Does the term throttle position sensor sound all new to you? If so, consider yourself among the many who have never heard of this vehicle part. Clearly it’s part of the throttle, which is what makes your car move, but what exactly is this sensor responsible for?
The throttle position sensor, or the TPS, essentially supervises the actual position of your car's throttle. The information it gathers is then sent to your car’s computer. The TPS is found in the butterfly spindle/shaft. If your vehicle is new, it likely is a non-contact sensor. What happens is as we push down on the gas pedal, that butterfly valve opens up in order to let air flow into the intake manifold.
There are signs to watch for that may indicate your throttle position sensor is failing, or has failed. These signs include:
- There is no information being sent to your car's computer regarding fuel efficiency and the performance of your engine
- Your Check Engine light comes on
- Your car feels as though it is jerking as you accelerate
- There is a sudden increase in your speed as you are driving
- Your car idles or stalls suddenly
There are also secondary signs which include poor fuel efficiency and problems when you try to change gears. It should be noted in the newer style of throttle position sensors don’t tend to wear down as fast, since they are non-contact. You don’t even have to pay a premium price for this advantage.
There is no need to purchase the most expensive part out there, as these sensors tend to be pretty consistent across the board. You will however, want to look for a brand new throttle position sensor rather than purchase a used one. A used one could fail at any time. It’s best to get the advice of YourMechanic as far as which one is best suited for your car.
YourMechanic supplies top-quality throttle position sensors to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install a throttle position sensor that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on throttle position sensor replacement.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Throttle Position Sensor and was authored by Valerie Johnston.