7 Symptoms of a Bad Throttle Position Sensor in Your Car

The fuel management system of modern vehicles contains numerous sensors and electronic components. One of these sensors is called the throttle position sensor. This sensor is responsible for managing the flow of fuel and air into the engine. Without this sensor, there would be an incorrect amount of fuel and air in the engine. This would result in an improper combustion that would generate insufficient power for the vehicle. Therefore, the sensor has a very important job.

The engine control unit regular communicates with the throttle position sensor in your car. When the engine control unit receives a signal of information from the sensor, it analyzes things like air mass flow, engine RPM, throttle position movement speed, and air temperature. After all, this is computed, the engine control unit will send a signal to the fuel injectors and cause them to inject just the right amount of fuel into the engine.  This happens every time you step on the gas pedal to accelerate your vehicle

7 Bad Symptoms

The throttle position sensor will not stay functional forever. Eventually, it could wear out or go bad after several years of use. There will certainly be plenty of strange symptoms present when this occurs. You might not understand whether they relate to a bad throttle position sensor or not. To help you figure this out, below are the top 7 symptoms of a bad throttle position sensor in your car. If you experience more than a few of these symptoms, then chances are that you have a bad sensor. In this case, you would need to get it replaced right away.

1) Bad Fuel Economy

A malfunctioning throttle position sensor will ultimately result in the engine consuming more fuel. Since the engine won’t be getting the proper fuel it needs for combustion, it will require more fuel than normal to catch up to the power demands. This will greatly reduce the fuel economy and cause you to pay more at the gas pump.

2) Check Engine Light

The Check Engine warning light will illuminate whenever the engine control unit detects a problem with the throttle position sensor. Of course, the Check Engine light could be due to almost any type of problem that revolves around the engine. But if you experience a bad fuel economy and weak acceleration too, then it is a safe bet that your throttle position sensor is bad.

3) Weak Acceleration

When the engine cannot receive the proper fuel it needs to generate enough combustion power, it will end up generating less power. You will notice this as you step on the gas pedal to accelerate, but the vehicle does not accelerate that much. You’ll end up having to step harder on the gas pedal just to get a little more acceleration.

4) Engine Stalling

If you’re driving and the engine suddenly stalls, it means there was a problem with the combustion. Obviously, a bad throttle position sensor will cause such a problem to occur.

5) No Acceleration

In more extreme circumstances, the vehicle will not accelerate at all after you step on the gas pedal. The acceleration may just hover around a particular speed with no ability to go any faster.

6) Speed Surges

In an opposite circumstance, you may find that your vehicle suddenly goes faster on its own without you even stepping on the gas pedal. This will likely happen on the interstate or any time when you’re driving at a very fast speed.

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7) Jerky Vehicle

In rare situations, your vehicle might become jerky if you have a bad throttle position sensor. This is due to the inconsistency in the flow of fuel to the engine.

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