How To Test The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) -1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 2.0L Honda CR-V

The throttle position sensor (TPS) on your 2.0L Honda CR-V can be accurately tested with your multimeter and also without having to take it out of its spot on the throttle body.

In this tutorial, I'll show you where you need to make your multimeter connections to test it and find out if its bad (or not) and in the process troubleshoot the following diagnostic trouble codes:

  1. P0122: Throttle Position Sensor Circuit Low Input.
  2. P0123: Throttle Position Sensor Circuit High Input.
  3. P1121: Throttle Position Sensor Signal Lower Than Expected.
  4. P1122: Throttle Position Sensor Signal Higher Than Expected.

Here is the list of what we're going to do in this tutorial:

  1. Basics Of The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS).
  2. TEST 1: Checking The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) Signal.
  3. TEST 2: Making Sure The TPS Has Power and Ground.
  4. Where To Buy The TPS And Save.
  5. More 2.0L Honda CR-V Tutorials.

En Español You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Cómo Probar El Sensor TPS (1997-2001 2.0L Honda CR-V) (at: autotecnico-online.com).

NOTE: You can find the 2002-2004 2.4L Honda CR-V TPS test here: How To Test The TPS (2002-2004 2.0L Honda CR-V).

Basics Of The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)

How To Test The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) -1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 2.0L Honda CR-V

As you already know, the throttle plate is connected to the accelerator pedal via the accelerator cable. So, when you step on or off the accelerator pedal, the throttle plate opens or closes.

It's the job of the throttle position sensor (TPS) to measure the amount the throttle plate opens and report this information to your 2.0L Honda CR-V's fuel injection computer.

If you've already taken a look at the TP sensor, on your Honda CR-V, you know that it's a 3-wire sensor. Each wire has a specific job to do and in the following table you'll find a brief description of each:

2.0L Honda CR-V TP Sensor Circuits
Pin Wire Color Description
1 GRN/BLK Ground
2 RED/BLK Throttle Plate Position Signal
3 YEL/BLU Power (5 Volts DC)

TEST 1: Checking The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) Signal

How To Test The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) -1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 2.0L Honda CR-V

To successfully diagnose the TPS on your 2.0L Honda CR-V, you need to know that when the throttle plate is closed the TP sensor produces a low voltage of about .4 Volts DC.

This low voltage increases as the throttle plate opens. When the throttle plate has opened to its maximum open position (known as wide open throttle -WOT) the TP sensor produces a voltage of about 4.5 volt DC.

So in this first test section we're going to check the TP signal voltage (of the red with black stripe wire) with a multimeter and see if it increases as we manually open the throttle plate.

If the TPS is bad, then it'll stay stuck at one specific voltage number no matter the throttle plate angle.

IMPORTANT: This is an on car test of the sensor and the throttle position sensor must remain connected to its harness connector.

These are the steps:

  1. 1

    Place your multimeter in Volts DC mode and connect the red test lead to the RED/BLK wire of the TP sensor harness connector.

    NOTE: The TP sensor connector needs to be connected to the TPS, so you'll need to either back-probe the connector or use a wire piercing probe to get to the signal inside the wire (to see what a wire piercing probe looks like: Wire Piercing Probe Tool).

  2. 2

    Ground the black multimeter lead directly on the battery negative (-) post.

  3. 3

    Manually rotate the throttle.

    You'll get the best results by opening and closing the throttle directly on the throttle body instead of stepping on the accelerator pedal.

  4. 4

    The multimeter should show an increasing voltage as you (or your helper) open up the throttle.

    You'll get the best results by opening and closing the throttle directly on the throttle body instead of stepping on the accelerator pedal.

  5. 5

    The multimeter should show a decreasing voltage as you begin to close the throttle.

  6. 6

    Using a screwdriver's handle, gently tap the TP sensor as you open and close the throttle and observer the multimeter.

    The purpose (of tapping the TP sensor with the screwdriver's handle) is to see if the TP sensor shows gap's in the voltage signal. Why? Because a good TP sensor will show a continuous increasing or decreasing voltage signal even while getting tapped by the screw-driver's handle.

Let's take a look at your test results:

CASE 1: The TP sensor signal's voltage increased and decreased smoothly and without gaps. This is the correct and expected TPS test result. This result tells you that the TPS is working correctly.

You can also conclude that the throttle position sensor is getting power and ground.

CASE 2: The TP sensor signal's voltage did not increase or decrease. This test result usually means that they TP sensor is defective but not always.

The next step, before we conclude that the TP sensor is bad, is to make sure that it's getting power and ground. For these two tests, go to: TEST 2: Checking Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) Power and Ground.

CASE 3: The TP sensor signal's voltage showed gaps in its voltage output as you tapped the sensor with the screwdriver. If the voltage signal (on your multimeter) reacted to the screwdriver tapping on the TP sensor, then this is a sure sign that the TPS is defective and needs to be replaced.