How To Test The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) -2002, 2003, 2004 2.4L Honda CR-V

The throttle position sensor (TPS) on the 2.4L Honda CR-V is a simple 3 wire fuel system component that can be easily tested with just a multimeter (yup, no scan tool needed!).

In this tutorial I will explain the TPS test that you need to perform to make sure that it is defective (or not).

  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.

Contents of this tutorial at a glance:

  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.

NOTE: You can find the 1997-2001 2.0L Honda CR-V TPS test here: How To Test The TPS (1997-2001 2.0L Honda CR-V).

Basics Of The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)

How To Test The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) -2002, 2003, 2004 2.4L Honda CR-V

The throttle plate angle changes as you step on or off the accelerator pedal. And of course, it's the throttle position sensor's job to measure it and report it to your 2.4L Honda CR-V's fuel injection computer.

This throttle plate angle information is critical for your CR-V's fuel injection computer. So when this bad boy fails, you're gonna' see your 2.4L CR-V's engine performance suffer (not to mention that the check engine light will be lit up with a TPS trouble code).

For our testing purposes, we need to know which wire is the wire that feeds power to the TPS sensor. We also need to know which wire is one that feeds ground. And lastly we need to know which wire is the one that transmits the throttle angle signal to the fuel injection computer. With that in mind, the following table has a brief description of each wire:

2002-2004 2.4L Honda CR-V TP Sensor Circuits
Pin Wire Color Description
1 YEL/BLU Power (5 Volts DC)
2 RED/BLK Throttle Plate Position Signal
3 GRN/YEL Ground

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

Checking The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) Signal. How To Test The Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) -2002, 2003, 2004 2.4L Honda CR-V

As mentioned earlier, the TPS measures the throttle plate angle. This angle changes as you step on or off the accelerator pedal.

When throttle plate is at rest, like when you have your foot off the accelerator pedal. The TPS produces a voltage of .4 to .5 volts DC.

When you step on the accelerator pedal and the throttle plate opens, the voltage signal that the TP sensor produces increases. When the throttle plate is at its wide open throttle position, the TPS produces a voltage of about 4.5 volts DC.

So in this test section we're gonna' check to see if the TP sensor is actually producing an increasing/decreasing voltage signal as we open/close the throttle plate.

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 TPS test result:


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.