TEST 2: Making Sure The TPS Has Power And Ground
If you've reached this point, the TPS in your Dakota or Durango did not pass TEST 1.
Before we condemn it as defective, we're gonna' make sure it's getting power and Ground. Power is in the form of 5 Volts DC.
The wire that feeds power to the TPS is the violet with white stripe (VIO/WHT) wire of the connector.
The wire that feeds Ground to the TPS is the black with light blue (BLK/LT BLU) wire of the connector.
IMPORTANT: Do not probe the front of the female terminal of the TPS connector or you run the risk of damaging the terminal. Back probe the connector or use a wire piercing probe.
These are the test steps:
Place your multimeter in Volts DC mode and disconnect the TPS from its electrical connector.
Check the VIO/WHT wire for power with the Key On Engine Off (KOEO) (see illustration above).
Back probe terminal the VIO/WHT wire with the red multimeter lead and connect the black lead to the battery negative (-) post.
The multimeter should register 4.5 to 5 Volts DC.
Check the BLK/LT BLU wire for Ground with the Key On Engine Off (KOEO) (see illustration above).
Back probe BLK/LT BLU wire with the black multimeter lead and connect the red lead to the battery positive (+) post.
The multimeter should register battery voltage (12+ volts).
Let's examine your multimeter test results:
CASE 1: Both Ground and power (5 Volts) are present. This is the correct and expected test result.
You can now conclude that the TPS is defective if you confirmed (in TEST 1) that the TP sensor is not producing a signal (or the signal stayed stuck in one value).
Here's why: If the throttle position sensor is getting power and Ground, then it should produce a voltage signal that increases when you open the throttle plate and decreases when you close it. Since in TEST 1 the signal did not react to the throttle plate movement and you have confirmed that the TP sensor is being fed power and voltage, you can now conclude that the TP sensor is bad.
CASE 2: Either Ground or power ARE NOT present. Without power or Ground the throttle position sensor will not produce a throttle angle voltage signal.
A lack of power or Ground usually tells you that there's an open in the wiring between the TPS connector and the fuel injection computer or another sensor that shares the power and Ground circuit is defective.
Where To Buy Your TP Sensor And Save
The following links will help you to comparison shop for the throttle position sensor:
Not sure if the above TP sensor fits your particular V8 equipped Dodge Dakota or Durango? Don't worry, once you get to the site, they'll make sure it fits by asking you the particulars of your vehicle. If it doesn't fit, they'll find you the right one.
More V8 Dodge Dakota And Durango Tutorials
You can find a complete list of 5.2L and 5.9L Dodge Dakota and Durango tutorials in this index:
Here's a small sample of the tutorials you'll find in the index:
- How To Test The Blower Motor (1997-1999 Dakota, Durango).
- How To Test The Blower Motor Resistor (1997-1999 Dodge Dakota And Durango).
- How To Test The Starter Motor (1997-1999 Dakota).
- How To Test Engine Compression (Chrysler 3.9L, 5.2L, 5.9L) (at: troubleshootmyvehicle.com).
- How To Test The Ignition Coil -No Start Tests (Chrysler 3.9L, 5.2L, 5.9L) (at: troubleshootmyvehicle.com).
If this info really saved the day, buy me a beer!