Automobiles these days are equipped with plenty of useful tools and sensors, and the throttle position sensor is also one of them. If you’re cruising in your favorite car and notice something off with the engine, it might be linked to the throttle position sensor, or maybe you accidentally disconnected it.
The throttle position sensor plays a crucial role in your car’s overall performance; disconnecting it can affect your vehicle’s behavior, i.e., it starts behaving differently.
In this guide, I will help you get familiar with the concept of the throttle position sensor if you don’t already know about it. I will also take you through some of the potential causes or consequences you might face on disconnecting the throttle position sensor.
In the end, I will answer some questions you might have in mind regarding the throttle position sensor and will throw light on its replacement cost. So, fasten your seatbelt and get ready to know all about the throttle position sensor in this guide.
What Exactly Is The Throttle Position Sensor?
The throttle position sensor is a crucial automotive device that is used to monitor the location of the throttle plates within the engine.
The sensor sends real-time data concerning the acceleration pedal’s position on the engine’s control unit (ECU).
Note: If your clutch pedal sometimes gets stuck on the floor, and you’re not sure why, this guide has your back.
It helps regulate the quantity of fuel and air that is supplied directly to the engine. TPS is crucial in improving engine performance, efficiency, and emissions.
What Happens if You Remove the Throttle Position Sensor?
Disconnecting the throttle position sensor can cause you to face several significant problems with your car’s engine. However, there is a lot more you can expect to happen with your vehicle after disconnecting the sensor. Here, I have listed some of the primary things this can lead to.
- Flashing Check Engine Light
A check engine light appearing on the dashboard is one of the first things that can occur when you’ve disconnected the throttle sensor.
A seasoned driver should always pay attention to the flashing check engine light, which is one of the key ways your car communicates with you and alerts you to any possible internal issues.
- Fluctuating Engine Power
Another potential cause of disconnecting the throttle position sensor is the fluctuating engine power of your vehicle, i.e., your car’s engine becomes unpredictable. To explain it with an example, when the sensor is disconnected, you might notice the vehicle accelerating even on pressing the accelerator lightly.
Similarly, on hitting the accelerator hard, you might not notice any difference in the car’s speed or acceleration. This is also marked by your vehicle going into the “limp-home” mode to protect your engine.
The engine’s power output is limited during this mode, leading to lower or reduced acceleration and poor performance. This generally happens because the power output typically relies on the sensor.
- Irregular Engine Stalling
A disconnected throttle position sensor may cause irregular or occasional stalling of your vehicle. Without the throttle sensor and its input, the engine needs to receive the right combination of air and fuel.
This will eventually lead to inefficient burning inside your car’s engine, and the power output will decrease. Depending on the type of vehicle you are driving, this problem can eventually make the engine stop, or you might struggle to start the car.
- Troubles Starting the Engine
As explained earlier, if you disconnect or unplug the throttle sensor, starting the car can become a challenge. Though the extent of this difficulty varies depending on the car model you own and its year of manufacture, this problem is very likely to happen whenever the throttle sensor is unplugged.
- Poor Fuel Efficiency
With gas prices rising, we all want to save on fuel. Unplugging the throttle sensor may cause problems with your car’s fuel consumption.
Without a functional TPS, the engine’s performance is hampered and can lead to a buildup of fuel that doesn’t burn completely, affecting the engine’s overall fuel efficiency.
If you notice that you’re going to the petrol pump more frequently, it’s a sign that you’re experiencing a decrease in performance, and possibly a disconnected TPS is the reason behind it.
Can A Car Function Without A Throttle Position Sensor?
Honestly, even if a car runs pretty well, with all of its major parts working perfectly fine even without the throttle position sensor, the way it works, i.e., its style, might get affected.
One of the major changes you will notice in your vehicle, your car might start acting strange, like stopping on its own even when you didn’t do anything.
Therefore, if you think your throttle position sensor has become broken or is not functioning properly, you should reconnect or change it to ensure that your travels are safe and your car performs well.
How to Unplug Throttle Position Sensor?
The process of unplugging a throttle position sensor from your vehicle is simple. Here is what you need to go through to perform this task without much hassle.
Start by turning off your vehicle. For this, you simply need to turn the key inside the ignition towards the off direction. If you own an automatic car, press the button or move it towards the off direction.
After turning the engine off, wait till it cools down and then move ahead with locating the throttle on your car. On the throttle, you will see an electric wire connecting the throttle to the throttle position sensor.
You are now required to release the locking mechanism to lift the pressure off the sensor and pull it out. Once done, unplug the electrical wire connecting the two. When the wires are removed, you can unplug the sensor and move towards replacing it with a new one.
Always refer to your automobile’s instruction manual to find specific guidelines, as the procedure will differ based on the model and make of your vehicle
Note: If you have never unplugged the throttle position sensor of your vehicle on your own before, the YouTube video can help you perform the task without much problem.
What Is The Cost To Replace Throttle Position Sensor?
The cost of the throttle position sensor is around $10-$600, depending on the vehicle you own. You can get the sensor as a separate component or even as a part of the sensor kit of your car’s throttle.
Another thing you need to beware of when it comes to the pricing of the throttle position sensor is the model of your car and its year of manufacture.
This sums up the guide on what happens if you disconnect the throttle position sensor. In this write-up, I’ve introduced the throttle position sensor to you and explored some of the potential problems you might face because of a disconnected or unplugged sensor.
I also answered some of the questions you might have regarding the throttle position sensor and included a simple guide to unplug the sensor in your car. Hopefully, by this point, you have all the information you need about this sensor and can no longer face the problems listed above.