Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Throttle Position Sensor

Our certified mechanics come to you · Backed by our 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty · Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

GET A QUOTE Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee
Red-stars EXCELLENT RATING ON

Cost of Replacing a Bad or Failing Throttle Position Sensor

Common signs include lacking power when accelerating, rough or slow idle, stalling, inability to shift up, and the Check Engine Light coming on. Our certified technicians can come to you and diagnose the problem. You will receive a $30 credit towards any follow-up repairs that result from the diagnostic. Following are example prices for Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) Replacement. Click on the button below to get an upfront quote for your car.

Cars Estimate Parts Cost Labor Cost Savings Average Dealer Price
2005 Ferrari 575 M Maranello $271 $201.37 $70.00 12% $308.87
2007 Dodge Ram 3500 $231 $160.70 $70.00 13% $268.20
2006 Nissan Murano $250 $179.75 $70.00 13% $287.25
2009 Audi A4 $338 $268.02 $70.00 9% $375.52
2009 BMW X3 $338 $268.02 $70.00 9% $375.52
2004 Jaguar XJ8 $338 $268.02 $70.00 9% $375.52
GET A QUOTE FOR YOUR CAR

How to Diagnose a Bad or Failing Throttle Position Sensor?

throttle position sesnsor

The throttle position sensor (TPS) is part of your vehicle's fuel management system, and helps ensure that the correct mixture of air and fuel is delivered to your engine. The TPS provides the most direct signal to the fuel injection system of what power demands are being made by the engine. The TPS signal is continually measured and combined many times per second with other data such as air temperature, engine RPM, air mass flow, and how quickly the throttle position changes. These data determine precisely how much fuel to inject into the engine at any given moment. If the throttle position sensor and its other sensor partners do their job correctly, your car accelerates, cruises, or coasts smoothly and efficiently, as you expect, while maintaining optimal fuel economy.

The throttle position sensor can fail in several ways, all of which result in poor fuel economy at best, and performance limitations that may create safety hazard for you and other motorists at worst. This sensor can fail gradually, or all at once. In most cases, the Check Engine Light is illuminated if a TPS failure is detected. Also, most manufacturers provide a “limp home” mode of operation with reduced power if a failure is detected. This is intended to at least allow a driver to get off a busy highway in a safer manner.

Once the TPS begins to fail, even partially, you’ll need to replace it right away. Replacing the TPS will include clearing relevant fault codes, and may require software re-programming of the new TPS module to match other engine management software. This is all best left to a professional mechanic who can provide you with a diagnosis, and then install the correct replacement part.

Here are some common symptoms of a bad or failing throttle position sensor to watch for:

1. Car won’t accelerate, lacks power when accelerating, or accelerates itself

It may feel as though the car simply doesn't accelerate as it should. It may accelerate smoothly, but lack power. On the flip side, it may be that your car suddenly speeds up while you’re driving, even if you haven’t pressed the accelerator. If these symptoms occur, there's a good chance you've got a problem with the TPS.

2. Engine won’t idle smoothly, idles too slowly, or stalls

If you start to experience engine misfires, stalling, or rough idling when the car is stopped, it can also be a warning sign of a failing TPS. You don't want to wait to get this checked out!

3. Car accelerates, but won’t exceed a relatively low speed, or shift up

This is another failure mode of the TPS, which indicates that it is falsely limiting the power being requested with your accelerator pedal foot. You may find that your car will accelerate, but not beyond a speed of 20 - 30 MPH. This symptom often goes hand in hand with loss-of-power behavior.

4. Check Engine Light comes on, accompanied by any of the above behaviors

The Check Engine Light may come on if you’re having issues with your TPS. This isn’t always the case though, so don’t wait for the Check Engine Light to illuminate before you get it checked out. If you have any of the above symptoms, have your vehicle checked for trouble codes to verify the source of the problem.

The throttle position sensor is key to getting the desired power and fuel efficiency from your vehicle in any driving situation. As the symptoms listed above make clear, failure of this component has serious safety implications, and must be checked out immediately by a qualified mechanic.

Sensors
throttle position sensors
Throttles

Fast and easy Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) Replacement service at your home or office.

GET A QUOTE FOR YOUR CAR
Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee

Recent Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.8/5

Number of Reviews

67

Rating Summary
63
2
0
1
1
63
2
0
1
1

William

17 years of experience
96 reviews
William
17 years of experience
Excellent service........William very competently took care of the car's problem. He is a very pleasant person and a conscientious worker.
2003 CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - THROTTLE POSITION SENSOR - CAPE CORAL, FLORIDA

Duane

22 years of experience
293 reviews
Duane
22 years of experience
Great guy and very knowledgeable mechanic. Won’t hesitate to tell you what the car needs and will go the extra mile to help you in any way he can.
2004 SUBARU FORESTER - THROTTLE POSITION SENSOR - POWAY, CALIFORNIA

David

13 years of experience
18 reviews
David
13 years of experience
David arrived early, worked quickly and cleanly. He replaced a throttle position sensor and reset the codes. He joined us for dinner (my 3 year old daughter thought he was nice and invited him in), and we would gladly have him back again.
2004 HONDA ODYSSEY - THROTTLE POSITION SENSOR - ROSEVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Breck

17 years of experience
314 reviews
Breck
17 years of experience
Excellent, on time and very professional. Have already referred Your Mechanic to 6 of my work place staff!
2008 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 2500 HD - THROTTLE POSITION SENSOR (TPS) REPLACEMENT - HOUSTON, TEXAS

More related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...

Related questions

Q: Car is knocking when I hit the gas

Hi and thanks for contacting Your Mechanic. If the engine has a knocking noise, a sensor will not cause this issue. A timing belt will not cause a knock unless the timing belt has jumped a tooth. Other belts just...

Q: Check engine light flashing, sucking fuel, procrastinating when accelerating...

This is a very odd set of symptoms. I would suggest ruling out any fuel-related issues as the poor fuel economy and lack of power could be related to faulty sensors like the throttle body sensor, mass air flow sensor,...

Q: I just replaced my throttle body on my mini cooper but it seems to not take off like before. Why is this happening?

Hello, thank you for writing in. There are a few considerations to make. First, did the new throttle come with a new throttle position sensor, or are you using the old one? If you have the old one installed, you...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1-800-701-6230 · hi@yourmechanic.com