How to Calibrate Throttle Position Sensor (Step by Step)

Do you want to know how to calibrate throttle position sensors? If so, you are on the right page.

After installing your vehicle’s electronic throttle, the next step is to calibrate, reprogram and reset the throttle in order to work effectively.

This article will walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to calibrate throttle position sensors using different methods. We will also answer some frequently ask questions about TPS calibration you might have.

Let’s begin.

How to Calibrate Throttle Position Sensor

Before you go ahead with the steps for this idle volume learning procedure, be sure that your car meets up to certain criteria.

First of all, the car has to be working. Run the car and get the temperature up. The car’s charging system should be putting out 12.9 volts at least. Turn off the headlights and car AC and ensure that all the electrical loads are off.

As you’re getting the car up to operating temperature, the steering wheel should remain straight and the car in park. And note when you can perform the idle air volume position learning.

Once you’ve met the car’s precondition and gotten the car up to temperature, turn the car’s ignition switch “OFF” and wait for ten seconds at least. Below are the steps to follow;

How to Calibrate Throttle Position Sensor

Steps on How to Calibrate Throttle Position sensor

Step 1

Free or release the car’s accelerator pedal completely, then turn the ignition switch “ON” and hold on for three seconds.

Step 2

Depress the car’s accelerator pedal completely, and release it as fast as possible five times within five seconds.

Step 3

After completing the second step, wait for seven seconds before you match down the Cary accelerator pedal. Wait for about twenty seconds till the Check Engine Light (CEL) stops blinking and turns on.

Step 4

Release the car’s accelerator pedal fully within three seconds after CEL comes on.

Step 5

Now start the engine and allow it to run for twenty seconds at least.

Step 6

Rev the car’s engine up two to three times to be sure the ignition switch timing and idle speed are in the correct speciation. Then turn the CEL on.

This completes the procedure. And these steps are best performed using a clock or timer to ensure your timing is accurate.

Check out this video for more tips on how to calibrate throttle position sensor

What Is a Tps, and How Does It Work?

Let’s quickly revisit the exact way your car’s TPS functions in more detail. As you already know, the Throttle Position Sensor is used for measuring the throttle’s openness, which is helpful for knowing the correct fuel/air ratio.

Most times, the Throttle Position Sensor is located on the body of the throttle, and generally, it works in 1 of 2 ways. If your car is old with an old TPS style, the sensor’s contact points monitor the throttle position.

New sensors to calculate throttle position detect magnetic fields difference once there’s a change in throttle position.

When a change is detected in or within the throttle position, it transmits a signal to the ECM(engine control module). The ECM is the engine’s main brain and controls fuel/air mixture, idle speed, and ignition timing.

Also Read: Bad Speed Sensor Symptoms (Causes & Fix)

What Happens If My TPS Is Faulty or Uncalibrated?

When your Throttle Position Sensor is uncalibrated or faulty, the accurate position of the sensor won’t be determined by the sensor, leading to different symptoms, which are all caused by ECM delivering inaccurate fuel/air ratio to cylinders.

It’s necessary to replace or recalibrate faulty TPS immediately after you observe the signs. Driving a long distance with faulty TPS can cause more severe damage and make you spend more on repair bills.

Inspect the TPS when you notice the symptoms while driving. For example, to inspect the Throttle Position Sensor:

1. Illuminated Check Engine Light

The ECM monitors the information it receives from different sensors, and compares them to information it gets from all other sensors, then try to figure out whether something is not working well.

For example, when the ECM feels the information it got from the Throttle Position Sensor is not the same as the information it got from other sensors, it will illuminate the check engine light(CEL).

CEL alone doesn’t mean the Throttle Position Sensor is problematic because the light will also come on if there are any engine-related problems. But if the light is in line with the signs listed below, then there’s a chance that the problem is related to a bad Throttle Position Sensor.

2. Engine Does Not Make power

When your ECM thinks it has a closed throttle while it doesn’t because of the TPS, the fuel quantity in the fuel/air mixture will be reduced, and the engine will run lean. The engine will not be able to produce power as it used to when the fuel in the mixture is insufficient.

You’ll mostly notice this when you want to accelerate. At first, the car might accelerate normally, but when you get high up in a rev range or you start shifting into higher gears, the car will stop accelerating further after some point.

However, the same thing can happen equally when the TPS communicates to the Engine Control Module to put excess fuel when it’s supposed to add little fuel. In this situation, your vehicle will also receive worse gas mileage than it usually gets, and there may be a constant gas smell while driving.

3. Car Jerks Then Accelerates Unintentionally

Once in a while, TPS fails in ways that periodic signal is sent back to ECM. In this situation, the ECM adjusts the fuel/air mixture because it assumes the throttle is constantly closing and opening.

Driving will make your car jerk unexpectedly, and you might experience brief moments of acceleration when you are not even accelerating.

4. Rough Idle

If your foot is not on your gas pedal & your engine is idling, TPS is part of why your car engine can maintain normal idle speed.

When the TPS becomes uncalibrated or faulty, it will affect the quantity of fuel that goes into the engine, making idle rough.

Normally, an idle engine should maintain a consistent RPM number, but then the engine will continue speeding up and slowing down when it is idle if it has a faulty TPS.

Also Read: Service Electronic Throttle Control (Meaning, Causes & Solutions)

How to Program a Throttle Position Sensor (How to Calibrate Throttle Position Sensor)

The first step to take in programming or calibrating a car’s throttle is to form the accelerator pedal release position learning while sitting inside the car.

Don’t press down the car’s accelerator pedal as the car key is turned; wait for at least two seconds for each action.

It’s important to be aware of the timing, so when you’re ready, monitor your time with a clock while performing the following steps:

Steps to follow for Programming your TPS

The category below is learning and procedures for Acceleration Pedal Release Position.

Step 1

Make sure you release the car’s accelerator pedal fully.

Step 2

Turn “ON” the ignition switch and wait for at least two seconds as you hold on to your keys.

Step 3

Then turn your ignition switch “OFF” and hold on for another ten seconds before continuing to the following step.

Step 4

After the ten seconds wait, turn the ignition back “ON,” then wait for two seconds like always.

Step 5

Lastly, turn “OFF” your ignition switch and hold on for the very last ten seconds.

These steps should complete the reset. The next is on the Throttle Valve Closed Position Learning.

How to Calibrate Throttle Position Sensor

Procedures for Programming a Throttle Position Sensor for a Closed Throttle Valve Position.

Step 1

Begin with forming the throttle valve closed position leaning.

Step 2

Make sure your accelerator pedal is entirely released or freed.

Step 3

Using the keys, turn your ignition switch “ON,” then wait ten seconds.

Step 4

Turn the ignition switch “OFF” and wait for ten seconds. You should be able to hear the throttle’s sound as it goes off when the ignition switch is turned off.

Make sure there’s a change on the throttle valve while above ten seconds by checking the sound of the operation. That is how you confirm the throttle valve is operating well.

Let’s move on to the Idle Car Air Volume Throttle Position Learning.

Also Read: How Much Does It Cost to Fix Reduced Engine Power?

How to Replace a TPS

If your car’s TPS gets kaput completely and you want to change it to a new TPS, the process is almost the same for all kinds of vehicles. It’s easy to repair and doesn’t need too many tools for the repair.

These are what you need to replace your car’s TPS:

  • Replacement TPS (make sure you buy one that’s compatible with your vehicle)
  • Safety glasses and Work gloves (just to be safe)
  • A multimeter
  • A screwdriver set

Once your tools are ready, use the following steps to guide the replacement of your car’s TPS:

  1. Before you do anything, disconnect the car’s battery. This is to avoid getting yourself electrocuted, as you will be working on the electronics in your car.
  2. The TPS should be found on the throttle body where it is located. The wiring harness attached to your Throttle Position Sensor should be disconnected.
  3. Unscrew the TPS from the throttle body. A Torx bit screwdriver can be used, but not in every case. For example, the TPS might be screwed on with security screws without slots. In this case, a hacksaw should be used to make a slot, and the TPS should be unscrewed using a flathead screwdriver.
  4. After unscrewing the TPS, pull it off to move it away from the throttle body. Getting to this point, the old TPS can be thrown away.
  5. Screw the new TPS back into the throttle body. The new Throttle Position Sensor should be installed in the same place where the old TPS was.
  6. The wiring harness should be plugged into the new Throttle Position Sensor, properly aligning all of its different connectors.
  7. Connect the battery again, and test the repairs by running the car. If the car runs normally, the repair was successful. Congratulations!

How to Calibrate Throttle Position Sensor

Frequently Asked Questions – How to Calibrate Throttle Position Sensor

Does a new throttle position sensor need to be calibrated?

When you’re done fitting your TPS, you have to calibrate the TPS from within MEITE. So make sure you wired it correctly first. Then, in your Analog settings, assign the throttle sensor signal input to “Throttle Position Sensor Raw.”

What happens if TPS is not calibrated?

If your Throttle Position Sensor is uncalibrated or faulty, the sensor won’t be able to determine the sensor position accurately, leading to different symptoms. These symptoms are all caused because the Engine Control Module delivering the wrong fuel/air ratio to the cylinders due to a bad sensor.

How do I reset my electronic throttle control manually?

It can be a complicated job to reset an electronic throttle control manually. First, fully release the accelerator pedal. Then, turn the car’s ignition “on” and “off,” then wait for 10 seconds. While waiting, listen for an operation sound to ensure that the throttle valve is moving.

What voltage should a TPS read at idle?

5.0V is the number the voltmeter should read when the throttle valve is slightly open or in an idle state.

How do you fix high idle after cleaning the throttle body?

When the throttle body is cleaned, more air enters the engine, and additional fuel compensates the computer. If the vehicle is put in drive, and the idle is allowed to take off all accessories for about 2 to 3 minutes, the idle will relearn.

How do I adjust the idle on my electronic throttle control?

Locate and disengage the electrical connector holding it to the throttle body to disconnect the idle air adjustment valve. To adjust your electrical throttle control’s idle, turn your idle screw; to improve the RPM, then the screw to your left; to reduce it, turn the drew to your right.

Conclusion – How to Calibrate Throttle Position Sensor

we believe this post on calibrating a TPS (Throttle position sensor) was helpful to you. Please ensure to bookmark and share this if the information was helpful.

Scott Greene is a seasoned automotive technician for over 5 years and has been deep into advanced automotive diagnostics for a couple of years. He Loves writing about Automotive Diagnostics and Repair, Trouble codes, Buyer guides for various car parts and accessories, and lots more. 

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