How Long Can You Drive with a Bad Throttle Position Sensor?

How Long Can You Drive with a Bad Throttle Position Sensor

The throttle position sensor is a sensor whose seat is on the butterfly shaft. Its function is to follow up an engine’s intake of air. The sensor itself is situated in its place on the shaft to monitor the position of the throttle directly, without any mediator.

So, if it goes bad, how long can you drive with a bad throttle position sensor?

For as long as it will take you to get to the repair shop. Thus it is not safe to drive a car with a bad throttle position sensor for a long distance because the car can accelerate on its own without you stepping on the gas, which if happens on a busy road, may cause an accident.

A throttle position sensor shares a correlation with the motor cortex in the human brain. One of the most important components of the car that keeps your engine running like a throttle body is controlled by the sensor.

Imagine a little unit in your car reporting how far down you have pressed your gas pedal. Your sensor gathers such information, links it to the airflow sensor as well as your engine’s RPM to ascertain that your engine receives a balanced air/fuel ratio.

What is a Bad Throttle Position Sensor

A bad throttle position sensor then is simple to define. Once the sensor cannot perform the above function of monitoring the engine’s intake of air, it is bad.

A bad throttle position sensor, if ignored, can cause severe issues in your car. This has been rightly proven. A damaged sensor shakes your car heavily.

Once the issue is left to persist, major stress is inflicted on your motor and transmission rises to the point of giving away and giving rise to a compulsory replacement.

With a bad throttle position sensor, the car’s throttle body ceases to work properly. It either remains shut or it refuses to close appropriately.

This could mean a severe issue of concern. Once it remains shut, your engine does not receive air hence its refusal to start.

It then means that your vehicle will receive air in excess and cause its idle to be on the high if your throttle gets hooked in an open state.

Air and Fuel are two major and indispensable things necessary for your car to stay running. Appropriately, your car absorbs air through the intake and moves it through the Mass Airflow Sensor. This absorbed air journeys up the intake reaching your throttle body.

In simple terms, the throttle body on its end is a circular valve stationed between your Air Filter and the car’s Intake Manifold.

I attest that previously at former times, it used to be that a wire was attached to the gas pedal of the car, responding in the movement to how you press it.

In modern days now, there exists an electric system with far more efficient output compared to the former times, though not without its peculiar issues.

General signs of a bad throttle position sensor include; a rough idle, a slow idle o,r stalling. Other symptoms include the Check Engine Light being on, impossibility to adjust upwards, or lack of accelerating power.

Can You Drive with a Bad Throttle Position Sensor?

Yes. You can drive with a bad throttle position but not without its difficulties. It can damage your car cause you to spend too much money to repair it. Therefore, it is not advisable to drive a car with a bad position sensor.

The only time you are allowed to drive a car with a bad throttle position sensor is when driving it to the repair shop. If possible, you can have the car towed to the repair shop or request home service.

How Long Can You Drive with a Bad Throttle Position Sensor?

For as long as it will take you to get to the place of repair.

It is difficult to prescribe on a precise basis how long you should drive with a bad throttle position sensor. This is particularly because the car stands the chance to accelerate on its own without stepping on the gas.

When this happens on a busy road, you can imagine what is likely to happen. Hence, the best to do is manage to drive down as slowly and carefully as possible to the nearest mechanic or your regular mechanical hands.

Dangers of Driving with a Bad Throttle Position Sensor

If you drive with your car in any of the following conditions, you do yourself harm and maybe more harm to other road users -drivers or pedestrians.

1. Accelerating Power Issues

It is dangerous to drive a car that accelerates but lacks power, which jerks and picks up, suddenly accelerating without stepping on the accelerator or which would not accelerate as it should.

2. Rough or Slow idle

Stalling, misfires or rough idles are extremely dangerous in the account of your vehicle. Misfires for instance can result in engine knock. Such damage that would cost so much to repair!

3. Irregular Fuel Consumption

The throttle position sensor functions with other sensors to ascertain your car runs efficiently. When these sensors go faulty, other components resume working differently to cover for lack of supply of airflow.

Typically, when your throttle position sensor goes bad, unusual fuel consumption sets in.

4. Warning Lights

The check engine light is to warn you of any of the sensors which go faulty at any time. Once the check engine light turns on, you should inspect the car to search out where the issue lies. This must be done as soon as the word soon, so it does not get out of hand.

Can a Bad Throttle Position Sensor Affect Transmission?

Very well. A bad Throttle Position Sensor affects transmission.

The Throttle Position Sensor measures the throttle position. The gas pedal, in turn, controls the throttle position. It deciphers engine load and on the occasion of any failure, it results in transmission shifting problems, automatically.


Till forever, the car will always require a measure of attention for the repair of its damaged parts. Interestingly, you are reminded that while some of these parts are worth fixing, other ones are not worth the repair or the expenses to be incurred.

For a bad Throttle Position Sensor, a relatively new car with low miles and long years ahead of it may be worth the effort, while, for a car with existing mechanical issues or damages such as high mileage, you may just want to consider disposing of it.

The Throttle Position Sensor is sensitive and an essential component to the extent of the longevity of your car, particularly your engine.

If you would not trivialize your health at the instance of any symptom, but would rather check up immediately to know what is wrong, you should not ignore the signal from your Sensor.