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Friday, February 20, 2009

Throttle Position Sensor





The top two photos are of a Throttle Position Sensor off a 2005 Ford Expedition with 5.4L Engine. The TPS acting up will cause a variety of goofy driving problems, including sticking you on the roadside.
A repair which has cropped up lately in the last couple months on the 5.4 Liter Ford engine is a faulty Throttle Position Sensor. The latest one yesterday was a 2005 Ford Expedition with only 31,000 miles on it. They all had relatively low mileage, between 30,000 and 60,000 miles. The symptoms were relatively the same: no power on the freeway, surging RPM’s, and check engine light on with various throttle position sensor codes. I’m writing this up because when I see something like Throttle Position Sensors acting up on similar applications in a short period of time, it may mean a pattern failure, where I will be seeing more. The pictures above show what a Throttle Position Sensor looks like and where it’s mounted. When the gas pedal is pushed down to accelerate the vehicle, the TPS feeds throttle position electrically to the onboard computer. I included a different view of the plastic intake on the Expedition’s engine.

Tune-ups on these 5.4L Engines can be very expensive. They have a built in problem in that when the spark plugs are removed, they many times strip the threads out of the head. Techs try to avoid this by spraying WD-40 into the spark plug hole at a depth so it pools around the plug base. Loosening the plug a quarter turn at a time and tightening it occasionally while letting it soak in the WD-40 in between helps.

01/12/12 - With so many comments on this post, I decided to add an addendum to it covering some of the further items afflicting the Expedition. Here’s a list of some things I’ve experienced with these.
1.                  If you have multiple throttle codes, it will almost always mean an electronic throttle body replacement along with the throttle position sensor.
2.                  The wiring harness running behind the Exhaust Gas Recirculation tube chaffs through the harness wiring and causes a multitude of goofy sensor and code problems.
3.                  They have updated spark plugs for these. In a related note, misfiring coils and spark plugs also cause an array of unrelated codes. My advice is change both the spark plugs and individual coil on plug assemblies every 60,000 miles.
4.                  The alternator going out on the Expeditions can and does cause electronic interference, disrupting engine and transmission operation.
5.                  A link to the Technical Service Bulletin for Transmission and Drivability problems related to a check ball breaking inside the transmission valve body.
6.                  I came across myriad problems in the East and Midwest after much research where a leaking windshield leaks water into the fuse box. The fuel pump relay is built into it so the fuse box has to be replaced when leakage is found. If the C270 dark green wire at the fuse box has no power it would point to corrosion in the fuse box. That could also cause myriad weird other electrical problems.
That’s all for this update, but if you’re appreciative of the information, here is a link to my new novel COLD BLOODED for Nook and Kindle. If you’re kind enough to read it and like it, please review it on the site you purchase it from. Thank You! Every little bit helps my writing gig. :)

503 comments:

1 – 200 of 503   Newer›   Newest»
Virginia Lady said...

Ick. Glad I don't have one of those. Of course, my cars come with their own foibles.

BernardL said...

Those foibles, or pattern failures as the repair business calls them, make life a little too exciting for both the people driving the vehicles and the ones fixing them. Thanks VL. :)

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I was driving my bosses
05 4WD Expedtion and when I put it
in drive and the vehicle took off at full throttle.Barely able to
stop vehicle before I ran onto
highway. Ford checked vehicle
and said ok. Has anyone head of or had a similar problem?

BernardL said...

Anon, unless the throttle was physically stuck for some reason, the throttle position sensor could have definitely caused your unintended acceleration. With a problem that dangerous it might be a good idea to take a chance and have Ford change the TPS.

Gordon said...

Looks like I've got a simliar problem to Shawn. 2005 Expedition 60k. I'm off to Autozone to get the codes read today. Couple of quick questions: is the removal as straightfoward as it looks? As does the unit/engine need recalibrating after a new TPS is fitted - or is it just plug and play.

Thanks for the info and photos - makes this look easy!!!

BernardL said...

It is plug and play, Gordon, but you will need the proper torx bit for the screw removal. You will need to position the metal tang which rests on the throttle actuator properly. Pay close attention when you separate the TPS and you'll be fine.

Gordon said...

Okay, so it sounds straightforward enought to fit. I went to Autozone and there were no faults found. Would the TPS failure always log a fault, if so, could it be something else?

Thanks for your help.

BernardL said...

No, the TPS does not always set a code, but it usually does with symptoms like Shawn had, Gordon. Give me the specifics of your symptoms exactly and I'll come up with some possibilities. My advice is to buy the TPS from Ford if you decide to replace it. After market TPS replacements are a gamble.

Amy said...

I have a 2005 Ford Expedition with 62,000 miles. I have had the same problem with the acceleration. My mechanic changed the throttle body and it did not fix the problem. Their computer diagnostics showed no problem. The only light coming on was for the air bags. The mechanic spent hours trying all of the tests they know for about a week. He brought it to a friend he had at the dealership and it has been there for days. The computer diagnostics still all read normal so they started disconnecting sensors to see if they could override it. Well, this finally worked and the car ran properly. They are saying the sensors which control timing are causing the acceleration problem in order to keep the engine from blowing out. But they still cannot find the cause. They said they will have to dis-assemble the engine plugs one by one and look for the cause. They have recommended replacing the engine as an option. My mind is boggled ? Does any of this make sense ? My car is not working right, they cannot diagnosis it at Ford and a new engine is recommended ! Of course they are not offering to pay for it. Completely shocked.

BernardL said...

Amy, if you give me the exact symptoms you’re experiencing, I’ll try and give you some ideas as to what may be wrong. You didn’t mention whether anyone changed your throttle position sensor or not. I’ll need to know what exactly besides the throttle body they changed in the way of sensors. When the mechanic mentioned the sensors feeding the computer with data so as to control timing, he was talking about the crank angle sensor which lets the computer know what position the crankshaft is in and the cam sensor which relays cam position. Part of the job a throttle position sensor does is give the computer the exact position the throttle is in. If it feeds the wrong data to the computer such as telling it the throttle is all the way to its highest end even though the vehicle is only running at normal speed, the computer may shut down the engine to protect it from over-revving. I’m with you as to being confused in what the Ford place came up with. I don’t know how they came up with replacing the engine to get rid of what appears to be an electronics problem. The only non-electronic problem I can think of which could cause erratic running where the vehicle runs normally one minute and then stalls or runs rough the next is the fuel system – fuel quality or contamination, electric fuel pump or filter, fuel injectors.

The only thing I can think of they mean by taking out the spark plugs is if they want to do a compression test. The scanner will tell them digitally whether the spark plugs are firing without taking them out.

Gordon said...

Bernard, I'm still planning on replacing the TPS but when I went to the Ford dealer they only offered the whole throttle body assembly. Does Ford supply the TPS by itself? If not I'm venturing into the aftermarket world.

BernardL said...

Yes, Gordon, Ford sells the TPS separately. I've purchased many of them. I would not buy an aftermarket TPS. Find a different dealer. There is a number right on the
TPS if it's not worn away.

Gordon said...

Bernard, The latest is I got the codes read at two different stores (Autozone and Murray's) and both times it came up with no faults found. I can get just the TPS at a different Ford dealer, but now wonder whether that's the true root cause. Hasn't happened since August, but get engine stuck in idle, with service light on. Resets with inginition on/off. Thanks,

BernardL said...

'but get engine stuck in idle, with service light on. Resets with ignition on/off.'

I need more clarification on this, Gordon. Are you still having a problem? If so, I would need details as to exactly what the vehicle is doing wrong. Ford has had trouble with the electronically controlled throttle bodies on these. It's just I recommend the TPS when diagnostics point to the throttle and a code is rendered. The TPS is a known culprit for stall outs on deceleration, flat spots on acceleration, loss of power, and even engine downs at freeway speeds. It is inexpensive compared to complete throttle replacement.

bennettquad said...

I have a 2005 Exp and about 2 months ago we were at the gas station and the engine light came on and the vehicle would only travel about 15 mph. I waited a few minutes and things returned to normal. Did get a code for throttle sensor but my neighbor cleared the fault because he said it seems to be running normally. For the past two weeks we have had problems with it starting, and at this point it wont start at all. Any suggestions? Fuel pump changed and new fuel module.

BernardL said...

If there has not been an interruption of power (battery disconnect) you need to check the codes first. If the TPS code has been repeated, the sensor or throttle could be the culprit although the vehicle will usually start and stall. I have also run across no start conditions on those due to the ignition coil power relay failing. I'm afraid though it could cost you a lot of money parts changing without getting it checked professionally, bennettquad

bennettquad said...

It has started and stalled on two occasions after about two minutes.

BernardL said...

'It has started and stalled on two occasions after about two minutes.'

It could be just about anything without a diagnosis, including the Power Control Computer. The ones I've run across with a bad ignition coil power relay would try to fire too. I'm sorry but I don't have any simple answers for you without testing.

Javier said...

Hi I have a 2005 lincoln navigator and sometimes turns off randomly and turns back on after 2 seconds. the check engine light does not turn on but once when it turned off it started beeping and the display said electronic throttle control failure. do u think the tps could cause this

BernardL said...

It can, Javier, but so can the electronic throttle body. The Throttle Position Sensor is a lot cheaper than the throttle body and if you're guessing, I'd start with that. It is important to know what codes are in the computer memory. Your Expedition may have set other codes which could point in another direction.

Anonymous said...

My 2005 Ford Expedition displayed a message of electronic throttle position 2x out of 7 failures in last 2 days. The engine dies when coming to a stop, like the idle speed is too low. In park the idle is around 600 rpm, and when you put in drive with break on it is around 500rpm. Any help appreciated. I am just putting in nuetral when coming to a stop to prevent problem, since idle in nuetral is also around 600 rpm's

BernardL said...

'My 2005 Ford Expedition displayed a message of electronic throttle position 2x out of 7 failures in last 2 days. The engine dies when coming to a stop, like the idle speed is too low. In park the idle is around 600 rpm, and when you put in drive with break on it is around 500rpm. Any help appreciated. I am just putting in nuetral when coming to a stop to prevent problem, since idle in nuetral is also around 600 rpm's'

The natural progression in a case like yours considering the trouble Ford has had with the electronic throttle would be to change the Throttle Position Sensor first - and if that doesn't fix the problem then proceed to the more expensive fix of replacing the electronic throttle. This of course is assuming you have completed tune-up maintenance, vacuum leak checks, fuel injector & misfire readings, etc. The RPM indicates you don't have a vacuum leak because the RPM would be higher.

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem as many of the posts here: "Check Throttle Control" message and loss of power. Restart the vehicle and it has been working for the last 2 days since. Also have notice some hesitation on starting, but only two times. 59,000 Miles. Took it to ford - told me it needs a new throttle body and computer reprogrammed $640. Another Ford dealer quoted me $375 and said reprogramming the computer may not be necessary. Code is P3104. Any suggestions on how to proceed? I see a lot of suggestions to replace the sensor not the throttle body.

BernardL said...

'Any suggestions on how to proceed? I see a lot of suggestions to replace the sensor not the throttle body.'

That's a tough one, Anon. You have to understand it's impossible for me to give much besides an educated guess. I start out replacing the Throttle Position Sensor in milder cases like yours because it's a good first step. If the problem persists, the electronic throttle body would be the next step. When you have to rely on a shop's diagnosis the only thing you can do is make sure they give you a guarantee your problem will be solved if you okay the repair. As the second Ford place stated it's not always wise to do a computer reflash unless the reflash was issued for a specific set of symptoms.

Anonymous said...

I have a 2005 navigator and the other day I was on the freeway when the check electronic throttle light came on and then the truck lost all speed. I still had power but could not go anywhere. I took it to the dealer and they said I need to replace the whole throttle body. My question is could I just change the sensor first and hope that fixes the problem or should I just replace the throttle body as recommened by the dealer. Also when they change the body do they change the sensor along with it like is it part of the whole body?

BernardL said...

'I have a 2005 navigator and the other day I was on the freeway when the check electronic throttle light came on and then the truck lost all speed. I still had power but could not go anywhere. I took it to the dealer and they said I need to replace the whole throttle body. My question is could I just change the sensor first and hope that fixes the problem or should I just replace the throttle body as recommended by the dealer.'

I would replace the sensor first, but I don't know what they saw when examining the throttle body.

'Also when they change the body do they change the sensor along with it like is it part of the whole body?'

Good question. I'm not sure if they do or not. When I have had to buy the whole throttle body, it did not come with the sensor. The one time I found the throttle binding and had to replace the throttle body for a mechanical reason, I also changed the sensor too.

Anonymous said...

Another quick question, weeks before the electronic throttle light came on the car was feeling almsot as if the transmission was slipping. The car would rev up or the rpms would go high but the car did not accelerate. The dealer did not see any codes regarding this so I was just wondering if the tps could make the car do something like this? It also acts funny when going downhill I guess the cars engine automatically shifts a gear down to save work on the engine but once I'm off the hill the car doesn't always go back into the right gear???? Any ideas why?

BernardL said...

That does seem like a transmission problem, Anon. The sensor or throttle body can make the rpm's rev up and down, but in gear it would be accompanied by an increase or decrease in speed, not just a rev. I've had a few Expeditions with transmission problems that did not set any code for it.

Kimby said...

Tonight I was driving at 30 MPH and my 05' Ford Expedition lost all power and I could not accelerate but the car remained running. At the same time I got a warning alarm and message the siad check electronic throttle control.
I turned the car off and then restarted and all was fine. The only other issue I have had with this car has been occasionally I will go to start the car and almost mid-start it just stops turning over. As if I stopped turning the key half way through...but I don't move anything. I then turn the key back wait a few seconds and try again and it will then start like normal or one or two times it has done it a second time and then started on the third try. I have taken it to the shop for this and they check everything and can't find anything wrong and can't duplicate the problem.

Could the two issues be related?? Do I need to go to a dealer for this problem or can I just go to my normal repair shop that has maintained all our cars??

BernardL said...

Kimby, the first problem matches the throttle position sensor symptoms very well. If it were in my shop I would start with the sensor first before changing the more expensive throttle body.

I can only give you an educated guess at your starting problem. I would begin with a battery test along with checking the cables going to the starter for chafing or looseness. With those symptoms if the battery and cables were good I would next look at either the ignition switch or security system.

If your regular shop has the equipment for testing I don't see why they couldn't test your vehicle. Intermittent problems are hard to diagnose whether you're a dealer or an independent, Kimby.

Kimby said...

Thanks BernardL,

I am going to take it to our shop. I called them they seem to be aware of this problem. They said they will be checking the sensor first.

They have looked at and tested all the things you mentioned for the start problem, but everything tests fine. It happens very infrequently so I guess we will just have to wait until it becomes more chronic. Thanks for your input!!!

BernardL said...

You're welcome, Kimby. It might be necessary to simply replace the sensor. I've had ones where even with no dead spots showing up on the scanner they would act up when heated at roadway speeds.

I was thinking about your starting cutout problem and it could be the sensor gives the computer a false throttle position reading like wide open throttle intermittently which could interrupt cranking.

Anonymous said...

i have lincoln naVIGATOR 2000 and car does not accelerate above 20 miles iread the codes and got p0743,p0755,p1747 ,p0443,p1451,p1409,p0135,p0155 but i dont think this is the problem,also have service engine soon,and the overdrive light blinking on and off

BernardL said...

"i have lincoln naVIGATOR 2000 and car does not accelerate above 20 miles iread the codes and got p0743,p0755,p1747 ,p0443,p1451,p1409,p0135,p0155 but i dont think this is the problem,also have service engine soon,and the overdrive light blinking on and off"

Anon, you need to take your Navigator to a place you trust for check out. With that many codes you may have a main computer failure or a corroded ground. My first step would be to check power an ground connections.

ROB_PAGE@ATT.NET said...

Bernard, great info here....thanks much. Hopefully you have some words of wisdom for me. I have a code reader but I have never registered a code. I have 3 intermittent problems which I think are related to the "drive by wire" system on my 2004 Merc Mountaineer 4.6L. 1-cruise control operates about 50% of the time (once it is on, it will work until I hit the brakes). 2-vehicle will stall every now and again while just driving down the road (usually on highway). 3-very noticeable and jarring "clunk" which will jolt the vehicle while at freeway speeds. Symptom 1 is very frequent especially in the cold weather. Symptom 2 & 3 only happen 10-12 times per year and almost always in cold, wet weather. I am leaning toward Throttle Position Sensor, Accelerator Position Sensor, or entire Throttle Body. What would you say is best to do first?
Thanks again for all the info
Rob

BernardL said...

Rob, the fact you're not getting any codes makes me think you have a corroded ground connection somewhere. One bad spot is at the rear of the right head. Check your power connections near the battery and go over all the ground connections you can locate. Although either the Throttle Body or Throttle Position Sensor can act up without setting a code, the TPS would be a good gamble for the intermittent problems you're experiencing if the power and ground connections are clean and tight.

dwhst9@yahoo.com said...

We also have an 05 Expedition. Out of the blue, it wouldn't start this morning. Would just crank and crank and crank. I was able to get it started but it will randomly want to cut out. It will sit an idle for a bit, then sometimes stall out. While driving it seems to cut out and then go again.

The exhaust smells very rich. It also cuts out sometimes while trying to start it like I released the key and turned it to the start position again.

I'm going to see if any of the dealers have the TPS in stock. The fuel pump assembly is on national back order until Feb!!! I hope it's not that...the wife is not happy!

dwhst9@yahoo.com said...

Also wanted to say the check engine light is NOT on.

BernardL said...

Unfortunately there are a myriad number of possible causes for your symptoms, DW. First, because of the halt in cranking suddenly, I would examine every inch of the cables going down to the starter and to ground. Especially pay attention to where the starter cable passes over the passenger side valve cover. Ground connections are very important. Check for corrosion at any ground connection.

Leaking injectors can and do cause rich smelling exhaust. So many people run cheap gas through these because of price, the deposits from the low grade stuff clogs the injectors.

Exhaust gas recirculation valves can become plugged with carbon deposits making them stick open. This will cause no power, hard starting, and rough running. It won't cause an interruption in cranking though.

I must caution you. If you start parts changing, it may cost you much more than if you took the vehicle into a trusted repair shop. You may have history codes stored in the computer even though the check engine light isn't on which would point to a problem area.

dwhst9@yahoo.com said...

I towed the our SUV to the shop and the diagnosis is a failed fuel pump. All OEM fuel pumps are on national backorder until mid-Feb. Nobody has the Carters or Airtex pumps in stock either. I'm so screwed it's not even funny. THANKS FORD!!!!!!!!!!!

BernardL said...

I'm sorry to hear that, DW. I wasn't aware the Ford fuel pumps were on nationwide back-order. I'm a little confused how the fuel pump being bad would cause an interruption in cranking or the rich smell you experienced. I hope when they do get the pump it fixes your problems. Thanks for the update.

dwhst9@yahoo.com said...

I bought a used pump...no other choice right now :(

BernardL said...

That's really bad, DW. I hope it's off a low mileage one.

I've been researching problems related to the 05 Expedition since you wrote about the fuel pump on back order. I came across myriad problems in the East and Midwest where a leaking windshield leaks water into the fuse box. The fuel pump relay is built into it so the fuse box has to be replaced when leakage is found. If the C270 dark green wire at the fuse box has no power it would point to corrosion in the fuse box. That could also cause weird other problems like you're experiencing. I'm hoping Ford checked this out on yours already before condemning the pump.

dwhst9@yahoo.com said...

They installed the new (used) pump and are waiting for the new fuel pump module to arrive today. They said it was rotted out on one side! Apparently part of it is plastic, part is aluminum, bolted to the frame rail. Nice design Ford!!!!!!!

They replaced the fuel filter as well. Hoping to pick the truck up today sometime.

BernardL said...

Thanks for the update, DW. I hope this works out for you.

Anonymous said...

I have replaced my TPS on my 2006 Ford expedition because I was having similar stalling problems while either driving or stopping at a light. I have no codes whatsoever showing up. After replacing the tps a few thousand miles later the car stalled on me again. Do you recommend me replacing my throttle body. Also would the fuel filter have anything to do with me stalling?

BernardL said...

Anon, it's hard to condemn the throttle body without codes. When it causes problems, unlike the sensor, it usually sets a code. With a plugged fuel filter you would lose power under load not at stop signs. Did you use an aftermarket sensor rather than a Ford one? Do you buy the cheapest gas available? Do you have any other symptoms besides stalling like the engine revving and does it start back up immediately? Does the RPM sound high at other times? A vacuum leak can cause high RPM and intermittent stalling.

If you use the cheapest gas, try letting the tank run down to an eighth of a tank. Then fill it with a name brand gas like Chevron Supreme or Union 76 Super. I would even add a couple bottles of Chevron Fuel Injection Cleaner to the tank. If that corrects the problem, you'll need to use better gas because the cheap stuff is plugging your injectors.

A carboned up Throttle bore or dirty Mass Air Flow Sensor can cause stalling too. It may be a good idea to have the vehicle checked professionally rather than parts changing if the better fuel doesn't help.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info Bernard. I have been using 93 from BP or Chevron for the past 6 or 7 months. Prior to that I just used 87. I think The TPS sensor was from Motorcraft if I am not mistaken. It seems another problem has cropped up...my catalytic converter. Is it best to get it welded into one or will that cause problems down the line. I know sometimes the code can mean bad 02 sensors, but if that happens to not be the case would the welded solution be a good or bad idea?

BernardL said...

It is important whether the sensor was OEM or aftermarket. That catalytic converter is under warranty in nearly all states with a ten year or 100,000 mile warranty. Don't put an after market weld in on that vehicle. I know the replacement is expensive if you're out of warranty but I don't know anyone who has had any luck with after market cats on that one. A plugged cat can cause stalling and lack of power too. If you decide to get a weld in, make sure you get a guarantee it will not cause codes from the installer.

Chris in L.B. said...

I can't seem to locate the TPS on my 2003 Expedition 4.6L. The part I bought form Ford F4SF 9B989 doesn't look like any part mounted on or near the air intake system. Do you have a picture of where it goes? Thanks in advance!

BernardL said...

Chris, the first two pictures on this post are of the TPS. The third one down shows exactly where it's mounted. Click on any of the pictures to enlarge the view.

Chris in L.B. said...

Thanks, but that doesn't look at all like my engine. I have the 4.6 not the 5.4L....Does that make a difference?

BernardL said...

Sorry, Chris, I don't have a picture of the 4.6L. The TPS on those is located on the front of the throttle body as you're looking into the engine compartment. The TPS on the 4.6L looks pretty much like the 5.4L but is located in a different spot. Have you removed the appearance cover over the engine? If you're really confused about finding the sensor I advise you to take your Expedition into a shop and pay them to do the job.

Chris in L.B. said...

Well, I replaced the O2 Sensor on the Driver's side yesterday, got grease on my hands, so I feel I can tackle anything! Would it be located close to where the plastic air intake (after the air filter) meets the metal? It's a Triton V8....does that make a difference?

BernardL said...

I don't have a picture for you, Chris. If you can't take your new part and find out where it goes on the throttle body, you really should take it somewhere and have it done.

ApocNecro said...

Hello Bernard - It seems that my 2006 Expedition has some of the same symptoms described by you and others. Today on the freeway, my wife tried to accelerate from about 50 to 60 and the engine lost power. She said that the engine light came on and this time the engine did rev. I say this time because in the past this has happened and it didn't sound to me like the RPM's spiked. I would assume that an RPM spike would be more related to a transmission type issue or am I wrong? Also, how much does it typically cost to get the throttle body done? How about the sensor? I have a quote for 425 on the first...Thanks - Bryan

BernardL said...

ApocNecro, without scanning codes from the computer, I can't tell you if it's transmission or engine control issues. Ford has had problems with Expedition transmission failure but it's usually accompanied by other symptoms. In cases like yours where I don't find trans codes, I have replaced the throttle position sensor with an OEM one. It's much cheaper than replacing the entire throttle body. If your repair shop feels it is definitely the throttle body make sure they also replace the sensor while doing the job. Their price is in the ball park. It's dangerous for the RPM to spike while going at freeway speeds because it can cause engine damage. If you find out anymore code or symptom information, I'd be glad to take a look at it.

Katie said...

Hi! I have been reading the posts, and it sounds like I am having the same problem with my '05 Expedition as many others. I was driving today at around 55 mph when I heard a beep and saw the "Check Electric Throttle Connection" message. Engine cut off, steering became difficult, and luckily, I was able to pull off the road. This happened to me about two months ago, too. After reading about many similar cases, I called Ford Motor Co to make an "official report" of the problem. I was told they have not been getting other reports of this happening. Seems very dangerous to me!

BernardL said...

The customer service rep is lying, Katie. There are threads all over the internet about this problem, and numerous listings on my professional auto technicians association, iATN. I'm afraid you have no choice but to have it diagnosed. My procedure, as you've probably read in past comments, is to check for anything visually causing problems with the throttle body itself. If I don't find anything I change the throttle position sensor first with a Ford OEM part. If the problem repeats I then change the electronic throttle body.

Evette said...

We have an 05 Expedition and I had noticed that when I would start the vehicle, it would rev very high for a few seconds...if I would go ahead and put it drive, it would go very fast...so I would wait a few minutes...last night I went out on an errand and when I was preparing to pull off, pressed the gas and nothing...luckily, I was in a restuarant parking lot and just coasted to a parking spot...the "wrench symbol" was on and after reading the manual while waiting on my husband, I saw it was referring to the throttle control..Do you recommend we change the sensor out? This is the first time this has happened and it makes me a bit nervous about driving now, because you just never know when it might happen again.

Anonymous said...

BernardL,
I just bought a 2005 Mountaneer that keeps dying when cruise control is engaged and especially when going down hill. I have to pull over and restart it then it is fine. From what I have been reading on your blog I thing the TPS may be a great place to start. Haven't checked for engine codes yet, but the engine light isn't on either.

BernardL said...

The TPS is a possibility for your problem, Anon, but usually the TPS would act up whether the cruise is on or not. The fact the vehicle only stalls when the cruise is activated indicates a possible problem with communication to the Body Control Computer. If you're experimenting yourself then by all means replace the TPS with a Ford OEM Throttle Position Sensor and eliminate it as part of the problem first. You may need it professionally looked at if the problem persists.

Anonymous said...

Hello i have a 2003 ford exp that will stall going down the road then restart with no problem . it happend twice last week once this check engine came on the last time thanks

marty goad bsa4u810@y

Anonymous said...

My 2005 Ford Expedition has slow acceleration and has rough idling and the check engine light is on, I took it to the mechanic ad he reset all the codes. It ran well for 2 weeks now it's doing the same thing. What could it be???

BernardL said...

Anon, think about it. How could I possibly know? Take it back to your mechanic and find out if the same codes set and what they're related to. Proceed from there.

Anonymous said...

Went to Wareham Ford, purchased the Throttle Position Sensor(TPS)
Had local mechanic replace it, all is good, just wanted to say thanks.

BernardL said...

Anon, thanks for the update. I'm glad it worked out for you.

Charlton said...

It sounds as though I may have the same problem with the TPS on my 2006 Ford Expedition 5.4L with 60K miles. When I accelerate between 40 and 60 mph the vehicle will lose power and then regain it sporatically until it reaches 60 mph when it will run fine. I have seen no dash lights come on when this occurs. My RPM's do not race up when this occurs either. I originally thought transmission issue but I spoke with a Ford advisor on the phone and he had mentioned the the sensor in the electronic throttle control is a common issue. Would he be referring to the TPS?

Matthew Nowlin said...

Bernard - you might want to try PB Blaster instead of WD40. We've had better luck with PB Blaster. :)

Also, Snap-On has a tool specifically to get the spark plug's porcelain bulb out if it falls in during plug removal. This was made specifically for the 3valve 5.4.

I can't count the number of 5.4's I sold to shops that, for some reason, didn't want to pull a head off to get a plug bulb - they said they'd rather install an engine. That also needed the plugs out.

The binding that causes plug removal difficulty comes from places:

1 - the fact that a different metal is used in the plugs and the threading that they screw into. "Electrolysis" occurs, corroding them together. This is why WD40 or PB Blaster is so beneficial.
2 - they were over torqued at the factory, and technicians over torque them when they replace them. I believe the manual calls for 25lbs of torque, but most folks just screw them in as hard as they can.

Anyways, this was a great post by you, don't know how I missed it!

Are you familiar with the tool I mentioned?

BernardL said...

Hi Matt,

PB Blaster is a great product and if I wasn’t in the Oakland, California area where the weather is so mild I would use it. The WD40 leaves very little residue for our more mild extraction problems. I refuse to do a tune on one of these potential disasters unless the customer leaves it overnight for a treatment and I make sure they are aware of the problem – there’s no way for me to know if anyone else has been in there first.

I use the Lisle 65600 tool for broken ones. It’s probably much the same as the Snap On one.

Those are definitely the reasons for the spark plug binding you list in your comment.

I use Permatex #80078 anti-seize lube for the plug threads when I install them. The ones I’ve done tune-ups on more than once were no problem at all with the anti-seize and proper torque. I recommend not letting the spark plug go for a 100,000 miles like some of the Ford maintenance spec’s say. I think 75,000 to 80,000 should be max for any application not only because of corrosion build up but because of carbon build up in the combustion chamber due to stretching plug life – 60,000 is probably a safer bet. I’m glad you liked the post, Matt. I’ve received hundreds of e-mails in addition to the comments section on the Expedition throttle problems. Thanks for adding your thoughts on the spark plug removal problem.

Charlton said...

I wanted to repost since I hadn't seen a response on this comment:
It sounds as though I may have the same problem with the TPS on my 2006 Ford Expedition 5.4L with 60K miles. When I accelerate between 40 and 60 mph the vehicle will lose power and then regain it sporadically until it reaches 60 mph when it will run fine. I have seen no dash lights come on when this occurs. My RPM's do not race up when this occurs either. I originally thought transmission issue but I spoke with a Ford adviser on the phone and he had mentioned the the sensor in the electronic throttle control is a common issue. Would he be referring to the TPS?

BernardL said...

Charlton, yes I believe the Ford guy is referring to the Throttle Position Sensor and your vehicle does seem to be exhibiting the classic symptoms of a TPS with a dead spot. A TPS is a simple potentiometer. If a section of it is open or shorted you will have problems until the throttle is moved past the bad spot.

Matthew Nowlin said...

Hollander lists these Ford "Throttle Valve Assemblies" as interchangeable:
EXPEDITION 05-09 Throttle Valve Assm
FORD F150 PICKUP 04 Throttle Valve Assm; New Style, 5.4L (3V)
FORD F150 PICKUP 05-08 Throttle Valve Assm; 5.4L (3V)
FORD F150 PICKUP 09 Throttle Valve Assm; 5.4L (3V, VIN V)
FORD F250SD PICKUP 05-07 Throttle Valve Assm; 8-330 (5.4L), ID 3L3E-AA
FORD F250SD PICKUP 05-07 Throttle Valve Assm; 8-330 (5.4L), ID 6L3EAA
FORD F250SD PICKUP 08-09 Throttle Valve Assm; 5.4L
FORD F350SD PICKUP 05-07 Throttle Valve Assm; 8-330 (5.4L), ID 3L3E-AA
FORD F350SD PICKUP 05-07 Throttle Valve Assm; 8-330 (5.4L), ID 6L3EAA
FORD F350SD PICKUP 08-09 Throttle Valve Assm; 5.4L
LINCOLN LT 06-08 Throttle Valve Assm; (5.4L, 3V)
NAVIGATOR 05-09 Throttle Valve Assm

BernardL said...

Thanks for the additional cross referencing, Matt!

Charlton said...

Bernard- need your help this time with part numbers. My 2006 Ford Expedition (manufactured in 5/2005) has a TPS with 4 prongs to attach to the connector. I already had one parts place send me the wrong part although I cross referenced with fordparts.com. They sent me DY-967 (had three prongs). From my research I believe I will need DY-1116 or DY-1164. I am able to find out more information on DY-1116 than DY-1164. I cannot find a picture for DY1164. DY-1116 says it fits a 2006 Expedition but how can I be sure? Not sure if this is enough information you to cross reference. Maybe it's more simple than I am researching here. Would it be as simple as three or four prong with the limited number of TPS sensors they used on this mode vehicle? I can provide additional information if it helps.
Thanks,
Charlton

BernardL said...

Charlton, take your VIN number to Ford and order the TPS. I never use aftermarket throttle position sensors. I use Ford OEM only. They will get you the right one. If you already have the switch off it has a number on it and you can take it with you to Ford.

Martin said...

My 2005 Expedition w/60k miles just started similar behavior yesterday. Engine light on, idling speed only, computer displays failsafe mode. Second time was today, engine light on, idling speed, NO failsafe message (or any). Engine light remains on now.

After the first time, I had the codes read and got:

P2104 - Throttle Actuator Control System - Forced Idle
and

P2112 - Throttle Actuator Control System - Stuck Closed

Local shop CarRx says check w/Ford for recall (I don't see one), but if not then $600 to replace throttle body.

Does this sound right, or more like a start with TPS? Ford OEM, of course.

Thanks for a great public service, Bernard! Looks like way too many of us are benefiting from it. :)

BernardL said...

Martin, I would change the throttle position sensor first. If that does not correct the problem then go with the throttle body replacement. Ask the shop to work with you on this. Make sure they get an OEM Ford TPS and not an aftermarket one. The TPS only takes minutes to change.

Curtis said...

My son has a 2005 f150 w/ 6 cyl. Lightning struck a tree close to his vehicle, and it would not start. Figured out it was PATS, and the RF antennae was bad (around the key slot). Replaced that, now the truck will turn over, but not start. Have a P2104 code, P0121 code, P1000 code, P2110 code.
Have been reading lots about the 2104 being the TPS, question? could it also be the APPS?
The RF antennae had a visually seeable chip fried... the lightning was close... hoping it didn't screw the PCM ... any help appreciated

Curtis said...

Update: The TPS on the 6 cyl for my f150 doesn't look like your picture, it is in the same housing with the motor that drives the throttle plate. At any rate, I disassembled and everything looks ok. My scanner does "live" data, and I can see the TPS% actively change as I move the TPS... Also, I can see with the live data that the APP sensor is giving data that changes as the accelerator pedal is moved. I am interpreting this as meaning it is most likely the PCM ??? was hoping for a more economical fix... I suppose there is some chance that it is the motor??? .... ALSO ... I don't seem to be getting any fuel... I am getting spark, and if I spray ether in the throttle body inlet the motor will start

BernardL said...

Curtis, start with the basics. Do you have fuel pressure. If fuel pressure is good and you have spark, the computer may not be triggering the injectors. You have throttle codes so if you want to try something inexpensive if fuel pressure is good, try taking the throttle body off and cleaning it and replace the Throttle Position Sensor. My advice after that is to take it in to a dealer or trusted independent for testing. Throwing parts at it will be expensive and may put you into a deeper hole when they don't work.

Charlton said...

Need your help again. I replaced the TPS on my 2006 expedition with the motorcraft part specific to my VIN number. The vehicle is still having the same symptoms when I accelerate between 40 and 60 mph the vehicle will lose power and then regain it sporadically until it reaches 60 mph when it will run fine. I still see no dash lights come on when this occurs. My RPM's do not race up when this occurs either. Should I start looking at the trottle body or elsewhere?

BernardL said...

Charlton, you need to have the vehicle checked out. Throwing parts at it is not the answer. It could be a fuel injector cutting out, an ignition miss, the throttle valve assembly - in other words you need to have it diagnosed at this time by a professional who has a scanner that reads more than code numbers.

Craig B said...

Bernard... I have a 2003 Ford F250 with the 5.4l. Randomly, my engine will stall under acceleration at varying speeds. Never has thrown a code. It may stall 3 times in one day and may not stall for 2-3 months between occurances. Ambient temperature or weather conditions also do not provide a pattern. Twice, when this occurs, the temperature gauge has pegged above hot and thrown the engine into limp mode. I carry a code reader in my vehicle and can clear the code immediately. Engine will re-start fine and run great until the next random stall. Engine has 128k miles and I use shell mid-grade gas. Any guidance?

Craig B said...

I forgot to mention that sometimes when the stall occurs, tapping the accelerator pedal in rapid succession will allow the engine to regain power and begin running. If I don't do this, the engine will completely die and require turning the ignition to re-start. This trick works most of the time, but not 100% of the time, more like 95%.

BernardL said...

Craig, your second post about feathering the gas pedal to keep it running definitely points to either the throttle position sensor or body. I would replace the throttle position sensor first.

You say you have a code reader that you use to clear codes but in your first post no code is mentioned. The temp gauge pegging hot is another symptom not explained. Did you look into causes? You need to know whether the gauge is off or the engine is overheating. Ignoring an overheating problem can cost you your vehicle because replacing the engine on it would be astronomical in price.

Anonymous said...

05 exp cant go over 10 miles an hour electronic throttle control light comes on replaced throttle body still came on took to ford the reset the computer still doing the same thing they found a short on one of the wires fixed it but still doing the same thing

BernardL said...

You didn't mention if anyone changed the Throttle Position Sensor or not, Anon. If the the throttle body was replaced without changing the sensor, I would change the sensor with an OEM Ford TPS. You didn't mention if you were getting the same codes or what they were. Have you had the 05 Expedition checked for fuel pressure and diagnostic codes?

Greg said...

I have an 05 Ford F150 Supercrew 4x4 King Ranch. Manufactured 08/08. Currently has 43K miles. Engine went into failsafe mode while driving a week back. Service engine light came on and stayed on. I disconnected the power for a day to clear any codes. Drove the druck all day today with no probs...till I got home..then into engine failsafe mode again. No engine service light this time. I borrowed my neighbors OBD scanner and came up with P2105 and P2135. These two codes correspond with the failsafe mode and the TPS. I searched around and found a TSB for 05's manufactured before 11/04...but mine was made in 08/05. It seems this TPS prob is rampant. Do I attempt to go to Ford and get a new TPS and install myself or have the dealer do this? I venture to say they will want to replace the entire throttle body, not just the TPS. You say.....?

BernardL said...

If you are comfortable replacing the TPS Greg, by all means buy it directly from Ford and give it a try. It is definitely the right place to start. If you're unsure about doing it, take it to an independent or Ford and insist you want only the TPS replaced with an OEM part.

Anonymous said...

Hi BernardL, thank you for your blog and the great picture. I have a 2005 FX4 5.4 with 51,000 miles that started misfiring and cutting out (a little wrenchlight came on). I would pull to the side, turn the vehicle off and restart it and things would re-set. Now it is happening more often and the engine light came on. Autozone used their analyzer on it and they said it was the TPS. Based on your posts it seems that may actually be the case. I will buy and OEM part and replace the unit. Thank you for all the good info! MustangMilton

BernardL said...

I hope it works for you, Milt. I'm glad you're replacing it with an OEM TPS. Thanks for commenting.

Speaking My Crazy Mind said...

Hi - The "wrench" on my dashboard illuminated this morning and my 2006 Expedition and I crawled to the side of the road.... I love the pictures you have of the TPS part and where it is located.

I was wondering if I should attemept to replace myself....I am NOT a mechanic! The "code" talk frightens me, but I don't want the dealership to push replacing the whole throttle body...

BernardL said...

You're starting from the wrong end, Speaking. You have to find out what codes are being set before any parts get replaced. As to whether you can replace the TPS, how would I know logically if you should attempt the repair? I've always believed if you have any doubts take it to a professional, whether it be construction, plumbing, electrical, or vehicle repair.

Barkster said...

I have an '05 Lariat 4x4 and about once a month I get P2106 & P2135 codes. Display says "forced limited power". Typically I just turn it off, pump the pedal a couple times and start it back up and it is fine for another month. Should I replace the TPS, seen people say to replace whole throttle body but most say that doesn't help. Any suggestions?

BernardL said...

In your case I would definitely change the TPS first, Barkster, and then erase the codes. You can then monitor whether either of the ones you've mentioned reappear after TPS replacement.

Barkster said...

Thanks, I called Ford and they wanted $315 to replace it. I guess I'll drop it off there and hope that is it.

BernardL said...

I think it's the logical first step, Barkster.

MustangMilton said...

Hi Bernard. I have a 2005 F150/FX4 with 52k miles that had the wrench light come on and the vehicle stalled at 70Mph. I pulled to the shoulder, turned the key off and restarted without a problem.

Since then the problem reoccurred at different speeds (mostly when coming to a stop) with the car switching to limp mode and the wrench and engine lights came on.

Re-staring the vehicle clears the wrench light until the next occurrence but not the engine light

The code was P2106 (forced limited power). The code reader at Autozone said it was TPS related problem.

Buying a new one from Ford today, will let you know what happens.

MustangMilton said...

Oh, and it also gave a P2135 code (throttle position sensor A/B voltage correlation).

BernardL said...

When those two show up, MM, Ford states the TPS should be changed before doing anything else. I believe it will cure your problem. If you change it and other codes show up, post them along with any symptoms you still experience. Thanks for commenting.

MustangMilton said...

Well, I went to the local dealership and got the TPS that the parts person looked up on the computer. Went home and began removing the TPS from the Throttle body and the star socket started to slip on the bolt head.

Not wanting to strip the head of the bold I decided to take the throttle body off. I got the TPS out and when I got the new one out.... they were not the same.

My daughter is taking the new one back (and the old one), plus the vehicles VIN number to make sure we get the right one. I should have looked at the unit at the store, sometimes parts persons make mistakes too.

Will install today once I have the part.

Bernard, thank you for the blog and the great pictures you at the beginning. It made everything easy to find.

BernardL said...

The VIN is the key when ordering from the dealer, Milt. Usually, the parts person knows to demand the VIN before doing anything. I hope the new one works for you.

MustangMilton said...

Installed the new Throttle Position Sensor last Thursday. According to the dealer, it is the second revision to the TPS (I guess the first one did not do the trick).

This one has a metal insert on the slot that mounts on the TPS shaft. It does not slip in and out like the old one. It took a little bit of pressure and it went right in. It is also bigger than the original but it plugs in the same.

Reconnected the battery after installation (which cleared the engine and wrench light) and the truck has been running wonderful and it is not throwing any codes.

Bernard, thank you again for your help. MM.

BernardL said...

Thanks for posting the results, Milt and the update on sensor fit.

Anonymous said...

I have a 2005 F150 with the 4.6 V8 I was leaving work one night and the truck went dead the check engine light and wrench symbol appeared while running it was missing and would not stay running. The truck would also idle surge while in park. It has a small amount of white smoke coming out of the tail pipe and has an odor when running. I replaced the spark plugs and fuel filter still does the same. I ran a diagnostic on the truck and four codes appeared the codes where P0102, P0108, P0406 , and P2106 what do you think the cause could be.

BernardL said...

As with the past post, Anon, a P2106 means Throttle Position Sensor problems which Ford says should be replaced first before going any further. I would advise replacing the TPS with an OEM part as Milt did and erase the codes. Then drive it and see what codes reappear... if any.

Anonymous said...

I replaced the throttle position sensor. The truck Idols fine but when I drive it down the road the wrench symbol comes on. What else should I do. I have seen other people talk about calibrating the new TPS what do you think.

BernardL said...

You didn't mention what codes remained or whether you had cleared the prior codes, Anon. It is possible you might need a reflash after the TPS change. If the codes are not cleared, the computer doesn't automatically clear the code until it sees everything is okay for a number of driving cycles.

In VA said...

I have a 2006 Ford Expedition limited v8 5.4

I was driving approximately 70 last night when the car jerked and went into engine fail safe mode. I pulled onto the side of the interstate and checked my fluid levels and did the "system check" option on my dashboard. Everything was fine. I didn't even have the orange wrench or orange engine. I restarted and went on. About 40 miles later it happened again. Same thing, except I got the orange engine. About 10 miles later it happened again. Same thing, with the orange engine.

The weird part was that when I went to restart all three times, the car wouldn't fire on the first crank of the starter. However, it fired on the second crank all three times.

In VA said...

Also, I had just filled up with 20 gallons of gas about 15 minutes before this happened. Can bad gasoline cause such a problem?

BernardL said...

Yes it can, VA. Also, a faulty electric fuel pump can do it. I would advise taking it in to your Tech and find out what if any codes were set in the computer history. It still could be a Throttle Position Sensor but you need to find out if there are any corresponding codes.

james said...

Hi bernard, i have a 1999 e250 van with the 5.4 and im having some issues with it..It has 208,000 I just bought the van and changed all the filters, air, fuel, and oil. I also ran a can of seafoam throught the fuel system. When its cold and in open loop, it has tons of power, when it warms up, it tens to loose power at times. when this happens it seems at 45mph it wants to jerk, like going in and out of od. when the power returns it"s ok. there are no codes in the computer.Im wondering if its the tps, even though it runs great cold, or if its the maf sensor or even fuel pump. It was worse before the sea foam, so i put in another can, but no difference now, it's just intermintent and not all the time. Please help. Thanks.

BernardL said...

I'm sorry, James, but without the basic testing and diagnostic info, I can't guess at what's wrong. Doing a fuel pressure check and running ignition scanner tests are a must to find out if any cylinders are misfiring. Your fuel additive improving it can mean one or more clogged injectors or even contaminated fuel. That it runs great in open loop does point to a computer controlled problem when it begins taking over the system in closed loop, but without having it professionally checked you'll be shooting in the dark.

Ed said...

Hi Bernard,
Great blog you have here! I had been reading it and I have similar symptoms as many of the bloggers here. No throttle response on highway mainly. The truck runs great if babied around town, but if I need to stomp on it, nothing. I went out and purchased the TPS from a ford dealer and installed it last night. The truck wouldn't even start. It would act like it wanted to, but then just stall as if fuel starved. The warning was "Check electronic throttle". I took the new TPS out and put the old one back. Started right up. Again, I took the old one out and reinstalled the new one. Same thing, no start and warning light. I'm baffled. What do you think? It is a 2005 5.4L Ford Expedition.

SueAnn said...

2004 Ford Explorer 4.o v6 put new altenator and the n started car and it turned on and sat in idle position. Throttle control unit light came on. Is there a way to reset the throttle control unit?

BernardL said...

Ed, you may have gotten either a faulty TPS or the wrong one.

SueAnne, I'm sorry but your question is not very clear. Try giving me the details in a clearer fashion, including what the alternator has to do with it.

In VA said...

I had to replace the throttle body ($270 part), but it seems to have fixed the problem.

BernardL said...

Thanks for the update VA.

Luke said...

My 2005 FX4 was stalling and throwing tps and throttle body codes so I replaced the entire assembly with brand new oem parts. It worked great for one day then stalled on me again this time only giving me the wrench symbol which went away once I restarted the truck. It runs fine, lots of power and everything is great until I'm on the side of the road again. What gives? No codes at all, do I need to get the computer flashed?

BernardL said...

Think about it Luke. How can I tell what you need to do from here? As I've explained in other comments at some point you will need to take your vehicle into a professional for diagnosis. Throwing parts at it is not the answer. You state the whole assembly was replaced. Out here the OEM throttle body assembly comes without the throttle position sensor. Did you replace it along with the throttle assembly? If not, that would be the first thing I would do. If you did replace it with the throttle assembly then you will need to take it in for diagnosis.

Anonymous said...

I have a 2006 Ford Explorer XLT 4.0 Every now and then I have the problen with it stalling out on me and then sometimes when I step on the gas pedel, it seems like it has to think if it wants to respond. It hesitates and other times when sitting at a red light the RPM's will idle the way it is suposed to and then it almost stalls then runs up to about 1500 RPM's then back down to about 700-900RPM's. Could this be caused by my TPS? I only have 51K on the truck.

BernardL said...

It's possible, Anon, but you need to have it checked out to see what if any computer codes show up. Yours is not the same engine setup as the Expedition they're having pattern failures with the TPS on.

iloay said...

Hello Sir,

I've been reading your blog on TPS. I have a 2003 F150 Supercrew with 104,000 miles. For a couple months now, during certain acceleration points it boggs down and seems to miss, also triggered check eng light. Adjusting throttle pos seems to clear up the bogging/miss. Repair shop diagnostics found vac leaks which took care of the light but bogging/missing is still there. My limited research which includes your blog seem to lean towards replaceing the TPS.

My question, is the TPS sensor a part that can be changed by the average Joe. Is it basically a remove, replace, plug in part? Or does it have to be adjusted or "set"? I have basic tools, limited knowledge, but no diagnostic equipment. I obviously want it down right but have spent alot of money chasing this problem. Any advise you can give me would be great. Thanks!

BernardL said...

Iloay, it could be the TPS causing your problem, especially if by moving your position on the gas pedal makes it go away. There are a number of other causes for the symptoms you're experiencing. I'm surprised the shop that found the vacuum leaks didn't make sure the hesitation/miss was gone.

Although the TPS is similar looking to the one I have pictured in the post the engine is not the same in your vehicle as the Expedition. If you have any doubt you can do it, please get a professional to do the job and only use an OEM TPS. On yours it would be a plug and play, no programming necessary.

tiffy1 said...

yes i have a 93' honda civic ex with a b16z6 which is the 1.6 vtech 5 speed. 2dr cpe, my car haas been acting up for a while its drivable but very annoying, when you have the car running without using any acceleration then it revs itself then goes back down then revs again and goes back down again over and over it never stop my husband said it was the tps and knows where it is and how to change it but was wanting to know if it really was that before we actually spend money on that part and not work thank you for your time.

BernardL said...

I'm sorry, tiffy, but there's no way I can know what's wrong with your car from here. You need to have a professional check it out if you're unsure. There are a multitude of things that could cause the revving, including vacuum leaks or even contaminated fuel.

Ariel said...

Wonderful blog! But here's a question I haven't seen: I am considering buying a used '05 Expedition with 95,000 miles. My mechanic sees no problems, but since there were several prior owners I don't know the service history. Is there an easy way to tell if the TPS has been replaced? If not, should I go ahead and have it replaced, just in case? I plan to do some other preventative maintenance, like new plugs, if I buy it. Add this to the list? I'd welcome any other suggestions.

BernardL said...

I'm glad you found this post already, Ariel. The replacement TPS does have a different part number but you'd have to write the number down off the one on the Expedition and find a Ford Parts Department to check if it is a replacement. Read the entire comments section here. The Expedition is a beautiful vehicle but even I was surprised at the number of problems it's had.

Mike said...

Just had the TPS fail yesterday, classic symptoms per above comments. 05 Expedition at 90K miles, always serviced on time at dealer. Dealer advises besides the TPS replacement, to do an expensive manual cleaning of all injectors. Dealer did a carbonic flush of all injectors about 20K miles ago....what do you think of the dealer recommendation? Thanks!

BernardL said...

I would advise doing just the TPS first and make sure the symptoms go away. If they do, forget the injector flush. It's not like the two jobs overlap.

Mike said...

Thanks for the quick response...that was my thought as well.

mixedkids said...

Hi there, I came across your blog by accident but am so glad I did.
I have a 2006 Ford Expedition 4WD. It has been dying for several years now just out of the blue. Recently it has been doing this a lot. It also smells of fuel pretty bad while idling. Auto Zone read the diagnosis as a Throttle Body needing to be replaced. Does this sound right to you?

BernardL said...

You don't mention how AZ came up with the diagnosis, Mixedkids. That fuel smell worries me too. You may have a bad fuel pressure sensor. I think you should take it in to a professional before you damage the catalytic converter with excess fuel.

maximaal123 said...

Hello Bernard.
Great job on all the blogs!! Thanx
I also have a question. I drive a 2004 f150 fx4 and my truck has a misfire on only cilinder 8. The codes are p0308 and p0316. Now I've changed the COP on #8 and stil the misfire. Then I exchanged the plug and coil with another cilinder, but still the same codes on that cilinder. The truck only misfires when its loaded and need to accelerate slowly. When I hit the pedal it goes without hesitation. I've spoken with different mechanics and they mentioned the following options. A faulty ckp sensor, a broken valve spring, a bent tappet, faulty maf sensor and some more things which I forgot. To be honest Its cost me a lot of money on research. But still the car drives horrible.
One of my big problems is that I live in the Netherland and not many people have knowledge of these trucks. Is it possible you can tell me were I need to look.
thanx
Mark

BernardL said...

You didn't mention any engine noise or whether you did a compression check, Max. If the valve spring, etc. were broken, you would have noise. If compression is low in the cylinder all the plugs and ignition parts in the world won't make it fire. If there is no engine noise and compression in the cylinder is good then you may have a bad fuel injector feeding that cylinder. A crank angle sensor problem would not just make #8 cylinder misfire.

trowburrs said...

Hi BernardL;
I have a 2005 Expedition Eddie Bauer, recently after three days of sluggish start like the battery was dying, it did. We replaced the battery two days ago, the idle is now surging when in park or at a stop. Yesterday it died when I was backing into a parking space and this morning the the check engine light came on. We do have a appt with mechanic on Monday but wondering if the TPS may be involved or if the Alternator is more likely? Just looking for possibilities....Thank you

BernardL said...

It's common for the vehicle to go through an idle relearn after battery replacement if a keep alive memory device wasn't used. The check engine light normally doesn't go on though. I'm afraid you'll have to wait and hear what your mechanic pulls for codes. The alternator can cause weird electronic stuff if it has a shorted diode. I don't like coincidences.

Evan said...

Hi Bernard,

2005 Expedition. Could a faulty TPS cause this:

Engine idle is fine.
After driving some distance (enough to get the motor warm), the truck seems to downshift almost immediately after letting off the gas. It doesn't seem to be a flare or anything. The downshift seems to be immediate after letting off the gas, then jerks when engaging the throttle again.
No CEL.

BernardL said...

I can only guess, Evan, without scanning or testing the vehicle, but your description seems more like a transmission problem with the converter going into lockup. That would explain the sudden downshift and the rough throttle response after the occurrence. You need to get that checked out right away in case it is the trans locking up to avoid excessive internal damage.

trowburrs said...

Hi Bernard,

Update to post on November 19th on 2005 Expedition Eddie Bauer 95k miles. It threw a Throttle Body Code. Mechanic replaced Throttle Body - $420 parts and labor. Unfortunately for us though it wasn't just a matter of only replacing the TPS. Seems the alternator is still good. Now runs great.

Your Blog is really informative - Thank you!

BernardL said...

Thanks for the update, Trowburrs. I'm glad your mechanic got the Expedition running great again. The price was very good.

maximaal123 said...

Hello Bernard, Thanks a lot for the responce!!!
No noise from the engine.
Last week i did the compression test. On cilinder #8 we only had 8bars. The rest had about 13 bars. Next week we will take of the heads of bank 2 and we will be able to see what makes the cilinder leak. My guess is a leaking valve. The cars drives on LPG. and has made about 40.000 miles driving on it.
I will try to update you on the progress. again thanks for the responce!

BernardL said...

I hope it turns out to only be a top end problem for you, Mark.

Anonymous said...

i am having the same symptoms as everyone else, the only other thing is that under hard acceleration my truck is sputtering or surging. the codes i got are po605 and p1184. do you think it is the tps? please advise. thanks bernard for a great blog. it is very informative.

BernardL said...

Anon, you left out all the data about what truck you have. It may not matter anyhow. The PO605 code is a computer read only memory failure. The only thing I know of that causes that is the PCM (Powertrain Control Module). I'm afraid you'll have to take it to the dealer for a computer replacement and reflash. The P1184 means the engine oil temp wasn't up to spec when running but probably was set because of the computer ROM failure.

Did you add some kind of aftermarket chip like a Predator Tuner? That will also cause the PO605 code and will make the OBDII diagnostic system unreliable. If you added something like that you're in for some real headaches. It may have corrupted the PCM ROM.

Anonymous said...

bernard,
i have a 2005 f150 supercrew with the 5.4l.i had a bully dog gas programmer installed along with flow master exhaust.do you think i should uninstall the program and still replace the tps? i am having the same wrench symbol come on with no throttle response and when i turn off the engine and restart it runs fine except for the surging.. thank you for your time

BernardL said...

Anon, if you installed the Bully Gas Programmer without setting a computer corruption code then you can probably go on to solving the throttle problem. If the codes stored are throttle codes then as I've recommended before, I would replace the TPS first before going into a throttle body replacement. If the problem and throttle codes persist then you will have to change the electronic throttle body.

If you're getting computer corruption codes like the prior poster then you may have to get rid of the Bully and replace your PCM and have it reflashed.

maximaal123 said...

Hello Bernard.
I brought the heads to an overhauling shop. After some tests, they told me the valves where not shutting aswell as they should. Tommorow I will bring the other head aswell and they will change the valves and make the heads as new. I am glad they found the problem. I Just wanted to let you know. Keep up the good work!!
regards Mark

maximaal123 said...

I brought one head first...

BernardL said...

I hope they find something more definitive than that, Mark. You've never mentioned if you checked the fuel injector feeding #8 cylinder.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernard. I have 2003 Expedition 4.6 with a strange problem. When I drive at least 40 mph at a steady pace, then lift slightly off throttle, then lightly tip back in, there is a clunk. It always happens once the truck is in overdrive, kind of like the tranny is getting a stronger downshift signal. Could it be the TPS dead spot? When I lightly tip in, nothing happens until I press the accel a little further, then "clunk." If I turn off the OD, it doesn't happen. I'm sure TPS is critical to shift management. I plan to meter the tps to check for a dead spot. Please give me your suggestions.

Regards,

Robert

BernardL said...

I think you're having transmission problems, Robert. The TPS doesn't know whether you're in overdrive or not. It would cause a tip in problem whether the OD was on or off if it was acting up.

Anonymous said...

True, but doesn't the tranny use TPS position to determine shift strategy? It seems that the problem is occurring at full load and the tranny is downshifting hard rather than soft. Anyhow, if it's not the tps, could it be the fluid? It's due for a change.

BernardL said...

Throttle position is part of the computer's shifting strategy, Robert, but if the TPS has a glitch you will feel it every time you hit the spot. In other words when your throttle position is in the same place when it glitches in overdrive it will also glitch without the OD.

One thing I've learned about newer vehicles is use the severe maintenance guidelines for all fluid changes, especially the transmission. I don't know if it will cure your problem but it would be a good place to start along with checking for any transmission or engine codes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bernard. I will start there.

Regards,

Robert

Anonymous said...

I have a 2006 Navigator and having problems when I try to accelerate at speeds over 100 kmh. It sits, jerks, and rides rough. I don't have these problems at normal speeds or low acceleration. When the problem occurs I step on the accelerator and the powere picks up but lately got a short flash of the CEL. What could be the problem

BernardL said...

You need to have the vehicle checked Anon. The hesitation could be a glitch in the TPS or a tune-up problem. Without a diagnosis and code check I can't even make a guess.

Russell said...

Bernard,
I feel like i finally found some good info, thanks. I have '05 expedition w/ 5.4L. Backed out of drive, put it in drive, hit the gas and nothing... just idle no matter what position gas pedal is in. I hooked up code reader and got 2111 and 2106. It'll start (rough) and idle, but 0 power... can't even make it back up the drive. Do you think I should pull the throttle body and do a cleaning, or likely an electrical problem as starting point? Thanks, Russell

BernardL said...

Russell, I think with those two codes you'll have to replace the electronic throttle body. Any sudden failure like you describe without warning points to electronic failure rather than anything a cleaning can do.

Russell said...

Thanks, I'll let everyone know what happens! Bernard, i've enjoyed checking out everything on your site!
Russell

BernardL said...

Thanks, Russell. Good luck with the install.

John said...

My 2006 Expedition 5.4L w/ 70k miles just started to fail with an engine failsafe mode. Yesterday while slowing down for a red light, the engine went into the limp-home mode (wrench displayed indicating electronic throttle control failed).

Today, I had the codes read and got:
P2104 - Throttle Actuator Control System - Forced Idle
and
P2112 - Throttle Actuator Control System – Stuck/Closed

Dealer(s) here in Rochester, NY want $90 to run diagnostics. One dealer said from their experience it will require replacement of the Throttle body (part alone is $310) or Powertrain Control Module (also expensive) + labor.
I can buy a Motocraft TPS sensor (DY1164) for $79 at a local parts store (dealer wants $122 for TPS kit that includes instructions and screws). What would you recommend in my case? Thanks in advance for the advice…

BernardL said...

I would go with your first step of replacing the TPS sensor. If you are absolutely certain the parts store is selling you the correct TPS in Motorcraft, then great. If you have any doubt, spring for the OEM kit at the dealer, John.

albert_acosta2000 said...

I took my 1999 Expedition in for a check engine light and they said I needed to replace the TPS sensor. Today my car will not start but I read above that you think it could be the ignition coil.Do you think that replacing the TPS sensor will get it going since that's what the shop said?

BernardL said...

Albert, there's no way I can know why your Expedition isn't starting. The shop will have to determine what's keeping it from starting. There are procedures for finding out what keeps a vehicle from starting (battery, starter, compression, spark, fuel, computer related). Guessing at what's wrong leads to a lot of money being spent without curing the problem.

albert_acosta2000 said...

I'm sorry for not being clear. I guess my question is, would a faulty TPS sensor be a "possible" cause for the car not starting? Man, this is awesome. I am going to recommend this blog to friends and family! Thanks!

BernardL said...

Albert, the only way I can think of that a bad TPS could cause a no start rather than a start and stall is if it was locked internally at wide open throttle or it was shorting sensor voltage to ground. Make sure your theft system isn't causing the no start.

Jason said...

Hi Bernard, thanks for all the great info! I have a 2004 F150 5.4L. I recently disconnected the battery and after reconnecting, within a few miles the truck went into limp mode and gave me P2110 and 2100 codes. Restarting fixes it for a while, but seems to come back randomly. I'm going to start by cleaning the throttle body well, any other suggestions?

BernardL said...

I hope the cleaning works for you. Have you cleaned and tightened the battery connections? I can't explain the two codes showing up if you had no problems before. The P2100 code (Throttle Actuator A Control Motor Circuit Open) usually means you're going to have to replace the Electronic Throttle Body if the wiring between the PCM and Throttle Actuator Motor is good.

Jason said...

Thanks. I've read a few things about "sludge" building up in the throttle body over time and that after a battery disconnect, the computer sometimes has a hard time relearning, which could explain why it started suddenly after a battery disconnect. I've read that there is a newer flash available that compensates for the "sludge". Ever heard of this?

BernardL said...

A reflash to correct throttle sludge build up if it did exist would be a bad idea, Jason. I haven't run across anything like that. They do reflash sometimes to avoid going through a relearn period when a recurring code without symptom shows up. There is a spot where the wiring harness runs close to the EGR tube. I've had a couple with burned through wiring that caused some really weird symptoms.

Bill said...

Hi Guys,

I was doing research on my F150 and came across this blog . I too have had a problem with my truck just suddenly stopping , very infrequent in the past but lately it is becoming a real problem. I too have the 5.4l 8 cyl. engine and the codes sometimes allude to the TPS. This sucks and ford shpuld have a recall on this problem because it seems like it is happening to alot of people ,, sorry just venting there a little well I am going to try the suggestion I have found here .


Thanks

Bill

BernardL said...

If you're getting a TPS code, Bill, changing the sensor is a good place to start. If the problem continues though, you'll need to go back to basics including a diagnostic workup - full computer scan, ignition, and fuel. Sometimes a problem like you describe can be attributed to high mileage and using cheap gas. Fuel injectors become crusted with deposits over the years and putting the cheapest gas that can be found in them won't work anymore.

Serena said...

My 2002 expedition is having issues...She is reving up to 3000 upon start up and its like the transmission is causing her to go...She is trying to accelerate. Take her out of park, she lurches and immediatly hits like 15mph w/o hitting the gas....Its like she wont come out of drive phase...What is wrong with her, do you have any idea?

Eric said...

Bernard, Thank you for your patience answering never-ending questions about 2005 expy electronic throttle position sensors. Your past comments have helped me solve my own problems.

BernardL said...

Serena, unfortunately I would have to know a lot more information to make an educated guess. A computer scan for codes would be a good starting point to determine whether your problem was transmission or engine related. If you have a shop you regularly go to now would be the time for a complete workup. Guessing and throwing parts at it will probably end up costing a lot of money without solving your problem.

Thanks, Eric. I'm glad you found enough info to solve your problem.

Lost_countryboy said...

I have a 2006 F-250 122000 miles I bought the truck just over a year ago, I changed the plugs in August Last month the truck started loosing power on the highway going up a steep hill the check engine light started flashing, there was a pinging noise comming from the engine and I lost all my power. When I got to the top of the hill and started letting off the acclerator, the pinging stopped, the engine light quit flashing stayed off the the truck took off like nothing happened. It is starting to do it more often and usually under load. but starting to take less load to cause it. The only code I can get to lock in the computer is if I keep my foot heavy on the accelerator while it's acting up. And then it only stores either a misfire on #4 or #8 cylinder sometimes both. I have replaced both Coil pack with change. I had code reader hooked up today when it was flashing but it would not read any kind of code. while the engine light was flashing.

BernardL said...

I think you need to get a fuel pressure check, Lost. Other symptoms that would point to a fuel supply problem or fuel pressure sensor is if you're experiencing longer cranking times. It will take more than a code reader though for diagnosis. Until you get the vehicle in to be checked put the best higher octane gas in it you can and if you hear the ping ease off the accelerator or you'll be adding an engine rebuild to your problems.

Jason said...

Just as a follow-up to my earlier posts - On my 2004 F150 with 5.4, I was getting codes P2110, P2100, P2111 and P2104, all relating to the throttle body acting flaky. I ended up replacing the throttle body, which includes the TPS and throttle actuator motor. The replacement was a quick and easy job and seems to have fixed my problem. My throttle had also become somewhat sluggish to respond, but after the throttle body replacement, it is much more responsive and now drives like it should.

BernardL said...

Thanks for the update on your list of codes before the problem, Jason, and the fix. That P2100 code showing up if the wiring looks good is a very solid indicator for replacing the throttle body.

Nicholas said...

Thanks for responding to all these comments, even a year later!!! I have a 2006 expy that twice in the last month has gone into engine failsafe mode while driving. No other warning lights so I didn't think to have it scanned. Will have it scanned today, sounds like a classic tps as a starting point. Since we bought it used, it has always had jerky acceleration at times so maybe this is just a continuation of that problem that couldn't be diagnosed. I will post an update later today after having it scanned.

Nicholas said...

sorry to post again, but what is the tool used to remove the tps? Thanks again, found it on my expy, right on top for a change!

BernardL said...

I'm glad you're having it diagnosed, Nicholas. Many other problems as you can see from the other posts could be causing the symptom in your Expedition. It's a Torx bit that removes the screws on the TPS and I'm sorry I don't remember the size.

Justin said...

I have a 2005 F150 5.4, w/ 88000 miles. The truck is idleing really low and at times it will stall and quit, usually when I stop or change from drive to reverse. The Check engine light is on and the codes said that it was the IAC valve. This model has the Electronic Throttle Control so I would have to buy the entire Throttle body. I was wondering if the TPS could be the problem, not the actual throttle body. Thanks for your help.

BernardL said...

I'm sorry, Justin, but there's no easy answer. You can try the TPS first but normally if a faulty TPS sets a code it will have to do with the throttle body. I believe you would have more trouble than just stalling when shifting from D to R and low idle.

Nicholas said...

follow up, had my expy scanned at AZ and it came back with 2104 and 2111 throttle codes. Should I start with the tps or would cleaning the throttle body be the best first option? It only has 35k miles on it.

BernardL said...

Those two mean a throttle body replacement, Nicholas. Do not use anything but OEM parts.

Anonymous said...

hi,
thanks so much for this information. i have found the tps but i cannot loosen the 2 screws. any tips? they must be "locktite"..

Jc

Chuck said...

Hello Bernard,

I have a 2006 Ford F150 and this weekend when I started accelerating from a stop light, the throttle pedal stopped responding to my foot and I had to coast to the curb. The engine was running. The electronic throttle control light(it is the wrench shape in the instrument panel). I shut the truck off, turned it back on and the accelaerator repsonded. Recently, the idle seemed to be a bit rough.

Thanks for any input

Chuck said...

Hey Bernard,

I meant to say the electronic throttle light turned on.

Thanks

BernardL said...

Anon, they are torx screws and I've never had any trouble removing them. I'm in California though. Maybe you have some corrosion. If you have a good fit with your torx bit they should come out.

Chuck, yours is a good candidate for a Throttle Position Sensor to be replaced first. If you have multiple codes though, especially a P2100, you'll need to replace the electronic throttle body too.

Colby said...

Bernard -

You are the man for setting up this blog. Where do we read your scifi writings?

Anyhow, my wife drives an 06 Expy 5.4 with 84200 miles on it. We have that same problem with acceleration cutting our at higher RPM's, but without producing any codes, so it sounds like it might be the TPS, or possibly spark plugs? Reminds me of when I used to ride motocross bikes and the plugs would foul.

Anyhow, it has a DaimlerChrysler Maximun Care service contract till 85K miles (less than 800 left) and I am going to have the dealership take a look at it and hope that the TPS or plugs/coil packs are covered if that is the problem.

Are there other things I should have the dealer look at to see if I can get it covered before my warranty runs out?

Thanks again for your posts.

Colby

Chris W said...

hi Bernard, what do you make of this, I have a 2005 F150 with the infamous 5.4, Ive recently had the pleasure of replacing injectors and plugs and overall the truck has ran good, after the latest deep freeze (in Alberta) the truck began to idle very rough and a odd backfire would occur, now, the truck backfires constantly, the rpms hit around 3500 before up shifting gears, and very little power. I thought it could be the injectors or plugs but it never ran that badly even when those failed! any suggestions

BernardL said...

Thanks, Colby. My self published novels all have links on my blog's sidebar including a couple of 99 cent specials. Casserine is a Sci/Fi novel I did.

With nearly 85,000 miles you may indeed have a plug or coil breaking down under load. If it were doing it consistently it would set a misfire code. There may well be a dead spot in the throttle position sensor. I'm glad you're having the Expedition checked because if it misfires for long it'll burn out the very expensive catalytic converters.

BernardL said...

Cris W, your description seems like electronic throttle body or position sensor problems because revving up suddenly. In the kind of cold and moisture you have up there it could be one or more of those individual coils cutting out. You didn't mention checking for any codes. That would be the next step. You may have also simply gotten a bad tank of gas.

Chris W said...

Hi Bernard, your right, havent yet checked the codes, beginning to think the check engine light comes illuminated as standard equipment! as for your thoughts about the throttle body or sensor, I should mention that as the truck warms up, its becomes more drivable, it still lacks any power and when cold, any depressing of the gas pedal causes the pops and backfire, only when the slightest of pressure is applied will the truck actually move, once rolling and pressed it is very slow to build speed, but will occasionally jump and the tranny still seems reluctant to shift

BernardL said...

You had me at the 'thinking the check engine light was standard equipment', Chris. If you've had a miss over a period of time without addressing it, you may have melted those catalytic converters internally, giving you a partially plugged exhaust and no power. It may be a host of problems including the fuel pump or the ignition parts already mentioned. Unless you get it diagnosed properly you'll be shooting in the dark.

Chris W said...

The check engine light code is for an oxygen sensor due to leaking exhaust manifold, and the exhaust output seems average or above average compared to other vehicles i see on the road, if thats anyway to gauge it

Nick D said...

Hey, Bernard. I have a problem with mu '05 Expo. It sounds like it might be the TPS. I'm throwing codes P2104, P2111, and P2112. Can you confirm my possible problem. The car will be driving fine and then the RPMs will drop to idle and the gas pedal is unresponsive. We pull over and restart the car and it runs fine. The problem seems to be more frequent when we drive to my mother-in-law's house. I suggested we don't go there and she suggested I fix the stupid thing. Thanks in advance!

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