How To Reset Throttle Position Sensor Chevy Silverado – Answered

TPS or throttle position sensors going wrong is the car version of having to deal with a parasite. The symptoms such a malfunction causes are often the same as issues caused by other malfunctions. This makes diagnosing your way to this diminutive sensor a real nightmare. However, once discovered, resetting and fixing the fault is quite doable.

TPS sensors are easily reset. Locate it on the throttle body > detach it > give it a good clean > and then reattach it. That is all there is to do commonly.

Although the diagnosis of a faulty TPS is confusing at best, the worst setback I found was that the hardware reset often leaves behind software codes that are just frustrating to deal with. But software problems will need more space than an intro to finish. So, let’s start with the easy stuff.

What is a TPS sensor?

TPS sensors are typically found on the throttle bodies of engines and play a jack-of-all-trades role. TPS sensors monitor factors such as:

  • Air intake (the volume of air entering through the throttle body)
  • Throttle position (how far down the accelerator pedal is pressed)

These sensors then relay the information they gather to the ECU so that it can control engine parameters.

Common Causes for a TPS Sensor Malfunction On Chevy Silverado

TPS malfunctions can be caused by varying factors. Some of these include:

  • Build-up of dirt and debris
  • Corrosion in wires or wire connectors for the sensor
  • General wear and tear

A TPS fault, as evident, will most likely be caused by general wear, over time, as the truck is driven.

The symptoms of TPS Malfunction On Chevy Silverado

The symptoms of a TPS sensor going haywire is pretty noticeable. Amongst the problems, the two big ones are:

  1.  A lack of power is the most noticeable one. Your Silverado -in case of a TPS malfunction can suddenly become sluggish, which is both obvious and bad if you use your truck to haul around stuff
  2. Worsened fuel economy is the other major one. Faulty  TPS sensors can cause ECU to feed more fuel into the engine unnecessarily. This means that the engine starts to burn the same amount of fuel regardless of whether the truck is stopped or going full tilt down an on-ramp.

Also, other miscellaneous symptoms include rough idling behavior and heavy vibration from the engine. These issues can also be caused by a myriad of other malfunctions and mechanical failures, making them difficult to diagnose.

How to Reset Throttle Position Sensor Chevy Silverado?

A TPS sensor may be reset remarkably quickly. Cleaning or completely replacing the item, as I discovered, is relatively simple. Dedicating 30 minutes to detach and clean the sensor is often enough to fix it.

Step 1: Disconnect the battery

The first task is disconnecting the negative lead from the battery and letting the car sit for 10 mins.

To disconnect the battery, use a 10mm socket on a wrench and take off the black wire from the negative marked terminal. Make sure to stow the connector safely in any nook or cranny you can fashion- the main objective is to not let it touch the battery terminal.

Step 2: Locate the TPS sensor

Next, locate the throttle body, where you will ultimately find the TPS sensor.

The TPS  sensor is on the throttle body itself. The throttle body is situated between the air filter and the intake manifold of your engine. The easiest route for you would be to follow along from the air box.

Step 3: Detach and Clean

After locating the sensor, you can now use common tools like a spudger or a flathead (check the current price here) to pry it out. And disconnect the associated wires as well. Then, give it a good clean.

Use compressed air to blow off any visible dirt at first. Then you can use isopropyl alcohol to clean up the rest- being careful not to over-exert yourself. Also, at this point, it is a good idea to check the wire connectors for rust or corrosion. If found, use sandpaper to clean the surface.

Step 4: Reattach and reconnect

After cleaning, you can focus on reattaching the sensor. This will be simply the reverse of what you did.

Pop the sensor back in along with its wires and ultimately go back to your battery and reconnect the wire to the negative terminal as well.

Step 5: Re-calibrate and reprogram

Most Chevrolet vehicles along with Chevy Silverados, need to have their TPS sensor re-calibrated when it is removed and replaced.

To re-calibrate:

  • First, make sure you are in park or neutral.
  • Press and hold the accelerator for 2 seconds
  • Turn on the ignition for 10 seconds and then turn off

Repeat this process a couple of times.

With re-calibration done, now, you might have to deal with a software code. After a TPS fault is fixed, the error codes that are issued sometimes remain in the system. The truck’s computer does not delete them, which causes the check engine light to stay on.

To combat this, you can use a cheap Bluetooth OBD scanner. You can plug an inexpensive scanner into a corresponding port under the steering column. You can then connect to the scanner using your phone and delete the error codes caused by the TPS fault.

Further Potential Issues?

As the TPS sensor runs mayhem in the engine, it is natural to think that the drivetrain components might be affected. However, major components like the:

  • Transmission, whilst under higher stress due to low torque, cannot be damaged.
  • Transfer case is not affected by fluctuations in power.
  • Differential is not damaged by the low-power delivery

And though certain vehicle options like the max trailering package – you can check for the RPO NHT code in your glovebox to see if you have this- are rendered useless, it is only momentarily.

Once the TPS error is fixed and the engine goes back to delivering full power, all the capabilities are restored.


Here are some related questions and their answers that will make things easier to understand the issue well.

What is a TPS sensor?

A TPS or throttle position sensor measures how much you have pressed the gas pedal and relays this information to the ECU.

Should I replace my TPS sensor?

Not necessarily. TPS sensor errors are largely caused by a debris buildup. You should first check your sensor and see whether a thorough clean fixes the problems or not. If cleaning doesn’t help, then replacing the sensor is required.

How to make a persistent check engine light go away?

The check engine light might continue to stay lit after you have fixed the TPS sensor itself. This happens because hardware fixes often don’t cause the error codes to clear from your car’s computer. In this case, you can use a cheap OBD scanner to clear the codes.

Will a TPS error worsen my fuel economy?

Faulty TPS sensors can cause the ECU to feed more fuel into the engine than required which will culminate in worsening your fuel economy.


Diagnosing a TPS fault is difficult. Since the symptoms resemble issues that can sprout from many other malfunctions. Noticeable issues like a rough idling pattern are caused by a myriad of other issues like worn-out spark plugs- making the whole detection process tiring in general.

Despite the difficulties identifying, however, mending the issue is simple. As TPS sensors are easy to locate and work on, the primary fears are eliminated. Spending vast amounts of time resetting the sensor is not required and the whole process is easy enough for any Silverado owner to follow.

Hi, this is Johnny Norris grew up in a car-oriented family. I love helping people by solving different problems they face in their Chevy car. Following my suggestions, how-to guides, you can save up on a lot of money that would have been spent on paying a professional.