How a Throttle Position Sensor Works

Gas and brake pedals.

The throttle position sensor is commonly used in modern fuel-injected engines in cars and other vehicles. Usually located on the butterfly spindle attached to the throttle body of engine, the throttle position sensor is very useful in monitoring the position of the throttle valve in your engine. The throttle position sensor works as an input tool that sends signals to the engine control unit. The sensor works around certain parameters and when these parameters are met or are not met, the sensor sends the corresponding signals to the engine control unit.

There are a number of throttle position sensors available in the market today, but the switch types and the potentiometer types are the most common.

The Switch Type

Gas and brake pedals.

The switch type throttle position sensors cycles on and off. The sensor is said to be “on” when there is electrical continuity in the system and it is off when the electrical flow in the system is interrupted. Even if the switch is off, the sensor continues to send inputs to the vehicle’s onboard computer so drivers will still get smooth throttle response while driving.

The Potentiometer

Gas and brake pedals.

This type of sensor works by gradually increasing the power supply to the computer and sending constant signals to it. Unlike the switch types which can be adjusted, the potentiometer has pre-programmed parameters which you cannot alter.