You know you have an accelerator pedal; step on it and your vehicle is supposed to go. But did you know there is a part in your vehicle that keeps track of where the throttle is? It’s called the Throttle Position Sensor, or TPS.
The TPS is a sensor that helps your vehicle figure out the right mix of air and fuel is reaching your engine. It does that by keeping track of the throttle and sending that information to your vehicle’s computer. Other factors play a role in how well your engine is performing, including air temperature, how fast the engine is turning over and air flow.
When the TPS isn’t working right, you may find your vehicle won’t accelerate or doesn’t have the power you’re expecting when you press on the accelerator. In some cases, it may accelerate on its own. Sometimes your vehicle won’t go over a certain speed. Your Check Engine light may go on.
Any of these symptoms should be checked out soon. If your TPS stops working right, your vehicle may not be safe to drive. Fortunately, most vehicles have a “limp home” mode that will allow you to get off a busy road to a safe spot.
Your service advisor can let you know which TPS is the correct replacement for your vehicle. Your shop may have to re-program the new TPS so it works correctly with other software in your vehicle.
It’s a fact of life these days that computers control many of a vehicle’s functions. The sensors that feed information to those computers help make your vehicle work the way it was engineered to and keep you motoring down the road safely and efficiently.