How Long Does a Throttle Return Spring Last?

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Not all vehicles on the road feature an electronic throttle control (ETC), which is also called drive-by-wire. For vehicles that don't offer this system, they have a throttle cable instead that is attached to the accelerator pedal, and runs right to the carburetor or throttle body. The way it works is quite simple - the driver presses down on the accelerator causing the cable to pull the butterfly valve, and this in turn allows for air to enter the engine. As you start to ease up on the accelerator pedal that valve begins to close and allow less air into the engine. In order for the valve to close it needs a spring, which is called the throttle return spring.

Like so many other parts in your car, this component is meant to last the lifetime of your vehicle, but it can start to wear, break, or become badly damaged over time. If it stops working properly, the valve won't be able to close properly, which means it can't go back to its "resting position". Should you notice issues with the throttle return spring, it's wise to have throttle return spring replaced by an experienced mechanic.

Here are some common signs to watch for that may signal the end of the throttle return spring’s lifespan:

  • As you ease up on the accelerator and start to slow down, if you notice that your RPMs stay high then there could be a problem with the throttle return spring.

  • Another symptom could be that your accelerator pedal doesn't go back when you release it. It could be that the spring has broken or has become damaged.

  • Pay close attention to your accelerator pedal. If you feel there is a loss of resistance when you push down on it, you need to have it looked at immediately.

The throttle return spring allows your butterfly valve to return to its resting position as you release the accelerator pedal. Should this part become worn, damaged, or broken, it won’t be able to return to its resting position. This will cause issues as you accelerate, and poses a considerable risk while driving.


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Joshua

26 years of experience
709 reviews
Joshua
26 years of experience
Pontiac Grand Am - Oil Change - Benicia, California
Great Job, very good communication skills. Will request again.
Toyota Camry - When starting car in the morning car doesn't start automatically. I will have to gas it for 10-15 seconds before it will stay on. Also just want an overall inspection, haven't had it checked since I purchased from owner three months ago. - Richmond, California

Dellano

17 years of experience
404 reviews
Dellano
17 years of experience
Acura TL - Check Engine Light is on - Bowie, Maryland
Excellent
Honda Accord - Car is not starting - Washington, District of Columbia
Despite being a Dallas Cowboys fan, Dellano is a great guy and quickly diagnosed the problem, was prompt and personable.

Isai

26 years of experience
230 reviews
Isai
26 years of experience
Chevrolet Monte Carlo - Throttle Return Spring - San Antonio, Texas
Isai was able to arrive a little earlier than scheduled which was great. My car is an older car and it uses a carburetor not fuel injection. Finding a mechanic that knows how to work on a car with a carburetor can be a real challenge. I found Isai to be very knowledgeable and through. He answered all my many questions. He is very friendly. I certainly would use him in the future.

Lucas

20 years of experience
863 reviews
Lucas
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Los Angeles, California
LUCAS WAS GREAT. HE WAS VERY THOROUGH AND COMMUTATIVE THROUGH THE WHOLE PROCESS.

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