7 Symptoms of Bad Throttle Position Sensor on Jeep Cherokee

Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) is a minute but vital part of your fuel management system. Many of you Jeepers reading this blog might need to learn this part or its function. 

TPS plays the most critical part in the performance of your Jeep as it is responsible for correct mixing of fuel and air required by the engine for powering up. Any issue with the TPS can lead to no acceleration, idling, stalling, or a complete halt.

Therefore, this blog will walk you through multiple reasons behind bad throttle position, its symptoms, and how to fix this situation.

Also Read: How to Identify and Fix TIPM Failure on Your Jeep

What is the Jeep Cherokee Throttle Position Sensor?

Throttle Position Sensor is a little module in your Jeep Cherokee that observes the depression of the gas pedal, air temperature, engine RPM, and air mass flow; it combines all this data and then determines the ratio of air and fuel to be mixed and delivered to the engine. 

When the TPS goes faulty, either the Jeep’s throttle stays shut, which means no air reaches the car engine, or the throttle stays open, due to which excessive air travels towards the engine leading towards fluctuating idle.

Symptoms of Bad Throttle Position Sensor on Jeep Cherokee

7 Symptoms of Bad Throttle Position Sensor

1: Check engine light:

Several warning lights are designed to notify the driver about any prevalent issue. These check lights work in coherence with the Electronic Control Module of the Jeep and turn on if there is any problem with the working parts. Therefore, if any warning light flickers on your dashboard, it is vital to check them before continuing your journey.

2: Acceleration issues:

In case of a bad TPS, the Jeep doesn’t accelerate as per the depression of the gas pedal, while sometimes it speeds up but lacks power. On the other hand, a few times, your Jeep will speed up without even depressing the gas pedal. These are some common symptoms you will notice if your TPS is faulty.

3: Unusual fuel consumption:

Throttle Position Sensor is the central part of your fuel management system, which is responsible for deciding the correct combining ratio of air and fuel. When it goes bad, the open and shut operation of the throttle suffers, due to which the fuel supply pattern starts varying indefinitely. It might lead to worsening your Jeep’s average fuel economy.

4: Irregular engine idling:

Due to the sporadic working of the throttle position sensor, the engine of the Jeep may misfire or stall at moments. It might also result in irregular car stops, jerking, or idling because of the unusual fuel supply to the engine. 

In case of bad TPS, wrong or unstable signals are sent to the ECU, which ends up in the jerking or stalling of the Jeep.

5: Loss of power:

Loss of power is another symptom that is triggered in case of faulty TPS. Engine RPM doesn’t go over 20-30 MPH even if you fully depress your gas pedal. You may hear the sound of raise but insufficient power to speed up your Jeep.

6: Problematic gear shifting:

The automatic transmission of your Jeep Grand Cherokee requires the gas pedal to work in complete coherence with the gear system. But due to the faulty TPS, shifting gears might feel problematic along with the fluctuating engine RPM.  

7: Limp mode

This specific security feature is turned on when the transmission control unit or engine goes faulty. Once triggered, it may shut off some vital features of your Jeep, including air conditioning, which also leads to a reduction in speed.

Moreover, continuous running of your Jeep in limp mode would affect the performance of your Jeep Cherokee. Therefore, prioritize this issue immediately once your Jeep comes in limp mode.

Also Read: 5 Worst Jeep Wrangler Years to Avoid

How to test a Throttle Position Sensor

Testing a TPS is simple: using a standard ohm meter for a switch and combination type Throttle Position Sensor. 

While you can test a TPS that uses a potentiometer with the help of a voltmeter, check the resistance in different accelerating pedal depressions, and compare it with the car repair manuals to determine whether the TPS needs to get repaired or not.

How to replace the Throttle Position Sensor?

Replacing the old TPS with a new one is a simple process if you are mechanically inclined. Follow the mentioned procedure step by step:

  1. Take an adjustable wrench and loosen the clamp nut of the battery’s negative terminal by moving it in a clockwise direction.
  2. Now locate the throttle position sensor.
  3. By pressing in the tabs, pull out the wiring harness that will separate the TPS from the connector.
  4. Back out the two holding screws and remove the throttle position sensor from the throttle body with the help of moving the screwdriver in an anti-clockwise direction.
  5. Now take the new TPS and install it on the throttle body with the help of moving the screwdriver in a clockwise direction.
  6. Push the wiring harness back into place.
  7. Reconnect the negative terminal of the battering by tightening the nut with that same adjustable wrench used before.
  8. You are done installing the new Throttle Position Sensor in place.

What does it cost to repair a TPS?

Repairing a TPS entirely depends on the type of vehicle you possess. In some Jeep models, TPS is reasonably open and visible to the driver. In this case, it merely costs around $500. In contrast, in some models, it is set at an inaccessible place that requires lots of disassembling. In such a case, a simple TPS replacement would cost around a whopping $1000. Moreover, it would be tricky for a non-mechanical person to pursue a DIY replacement.

Is it worth repairing the Throttle Position Sensor on your Jeep Cherokee?

TPS really affects the performance and fuel economy of your Jeep. Having a sound TPS means a car free of jerks and a smooth journey. But some other factors need to be considered.

For example, suppose your Jeep is new and has no other prevalent issues. In that case, it is recommended to invest some cents in replacing the TPS. in contrast, if your Jeep Cherokee has served you enough, has other mechanical problems, and ran through enough miles, then replacing TPS will not be wise. Instead, you must find a potential buyer and get good money against your Jeep Cherokee.

Wrap up:

Throttle Position Sensor plays an essential role in performance of your Jeep Cherokee in the sense of driving experience and mileage. Therefore, having a perfect TPS is as important as having a working brain in your body.

Therefore, if during driving, you observe any of the symptoms mentioned above leading towards a bad TPS. Replace the TPS yourself or seek the help of a professional mechanic.

In any way, you must not compromise your driving experience or risk your or others’ lives.

Till next time, have a safe drive!

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