Diagnosing High Failure Rates in OEM Electronic Throttle Bodies

Diagnosing High Failure Rates in Electronic Throttle Bodies

Electronic throttle control faults can occur and they can be frustrating for motorists as well as technicians. 

Today’s Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) has been around for decades. Known by various names and configurations, these systems have helped improve fuel economy, reduce vehicle emissions, protect related powertrain components and provide an overall better driving experience.

Yet for all its benefits, ETC isn’t perfect.  Faults can occur and they can be frustrating for motorists as well as technicians. 

In many cases, a fault will happen for just an instant in time, but will result in a limp-in condition for the driver. Customers may show up with an array of concerns caused by ETC systems – an inoperative cruise control, the vehicle may be stuck in limp-in mode or a warning light may be illuminated.

The first step in diagnosing an ETC fault is to understand the principles of the system and how the components function. Multiple sensors are used to provide driver and vehicle feedback to the electronic throttle body – multiple sensors are used for safety and each sensor operates independent of the others.

Of course, multiple sensors require careful diagnosis. When attempting to diagnose an Electronic Throttle Control fault, it’s important for the technician to follow diagnostic trouble codes carefully, always check technical service bulletins and look for software updates. Many times, the DTC will be divided into three areas: Accelerator Pedal Position (APP), logic (PCM or wiring) or throttle body (TPS.) Keep in mind that other parts of the vehicle’s control system may cause throttle-related symptoms but aren’t necessarily the ETC’s fault. For example, wheel speed sensors can affect throttle opening so check them first. 

In order to avoid idle drivability concerns, after a component from the electronic throttle system has been replaced, it is important that the PCM memory be erased, and the electronic throttle control system values be learned. While some vehicles require a reflash, and others require an extensive relearn procedure, some manufacturers’ procedures are relatively simple. In some cases, these values can be learned by operating the engine for two minutes in park with AC off, two minutes in park with AC on, two minutes in drive with AC off, two minutes in drive with the AC on.

For more information, visit StandardETB.com.

You May Also Like

PRT Launches 46 New Products on Complete Strut Assemblies 

The new items represents more than 6 Million vehicles in new coverage.

PRT is continuously expanding the portfolio of Complete Strut Assemblies in the North American Aftermarket. A brand of the ADD USA group, one of the largest manufacturers of Complete Strut Assemblies in the world, announces the arrival of new applications of the component for light vehicles, SUV’s and pickups. The launches include important models on the national scenario such as BMW 5 Series, Jeep Renegade, Subaru Forester, in addition to brand new applications such as the RAM Promaster 1500 2020, among others. 

Milwaukee Introduces New Neck Light

The REDLITHIUM USB Neck Light provides unmatched lighting for those hard-to-see places.

New Rislone Product Address Power Steering-Related Issues

This product is a dependable solution for customers suffering steering “whine.”

VW Passat/Golf, Audi A3 Transmission Oil Change Procedures

In this video, VAICO experts explain the service requirements of a 2012 VW Passat 2.0L TDI.

Westar Releases 58 New Engine And Transmission Mounts

These newly released items are all in stock and ready for immediate shipment.

Other Posts

Audi EVAP Case Study

Let’s look at some of the things that you should know about Audi EVAP systems before trying to tackle such a repair.

BMW Adaptations

Let’s look at five common adaptations for late-model BMWs, and what you should know before you start a repair.

Standard Motor Products Announces Pro Training Power Hour

The free, live/virtual technical series presented by Standard’s professional trainers will be geared toward technicians.

Subaru HVAC Diagnostics

On some more modern Subaru vehicles, you might be better off grabbing your scan tool.