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How to Install a Throttle Position Sensor

How to Install a Throttle Position Sensor

Want to learn how to install a throttle position sensor under the hood? Let's make this the discussion topic for today and see its simple working and easy installation.
Fatima Rangwala
If you take a look into the internal combustion engine of a car, you will come across a throttle position sensor which is a sensor used to supervise the correct position of the throttle in the engine. Its basic function is to evaluate the precise amount of throttle given to the car and send out a signal to the car's computer. These signals are high in frequency, which can actually make other parts react differently, like wear and tear of the car parts, resulting in high cost on car repairs. If this happens to be the case, the main component that sensors would mainly affect would be the transmission system in the vehicle. Thereafter, incorrect data signals would be fed into the computer of the car and a lot of other complications would soon arise. And hence, the only conclusion we can declare for such an action is a throttle position sensor malfunction. The earliest replacement in place of a new sensor sounds good. And such a replacement is very easy, so it can be done on your own too.

Possible Symptoms and Conditions with a Throttle Position Sensor

This device functions as a potentiometer, which sends voltage signals to the car's computer just to ensure that the throttle plates have opened completely. It is used to convey the engine control unit (ECU) as to how hard the driver's foot is on the gas. The sensor supplies one volt to signal a closed throttle. But if the car stumbles at the time of acceleration and sends incorrect throttle position sensor signals to the ECU, the engine refuses to add extra fuel to the mixture of air and fuel. This action is for a fraction of a second but the sensor turns idle in the time of action.

Another symptom to determine that a throttle position sensor is malfunctioning is the uneven idling of the car or jerking and hesitant stopping of it. And all this is regardless of the acceleration of the car. Hence, the only reason behind it is a loose connection. Another symptom is that the engine malfunction indicator light (MIL) comes on. It becomes hard to shift gears. The car begins to stall. It's hard to set the base ignition timing of the vehicle, when the sensor fails. Also, the fuel economy of the vehicle drops horribly.

Looking at all these problems and symptoms that every modern computer controlled engine faces in a vehicle, it is best to replace the throttle position sensor at the earliest, so that things start to work fine again.

Installing a Throttle Position Sensor: Quick Method

Now that we are already aware of how a throttle position sensor facilitates the engine to adjust the correct amount of fuel in the vehicle so that it feeds the right data to the computer time and again, a slight malfunctioning in the sensor creates a host of problems. To fend off such a high-risk condition in a car, it's best that one learns to install a throttle position sensor as a whole new unit.

Required Tools
  • A Socket Set
  • A Screwdriver Set
  • New Throttle Position Sensor
  • Ratchet
Installation Method
  • Park your car in your garage or a secure place of work and open the hood of the car.
  • Locate the sensor in most of the cars, it is set up on the butterfly spindle. In clear words, the sensor is located at the air intake hose near the engine.
  • The sensor is made of plastic and is usually secured with four screws and bolts.
  • Grab hold of either a screwdriver, a ratchet or a socket and unscrew all the fasteners.
  • Press the lock button on the harness and detach the wiring from the sensor.
  • Gently remove the throttle body and keep it aside.
  • Next, check the working condition of the new sensor and get ready to place it back in the same way.
  • Place the new sensor properly by checking whether the position of the throttle body fits well. Note: Learning how to adjust a throttle position sensor is very important. Based on the correct installation, a car is meant to function properly.
  • Once the sensor is fit, secure all its screws and bolts by using the same tools you had unscrewed with.
  • Don't forget to reconnect the wires to the sensor. Press the male harness straight into the female port and wait for a clicking and a locking sound.
Once the installation is complete, the next step is to test drive. Start your car and check for the working of the newly installed unit. Make sure the transmission shifts function well even at low RPMs.