The throttle position sensor monitors the position of the throttle valve which is in charge of controlling the amount of air that flows into the engine of the car. The throttle position sensor sends vital information to the car's ECU (Engine Control Unit) which it uses to adjust the air flow, via the throttle valve. When you press down on the throttle pedal, this causes the throttle valve to open up, allowing more air to flow in. The engine control unit recognises that the throttle valve is open and in turn regulates the amount of fuel entering the engine in readiness for the increased flow of air in the engine.
Commonly this sensor is positioned on the engine connected directly to the throttle body, on the spindle/shaft so that it can accurately monitor the position of the throttle at source. The throttle position sensor helps the ECU to regulate the amount of air that is mixed with fuel for combustion. The engine needs oxygen from the air in order for combustion to work. It is imperative that the car's engine is supplied with the correct amount of clean, filtered air. Air needs to be as clean as possible before it mixes with the fuel and burns in the cylinders of the engine. The overall result of this ensures the engine is working to its optimum, providing more power and fuel efficiency. There are many vital components that work together to ensure the air entering the engine is a steady and uninterrupted flow of clean, filtered air, of exactly the right amount.
The throttle pedal manages the throttle valve which controls the flow of air in the engine and in turn dictates the amount of fuel released into the engine. By monitoring the position of the throttle valve, this helps to regulate the air and fuel flowing into the engine, so the throttle position sensor has a big part to play in helping to control the speed at which the car travels.
The throttle position sensor is commonly replaced due to damage received in an accident or general wear and tear. Extremes of heat can cause the throttle position sensor to burn out and damage from oil leaking into the sensor is also a factor that can lead to the sensor malfunctioning. If there is a problem with the throttle position sensor the Check Engine light will illuminate on the dashboard. There are many problems that can arise with the engine so it is advisable to consult with your mechanic to establish the exact cause of the fault. When this part fails, replacing it with the throttle position sensor will guarantee complete compatibility with the make and model of your vehicle.