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Old 11-18-2009, 02:36 PM   #1
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Replacing the Throttle Position Sensor

hey, all. I'm not only new but sort of a knucklehead.

With my 02 wrangler x, 6-cyl manual trans, the check engine light came on and when i checked the code, it read throttle position sensor. From what Ive read (here and elsewhere), it's not the most complicated job to replace. True? is it something I can take on easily enough?

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Old 11-18-2009, 02:45 PM   #2
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Do you have 1 minute? Takes about that long.

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Old 11-18-2009, 02:51 PM   #3
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Most of the time they are just dirty. Try cleaning it up with some cleaner first.

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Old 11-18-2009, 02:55 PM   #4
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I did mine in under a minute after unplugging the ground on my battery and letting it run out(turn headlights on for 10 mins with battery unplugged)

then reconnect the new tps and plug the battery back in
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:38 PM   #5
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approximately how many miles on the Jeep when you needed to remove and replace
the TPS ?

Is there an preventative maintenance interval or replace when CEL code is set ?
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:50 PM   #6
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mine was from water
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99 TJ 4.0l 5speed, Bushwacker flares, JKS endlinks, Procomp stabalizer, Procomp 4 inch lift, 3 inch body lift, edge intake, Edge throttle body, Edge control module, flowmaster exhaust, Maxxis bighorn 35x12.5x15 tires on allied progressive beadlock wheels, sony cdx-fw700 cd player, xplod front speakers, eclipse rear speakers,Olympic 4X4 Products Xtreme Duty Tire Carrier in Rubicon Black
I got a TJ 99 with 4 wheel drive sittin out back of the jail
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvc View Post
approximately how many miles on the Jeep when you needed to remove and replace
the TPS ?

Is there an preventative maintenance interval or replace when CEL code is set ?

Mine appears to be getting dirty/worn out...2002 with 74k miles on it. The TPS is one of those where you just replace it if/when it goes bad. There's no preventative maintenance recommendation for it that I'm aware of.

You can get em for around $60 at a dealer (prolly a lil more since the dealer I use sells em closer to their price)...or $43 at Autozone.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvc View Post
approximately how many miles on the Jeep when you needed to remove and replace
the TPS ?

Is there an preventative maintenance interval or replace when CEL code is set ?
No set milage. They get dirty easy and very common. Just clean them up and reinstall.

If they are shot...also no set milage for changing them. All depends on how the vehicle "engine" is treated/driven.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:51 PM   #9
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How do you clean the TPS sensor? Just spray it down with parts cleaner or what?

I've heard of cleaning the idle air controller...actually was fairly necessary on my old Dakota, but never heard of cleaning a TPS sensor...
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:57 PM   #10
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While the IAC (idle air controller) commonly gets dirty and is easily cleaned, that's not the case with the throttle position sensor. The TPS is a sealed unit and when it gets dirty inside from bits of carbon, it's really nothing more than a glorified volume control (potentiometer), it's time to replace it. Even if you could get it apart to blow the carbon out, the carbon that made it too dirty to work properly came from the surface of the resistor inside that has become worn which means it is probably bare in spots. All that is why it becomes erratic... clumps of carbon and bare spots on the resistor inside the TPS.

For the TPS, it's my advice to simply replace it when it gets dirty enough to become erratic. Two small torx-head screws (T-25 if I recall correctly) hold it to the throttle body. Remove them, swap in the new TPS, and screw the screws back in and reconnect it. Be sure to use the right size torx-adapter and hold it in the screw firmly and square so the screw head doesn't strip out. When installing the new TPS, be sure to align its slot with the little tab sticking out of the throttle body which is what rotates the TPS's internal resistor.
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
While the IAC (idle air controller) commonly gets dirty and is easily cleaned, that's not the case with the throttle position sensor. The TPS is a sealed unit and when it gets dirty inside, it's really nothing more than a glorified volume control (potentiometer), it's time to replace it. Even if you could get it apart to blow the carbon out, that carbon is what makes it dirty and it came from the surface of the resistor inside that has become worn.

For the TPS, it's my advice to simply replace it when it gets dirty enough to become erratic. Two small torx-head screws (T-25 if I recall correctly) hold it to the throttle body. Remove them, swap in the new TPS, and screw the screws back in and reconnect it. Be sure to use the right size torx-adapter and hold it in the screw firmly and square so the screw head doesn't strip out.
What he said.

I got mixed up for a minute. I've been working on a mazda car and nissan car the last few days.
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:03 PM   #12
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haha thanks...by the way, when you install the new one, do you need to unhook the battery and reset the computer? My Dakota wouldn't start until I reset the computer when I changed out TPS sensors (had me scared to death...16, did a simple sensor swap, and my truck would no longer start...LOL).
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:13 PM   #13
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No need to reset the computer after replacing the TPS. That circuit is self-calibrating in the TJ.
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Old 12-04-2009, 03:11 PM   #14
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To Jerry B and all,

Thanks a million for the good advice!

(and JB, I love the apostrophe quote...)
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
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hey, all. I'm not only new but sort of a knucklehead.

With my 02 wrangler x, 6-cyl manual trans, the check engine light came on and when i checked the code, it read throttle position sensor. From what Ive read (here and elsewhere), it's not the most complicated job to replace. True? is it something I can take on easily enough?
A flat head screwdriver, a hammer, vise grips, and the proper torx bit. Beat the thing up with the hammer and screwdriver to expose the torx bolts. Take the vise grips and use them to snap the bolts loose. They use glue on them and you will waste a lot of torx bits trying to break them loose. I've changed three of them, and the first one was an hour job, and cost me 4 torx bits. The other two took less than 10 minutes once I figured out the easy way to do it.

Just don't get too carried away with the hammer.
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:58 PM   #16
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I have never had any of the torx screws give me that much trouble on the three TPSs I have replaced. I place the torx bit onto a 1/4" ratchet wrench and while applying inward pressure straight in squarely against the torx screw to prevent it from slipping out & stripping it, I back it out with the ratchet wrench. Works every time for me.

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