Our certified mechanics come to you · Backed by our 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty · Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront
Before the late 1980s, most cars had a straightforward mechanical throttle control. When a motorist wanted to move forward, they stomped on the accelerator pedal, the throttle blade opened, and air flowed into the engine. From here, it mixed with fuel, combusted, and turned the car’s wheels. (I’m skipping a few steps, but you get the gist.) To go faster, all the driver had to do was press down harder with your right foot—the throttle would open wider, giving the car a boot of power.
Today, most vehicles are equipped with electronic throttle control (ETC), or throttle-by-wire. An ETC electronically “connects” the accelerator pedal to the throttle, replacing the mechanical linkage. Now, when a driver steps on the gas pedal, instead of opening the throttle blades, he or she is activating an accelerator pedal module. It converts the pressure you put on the accelerator pedal into an electric signal, which is sent to an electronic control unit or computer, which opens and closes the throttle blade, increasing or decreasing the power output of the engine for optimum efficiency and performance.
Electronic throttle control is more complex, but has benefits:
A special "re-learn" procedure is required on some vehicles when parts of the ETC system are replaced or the wiring harness disconnected. The procedure occurs in some cars automatically every time the ignition is turned on. Others require a scan tool or special manual procedure.
When it comes to something as vital as throttle control, we do not suggest tackling the repair yourself. If you do not possess the proper tools needed to diagnose the problem and/or training and experience to fix it properly, you could be putting yourself and, more importantly, your passengers in danger. Allow one of our expert mechanics to perform this service.
A vehicle with a malfunctioning throttle control is not safe to drive. If the electronic throttle control warning light in your car’s dash comes on during start up or while driving, there is a fault condition brewing within the system. If the vehicle still drives normally, request one of our mechanics to diagnose your car as soon as possible. If throttle response is erratic, safely make your way off the road. Don’t gamble with your safety or the safety of your family and friends.