7 Methods to Reset a Throttle Position Sensor

Today’s cars are equipped with advanced sensors for just about every system. These sensors can provide excellent operation but they also have the potential to fail, which could cause problems. If you need to deal with the throttle body sensor, it’s important that you can reset it.

We will discuss the role of the throttle position sensor and the steps you can take to get it back in working order. The throttle body sensor can be troubled and there are some ways to fix it. 

Índice de Contenido
  1. How to reset the throttle position sensor
    1. 1. An OBD2 scanner is recommended
    2. 2. Push Accelerator
    3. 3. Remove Fuse
    4. 4. Take the car for a test drive
    5. 5. Reconnect battery
    6. 6. Car Power Drain
    7. 7. Idle Engine
  2. What's the Throttle Position Sensor, (TPS),?
  3. The Signs Of A Defective Throttle Sensor
    1. 1. Verify Engine Light
    2. 2. Rough Idle
    3. 3. Trouble Accelerating
    4. 4. Limp Mode
  4. How to clean the throttle body
  5. FAQ
    1. After replacing the throttle position sensor, do you need to reset your computer?
    2. Is it necessary to calibrate the throttle position sensor
    3. What fuse is there for the throttle position sensor
    4. What effect does the throttle position sensor have on idle?

How to reset the throttle position sensor

Resetting the throttle position sensor in your car depends on what model it is. You can reset your throttle position sensor on some models by unplugging the battery. On others, you will need to calibrate and reset the device with a diagnostic instrument.

Before you reset the throttle body sensor, you may want to ensure that it’s mechanically calibrated before, if it’s possible on your car model. Below are some common techniques for how to reset the throttle position sensor.

An OBD2 scanner is the best way to calibrate and reset your throttle sensor on modern cars. To do this you will need to ensure that your OBD2 scanner is compatible with your vehicle's engine.

You can find many obd2 scanners for cheap, but it won’t help if it’s not compatible with your car so you should do a lot of research before you decide to buy one. You may not be able to reset the throttle sensor on some cars.

2. Push Accelerator

It is possible to reset your sensor easily. The key should be left in the ON position. You can use a keyless ignition to start the engine. However, you will only need one push of the button.

Keep the pedal down for 20 seconds. It should touch the ground at all times. Turn the car off and release it slowly. Start the engine normaly and take the car for a spin to check if things have improved. 

3. Remove Fuse

It is an electronic component of your vehicle. The fuse is what protects the sensor. The sensor can be reset manually by pulling out the fuse. 

The fuse box is located on the right. This information can be found in the owner’s manual. Take out the fuse, and let it sit for 10 minutes. The throttle body sensor will have reset after you've replaced it. However, so will anything else that’s also run by that fuse. 

RELATED: 8 Symptoms of a Bad Throttle Body (& Replacement Cost)

4. Take the car for a test drive

Some cases require that the vehicle be driven to reset the sensor. Turn the engine on and begin driving down the highway at your maximum speed. Your goal is to reach 40 mph.

After you have the car at highway speed, slowly accelerate and slow down. You should allow for a couple of minutes between sessions. This will allow for better sensor responsiveness. 

5. Reconnect battery

You can reset electronic devices by disconnecting the battery. Disconnect the negative wire from your battery.

After allowing the battery to be disconnected, reconnect it. This will cause all electronic devices in your vehicle to reset. This is why most people choose to begin with one method first.

6. Car Power Drain

You can still keep power from the car even when the battery is disconnected. To reset the sensor you will need to turn off all other power. 

First, disconnect the batteries. Turn on your car, get in the car, and then press the brake pedal.

For this process, you may need to wait between 10-30 minutes. The vehicle's power may be reduced during this period. Start the engine by reconnecting the battery cables. Reset the sensor. 

7. Idle Engine

Start the engine and leave the car running for three minutes. After the specified time, switch off the car.

These steps can be repeated again. On some cars, the key can be turned ON but the engine will not start. Reference the service manual to see what’s appropriate for your car.

What's the Throttle Position Sensor, (TPS),?

It is located alongside the throttle body. It’s a sensor that includes a magnetic disk to send electronic pulses to the engine control module (ECM). The sensor informs the computer about the position of the throttle. 

The throttle should be opened when the car requires more speed. When the car is slowing, the throttle must be shut off. You must also close the throttle when the car is idling. However, it should remain open enough to allow gas to flow to the engine. 

To idle the idle speed, the computer uses the TPS information. When you let off the accelerator pedal, the car needs to continue pumping gas so it doesn’t stall. Computers will check the fuel levels in the cylinders.

RELATED: Five Signs That Your Throttle Position Sensor Is Not Working (Replacement cost)

The Signs Of A Defective Throttle Sensor

1. Verify Engine Light

When any sensor fails or isn’t optimized, the Check Engine Light can come on the dashboard. Because the engine control module is monitoring the throttle body sensor, you can expect this light to come on when there’s a problem.

The computer stores an error code which can be read by your OBDII scanner. In most cases, you might see Code P2119, which stands for “Throttle Actuator Control Throttle Body Range/Perfomance.” This is the code that occurs when the throttle sensor is out of range. 

2. Rough Idle

When the throttle body sensor isn’t working properly, the idle could be off. Because of these defects, RPMs may drop or rise above normal. 

This can cause your engine to stop and could even lead to more fuel consumption. You need to address the issue immediately if you notice an imbalance in the fuel-air ratio. 

3. Trouble Accelerating

When the sensor is damaged, there could be an insufficient amount of power. Acceleration can become difficult if the sensor is not supplying enough power. There will be hesitation and the car may jerk.

There’s also the chance that your car can accelerate on your own. The car will propel forward if the butterfly valve is able to open on its own, instead of being closed. The most likely symptom of this is that the car will not accelerate as fast, regardless how hard you press the accelerator.

4. Limp Mode

In dire situations, the car will go into limp mode. When something happens that could cause damage to the engine's engine, the default setting is set. This is done to provide better protection.

However, it’s hard to drive the vehicle in limp mode. To alert others, you can turn the four-way light on. It is possible to get there if the trip is short. For your safety, it might be worth having the vehicle town. 

How to clean the throttle body

If there’s a problem with the throttle body itself, you might be able to clean it versus replacing it. Below are some steps that you can follow.

  1. Find the throttle body. It's usually located between your intake manifold or air filter. You can usually clean the throttle body by removing it.
  2. Take out any dirt and carbon deposits using a brake or carburetor cleaner. 
  3. You can test drive the car. 

You can gain more guidance by following the directions found in your car’s service manual. You can also visit professionals for additional assistance.

RELATED: Cleaning a throttle body (10 Easy DIY Steps)


After replacing the throttle position sensor, do you need to reset your computer?

After replacing the sensor, most car models can reset the throttle position sensor automatically. You may have to calibrate your car's throttle position sensor manually, disconnect the battery or use an OBD2 reader.

Is it necessary to calibrate the throttle position sensor

According to your specific car's repair manual, if you have a throttle cables, it is necessary that the throttle sensor be calibrated manually. An electronic throttle allows your car to calibrate its sensor by turning on the ignition.

What fuse is there for the throttle position sensor

Most car models do not have a fuse that only protects the throttle position sensor. The fuse that controls the power supply to the throttle position sensor should however be present in the engine control module. Check your owner’s manual for the fuse location.

What effect does the throttle position sensor have on idle?

Bad throttle sensors can cause irregular idle or roughness. You can scan the code memory for trouble codes with a scanner if you suspect the throttle position sensor may be defective.

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