Most (if not all) cars with any form of computer engine control rely on some sort of a throttle position sensor. In fact, TPS units began appearing on vehicles several decades ago.
Note that this doesn’t only apply to drive-by-wire vehicles either, many cars with a traditional throttle cable use a throttle position sensor as well.
While throttle position sensors are usually pretty reliable, when problems do arise, they can be tough to diagnose. That’s because some of the things a bad TPS module can cause won’t necessarily trigger a Check Engine Light.
But there are some symptoms you can look out for. Common signs of a dead spot on a failed (or failing) throttle position sensor can be:
- Inconsistent acceleration and deceleration
- Rough idle
- Struggle to maintain speed
- No acceleration past a certain speed
The good news is, troubleshooting a throttle position sensor to find a dead spot isn’t that difficult, provided you’ve got a multimeter and know how to use it. In fact, the folks at Beck/Arnley made this quick video that’ll show you exactly how to do it.
It’s less than two minutes long and, if you’re struggling with any of the problems listed above, is definitely worth the watch.