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Throttle Position Sensor Diagram

Jan 09, 2024      View: 1552


With the evolution of automotive technology, the electronic throttle control system has become instrumental in enhancing engine performance. However, a pivotal component within this system is the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS). This sensor precisely detects the position of the throttle valve, allowing for real-time feedback to the electronic control unit. The TPS plays a crucial role in optimizing fuel injection and air-fuel ratio, ensuring efficient engine operation. As we delve into the intricacies of electronic drive systems, the Throttle Position Sensor emerges as a key element, contributing to the precision and responsiveness of the overall electronic throttle control mechanism.


What is a Car Electronic Throttle

Basic structure Diagram of electronic throttle system


Understanding the electronic throttle in automobiles necessitates exploring its evolution from traditional engine design. Traditionally, the position of the throttle valve relied on a mechanical linkage, commonly known as the Bowden cable. This linkage comprised springs, pulleys, and other components. While the Bowden cable served its purpose for an extended period, it exhibited several drawbacks.


Firstly, it generated noise during operation. Secondly, its design, involving multiple steel wires connecting the accelerator pedal and the throttle valve plate, required intricate arrangements in confined spaces. Lastly, the entire operation process occurred through a mechanical linkage, introducing a time lag from the driver's accelerator pedal command to the mechanism's response. This delay often led to disparities between the driver's anticipated fuel economy and emission performance and the actual outcomes achieved by the engine.




 Electronic Throttle Control System Diagram


The electronic throttle control system encompasses various components, such as the throttle, throttle position sensor, throttle control unit (ECU), throttle actuator (DC motor), throttle indicator light, and accelerator pedal position sensor. Together, these components play crucial roles in determining, adjusting, and monitoring the throttle position. Collectively, they form integral parts of the electronic throttle system, working cohesively to ensure precise and responsive control over the throttle in modern automotive applications.

Throttle Position Sensor Circuit ECU Diagram


What is a Throttle Position Sensor

A Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) is a crucial component in the electronic throttle control system of an automobile. Its primary function is to monitor and report the position of the throttle valve to the engine control unit (ECU). The throttle valve controls the airflow into the engine, and the TPS provides real-time feedback on its position.



The TPS typically consists of a variable resistor or potentiometer that is linked to the throttle shaft. As the throttle opens or closes, the resistance in the TPS changes. The ECU utilizes this resistance value to determine the exact position of the throttle and adjusts various engine parameters accordingly, such as fuel injection, ignition timing, and torque.


Throttle Position Sensor Installation Location

The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) is typically installed on the throttle body of the engine. The throttle body is a component responsible for regulating the airflow into the engine. The TPS is strategically positioned on the throttle body in a way that allows it to accurately monitor the position of the throttle plate or valve.



The exact location can vary among different vehicle makes and models, but in most cases, the TPS is mounted on the side of the throttle body facing the engine intake. It may be secured with screws or bolts and connected to the throttle shaft, ensuring that it can effectively measure the movement of the throttle plate.


Final Words

Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) diagram provides a comprehensive visual representation of a critical component in modern engine control systems. This visual guide illuminates the TPS's role in monitoring and relaying the throttle position to the engine control unit, influencing crucial aspects of engine performance. The diagram serves as a valuable resource for enthusiasts, mechanics, and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the intricate workings of electronic throttle control. 



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  • How much does it cost to replace a throttle position sensor?
  • The cost to replace a throttle position sensor (TPS) can vary based on several factors. The price range for the TPS part itself typically falls between $10 and $400, depending on the brand, quality, and specific vehicle requirements. Aftermarket options may be more budget-friendly, while OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts can be pricier. In addition to the cost of the part, you should consider the labor charges for installation. Labor costs can vary based on the mechanic's hourly rate and the complexity of the replacement procedure. On average, you might expect to pay an additional $50 to $70 for labor.
  • Will a bad TPS throw a code?
  • Yes, a bad Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) can often trigger a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) in vehicles equipped with onboard diagnostics (OBD) II systems. Cars manufactured after 1996 typically have OBD II systems that monitor various aspects of the vehicle's performance, including the throttle position. When the TPS malfunctions and sends irregular signals to the engine control unit (ECU), the OBD II system may detect the issue and generate a specific trouble code related to the TPS. This code can be retrieved using a diagnostic scanner, and it helps mechanics identify the specific problem and address it during vehicle diagnostics and repair.
  • Can I drive with a bad throttle body sensor?
  • Driving with a faulty throttle body sensor is not recommended, as it can lead to issues such as erratic acceleration, reduced power, and potential safety concerns on the road. Continuing to drive with a malfunctioning throttle body sensor may compromise vehicle performance, fuel efficiency, and overall safety.
  • How do I know if my throttle sensor is bad?
  • Identifying a failing throttle position sensor (TPS) involves recognizing symptoms such as erratic idle, acceleration issues, poor engine performance, activation of the check engine light, and potential engagement of a limp home mode by the engine control unit (ECU). These signs may manifest as fluctuations in idle speed, hesitation during acceleration, reduced power, and decreased fuel efficiency.
  • What are the 2 throttle position sensors?
  • Throttle position sensors (TPS) are crucial components in electronic throttle control systems, providing information about the position of the throttle to the engine control unit (ECU). There are two main types of TPS: potentiometer-based and Hall effect-based. Potentiometer-based TPS uses a variable resistor connected to the throttle shaft, with changes in resistance corresponding to throttle position. On the other hand, Hall effect-based TPS utilizes the Hall effect to detect changes in the magnetic field around the throttle, translating these changes into voltage signals that indicate throttle position. Both types play a vital role in ensuring accurate engine control, with potentiometer-based sensors known for simplicity and widespread use, while Hall effect-based sensors offer durability and precise, instantaneous responses. The choice between the two depends on factors like cost, application requirements, and desired precision levels in modern automotive systems.
  • What happens when a throttle position sensor fails
  • In summary, a failing Throttle Position Sensor can lead to a range of problems, including incorrect air-fuel mixture, idle issues, acceleration problems, starting difficulties, and the illumination of the check engine light. If you suspect an issue with the TPS, it's advisable to have it diagnosed and replaced by a qualified mechanic to ensure proper vehicle operation.