When to Service Your Electronic Throttle Control
What is Electronic Throttle Control?
Your vehicle is designed to operate at its peak performance, but like anything else, it will encounter mechanical and electrical issues. One issue that may arise is problems with the electronic throttle control. This component is crucial to fuel efficiency and proper engine operations. When the electronic throttle control is functioning as it should, drivers notice a smooth and fuel-efficient ride.
Old throttle controllers used a cable from the pedal to the throttle control housing to function, while more modern throttle controllers are electronic, using sensors and computers to carry out operations. These older throttle controllers connected the gas pedal with a control linkage on the throttle body via a cable. Pressing the pedal opens and closes a valve in the throttle body housing.
Newer throttle controllers are referred to as Electronic Throttle Control or ETC. Instead of using a cable, small computerized sensors relay information about the gas pedal position to ensure it is correct. This newer technology has helped improve fuel efficiency and increase engine performance.
Benefits of Electronic Throttle Control
The throttle control works with the acceleration pedal, Electronic Control Module (ECM), and a throttle body valve. It helps regulate fuel usage when the acceleration pedal is pressed. Lowered emissions and better engine operations are benefits of the ETC.
When the acceleration pedal is engaged the electronic throttle control informs the main ECM how much the pedal is pressed. The ECM is a computer that is like a brain for your car. Many sensors and components relay important vehicle operations to this computer. The electronic throttle control uses sensors to relay information to the ECM that can help determine changes or problems with fuel usage. This process can become faulty which can lead to mechanical or electrical issues.
Signs of a Faulty Electronic Throttle Control
It is important to troubleshoot a faulty throttle control as soon as possible to avoid issues. Fortunately, these days we don’t have to worry as much since most kinks have been worked out. There are some signs that can indicate that the electronic throttle control is bad. These signs include:
- Less gas mileage – If you’ve purchased the wrong throttle control it will cause the amount of air can fluctuate in the throttle body. This can be problematic causing fuel economy to noticeably decrease. This is one of the most common problems of a bad throttle sensor.
- Idling issues – Another common sign of poorly made electronic throttle control is sporadic idling. Your vehicle may stall or hesitate as well.
- Indication light – Your dashboard has warning and service lights that activate when there are issues. A bad electronic throttle control will cause this light to come on.
- Acceleration problems – Random acceleration can occur while driving. This can be a serious problem and your vehicle should be examined immediately in this rare case.
Benefits of New Electronic Throttle Control
The benefits of modern electronic throttle control definitely outweigh the older devices. Older systems were not as sensitive and they did not maximize fuel economy for this reason. An improvement in fuel economy is usually one of the first benefits noticed over the newer and older throttle controllers. The modern ETC can make subtle adjustments in fuel usage based on how you use the gas pedal. This can help save fuel in the long run. Something every car owner can agree on is a plus.
Another noticeable benefit of electronic throttle control is an increase in overall engine performance. This happens due to adjustments made by the ETC based on driving habits. How you use the acceleration pedal is a factor in this process. A smoother ride and better performance are often attributed to the ETC functions.
The Importance of Servicing Electronic Throttle Control
Make sure you decide on the quality, and a newer version of electronic throttle control to avoid any future problems. Your vehicle will not perform at its peak and it can be a safety issue if this problem is neglected. In addition to poorly operating and potentially unsafe drivability, other systems can be affected by faulty electronic throttle control.
Since every vehicle is different the cost of servicing the ETC can range from relatively inexpensive to somewhat costly. Luckily it is a fairly quick service so you can be back on the road quickly. It never hurts to regularly check your vehicle anyways.
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