What Happens If You Disconnect Throttle Position Sensor?

What Happens If You Disconnect Throttle Position Sensor?

A vehicle’s throttle is a major component that works for fuel efficiency. A throttle position sensor is responsible for transmitting the fraction to which the throttle is opened to the Engine Control Unit. (ECU) What happens if you disconnect throttle position sensor? If you are concerned about the existence of this sensor, it is you whom this article would be fruitful in understanding the atmosphere of throttle and its contribution to the systems.

The throttle body is the part which allows air intake according to the accelerator pedal. A throttle position sensor is placed on the butterfly shaft of a throttle body to make it easier for the sensor to observe and handle the operations of determining the position of the throttle.

TPS is a potentiometer (used to calculate the displacement of a body part in any direction) consisting of three wires for the data-transferring process. There are two wires for transmitting battery voltage and signals, respectively. 5-volt reference is the other wire presented here. 

What Happens If you Disconnect Throttle Position Sensor?

The effect of disconnecting a throttle position sensor is bounded by the engine performance of the vehicle. Let’s clarify what happens if you disconnect throttle position sensor.

  • As we discussed earlier throttle position sensor is the valve responsible for the functioning of the ECU. ECU is the unit that controls the fuel amount that is consumed by the engine. Thus, it is the major component that works for your car’s fuel efficiency. 
  • Failures of ECM make your vehicle not start. Or else the vehicle will suddenly stop when you are driving. Imagine facing such a situation in traffic or on a highway. It has a higher probability of creating a huge accident. 
  • Another scenario is the loss of fuel control. TPS is the responsible partner in sending the data of the throttle to ECU to control the amount of fuel that enters the cylinders of the engine. Thus, a failure of TSP will avoid those data, and the car will consume more fuel. If you run many miles with a malfunctioning TSP, your gas cost will also be increased. This affects the environment, too, by increasing the rate of discharging harmful gases from the combustion.
  • A fault in the TSP will result in the rough idling of a vehicle. This is a massive waste of fuel. You will run out of gas sooner than usual, resulting in additional expenses to your monthly budget. 
  • When you are doubtful about the operation of the throttle position sensor or distinguish any changes in the vehicle, it is better to get a technician’s support. Because replacing the TSP valve is not a simple mechanical work like tunning that you could do on your own if you do not have much knowledge of the structural components of the car body. 

What are the Symptoms of a Faulty Throttle position Sensor?

When you have prior knowledge of a mechanical issue, it would be advantageous to detect a fault in your vehicle earlier. Hence, early diagnosis will cause mild damage or wastage. Below are the changes you can observe in a car’s performance when its TSP valve is not functioning accurately. 

  • Issues occur when accelerating- When the TPS is not working properly, it directly affects the power supply. This will sometimes make a car not start up and sometimes unforced acceleration may occur. If your vehicle accelerates even without stepping onto the gas, it makes the background for an accident at any unexpected time.
  • Excess fuel consumption- As we discussed, TSP directly connects with the fuel control of a vehicle, and if any failure happens, the fuel consumption will be out of control. The engine will consume more gas than the actually required amount. 
  • Warning lights- Check engine light on the dashboard display is the sign you receive from a car’s computer system when there is an issue with the emission system. Going for a technician is the immediate thing you must do whenever you see this warning light. 
  • Rough idling and misfiring- If misfiring occurs when you start or while the car is idling, there should be a fault in your sensors. Probably with the TSP. 

What Causes Throttle Position Sensor Failure?

A TSP will start to malfunction when there are code errors. If in such case, you will need the assistance of a professional to reprogram with software. 

How Much to Replace Throttle Position Sensor?

A new TSP will cost you around $75- $100. This work should be done with a professional, which will add labour costs to the sum. Usually, a mechanic will charge an amount between $35 and $95. Altogether, the replacement will cost you $100-$200 in total. 

How to Clean a Throttle Position Sensor?

  • Park the vehicle on flat ground and set the gear to park mode with emergency brakes. 
  • Make the hood stay stand using a supporter rod.
  • Remove the covers and detect the sensor area.
  • Now you should plug out all the electrical components and transmitters from the throttle. 
  • Then remove the two bolts of the sensor and take out the TSP.
  • Use a throttle cleaner that is purchased from hardware or a suitable solvent. Take a cloth and wipe out all the residuals. 
  • Let the sensor dry.
  • Then attach the sensor to the correct position and screw in the bolts. 
  • If you need to replace the TSP, you can follow the same first steps and install a new one. 
  • However, if you have slight experience in mechanical corrections of a vehicle, please do not perform the cleaning or the replacement on your own. 

Can You Replace Just the Throttle Position Sensor?

When you note symptoms of a faulty throttle position sensor, we advise you to meet a professional in this article. It will be observed there, and the technician will repair or reprogram it occasionally if it is a mild issue. But when in serious matters, you will have to replace the sensor.


What happens if you disconnect throttle position sensor? This article is to clear your doubts about one of the major sensors of a vehicle. Here, you can also find the symptoms and remedies for a TPS issue.

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