A throttle position sensor (TPS) is located on the throttle body to monitor the air intake of an engine. It detects the position of the throttle body butterfly, plate, or spindle, and sends it to the ECU. The ECU utilizes this input to decide the fuel requirement and spark timing to ensure safe and smooth engine performance.
Causes of the throttle position sensor failure:
- Wear and tear: Continuous use over time can lead to internal wear and degradation of the sensor.
- Electrical issues: Faulty wiring, loose connections, or damaged electrical components can cause sensor malfunctions.
- Contamination: Accumulation of dirt, oil, or debris on the sensor can interfere with its performance.
- Mechanical damage: Physical damage or misalignment of the throttle position sensor can result in failure.
- Corrosion: Exposure to moisture or corrosive elements can damage the sensor and affect its readings.
Symptoms of a faulty throttle position sensor:
- Inconsistent or erratic idling: The engine may idle at irregular speeds or exhibit fluctuations.
- Acceleration issues: Difficulty or hesitation during acceleration, or a lack of response to throttle input.
- Poor fuel efficiency: Decreased fuel economy due to improper fuel and air mixture caused by a malfunctioning sensor.
- Stalling: The engine may stall or shut off unexpectedly, especially during idling or deceleration.
- Surging or jerking: Sudden surges or jerks in engine power during steady driving conditions.
- Check Engine Light (CEL) or Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) illuminates.
- Reduced engine performance: The vehicle may experience a loss of power or reduced overall performance.
It's important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other issues within the engine or fuel system. Therefore, it's advisable to have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic to accurately diagnose the problem and determine whether the throttle position sensor is indeed faulty.