• Cars and trucks are becoming more powerful and fuel efficient. One of the reasons for this is increased computerization and sensors that send information back to the vehicle's computer. One of the important sensors is the throttle position sensor.

    Where it is

    When you push on the accelerator pedal, it opens the throttle to let more air into the engine. This happens by opening a valve in the throttle body. The TPS is attached to the throttle body, and the pivot shaft of the valve sticks into a hole in the sensor.

    What it Does

    As the shaft turns, the sensor can tell by how much and sends the information to the vehicle's main computer.

    How it Works

    The TPS is a potentiometer, so as the position changes the voltage sent to the computer changes. The computer determines the throttles position based on the voltage it receives.

    Internal Components

    Inside the TPS is a sweep arm that moves when the throttle is opened or closed. The arm is in contact with a variable resistor. As the throttle is opened, the arm moves along the resistor and changes the amount of electricity that is sent to the computer.

    Why it is Important

    The more accurate the information the computer receives from the TPS and other sensors, the more efficiently the engine can operate. This saves fuel and minimizes emissions.

    Source: Throttle Position Sensor Position Sensors

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