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Old 06-08-2011, 02:52 PM   #1
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Throttle Position Sensor - Cost?

I guess it's just two weeks between paying off a Jeep and the first "problem" appearing.

I won a car detailing gift certificate some time back, and used it today. The Jeep smelled new, looked great, all cleaned up... and then engine light was on. I took it by my usual garage to have them plug it in, and turns out it's the throttle position sensor. The guys told me it would be about $160. I've got an '03 Wrangler Sport.

Is this something I can do (being VERY mechanically challenged)? Is that about the right cost? Is there anything I should do before I pay the moolah to see if it's something else.

You all are my info-base, so I'll go with the majority.

Thanks!

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Old 06-08-2011, 03:40 PM   #2
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I just replaced my TPS, I payed about 40 dollars (37.50 i think) at a car quest and it took me about 10 minutes to swap them. If you do decide to do it yourself just make sure you have the right torx socket to take the two bolts out. As for job difficulty it was really straight forward and easy as changing oil. Good luck!

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Old 06-09-2011, 09:49 AM   #3
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It's super easy... 2 bolts as mentioned above. Go with one from the dealer. Sometimes the parts house sensors don't read properly and will be quirky. Dealer will run you about $50-60 I think (I think mine was around $50 with my employee pricing). Definitely don't pay $160 to have it done. Throw that $100 toward something else.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:56 AM   #4
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OK... where is the location of this TPS?
And when you say "go with one from the dealer," do I need to order directly from Jeep? Or is an Auto Zone-type shop ok?
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:24 AM   #5
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It's super easy... 2 bolts as mentioned above. Go with one from the dealer. Sometimes the parts house sensors don't read properly and will be quirky. .
Never had a problem with a parts store TPS. Funny I own two Chrysler vehicles and TPS issues are common (OEM sensors). Both of mine have gone bad and replaced with parts store ones.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:46 AM   #6
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TPs is mounted to the throttle body/shaft. Opposite side of the linkage. Can't miss it, as stated two bolts and an electrical connector plugged into it.

It reads the throttle position, as in how far the butterfly is open or your foot is on the gas pedal, hence the name Throttle Position Sensor.


You know, I just thought of something. You had the jeep detailed. Did they by chance steam clean the engine bay? Might be worth a peek to see if the sensor got unplugged, during the detail. Or give it a day or so to dry out and see if when you clear the codes, it comes back.. They may have soaked the sensor, and after it dries out it may start functioning again.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:17 PM   #7
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Shelby - I haven't checked the engine for cleaning, but the battery light has been off-and-on for several months. So, while it might have gotten wet (can't go check right now), it's still likely the TPS is faulty. Reading about the symptoms of a bad one is definitely consistent with some things I just assumed were "natural" with my Wrangler.

Good thinking, though!

I'm going to read through this guide and see if I can manage this on my own. Hopefully tonight...
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Old 06-09-2011, 01:00 PM   #8
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Yeah it was one of those been there seen it done. Some of those detail guys are fanatical when doing their stuff. Every so often they forget to plug something back in.
Or the spray guy goes nuts and floods everything out.

The TPS itself is an easy check with an ohm meter. All it is, is a resistor. Hook up the meter to the leads on it, not the wires, and open/close the throttle. The readings should go up and down smoothly, if they skip or go to open readings, you got a bad sensor.

Three terminals, 5 volt power in, ground, signal out.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil F.

Never had a problem with a parts store TPS. Funny I own two Chrysler vehicles and TPS issues are common (OEM sensors). Both of mine have gone bad and replaced with parts store ones.
X2, I have never had any issues with"generic" parts but that in no way means that they are not out there.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:23 PM   #10
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i just changed out my tps not to long ago and i did it in the oreillys parking lot lol, very easy, i personally find it easier to take the 4 bolts that hold the throttle body down off so you can turn the throttle body and get to the 2 bolts holding the TPS on easier, if i remember right the 4 bolts on the throttle body are a 10 and the 2 bolts holding the tps on are either a T15 or T25 dont remember which tho, and if you take the whole throttle body off which is easy its also a good idea to take the IAC off and clean it with some throttle body cleaner and clean out the throttle body too, lots of threads on here on how to clean the IAC but its easy

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Old 06-10-2011, 07:55 AM   #11
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You'll likely need to remove the air hose from the air box to get to the area shown in the diagram above. It really helps. Also, it is a LOT easier if the engine isn't hot!!! Don't ask how I know.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:14 PM   #12
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Also, it is a LOT easier if the engine isn't hot!!! Don't ask how I know.
LOL, I have experience with this too. I just replaced mine last weekend due to a P0121 error. The sensor was $51.99 at O'Reilly Auto Parts. I didn't clear the code, so my RPMs were elevated at idle for a day or so but the computer self adjusted and I'm back to normal.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:03 PM   #13
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my check engine light was on and the dealer was giving me the run around... the comp code was the throttle position sensor. so i went and bought one and threw it on. Now my jeep when stopped at a redlight idles funky. from 800 to 1500 up n down until i take off again. Those were signs of the throttle position sensor. Now what is the next thing that would cause that to happen?
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:19 PM   #14
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It should disappear after awhile, when your on board computer relearns and self adjusts.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroyR219
my check engine light was on and the dealer was giving me the run around... the comp code was the throttle position sensor. so i went and bought one and threw it on. Now my jeep when stopped at a redlight idles funky. from 800 to 1500 up n down until i take off again. Those were signs of the throttle position sensor. Now what is the next thing that would cause that to happen?
Disconnect your lead on your battery overnight to clear the codes so the computer can relearn the sensor.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:57 PM   #16
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ok will do sorry if that was newb question haha... thanks tho
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:14 PM   #17
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ok will do sorry if that was newb question haha... thanks tho
No worries, that's what were here for.
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Never had a problem with a parts store TPS. Funny I own two Chrysler vehicles and TPS issues are common (OEM sensors). Both of mine have gone bad and replaced with parts store ones.
I've owned 2 Chryslers as well...and both had TPS issues. Replaced with parts store TPS sensors and problems got worse/more erratic. Replaced with OEM sensors from the dealer and problems went away. One was a Dodge Dakota, other was my Jeep... the problems with the Jeep were much worse than the Dakota problems. When I put the parts store one on my Jeep, the code went away but my Jeep would frequently start and idle between 1200-2000 RPMs (Edit: might I add that I had reset the computer during the switch as well--soft reset, not a deep clean). Yes, I said IDLE. Sometimes I could feather the gas or press in the clutch and it would drop...other times I would have to shut it off and restart a couple times until it read the sensor correctly and idled normal. Replaced that sensor with an OEM sensor from the dealer and it's never done it since.

We had a guy on a Dodge Dakota forum I used to post on who put an OEM sensor and a parts house sensor on a scope and posted his findings...while the parts house sensor would usually "work"...the signal was WAAAAAAY off compared to how the OEM sensors were designed which meant that they did not operate at all how the sensors were designed to and because of that, sometimes they were hit or miss if they were going to work with that vehicle or not. Since I've run into problems with parts house sensors multiple times... I prefer to save my money and just spend the extra $5-10 at the dealership. ...or I try to find out who the supplier is of the OEM parts I need and order directly from that supplier (ie NGK made the O2 sensors that were used in my truck...and it was much cheaper to buy NGK sensors than to buy sensors from the dealer).
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Old 06-11-2011, 11:07 AM   #19
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I have a 99 Durango and have been on severall Durango/Dodge/Durango forums since 99. Many of use have had issues with the TPS and have used parts store TPSs for years.
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Old 06-11-2011, 11:25 AM   #20
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I have a 99 Durango and have been on severall Durango/Dodge/Durango forums since 99. Many of use have had issues with the TPS and have used parts store TPSs for years.
Ugh I had a 99 Durango once, never had a vehicle fall apart on me as bad as that one! What a POS
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Old 06-11-2011, 11:50 AM   #21
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Even if the parts store sensors are a slightly different resistance, they can work. The computer "learns" the new one - as long as it's somewhat close.

If the old one was giving trouble, the computer "learned" it anyway - trying to do the best it could. In cases like that, often a new good one won't work right for awhile - the computer is still trying to compensate for the old one's problems.
Just driving it the computer will "learn" the new one. But it takes many miles.

Best way is to clear the codes - disconnect the battery for 2 minutes (that also clears the short term memory.) If the errors are not deeply imbedded in the long term memory it will start fresh.

If it still acts strange, leave it disconnected overnight - that will clear all the long term memory. Then drive it like normal, but be sure to hit WOT several times so it "knows" the full range.

The biggest problem with parts store TPS's is they don't last long. The Chinese knock-off's resistor paths are too thin and wear out, and the wiper spring tension is weaker. Compare them with the OEM - you'll see the difference.

That's why several people here have said they've used knock-offs several times.

2 cheapies are far more expensive than getting a real one!
That goes for most, if not all parts. The difference in PRICE is usually only about 15% - but the COST difference is huge.
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Old 06-11-2011, 11:55 AM   #22
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Even if the parts store sensors are a slightly different resistance, they can work. The computer "learns" the new one - as long as it's somewhat close.
Exactly, the computer soon self-calibrates itself when after a new TPS is installed.
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:18 PM   #23
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Something else to watch for, make sure you got the right replacement TPS.
Often auto trans and manual trans vehicles will use a different part #, along with different year production.

If someone isn't paying attention when they look up the part, you may get handed one that's not correct.

And they look identical and bolt right up, and plug in.

And you end up with different problems.

Just look up one for your TJ, up to 95 uses one, 97 to 01 uses a different one, 02 to 06 a third. All identical looking.
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:22 PM   #24
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Just look up one for your TJ, up to 95 uses one, 97 to 01 uses a different one, 02 to 06 a third. All identical looking.
My early '97 TJ (made 3/96) used a '95 and older YJ TPS. I discovered that when the replacement TPS for a '97 didn't fit so I took the old one in and found it used the connector used on '95 and older YJ engines.
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Old 06-12-2011, 07:13 AM   #25
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i have been using a borg warner TPS and it works fine, i unplugged the battery while i was working on it (like i said earlier i changed it in the oreillys parking lot) took me about 5 minutes to change it and that was enough to clear the code and it ran perfect after that and has ever since, just make sure if it comes with an O-ring to use it!!!!! lol the first time i changed it i didnt use the o-ring because my stock one (or the one that was in there anyway) didnt have one and it only lasted till i washed my engine, after the carwash it tossed up the TPS code again and back to oreillys i went


P.S think the longest part of changing it was putting all the preset stations back on my radio :P

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