Modern automobiles come with sophisticated sensors for almost every system. These sensors operate at their best, but they can also malfunction and cause issues. It’s crucial that you can reset the throttle body sensor if that becomes necessary. It might be challenging to identify the source of engine problems in your car. The throttle body system is just one of many parts that cooperate to provide the engine with smooth acceleration.How to Reset a Throttle Position Sensor

Well, in this article, you’ll get to know how to reset a throttle position sensor. Even so, the answers to the following questions will be discussed:

Ok, let’s get started!


What is a throttle position sensor?

The throttle position sensor, sometimes referred to as the TPS sensor or Throttle Valve Position sensor, is a component of the electronic throttle control system that is attached to the throttle body and tracks the throttle angle of your car. In your car, the throttle body is situated between the air cleaner and the engine’s intake manifold. It has a butterfly valve (throttle opening) that controls how much air enters the engine, hence influencing how much power the engine produces.

A cable wire connecting the throttle body to the vehicle’s gas pedal causes the throttle shaft to turn when the gas pedal is depressed. A cable wire connecting the throttle body to the vehicle’s gas pedal causes the throttle shaft to turn when the gas pedal is depressed. The throttle sensor keeps an eye on the throttle’s operation. It is a potentiometer whose resistance varies according to the angle at which the throttle valve opens.

The sensor transmits an output voltage (signal voltage) of roughly 4.5 volts to your car’s ECU when the throttle is wide open (WOT). The Mass Air Flow Sensor detects more air when you push the accelerator pedal because the throttle sensor alerts the Engine Control Unit (ECU) or Engine Control Module (ECM) that something has happened. The ECU then regulates the air-to-fuel ratio and chooses when to ignite the spark plugs.

In some circumstances, the TPS doesn’t function as a potentiometer but rather employs the Hall Effect, which incorporates magnetic fields that change when the throttle opens and shuts. Keep in mind that the Engine Control Unit or Engine Control Module will probably set off fault codes P0120, P0121, P0122, P0123, or P0124 and turn on the check engine light if the throttle position sensors transmit a signal that is below the minimum reference voltage (4.5 volts) threshold.

What are the symptoms of a faulty throttle position sensor?

Here are some of the most common symptoms of a faulty throttle position sensor:

Vehicle acceleration issues

Your car can experience some issues when accelerating since a faulty throttle position sensor can result in lower engine power. The vehicle may accelerate unevenly or not at all after a certain point. This problem can ultimately shorten the life of the engine and increase fuel consumption.

Unsteady idle

Poor or low idling is one of the obvious symptoms when the TPS is not effectively reporting the throttle plate operation. This can happen when the engine stalls and stops, idles slowly after starting, or stalls when the accelerator pedal is depressed. Another factor in an inconsistent idling speed is dirt that has accumulated around the throttle.

Power shortage

When the throttle valve position or throttle angle is incorrectly reported, more air may enter the fuel mixture than the ECU can handle, which results in the engine producing less power. A TPS that isn’t working properly might also cause the reverse problem when your car suddenly accelerates while you weren’t intending to. This causes the engine’s overall performance to decline and other problems with the car.

Check engine light is on

The throttle plate, which regulates how much air enters the engine, is the main target of the TPS sensor’s monitoring duties. The engine performance will suffer if your automobile has a loose TPS connector (wire) or if the throttle sensor is unable to accurately monitor the working of the throttle; as a result, the Check Engine Light will turn on.

Increased use of fuel

The ECU may receive inaccurate readings from a dirty throttle sensor, which would result in your engine using more gasoline than it should and significantly reducing your car’s fuel efficiency. Similar problems occur when dirt builds up around the throttle opening (the throttle plate or the throttle valve), preventing airflow into the engine and posing problems with unburned fuel going through the exhaust system.

How do you test a throttle position sensor?

Here are steps to guide you on how to test a throttle position sensor:

Throttle Cleanup

You need to take a few precautions before using a multimeter to dive into your throttle position sensor. One of these is to clean your throttle, as it might not open or close properly due to the debris on it. Check the throttle plate and walls for any carbon buildup after disconnecting the air cleaner assembly from the throttle position sensor.

Use a damp rag and carburetor cleaner to remove any debris that has accumulated where you see it. Make sure the throttle opens and closes completely after you’ve finished.

Now let’s talk about the throttle position sensor. On the side of the throttle body, there is a little plastic component to which three different wires are attached. For our tests, these wires or connector tabs are crucial. Examine the TPS wires and terminals for deterioration and dirt accumulation. After taking care of any contaminants, move on to the following step.

Locate the grounding for the throttle position sensor

You can tell if you have an issue by locating the throttle position grounding, which also facilitates further testing. Turn your ignition to the “on” position without starting the engine, set your multimeter to the 20 DC voltage range, and then place the red positive probe on the positive car battery post (labeled “+”).

Next, connect the black negative probe to each TPS wire termination or tab. You continue doing this until one displays a reading of 12 volts. Your TPS has passed this test, and here is your ground terminal. Your TPS isn’t properly grounded and may need to be repaired or replaced if none of the tabs give you a reading of 12 volts. Mark the ground tab and go to the next step if it is grounded.

Find The Reference Voltage Terminal

Place the black lead on the ground TPS terminal and the red lead on the other two terminals while keeping the ignition on in your car and setting the multimeter to the 10 DC voltage range. The reference voltage terminal is the one that gives you roughly 5 volts. If you don’t get any 5-volt readings, your TPS circuit is malfunctioning, and you should check for frayed or damaged wiring.

On the other hand, if the multimeter shows a proper reading, then your TPS signal terminal is receiving a proper supply of reference voltage. The third terminal that is untested is the signal terminal. The next step is to reconnect the cables to the throttle position sensors.

TPS Signal Voltage Check

The ultimate test to evaluate whether or not your throttle position sensor is working properly is the signal voltage test.
When the throttle plate is completely open, half-open, or closed, it is possible to determine whether the TPS interprets it correctly. Place the red probe on the signal voltage terminal and the black probe on the ground TPS terminal after setting the multimeter to the 10 DC voltage range.

Given that the TPS has already been attached to the throttle, attaching the multimeter leads to the terminals may be challenging. In this scenario, you back probe the wires using pins (poke each TPS wire with a pin) and then connect your multimeter probes to these pins (ideally using alligator clips).

If the throttle position sensor is functioning properly, the multimeter should read between 0.2V and 1.5V when the throttle plate is fully closed. The value shown varies depending on the TPS model. You can still move on even if the multimeter displays a reading of zero (zero).

Open the throttle plate a little at a time while keeping an eye on how the multimeter’s readings change. As you open the throttle, your multimeter should show an increasing value over time. The multimeter should also show 5 volts (or 3.5 volts in some TPS models) when the plate is fully open.

Can a bad throttle position sensor cause transmission problems?

Yes, transmission issues could potentially result from a defective throttle position sensor (TPS). The engine control unit (ECU) receives information from the throttle position sensor, which tracks the position of the engine’s throttle valve and modifies the fuel injection and ignition timing as necessary.

The TPS is an essential component in an electronically controlled transmission system for selecting the proper shift points and timing for gear changes. It gives the ECU crucial data that it utilizes to determine the best shifting strategy based on the driver’s throttle input.

How to reset a throttle position sensor?

How to Reset a Throttle Position Sensor

Here’s how to reset the throttle position sensor:

Detach the battery

Be sure to disconnect the battery for at least five minutes before moving on to the next procedure.

Reattach the battery

When the five minutes are up, reattach the battery but don’t try to do anything else.

Set the ignition to “electric”

Put the key in the ignition now and switch to electric so that your car’s entire dashboard illuminates.

Push the gas pedal all the way down, then let it go

You should perform the subsequent procedure three times. First, slowly depress the gas pedal all the way to the floor. It should only take around four seconds, and after the pedal touches the floor, you should leave it there for additional three seconds or more. Similarly, if you depress the accelerator pedal, you should release it gradually, taking four seconds again. Repeat this process three times.

Turn the key to the off position

After completing the fourth procedure, you should turn the ignition switch to the “off” position and remove the key for approximately 10 seconds. The operation is successful if your idle is still. If it isn’t, you might have to go through the third & fourth procedures again to get it to stay stable. Alternatively, you can try disconnecting your battery’s negative cable for around five minutes in order to reprogram your throttle position sensor. In addition, you can take the fuse out of your engine control module.

How much does it cost to replace a throttle position sensor?

A TPS sensor replacement can cost between $250 and $500, depending on the severity of the problem, the vehicle model, the location, and other factors. The price of car parts and the labor rates charged by your technician may affect these prices.


In conclusion, car owners and mechanics can benefit greatly from learning how to reset a throttle position sensor. This manual provides a detailed procedure for successfully resetting the TPS, which can assist in resolving throttle response and fuel economy problems. People can fix TPS-related issues and improve their vehicle’s performance by adhering to the suggested techniques and being aware of safety considerations. A vehicle’s drivability can be improved and maintained affordably by properly resetting the TPS, resulting in a smoother and more effective driving experience.

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