudder

The throttle position sensor sometimes fails in such a way that the signal sent to the engine computer is sporadic. The effect is similar to that of rapidly depressing and releasing the accelerator.

    Posted in TPS

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