The throttle position sensor is one of the most important sensors found in the engine of a car. It plays a pivotal role in how fast or slow the car can move.
Don’t worry, I’ll explain how in a bit. Now, the TPS, just like other sensors found in the engine of a car, isn’t a permanent fixture. In other words, you can easily detach it from the engine, even though that would lead to a big problem.
It begs the question: what happens if you disconnect the throttle position sensor?
The short answer is that the computer module will have trouble determining how much air-fuel mixture to inject into the engine at any one time. This will affect how the car reacts when you press the accelerator pedal hard or gently with your foot.
In-Depth Explanation of What Can Happen To the Car or Engine If the Throttle Position Sensor Is Disconnected
As said earlier, the throttle position sensor plays a pivotal role in how fast or slow the car can move. I’ll explain how it works to ensure the car can move at a velocity that’s needed at any given moment. But before that, allow me to explain something else that’s still related to this concept.
Now, when you want the car to move fast, you press the accelerator pedal hard, and when you want it to move slowly, you press down the pedal gently.
Now, both of these actions will have an impact on how widely the throttle valve, which lets the air-fuel mixture into the engine, opens up.
That means that these actions will also influence how much air-gas mixture goes into the combustion chambers at any one time.
Now, when you press the pedal hard with your foot, this action causes the throttle valve to open wide, letting more air-gas mixture go into the engine.
That way, the combustion rate will increase, leading to increased velocity. But when you press the pedal gently, the valve will open less widely.
That means less air-gas mixture will make its way into the engine, resulting in a reduced combustion rate and decreased velocity.
During any pedal action, the throttle position sensor is always keen, monitoring how widely the throttle valve opens. It then relays this information to the computer, triggering it to inject the appropriate amount of the air-fuel mixture into the engine, depending on the information.
If the throttle valve opens widely, the throttle position sensor will tell the computer to inject more air-fuel mixture into the engine, causing the car to move fast due to increased combustion rate.
If it opens less widely, on the contrary, the TPS will tell the computer to send less fuel to the engine, leading to a reduced combustion rate. That way, the velocity of the car will decrease.
What Does a Throttle Position Sensor Do When Bad?
By the way, the throttle position sensor also plays a pivotal role in how the throttle valve opens. In other words, it triggers the TV to open more or less, depending on the amount of force that you put on the accelerator pedal with your right foot.
Now, if the throttle position sensor is bad, it may become erratic and unable to perform its functions as expected. For example, it might not be able to correctly determine how wide to open the throttle valve, depending on the amount of force you put on the accelerator pedal.
Sometimes the sensor may not trigger the TV to open wide enough with respect to how far down you press the pedal. That can cause the car to move slower than expected at any one time.
Other times, it may trigger the valve to open too widely contrary to how much force you put on the accelerator pedal. That can make the car move faster than required at any given moment.
Also, a faulty throttle position sensor will not relay the correct information to the computer module. That means the computer will not be able to inject the right amount of air-fuel mixture as needed at any one time.
Consequently, this can cause the car to move too fast or slowly contrary to the driver’s expectations. Last but not least, a faulty sensor can also cause trouble starting your engine. Don’t forget that your engine will only be able to start if it receives the right amount of air-fuel mixture.
Can I Drive With a Bad Throttle Position Sensor?
The answer is yes and no—yes if the throttle position sensor is still working to an extent and no if it’s completely broken. Remember that the TPS functions to open the throttle valve, depending on the amount of force that the driver puts on the accelerator pedal with their feet.
That means that if the sensor is still working to some extent, the valve will still be able to open at least to some extent such that the car can move.
But if the sensor has failed, it means that it won’t be able to open the valve, depending on how hard or gently you step on the accelerator pedal.
That means that there will be no air-fuel mixture going into the combustion chamber at that particular moment, hence the car won’t be able to move.
But it’s also important to note that some newer car models don’t entirely depend on the throttle position sensor to get in motion.
A good example is the Honda Civic CX car with a Z6 motor engine. It’s very amazing to see how this car has other alternative systems that will take over when the TPS is removed to get the car running.
Is It Bad to Drive Without TPS?
Of course, it is. Otherwise, your car wouldn’t come with the sensor in the first place. Remember that every component of the engine has a specific role that it plays to ensure the car can move safely and efficiently.
Can a TPS be Bypassed?
Yes, especially if it’s causing trouble starting the engine. The short answer is yes. Bypassing can be done by disconnecting the TPS, then turning off the ignition and waiting for 30 seconds, and turning the engine back on. The engine should start ok.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix or Replace the Throttle Position Sensor?
The cost of fixing or replacing the TPS can vary from car to car. Usually, a throttle position sensor replacement service will cost between $200 and $300, including labor. By the way, labor makes up the biggest portion of the costs.
The throttle position sensor is one of the most important sensors found in the car. It’s one of the engine components that allow the air-fuel mixture to get into the combustion chambers of the engine.
If faulty or removed, a car can experience a lot of problems, including the engine being unable to start and deliver the desired velocities.
Replacing remains the best solution for a faulty TPS. This service doesn’t cost much money to get from a mechanic. With as little as $180 to $200, you can have your sensor replaced