How To Test a Toyota Camry TPS Sensor

How To Test a Toyota Camry TPS Sensor

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The Toyota Camry TPS Sensor is basically a potentiometer device that uses a sliding pin system to read how far your throttle blade is open. Otherwise known as the Throttle Position Sensor, your Camry ECU uses this signal to determine how much fuel to deliver to your 2.2 liter 4 cylinder engine.

This sensor is mounted opposite of your cable actuated throttle body, and mounted to the intake manifold of your Toyota engine. Today I will be showing you how to troubleshoot and test your Camry TPS sensor to determine if it needs replacing. Your Camry TPS sensor is a four pin unit that’s secured by two screws, and if you are replacing it you will need to calibrate the readings so that the proper range (0-5V DC) is achieved.

When your Camry TPS sensor begins to fail, you’ll see quite a few problems with your Toyota. It may run rough, fail to maintain idle or even respond slowly to throttle input. Of course one of the more common symptoms of a bad Camry TPS is any number of OBDII check engine codes that may light on your dashboard.

Symptoms of a failed Camry TPS Sensor

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Check engine light (MIL Activated)
  • Sluggish throttle response
  • Engine revving on it’s own

Today’s test vehicle is a 1995 Toyota Camry with a check engine light on for low throttle position sensor signal. I will be showing you how to test your Toyota Camry TPS sensor using a multimeter or voltmeter. Of course if you aren’t sure how to use one of these devices, or you don’t know what these devices are check out our guide here.

How to Test your Toyota Camry TPS Sensor for Power

The first order of business is to locate the throttle position sensor. Open your Toyota Camry hood and follow your intake piping until it reaches your throttle body and intake manifold. The TPS sensor is mounted between the throttle body and the firewall, and it’s connected with a 4 PIN connector.

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Once you have located the Camry TPS, you will need to insert your ignition key and turn to the “ON” position. This delivers 5 volts of power to your throttle position sensor. Disconnect the Camry TPS sensor and reference our Toyota wiring diagram below. Now using your multimeter, you will be gently probing the front of PIN D.

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This wire is a solid RED colored wire and with your ignition turned to the “ON” position, you should see 5 volts of power here. This is done by touching the black probe of your multimeter to the negative terminal of your battery and taking the red probe and gently touching the face of the D PIN shown above.

If you have power here, the next step is to check PIN A for a low reference ground signal. This is PIN A shown above and remember you are checking the engine harness side of your TPS connector. The wire color for PIN A is BROWN, and it should return a ground signal once you touch the front of the connector. This ground signal is sent from your Toyota ECU.

Testing your Camry TPS Sensor for signal

The signal wire testing portion of our guide is a little more complex than just unplugging your harness and testing the leads. You will need to reconnect your Camry TPS and then use a wire probe to pierce the signal wire, or use a backpin. Backpinning your Camry TPS is easy when you use an unbent paper clip. Simply straighten the paper clip out and gently insert into the BACK of the throttle position sensor connector.

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You are checking for the BLACK wire, which is PIN C or the throttle position sensor SIGNAL wire. You do not need to turn on the engine for this part of the test, keeping it at the “ON” position will work just fine. Now¬†you can measure your Camry TPS with the throttle sensor connected and remember, you are measuring PIN C.

The black wire should return between .8-1.1 volts of DC power with the throttle plate closed. Now manually open your throttle body as far as it will go using your other hand, or have someone in the car depress the gas pedal all the way down. At the fully opened position, you should read between 4.5-4.8 volts of DC power.

If your Camry TPS does not return these values, something has gone wrong inside the sensor or your throttle body needs replacing. Keep in mind that your car will most likely vary in voltage from our test results, but the voltage should be in the same ballpark.

Shop for a brand new throttle position sensor at our online store, or simply head to your nearest auto parts store to pick up a replacement. You can use a scan tool to clear any lingering OBDII trouble codes from there.

You now know how to check and see if your Toyota Camry TPS is in working condition. If you have any questions about our guide, leave us a message below and let us know!

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