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How to Replace a Throttle Position Sensor

Updated February 21, 2017

The throttle position sensor (TPS) on most vehicles is located in the engine compartment. It sends input to the electronic engine control so that ignition and fuel injection timing can be adjusted for proper engine operation. When a throttle position sensor goes bad, your vehicle may stall or run rough at idle, and may stumble upon acceleration. The replacement of the TPS is a straightforward procedure that should take an amateur mechanic less than an hour to complete.

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  1. Disconnect the negative cable from the battery by loosening the clamp's nut with an adjustable wrench in a counterclockwise direction. Lift the cable from the battery terminal in a twisting motion and lay it aside.

  2. Locate the throttle position sensor. It is attached to the throttle body on the top of the engine.

  3. Separate the wiring harness connector from the throttle position sensor by pressing in on the tabs of the connector while pulling it apart by hand.

  4. Remove the throttle position sensor from the throttle body by backing out the two holding screws with a Phillips screwdriver in a counterclockwise direction.

  5. Install the new throttle position sensor onto the throttle body with the original screws by twisting them in with a Phillips screwdriver in a clockwise direction.

  6. Push the wiring harness connector onto the throttle position sensor until the tabs snap into place.

  7. Reconnect the negative battery cable to the negative terminal and tighten the nut with an adjustable wrench in a clockwise direction.

  8. Tip

    The throttle position sensor can be checked by plugging a scan tool (available at auto parts stores) into the vehicle's OBD data link connector. The connector on most vehicles is located at the bottom of the dash panel on the driver's side. Interpret the code received on the scan tool by checking the guide that comes with the tool.

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Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Phillips screwdriver

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