Service Electronic Throttle Control (Meaning, Causes & Solutions)

Did you see the service electronic throttle control message on your vehicle’s dashboard and are wondering what it means, what caused it to come on, and how to fix it? If so, then look no further because we have the answers you need

This article explains what the service electronic throttle control message means, what caused it, how to fix it, and more.

Let’s begin!

Why Does the Service Electronic Throttle Control Come On?

Service Electronic Throttle Control

The electronic throttle control light only comes on when it wants to inform the driver that a mistake has been found.

One of the most common reasons for an electronic throttle control light to come on is a faulty throttle control sensor and a faulty throttle accelerator pedal sensor; these are not the only things that can cause an electronic throttle control light to come on.

The problems associated with the activation of an electronic control light are explained below;

1. Faulty Throttle Control Sensor

The engine control module relies on the information provided by this sensor to check on the throttle and know if the throttle is working according to the commands of the Engine Control Module (ECM).

Thus if the throttle control sensor sends back irregular information, the service electronic throttle control light comes on to compel the driver to find out the problem.

2. Faulty Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor

The accelerator pedal position sensor is an integral part of the electronic throttle control. The engine control module communicates with this sensor to determine how fast the driver wants to travel.

After this information is acquired, the engine control module tells the throttle how much to open or close its valve. If the ECM receives irregular information from this sensor, the service electronic throttle control light comes on.

3. Stuck Throttle Body (Caused by Carbon Build-Up)

The throttle body has a valve that can open and close. This valve usually has an even surface, which can change if the carbon deposits on that surface increase significantly. The service electronic throttle control light illuminates when this happens to compel the vehicle driver to clean the valve surface or change the throttle body entirely.

4. Clogged Butterfly Valve

The butterfly valve’s function is the path through which air intake happens, and this air goes straight into the engine. Therefore, the service electronic throttle control message comes on when this valve gets clogged.

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What Is Electronic Throttle Control?

Previous throttle technologies involved using a type of wire that connects the pedal responsible for acceleration to the vehicle’s throttle body.

However, electronic throttle technology is an advancement that replaces the wire connection with sensors and actuators, making the throttle control electronic.

Electronic throttle control is not different from regular mechanical throttle control. However, it comes with advantages that improve fuel economy.

For example, if the sensor or actuator connection breaks, you lose control of the throttle in your vehicle.

To avoid this, manufacturers of cars install a monitoring system full of sensors to check on the vehicle’s electronic throttle control progress.

The electronic throttle control is in charge of transferring information between the throttle body and the accelerator pedal.

How Does the Electronic Throttle Control Work?

Service Electronic Throttle Control

The components of an electronic throttle control are the accelerator pedal, the electronic throttle body (ETB), and the engine control module.

The accelerator pedal does not look that different from what it was before automobile technological advancement, and the only difference is the connecting wire or cable it comes with is replaced with sensors (usually more than one), and the primary sensor is called the accelerator position sensor (APS).

The electronic throttle body (ETB) has a throttle valve that can be opened and closed with the help of an electronic motor.

The engine control module, also known as the power train control module (ECM or PCM), is a control unit that takes in information or signal from the accelerator position sensor, which detects the positioning of the accelerator pedal.

It combines this information from other sensors like engine speed, vehicle speed, and cruise control switches to determine throttle position.

Then, the engine control module uses the electric motor with the help of a closed-loop control algorithm to open the throttle valve to the desired angle.

Also Read: Service Stability System (Meaning, Causes & Solution)

How to Fix the Service Electric Throttle Control Warning?

The advantage electrical throttle control has over mechanical units is that electrical units require less maintenance than mechanical units.

Therefore, you can quickly troubleshoot the electronic throttle control unit for any electrical problems.

However, mechanical faults can cause your electronic throttle control to malfunction.

For example, the butterfly valve and the throttle body have a filter, but when this filter is not working, the driver needs to be cleaning the valve with a toothbrush or solvent from time to time.

Rather than changing the entire system, individual components of the electric throttle control unit can be monitored and adjusted when necessary.

Also Read: Service Tire Monitor System (Meaning, Causes & Solutions)

How Do I Reset My Electronic Throttle Control Manually?

If your electronic throttle malfunctions when all mechanical components and sensors are in proper working condition, you can try resetting the electronic throttle control manually.

You have to be careful when resetting your electronic throttle control. First, be sure that the accelerator pedal is free from any pressure.

Next, switch the ignition on and off, then wait for ten seconds. Within these ten seconds, make sure the throttle valve is oscillating.

Service Electronic Throttle Control

How Much Would It Cost to Fix the Service Electronic Throttle Control?

It costs between $300 to $1,500 to fix the service electronic throttle control fault. If your electronic throttle controller is visible, it costs less to repair, around $300.

Electric throttle controller that is hidden costs $600-700 to fix. The cost of fixing an electronic throttle control can get as high as $1500.

Frequently Asked Questions – Service Electronic Throttle Control

Is It Safe to Drive With an Electronic Throttle Control Light?

Anytime the electronic throttle control light comes on, the system has discovered an error. Of course, the vehicle is not disabled or shut down, so the driver can still move, but it is advisable to find the nearest stop, check on your car, and fix any problems.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace the Electrical Throttle Control Unit?

The mechanic labor is as high as $125, while the replacement of the electronic throttle control unit is as high as $700, depending on its position. Finally, at the maximum price of $500, you can acquire the cost of parts or components of the electronic throttle control unit.

What Benefits Does an Electrical Throttle Control (Etc) Unit Offer?

The benefits of an Electronic throttle control unit are reduced emissions, increased fuel efficiency, less maintenance, and increased reliability. Furthermore, it creates an avenue to make modern features like cruise control and adaptative cruise possible.

Conclusion – Service Electronic Throttle Control

When the service electronic throttle control message comes on, it means that a fault has been detected in the vehicle’s electronic control system. The most common cause of this message is a faulty sensor.

Despite its advantages and disadvantages, electronic throttle control is a welcomed development in the automobile industry.

This electronic throttle control requires less maintenance in comparison to mechanical units. However, once the service electronic control light comes on, you should visit your auto electrician as soon as possible and get the fault fixed.

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