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Throttle position sensor functions and replacement cost

May 25, 2016 | Electrical Repair Info

Throttle position sensor function and replacement cost

Basic functions

The throttle is the valve inside an internal combustion engine which regulates the amount of fuel that flows into the engine. The throttle position sensor is a piece of the throttle that makes sure the correct combination of air and fuel is going into the engine. Thanks to the computerized technology that now exists in most cars, it is very easy for the throttle position sensor to calculate this amount. The sensor basically works with the electronic control module of your car to detect the position of the gas pedal. Based on how hard you press down on the gas pedal, the sensor will know the right amount of air and fuel mixture to send into the engine to satisfy the demand of the driver. So every time you speed up in your car and go faster, you are using up more fuel because the throttle position sensor is sending more air and fuel into the engine to increase the car’s speed. The sensor also detects moisture, light and heat as well.

Common symptoms

Gear shifting is also an important part of the throttle position sensor because the sensor controls the gear shifting. Every time you shift gears in your car, your engine needs to receive the right combination of fuel and air as well. The throttle position sensor ensures that it does so, allowing you to shift the gears correctly. If this sensor were to fail for whatever reason, then you would have trouble accelerating after stepping on the gas pedal, or experience problems changing gears. If any of these situations happens then you need to replace your throttle position sensor right away for a new one. Neglecting to do this could cause your engine to misfire and eventually get ruined. However, most modern cars will alert you whenever you have any kind of problem in the engine, even if it’s with the throttle position sensor. Listen to what your car’s computer tells you and act appropriately.

The average replacement cost

A throttle position sensor is a very small piece of the throttle which is why most car owners don’t even bother having it repaired. It is actually cheaper to just purchase a replacement. You can purchase one for an average of $200 at your local automotive shop. But the investment is worth it because letting your engine get ruined by not replacing the sensor could end up costing you thousands of dollars in engine repairs or replacement.

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