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Symptoms of a Bad Throttle Position Sensor

Symptoms of a Bad Throttle Position Sensor

If you start your car in the morning and it begins jerking back and forth as though it were a bumper car ride at an amusement park, you may well have a bad throttle position sensor. It is important to get it fixed or replaced if you want to keep on driving your car. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


A faulty throttle position sensor may create many problems for your car if you do not have it fixed. A faulty sensor will cause your car to shake violently. if you don't take care of this issue, it may wear down the motor and the transmission mounts to the point where they will give out and have to be replaced. 


It is helpful to know a bit about how engines work and how throttle bodies and throttle position sensors help to make them work.


For your car to operate properly, the engine must burn fuel and make the pistons transform the combustion energy into mechanical energy. This mechanical energy makes the crankshaft move. Gasoline and oxygen need to be present to create combustion. 

The fuel that is stored internally gets pushed from the fuel tank by a pump. Air, comes from the outside and enters through the air intake. The throttle body regulates airflow by adjusting the engine’s power. before throttle position sensors came along, there was a cable wire connecting the accelerator pedal to the throttle body. 


 What is a throttle position sensor?

A throttle position sensor controls one of the car’s critical components. The throttle body helps to keep your car running. It is the part of the car that determines how far you have to press down on the gas pedal to increase your speed.  It does this by letting the vehicle’s computer make adjustments to the amount of gasoline it should release to coincide with the amount of air being fed to the engine. It transmits that information to the car's computer and that, in turn, transmits it to the mass airflow sensor and the engine's RPM. 


The sensor is a small electronic component that you will find attached to the throttle body. It has a plastic casing and comes in a variety of sizes. It bolts onto the throttle body assembly.


What is a throttle body?


Air and fuel are critical to keeping an engine running. An automobile gets air through the intake and passes it through the mass airflow sensor. The air reaches the throttle body by traveling up the intake. The throttle body is a circular valve you will find between the intake manifold and air filter.


Can you drive with a bad throttle position sensor?

If the throttle position sensor isn't working, then the cars throttle body won't work either. It may not close properly which can cause major problems. When the engine doesn't receive air, it won't start. if the throttle gets stuck in an open position, the car will take in too much air and it will have a high or fluctuating idle.

What are the signs of a bad throttle position sensor?

There are several warning signs that your throttle position sensor is in trouble. None of them should ever be ignored.


The Acceleration is Inconsistent

When the TPS doesn’t work, it can cause multiple power issues, especially with the acceleration. when you turn your key in the ignition, nothing may happen or the power will be very low. This will cause the engine to shut off. It may also cause the car to accelerate unexpectedly. 


Difficulty Changing Gears

A bad throttle position sensor may result in transmission malfunction. The signals sent by your bad throttle position sensor are utilized by the transmission as well. The data it provides helps the system decide when and how to shift. a bad throttle position sensor may cause the shifting to be rough, delayed, or even make random transmission shifts.


Poor Gas Milage

Like every component in your car, the throttle position sensor operates in concert with other sensors to make sure that your car runs as it should. If the sensor doesn't work, other components in the car might start operating differently to make up for the fact that the car is getting too much or too little air. In most cases, when your sensor goes bad, you will see the vehicle consuming more fuel than usual. Normally, your car is going to get rather poor fuel economy in this case. 


Unstable Engine Idle



Faulty position sensors may make your car misfire, stall, or rough idle. This happens because of the engine’s fluctuating airflow. When this happens, it is very important to take your car to a mechanic. If your car is not idling property, or not running at all, you may have to have it towed to the mechanic.


Warning Lights Illuminate

The check engine light warns a driver if a sensor in a car is not working properly. Whenever check engine light illuminates, it is important to stop driving your car and have it checked out.

How much does 


TPS repair cost?


Depending on your make and model of car, a TPS repair might be expensive. If the throttle is in a visible and accessible area, the repair may not be complicated. Unfortunately, some makes and models of cars have the throttle in an inaccessible area. Much disassembly may be necessary in order to even reach the throttle. They have to remove the air filter box in the intake manifold and this can make labor cost very high. Hence, the cost of throttle position sensor replacement or repair tends to be anywhere between $200 and $500.


Different Types of Throttle Position Sensors

There are three types of throttle position sensors. Closed throttle position sensors that have built-in end switches,  potentiometer sensors, and sensors that are a combination of both these types.

How to Test Your Throttle Position Sensor

A standard ohmmeter should be sufficient to test a closed throttle position sensor or a combination type sensor.  However, you would use a voltmeter to test a TPS that uses a potentiometer. 


You will want to test the resistance from a number of different pedal positions and write down the results. You should then consult your owner's manual or a good repair manual for acceptable levels of resistance. If resistance is too high or too low you should take your car to a mechanic. You will have several options for where to take the car for the work. 


Taking Your Car to the Dealership

If you take your car to a dealership, Linda paying a lot more than you would if you took your car to an auto body shop. Dealerships charge by the job and not the hour, so they should be able to tell you exact price. They will be able to rent you a car right there and they will have the necessary parts on hand, so you will not have to drive that rental car for very long. The mechanic will also be certified in your particular brand of vehicle.


Taking Your Car to An Auto Body Shop

Going to an independent auto body shop is much less expensive than going to the dealership and you will be able to talk to the mechanic directly. You can find a reputable auto body shop by going to the AAA website. They maintain a list of approved mechanics all over the country.


Be sure to ask the mechanic if they are certified in your make and model of car. Ask them how long they have been a mechanic and be sure to get an estimate in writing.


Going to an Independent Mechanic

you can go online and look for an independent mechanic who works out of their garage. Some of these mechanics are very fly by night and it may end up costing you more to use one in the long run.


In some cases, throttle position sensors are hard to replace because of where they are located in the vehicle, the mechanic may have to take the entire car and put it back together again. Be sure to ask a lot of questions and get a guarantee in writing if you're going to such a mechanic.


Getting a bad throttle position sensor replaced can be very expensive. If your car is old, it may not be worth the trouble. If you decide to get a new car, you will have several options for what to do with the old one.


Use Your Old Vehicle as a Trade-in

When you go to buy your new car, the salesperson is to give you a trade-in allowance for your old car. You should be aware of a few tricks of the trade before you accept their offer. Dealerships will usually offer you less money than you should get for your car when you go to trade it in. They do this because they feel that you will want to get the process over with and get into your new car.


They also may offer you what seems to be a good price for your used car. If they do this, read your paperwork very carefully. They may charge you the trade-in allowance they gave you right on the final price of your new car. Read your final offer carefully. It may be in your best interest not to tell them that you want to do a trade-in. Wait until they give you a final offer and then tell them about the old ride.


Sell Your Car Online

There are several websites that are designed for used car sales. You will have to pay a monthly fee to list your car. You can list your vehicle specs along with pictures of it. You will be in competition with many other people if you decide to sell your car this way.


When you do get an interested buyer, you will have to show them the car. They may not take it, or they may offer you less money than you wanted in the first place. They may only be interested in certain components of the car which will leave you with a stripped car on your property that will have to be towed.


Selling anything online can be unsafe.  Many murderers, rapists, and thieves have contacted their victims this way. if you do sell your car online, be sure to meet the prospective buyer in a public place.

Cash Cars Buyers will give you a very fair price for your car. All you have to do is fill out our easy-to-use form. We ask for your contact information along with the make, model, year, and VIN number of your car. We will also need to know the mileage. Once we have your information, we will call you back with an offer.


If you sell your car to an individual person or if you trade it in, you will have to have the pink slip or the title for the vehicle. If you don't have the title, you will have to go to the DMV and pay to get it replaced and this may take weeks. In most cases, no title is no problem for us. We should be able to buy your car if you have the registration in your name. 


If you accept our offer, we will make an appointment with you to come to get your car. We will pay you in cash and tow your vehicle away for free. It is as simple as that.

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