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Dodge Dakota throttle position sensor

cguycguy Posts: 7
edited August 2014 in Dodge
Can anyone tell me where it's located and how to change the tps on an 02 Quad Cab?


  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    What engine do you have?

  • cguycguy Posts: 7
    I have the V-8
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Okay, if it's not an R/T model you have the 4.7 engine.

    The intake for the Throttle Body faces forward (front of vehicle).


    1. Switch the engine off and remove the ignition key.

    2. Remove the the air duct from the the front of the Throttle Body.

    3. Locate the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) on the left (drivers) side of the Throttle Body. The TPS will have a 3-wire connector and is in plane with the throttle valve shaft. The TPS is secured by two Torx screws and is located just above the Idle Air Control Motor which has a 4-wire connector.

    4. Ensure that the throttle plate is completely closed.

    5. Remove the connector from the TPS.

    6. Remove the two (2) Torx screws that mount the TPS to the Throttle Body.

    6. Grasp the TPS and remove by pulling the sensor directly away from the Throttle Body.


    1. Note the position of the two triangle-shaped tangs that are visible from the end of the TPS.

    2. Insert the new TPS in to the cavity that contains the end of the throttle plate shaft. The TPS should seat without significant resistance.

    3. Rotate the throttle plate shaft by moving the throttle cable lever. Note the amount of throttle plate opening. The throttle plate should be able to open without undue force to the wide open position.

    4. If the throttle cannot be opened fully, remove the TPS and ensure that the tangs are correctly engaging the end of the throttle plate shaft.

    5. Reinstall the two mounting screws and the 3-wire connector.

    6. Proper operation may be checked before reinstalling the air duct.

  • cguycguy Posts: 7
    thanks alot......gonna try it today. Was going to the other day but found vacuum hose was cracked and it ran fine after fixing that. Its acting up again now though....its worse with a 1/4 tank of gas or less....does that tell you anything? Maybe I have a MAP sensor problem too or something else??

    Thanks again for your input!!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I doubt you've got a problem with the MAP sensor. You'd get a Check Engine lamp illumination and have a code stored.

    By the way, do you have any codes? Do you know how to retrieve the codes from the instrument panel?

    I think you said this was a '02. I'd start looking for more cracked vacuum hose, especially the evaporative collection system.

    Best regards,
  • cguycguy Posts: 7
    I havent gotten any more codes. the only one I got was for the TPS which is now changed thanks to your directions. Seems to have fixed it although when Im low on fuel it seems sluggish at times.....perhaps a fuel filter problem?? I've used dry gas and that hasnt helped. As long as its over an 1/8th to 1/4 tank though it seems much better.

    I'm NO mechanic at all.....I will search for more cracked hoses but I dont know where the evaporative collection system is you refer to.

    You're a great help.....good to know there are people like you out there willing to help others out.

  • trij1trij1 Posts: 1
    Are you still having issues? I have had my 2000 Dakota in the shop for a week, they have tuned it up, cleaned Auto Body throttle, replaced timing chain and replaced the fuel pump. It is still idling rough and it seems to happen with less then a 1/2 tank of gas.

  • shiner4shiner4 Posts: 1
    Can anyone tell me how to get rid of the spongy pedal feel in my 2003 Ram 1500? Is there a replacement that makes it more like a cable Throttle?
  • babfbbabfb Posts: 3
    My 1993 Dodge Dakota 3.9 L has periodic shifting problems. Sometimes takes a long time to change to 3rd gear, and rarely go to Overdrive. According to some of the posts I have read it appears to be the "Throttle Position Sensor" (TPS). Could this be my problem?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Could be. However, the a sticky transmission shift cable can produce the same symptoms. The fact that you can't get it into overdrive would lead me to suspect a binding cable first.

  • babfbbabfb Posts: 3
    I have an automatic transmission that sometimes shifts just fine, and sometimes will not shift to Hi or Overdrive. If I floor the pedal and rapp up the RPM's then most times it will shift. Any ideas? Thanks Burt
  • My Dodge Dakota Sport, 1996 4cyl 2 wheel drive manual air, has a peculiar problem where it intermitently run badly, back firing and bucking like it is running out of gas. The scan said Oxegen sensor. Changed the oxegen sensor and no good. I think it might be the PCM but it is expensive and don't want to waste that much money if it isn't the problem. Any ideals?
  • HELP...I have had this problem for months. My truck takes moments where it will not idle and say started. I have to keep 1 foot on brake and 1 on gas sometimes to get it going. Sometimes it gets ok after about 15min only this time today it would not stay started at all. I had to work my way to work using neutral and then slide it back to drive.
    I am thinking the throttle body sensor is either bad or needs adjustments. Please assist if you can.
    Thank you,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    If you take this to a Auto Zone or other parts dealer, they usually will check the vehicle for trouble codes for free. Having a trouble code would be helpful. Also, what engine do you have?

    There are a number of things that could cause this problem. I recommend performing some relatively simple checks:

    *PCV valve - A sticking PCV will cause this problem, and will be especially noticeable in colder weather. If the PCV valve plunger sticks in the closed position, the manifold air flow is effectively reduced. This has the same effect as closing the throttle plate, hence, the engine essentially stalls. In colder weather moisture build up in the motor oil will gravitate to the PCV. In freezing temperatures the moisture around the PCV valve plunger solidifies and cuts off air flow. Look for any signs of moisture in the oil and change it out if necessary.

    On a vehicle that old and mileage, I would also suggest checking the vacuum hose that goes to the PCV valve. I've seen these get gummed up to the point they no longer flow much vacuum.

    *Vacuum hoses - Vehicles of this age typically by now have dry, brittle, and cracked vacuum hoses and causing leaks. This may not show up much at higher RPMS or road speeds...although it usually causes slight hesitation or surging...but will definitely cause idling problems.

    *Sticking Idle Speed Motor - On Throttlebody equiped vehicles, the idle speed is regulated by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) based on various inputs (sensors) in the system. The PCM then modulates the Idle Speed Motor to open a plunger-type valve that allows more or less air into the manifold to adjust the idle speed. This area is prone to carbon and gum deposits, especially with cheaper fuels. The Idle Speed Motor should be checked and cleaned, especially if you've never done is on this truck before. The Idle Speed Motor is easily removed on Dodge truck motors.

    *Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) - This is essentially a non-linear potentiometer and can cause idling problems if the voltage is interupted across the terminals. This is caused by a corroded or dirty contact in the sensor. You can check this with a volt-ohm meter, preferably an analog type, by measuring DC resistance across the tap (slider) contact and rotating the TPS shaft. Erratic meter movement indicates a dirty or scratchy resistor. However, because of the miles, I would just change it.

    *General engine tune - Of course, things like worn spark plugs, old spark plug wires, carbon tracked distributor cap and rotor, clogged air filter, will have a deleterious effect on engine performance and idle quality that may not have been noticeable in the warmer weather.

    Good luck.

    Best regards,
  • babfbbabfb Posts: 3
    I have a 3.9 Liter engine. I will check the PCV, and I hope that is all it is. But, being a novice mechanic, I have looked for the Throttle Position Sensor, and I am not sure I have located it. I am fairly confident I know what, and where it is, but could you give me a description for a 3.9 Liter motor. Thanks for your help Dusty.
    Take care.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) is located on the left side of the throttle body and engages the throttle shaft. It has a three wire connector and is held in place with two Torx-head screws.

    Use care when reinstalling the TPS. It is possible to get the TPS engagement socket 180 degrees out.

    Best regards,
  • i have a 03 dakota quad with a 3.9 will not idle i have to hold the pedal down to get it warmed up. when i put it in gear it wants to stall if i dont drive with 2 feet. if it does stall it does not want to restart. is this a fuel issue or a throttle sensor problem.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    This really hard to say. Not enough information to go on at this point.

    Are you in a winter environment? Can you retrieve a trouble code?

  • thank you for the reply. no codes winter environment........ upstate NY..30 below yesterday morning. it seems like it use to do it with less than a quarter tank of it seems to do it all the time.i just went out to start it and had to hold the pedal for about 5 min. now it seems to be idleing rough but idleing.
  • my truck dies when slowing and sputters sometimes but fires back up im out of answers
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Have you checked that the Idle Speed Motor is working?

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Which transmission do you have?

    How many miles on the vehicle?

    When was the last tune-up performed (miles)?

  • It started idiling fine and have done nothing to it.What does this sound like to you?Fuel filter?How do you check the idle speed motor?Thank you for the help.keevine
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    If it started idling fine since the temperatures went up, it could be moisture in the fuel. Moisture can freeze, restrict the pump pickup, fuel lines, and the Fuel Pressure Regulator.

    You can make a cursory check of the Idle Speed Motor by placing the Mode Control knob (Heater/Air Conditioning Control) in the defrost mode. Your should hear the Air Compressor Clutch engage and the idle speed should come up at least 50 RPM (50-125 RPM is spec.).

    I would recommend checking the connections at the Idle Speed Motor and Throttle Position Sensor connectors for loose pins or signs of corrosion. Since throttle position sensors are a common failure item, you could replace it as a shotgun approach.

    Check for the presence of excessive oil sludge in the fill tube under the engine oil cap. Remove the moisture diverter by grasping the end and pulling straight upwards. You will or should see the opening on the right (passenger) side of the oil fill tube for the PCV valve. If this is clogged, it could cause the engine to idle too low. In cold weather this can be especially acute. The PCV valve could also be clogged from the gooey sludge freezing overnight, then after it warms the engine may idle fine after that.

    Check the various vacuum lines for splits or cracks. This can cause a loss of idle control.

    The Engine Coolant Temperature or Manifold Absolute Pressure sensors could be defective.

    Best regards,
  • Thank you for responding.I will start looking for problems.After reading your response you mentioned switching the heater to the defrost mode,well thats the only place it will work.Does that tell you anything different?Its not a big deal if it doesn't as long as it defrots my window.Oh I forgot to tell you,from the time I made the last response it stoped idiling AGIAN! Thank you again for all the help keevine
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Sorry for the late response.

    When the heater control is placed into a defrost mode, a signal is sent to the PCM which causes the Idle Speed Motor to advance slightly. This is to compensate for an idle speed drop caused by the increased load of the air compressor.

    If it idles fine in the defrost mode, you either have a defective Idle Speed Motor, or a PCM problem. It's possible the PCM might need a reset, although I think its more doubtful in this case.

    By connecting a DRB3 scan tool to this truck, a Dodge tech. can get a better idea of what's going on.

  • My 99 sport 4x4 cranks fine and runs fine until it warms up.Then it doesnt want to idle but its fine at high RPM's. 3.9 motor. Can anyone help PLEASE?
  • wvbigdogwvbigdog Posts: 1
    edited November 2010
    I've been searching for weeks online for an answer to this issue I'm having so I'll try here and see what I get for an answer since dustyk seems to be direct and to the point.

    My son couldn't make payments on his 1998 4x4 Dakota SLT with a 3.9 and auto and 104,000 miles, so I took it over figuring it would be good to move our boat from the shed to the ramp at Raystown Lake in PA (less than a mile). The issue he passed on to me though is a throttle issue. The throttle responds as it is supposed to when the truck is first started and until it warms up, then if you step on the pedal while in park or nutural the idle will roar to about 2800 rpm and very slowly back off to about 750 give or take. When I say "slowly falls" it might take 8 -10 seconds to fall back down to 750. In gear this is not evident if it's happening, but I have to think it could so I'm concerned...a lot.

    I've replaced the TPS since it seemed one of the cheapest fixes and the root of much discussion for idle problems. I think I did a pretty good job checking all the vacuum hoses; and they look good although I'm tempted to replace them just to be sure. I cleaned up the IAC and it's seat/port in the TB, and it tested ok using a 9v battery, but it might be sticking and it's the original, so I'm thinking it's another cheap replaceable item that probably will need replaced soon if it's not the root to the current issue thinking of the vehicle age and mileage.
    The dealer where he bought it was closed by Dodge in the sweep of taking away small town dealers this year, and I'm not real happy with the alternatives that charge 30% more just to component change and they really don't care what your name is as long as the money is green, so it hasn't been to a dealer shop for their opinion. Our local shop says it might be one of these sensors but without leaving it with him he can only guess (he is mostly GM by training).

    I'm not dumb under a hood or at least in the old days I wasn't ;) , nor afraid to get my hands dirty so I'm looking for possible answers and then I can change my own components without the hourly labor charge.

    Thanks for your help!

  • I have a 2000 Dakota,181,00 miles, magnum 6 cyl engine;at below 30 degrees my truck starts and idles fine;after 10 miles or so,I notice some hesitation;if I take my foot off gas pedal and start to accelerate the engine falters then suddenly throttle up;this goes on for a few miles until I come to a complete stop.At no time during all this bucking and jerking does the engine light come on.
    When I take off again the vehicle is fine and runs all day long at any speed with normal acceleration and idle;once the truck sits all night it is the same problem the following morning unless the temps are above 32.
    I changed out the coolant temp sensor and have had a tune up within the last year with new plug wires installed.All other sensors on the car are original parts.
    Any suggestions? I would appreciate your insights..thanks ! Mark
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