Nowadays, vehicles feature more electrical systems than ever. Although these systems make for far more convenient vehicles as well as driving experiences, they are not without a fault. Often times there can be issues, more often than you would get with a mechanical system due to electrical systems being far more intricate and complicated, so there are more things that can go wrong. One of these automotive systems is the vehicle’s throttle control, also known as drive-by-wire. This system plays a role in the amount of fuel being used when you press the accelerator pedal.
Since it’s an electronic system, it controls the throttle body (a mechanical component) through to electrical signals. The throttle body is a part located between the air filter and intake manifold that helps control the mixture of fuel and air needed to start and keep the vehicle going. Some older vehicles may not have electronic throttle controls, or yours may have issues with it. In both cases, if you want to reap the benefits of an ETC system then you should consider installing a throttle module.
A throttle controller can provide the same functionalities you had in your vehicle or make it run better. This all depends on the type of throttle controller you get. If it fits with the year and model of your vehicle then it will work as intended, otherwise don’t expect much from it.
How Do I Install a Throttle Controller?
So, the process we all want to know is how to install a throttle controller. Fortunately, installing a throttle module is fairly easy. While not all modules are installed the same, the majority of them are installed by unplugging the factory harness cable from the accelerator cable first.
Next, you have to plug the cable that came with the module. This cable needs to be plugged into the accelerator pedal. Once that’s done, you then plug the factory cable into the socket of the module’s adaptor. This adaptor is known as the piggyback adaptor.
Then, get yourself some mounting tape and fix the module on the dashboard. It doesn’t matter where it is, as long as it’s in arms reach and out of the way of other controls.
What to Expect From a Throttle Controller
The number one difference you’ll notice, and what most people notice when they first install an electronic throttle controller is the change in fuel consumption. Your vehicle will start to consume fuel more efficiently, thus fuel consumption will be lower than usual. Better fuel economy results in a cleaner environment and more money in your pocket.
While you would think that great fuel economy may lead to poor performance, that is simply not the case with an electronic throttle controller module. While you won’t be able to make your vehicle faster, you will have more control when off-roading and in low-range driving. There will be no accelerator lag or restrictions being put on the engine.
Since the accelerating pedal is the one that’s being affected the most here, your vehicle’s acceleration rate will be vastly improved. With better fuel management and the correct mixture being set by the module, you’ll get smoother acceleration for your vehicle. It’s not going to be anything groundbreaking, but you’re going to feel the difference when going from idling to moving.
A more efficient and better performing vehicle is a vehicle that will last you a long time. It’s not that this depends on just the throttle controller, but if you take care of your vehicle and have the module set on the auto setting, you can expect a longer lifespan of both the module and your vehicle.
Signs of a Bad Electronic Throttle Controller
If the throttle controller in your vehicle does go bad you will start to feel fuel mileage decreasing. This is caused due to the butterfly valve inside the throttle body acting up and thus, allowing either too little or too much air to come through. This affects the throttle controller module too. Your fuel economy will change drastically because of this, and you may need to bring your vehicle to a mechanic.
Since a throttle module is hooked up to the accelerator pedal, it will affect your vehicle’s acceleration the most. Your vehicle might start to accelerate more than you need it to, or it can result in a lack of acceleration speed. You may not be able to start your vehicle properly. It may take multiple tries to get your vehicle going.
Something that happens quite often when an electronic throttle controller becomes faulty is random idle surges. Sporadic idling may not be the only thing here. Your vehicle can also experience engine misfires, as well as rough idling and stalling too. If your vehicle idles too low or too high it can also be related to an issue with the throttle controller or even a bad module.