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Throttle Position Sensor Test – Here’s What You Need To Know

Throttle Position Sensor Test – Here’s What You Need To Know

The throttle position sensor in your car is used to monitor the air intake within the engine. Usually located near the valve that regulates the fluid from the sound and shaft, the position sensor monitors the throttle’s position. This throttle position sensor works in tandem with the engine control unit to properly control the engine airflow.


 

To keep your car working at the correct level, sometimes you need to troubleshoot and figure out any problems you are having with your engine system. To do this, you need to perform the necessary throttle position sensor test to figure out the main cause of the problem. 

 

Let’s find out the various transmissions sensors, the throttle position sensor’s steps, and the throttle position sensor replacement cost. By knowing this key information, you can determine if you should perform the throttle position sensor test or if you should bring your vehicle to a mechanic to perform this service. 

Transmission control module sensors

To learn why it is imperative to perform the throttle position sensor test, you need to know the three most important transmission control module sensors. The throttle position sensor directly affects the inner workings and performance of the transmission. To figure out how the transmission throttle position sensor affects the module, you need to perform the throttle position sensor test. 

 

  • Throttle position sensor

 

 

One of the sensors that send signals to the transmission control module is the throttle position sensor. This throttle position sensor provides an important data source, with information coming directly from the vehicle’s throttle position. If the throttle position sensor cannot send the proper data to the transmission, then this is a way to figure out how you know if your transmission control module is bad. To determine if the position sensor is faulty, you might need to perform the throttle position sensor test. 

 

The throttle position sensor’s signal lets the module know the amount of load being placed on the engine at one time or how much stress the engine is under. This information can help the transmission control module figure out if the car needs to upshift or downshift based on the position. 

 

The transmission control module can also analyze the data from the throttle position sensor, and then compare this information to the vehicle sensor speed data to determine which shift is most appropriate. If your vehicle is having trouble shifting, this is a way how you know if your transmission control module is bad. To figure out if the control module is bad, you might need to carry out the throttle position sensor test. 

 

  • Vehicle speed sensor 

 

 

The transmission control module uses the vehicle speed sensor to determine how fast the car is traveling. By realizing how fast the car is moving, the car will know the proper time to change gears based on the performance. If this sensor is not working properly or is functioning incorrectly, the transmission control module can select the wrong gear at the wrong time, causing the transmission to slip. This is how you know if your transmission control module is bad. 

 

  • Wheel speed sensor

 

 

The wheel speed sensor data can help the transmission control module better know what the car is currently doing by the actions it is performing, so the TCM can properly adjust the shifting and gear changing accordingly. The wheel speed sensor also notifies the TPM of when to control and alter the torque converter’s function.

Symptoms Of A Faulty Throttle Control

 

Even though the throttle control position sensor and the throttle control are long-lasting and play a huge role in your system by providing various services, it can still break down. Like any other mechanical part in your car that is in charge of numerous functions, this system can undergo damage over time. There are key signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for when protecting your vehicle against any further damage that can enhance the repair cost. 

 

  • Jerking While Accelerating

 

 

First, your vehicle might hesitate while accelerating, jerk while accelerating, or misfire in the engine. If you notice any of these symptoms or rough shifting, this is time to look at the overall electronic throttle repair cost. In addition, you should look at how to perform the throttle position sensor test. 

 

  • Trouble Changing Gears

 

 

Second, your electronic throttle control can cause you to have difficulties changing gears. This can cause your gears to feel sticky, slow to change between gears, or trouble getting out of gear. In addition, another sign of a faulty electronic throttle control are issues displaying the power characteristics. This means that your car will display uneven data, leading to the necessity for the throttle position sensor test. 

 

  • Car Stalls

 

 

Furthermore, if your car stalls without any noticeable reason, then this is a clear sign that you need to determine how to perform the throttle position sensor test. Engine stalling can be a sign of a severe issue and can even lead to an expensive engine replacement, so this problem needs to be figured out and fixed as soon as possible.

 

  • Surging

 

 

An additional symptom that might indicate you need to check into the electronic throttle control repair cost is quick and unintended surges in speed while driving. This is a huge safety problem since this can happen while you’re behind another car or going around a curve. To prevent your car from going out of control, you need to perform a throttle position sensor test. 

 

  • Warning Lights

 

 

Furthermore, clear signs that you have something wrong in your car can be easily seen by the dashboard warning system lights. Although these lights can come on for various reasons, some lights indicate that you need to get your car checked immediately – like the check engine light. Even though this light might appear for multiple reasons, that can differ depending on the severity, and you need to bring your car to a mechanic as soon as possible to determine if you need to run the throttle position sensor test. 

 

  • Decline In Fuel Economy

 

 

Lastly, the final symptom of a faulty electronic throttle control is that there is a sharp decline in your fuel economy and your miles per gallon. If you realize that you cannot go as far in your car with the same amount of fuel as before, then this is a clear symptom that you need to bring your car to a trusted mechanic so they can perform the throttle position sensor test. 

How To Test a Throttle Position Sensor

 

The most common throttle position sensor test is to measure the resistance or voltage. The test will measure the data at various positions, with the throttle being closed, partially open, or fully open. In this case, the first way to test the throttle position sensor is to use voltage.

 

First, you need to open the hood and remove the cleaner assembly. Check and analyze the throttle plate and the throttle body’s walls to see if there are any contaminants or carbon buildup. Lastly, locate the throttle position sensor on the side of the throttle body. 

 

  • TPS Connected To Ground

 

 

If your TPS is connected to the ground, you need to unplug the electrical connector and examine the connections for any dirt, debris build-up, and contaminants. Now, you have to set the digital multimeter to around 20 volts on the voltage scale. After the voltage has been set, turn the ignition key to the ON position. Connect the rest of the lead to the positive battery section.

 

Once this is connected, use the black test lead to perform the throttle position sensor test to the three electrical terminals. If the terminals do not read 1 volt, there is a problem with the wiring. 

 

  • TPS Connected To Reference Voltage

 

 

If your throttle position sensor is connected to the reference voltage instead of the ground, you need to perform different steps when learning how to perform the throttle position sensor test. First, you need to connect the black lead from the digital multimeter to the ground terminal on the throttle position sensor. Once you have done this, turn the ignition to the ON position without starting the engine. 

 

After this step has been completed, connect the red test lead to the other two terminals. If one of the terminals reads 5 volts, then the throttle position sensor is working correctly. However, if you do not receive the 5 volt reading from either of the two terminals, there is a problem in the circuit. This is a sure way to perform the throttle position sensor test. 

 

  • TPS Producing the Correct Signal Voltage

 

 

To determine if the throttle position sensor test worked and is producing the correct voltage, you need to perform additional steps after completing the initial testing protocol. Back Probe the signal and ground terminals on the connector. Then, connect the red lead to the signal wire and the black test lead from the multimeter to the ground wire. 

 

Turn the key ON without starting the engine, ensuring the throttle is fully closed. If the digital multimeter reads between .2 to 1.5 volts, then the throttle position sensor is working correctly. As you open the throttle plate, the digital multimeter should increase to 5 volts. If the throttle position sensor test does not reach 5 volts, this is a sign that the throttle position sensor needs to be replaced.  

Sample Throttle Position Sensor Costs

 

To figure out the sample throttle position sensor costs, we have included common cars on the market today in terms of their replacement prices. The least expensive options are the Ford F-Series and the Ford Fusion, both coming in between $118 and $156 for the total costs, with the labor ranging between $52 and $78. The next cheapest option is the Nissan Altima, with a total price ranging between $126 and $191. 

 

After the less expensive options, the middle of the range choices includes the Honda cars – the Honda CR-V, Honda Civic, and Honda Accord. All three of these makes and models all come in at between $135 and $207 for the throttle position sensor replacement. The labor runs between $61 and $78, while the cost of the parts averages between $74 and $129. 

 

After the Honda cars, the next more expensive choice is the Chevrolet Silverado, coming in between $141 and $189, with the cost of the parts ranging between $62 and $89, and the labor cost coming in between $79 and $100. After the Silverado, the next pricey car model is the Toyota Camry, averaging between $151 and $2323 for the complete throttle position sensor replacement.

 

The most expensive choice in terms of sample throttle replacement costs is the Toyota Corolla, coming in between $155 and $231 total. The labor cost is between $52 and $67, while the cost of the parts is between $103 and $164. 

Throttle Position Sensor Replacement Cost Comparison

 

To give you an idea of how much you might spend at a local shop, we have included the cost comparison between various shops. Your local mechanic price will range between $106 and $245 for the throttle position sensor replacement. 

 

At chain shops, Midas’s price ranges between $118 and $272, while Midas is between $126 and $256. The last chain store you could bring your vehicle to for this process is NAPA, coming in between $112 and $281 for the replacement price.

 

If you can do this procedure yourself, you can get the parts at Walmart for between $409 and $170 or Amazon for an average of $42-$195. 

Conclusion

 

As you can see, knowing the steps to the throttle position sensor test is crucial to the longevity and health of your vehicle. By knowing the different kinds of transmission control module sensors located in your vehicle, the signs of a faulty transmission and throttle position sensor, and the total throttle position sensor cost, you can figure out how to perform the necessary test in your car.