How To Reset Throttle Position Sensor? Ultimate Guide

Last updated on February 10th, 2023 at 10:08 pm

The throttle position sensor (TPS) is an important component in a vehicle’s engine management system. When it malfunctions, it can cause issues with throttle control and overall vehicle performance. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to reset throttle position sensor in your vehicle.

We also provides information on the throttle position sensor, including its purpose and signs of malfunction.

Whether you’re a seasoned mechanic or a do-it-yourselfer, you’ll find this guide to be a valuable resource.

With the right tools and a little patience, you can get your vehicle back to running smoothly in no time.


What Is The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)?

The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) is an essential component in a car’s fuel management system. It is responsible for measuring the position of the throttle in an internal combustion engine and communicating this information to the engine control unit (ECU). The ECU uses this information to control the amount of fuel being delivered to the engine, based on the driver’s input.

The TPS is usually located on the throttle body, which is the component that controls the airflow into the engine. The TPS is a potentiometer, meaning it measures the position of the throttle by providing a varying electrical resistance. The ECU uses this resistance to calculate the throttle position and adjust the fuel delivery accordingly.

How To Reset Throttle Position Sensor

Here are some of the common methods of how to reset throttle position sensor in your vehicle:

Resetting with a Scan Tool

One of the most common methods of resetting a throttle position sensor is through the use of a scan tool. A scan tool is a diagnostic device that connects to the vehicle’s onboard computer system and allows you to diagnose and reset various systems and components.

An OBD2 scanner is an effective scan tool for resetting and calibrating a throttle position sensor on modern car models. However, it’s important to ensure the scanner is compatible with your car engine and has a TPS reset feature.

Research is key when purchasing a scanner, as an incompatible one won’t be useful. In some cases, manual resetting may be the only option for certain car models.

Push Down Accelerator

Resetting a throttle position sensor may be possible with a simple procedure.

First, turn on the vehicle without starting the engine and leave the key in the ON position, or press the keyless start button once. Then, hold down the accelerator pedal for 15 to 20 seconds, pushing it as close to the floor as possible.

After releasing the pedal slowly, turn the vehicle off and start it normally. Finally, take the vehicle for a drive to see if the problem with the throttle position sensor has improved. This simple method may help reset the sensor and improve the vehicle’s acceleration performance.

Remove Fuse

To reset the throttle body sensor in a vehicle, locate the fuse box and the relevant fuse mentioned in the owner’s manual. Remove the fuse and wait for ten minutes. Replace the fuse and the sensor should be reset. Note that other components that run on the same fuse will also reset.

This method is simple and straightforward, but it may not work for all vehicles, and in some cases, it may cause other issues with the vehicle’s electrical system. Therefore, it’s important to consult the vehicle’s repair manual or a professional mechanic before attempting this method.

Disconnect The Battery

To reset electronic components in a car, disconnect the negative cable from the battery. Wait for five minutes and then reconnect.

This resets everything but is not the preferred method due to resetting other systems.

Drive The Car

Reset the sensor by driving the vehicle at high speeds (over 40 mph) and alternating between acceleration and deceleration. Repeat this a few times with pauses in between. This may improve sensor responsiveness.

Drain The Car Power

If other methods of resetting the sensor fail, try draining all power from the car. Disconnect both positive and negative battery cables.

Enter the car, turn on the ignition and press the brake pedal. Wait for 10-30 minutes for power to drain. Reconnect the battery and start the engine. This should reset the sensor.

Idle Car Engine

Start the engine and let it idle for 3 minutes, then turn off. Repeat this step. Some car models can also reset the sensor by turning the key on without starting the engine. Check the service manual for specific instructions.

Signs Of Bad Throttle Body Sensor

Check Engine Light On

The Check Engine Light (CEL) can appear on the dashboard when a sensor fails or is not functioning properly. This is because the engine control module monitors the throttle body sensor.

The CEL will come on when there is a problem and an error code will be stored in the computer which can be read with an OBDII scanner. Commonly, the code P2119, “Throttle Actuator Control Throttle Body Range/Performance,” is seen, indicating that the throttle sensor is out of range.

Limp Mode

Limp mode is a default setting activated when the car senses a potential threat to the engine. During limp mode, power to certain car functions is cut off for protection.

Driving a vehicle in limp mode can be difficult and limiting, so it’s best to use the four-way lights to signal to others that there is trouble. If the distance to be driven is short, it may be possible to make it, but if it’s a longer distance, it’s recommended to have the vehicle towed for safety.

Limp mode is an indication of a serious issue and should not be ignored. It’s important to have the problem diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the vehicle.

Rough Idle

A malfunctioning throttle body sensor can cause rough idle in a car. This can result in either a drop in RPMs or higher RPMs than normal, leading to engine stalling.

This can also result in increased fuel consumption due to an imbalanced air-fuel ratio. It is important to have the problem fixed promptly to avoid further complications.

Recommended Post 10 Common Causes of RPM Fluctuation While Driving

Trouble With Acceleration

A failing throttle body sensor can cause trouble with acceleration. Lack of power from the sensor can result in hesitation and jerky movements when trying to accelerate. In some cases, the butterfly valve may open unexpectedly, causing the car to surge forward.

However, the most common symptom is difficulty in getting the car to go faster even when the gas pedal is pressed. It’s important to have the problem diagnosed and repaired to ensure smooth and safe acceleration.

Cleaning the Throttle Body: A Step-by-Step Guide

Here are the steps to clean the throttle body:

  1. Disconnect the battery: To avoid electrical shock, disconnect the battery before starting the cleaning process.
  2. Locate the throttle body: The throttle body is typically found between the air intake and the engine.
  3. Remove the air intake: Remove the air intake hose connected to the throttle body to gain access.
  4. Clean the throttle body: Use a throttle body cleaner or a mixture of water and mild soap to clean the throttle body. Use a soft brush or cloth to scrub away any built-up grime and debris.
  5. Dry the throttle body: Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the throttle body clean and dry.
  6. Reinstall the air intake: Replace the air intake hose and secure it back in place.
  7. Reconnect the battery: Reconnect the battery and start the engine to verify that the throttle body is working correctly.

Note: Before cleaning the throttle body, it’s important to consult your vehicle’s manual or a mechanic to ensure that it is safe to do so and to confirm the specific procedures for your make and model.


Q: How often should a throttle position sensor be replaced?

A: It is not necessary to change the throttle position sensor regularly as a preventive measure. Only change it if it shows signs of malfunction or if a mechanic recommends it during a routine check-up.

Q: How Much Time Does a TPS Sensor Need to Reset?

A: The time it takes to reset the TPS sensor can vary depending on the car model and the method used. Disconnecting the battery to reset the computer usually takes a few minutes, while calibrating the TPS manually can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

It is important to follow the correct procedure for your specific car model to ensure proper operation of the vehicle.

Q: What Normally Occurs If TPS Isn’t Calibrated?

A: Inaccurate TPS calibration can result in incorrect air-fuel ratio, leading to poor engine performance and potential damage. It’s essential to calibrate the TPS correctly after installation or replacement. This can be done manually or with software, but specific instructions for your car model should be consulted. Failing to calibrate TPS can lead to decreased engine efficiency and potential harm.

Q: Does the throttle position sensor have a fuse?

A: It is always best to consult the vehicle manual to confirm if there is a fuse for the throttle position sensor and its location.

In most cases, the throttle position sensor is powered by the engine control module, which has its own fuse. If the engine control module’s fuse is blown, the throttle position sensor may not function properly.

Q: Is the computer needed to be reset after replacing the throttle position sensor?

A: Most car models reset throttle position sensor automatically after replacement, but some may require manual reset, such as disconnecting battery or using OBD2 scanner. Consult vehicle manual or mechanic for specific instructions.

Q: How Much Does a Throttle Position Sensor Replacement Cost?

A: This cost can go up or down depending on the cost of the part, labor costs, and the location of the repair. The cost can also increase if the sensor is difficult to access or if other components need to be removed to get to the sensor. The best way to get an accurate estimate of the cost to replace a throttle position sensor is to get a quote from a local mechanic or dealership.


The article discussed how to reset throttle position sensor and identifying signs of a faulty one. It also covered the steps for cleaning the sensor. By following the information provided, one can save money on repairs by completing the tasks themselves. Understanding the information in the article can help you easily maintain your vehicle.