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Old 04-02-2014, 05:10 AM   #1
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Trust computer or mechanic??

Need some help here please.

We are having trouble with our throttle being "mushy" at times on our 370 Cummins.

It will run great at speed but when we slow down it acts like it won't "go" at all. If my hubby STOMPS on the accelerator it will go.

Computer code says it's the ECM (main computer chip $2600. Mechanic with 25 years thinks it's a control thingy (sorry don't know the name) down by the pedal. Cost of $335.)

He says it's our option as to what we repair.......any thoughts?

Coach has run great til now, only 52k miles on it.
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:17 AM   #2
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I really have no idea. But I would go with the mechanic, I have been told computer problems a lot of times are simply emotions issues that you can live with.
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:26 AM   #3
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Throttle Pedal

From what you are explaining I would go with the throttle position sensor. It changes voltages on wires to input acceleration. Sounds like it has a bad spot in it and if you stomp past that its OK. Besides its the least expensive part. Seldom is it the ECM.... Good Luck
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:35 AM   #4
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Sounds like the TPS. (Throttle Position Sensor). Take a look at the throttle pedal where it hinges at the floor. Check for and clean out any loose stuff that has gathered under the pedal at the hinge area. Many times, cleaning around the pedal hinge will correct the problem you discribed. Hope it helps.
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:41 AM   #5
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The TPS are a common failure on these drive by wire marvels. They can go at any time. I vote to change it first. Better to be out $300 then $2600.
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjyounger View Post
Need some help here please.

We are having trouble with our throttle being "mushy" at times on our 370 Cummins.

It will run great at speed but when we slow down it acts like it won't "go" at all. If my hubby STOMPS on the accelerator it will go.

Computer code says it's the ECM (main computer chip $2600. Mechanic with 25 years thinks it's a control thingy (sorry don't know the name) down by the pedal. Cost of $335.)

He says it's our option as to what we repair.......any thoughts?

Coach has run great til now, only 52k miles on it.
What computer code? would be my question. The TPS is nothing more than a POT and can be easily tested with an o-scope (or a good meter with an analog scale for better response) or if you get a ScanGauge it will show the TPS response. I wouldn't guess at either and do further tests.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:20 AM   #7
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The TPS are a common failure on these drive by wire marvels. They can go at any time. I vote to change it first. Better to be out $300 then $2600.

X2!
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:34 AM   #8
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Not a hard choice for me. Go with the Mechanic.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:09 AM   #9
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Typically computer codes represent a circuit. A circuit consists of the sensor (TPS in your case), cabling between sensor and ECM, and the ECM itself. The problem can be with any of those items. Please make sure you understand exactly what the generated code represents before deciding on a course of action.

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Old 04-02-2014, 12:49 PM   #10
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only thing that sucks about this is the Throttle Position Sensor is setting on 40 feet of wire

if any thing should be wrong with said wiring this would be a very hard one to find and fix
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:14 PM   #11
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Pull the throttle pedal back with your left hand and move the arm (with roller on the end) that pivots on the pedal with your right hand and make sure it isn't sticking and that the roller hasn't got a build up of gunk on it. Both roller and pivoting arm should move absolutely smoothly.
See where the roller moves on the 'floor' - make sure there is nothing on that surface either.

You can then try it with the engine running and make sure the engine revs change smoothly as you move the arm.

BTW these items start from about $40 for cars so they aren't a big ticket item and changing them usually involves undoing a couple of screws and plugging the new one in. 10 minutes
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:36 PM   #12
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I wouldn't replace either till you have an actual diagnosis. What your mechanic did is frequently the beginning of a bad experience which I call the Reverse Money Wheel (you spin to determine how much of your money you hand him & you get some random result that maybe fixes the problem or maybe you get to spin again). This also works remarkably like Whack-a-Mole only with what used to be your money out the window with each whack. He looked at the symptom & asked "what things are involved here?" Then he made his defectively short list & gave you a choice (thereby pulling you into his sloppy diagnostic method and giving him an out to charge you regardless of results cuz "you told me to".

Could be the TPS (which is likely a Hall-effects sensor, I think TPS based on potentiometers died out in the late 90's), could be the ECM, could be the wire in between, could be another sensor not squaring with the other ecm inputs & incoming a temp limp mode, or most likely its just a bad connection. Finding a bad connection takes a serious tech.

Start with reading the codes. If no codes- is probably a bad connection leaving the ecm short on voltage or ground.

Had my toad in the Nissan dealer for a no start. They immediately (after getting no codes) called Nissan Corp for a consult, & answered their first question, "have you checked all the connections?" They lied like a dog in the dirt with fleas, ticks, mange, & a really ugly haircut. They said Yes. After replacing two heavy cost electronics packages, one of which was the ecm, and still no start, they found low voltage to the ecm & corrosion on a fuse that trimmed 12V to 7V. Also after replacing the ecm (all on their collective dime via factory extended warranty) the service manager got a hefty piece of my own diagnosis, ie that they were playing Reverse Money Wheel/Whack-a-Mole instead of doing professional work and tying up my truck for over a week. After the dress down, they found the bad fuse in under 2hrs.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:59 PM   #13
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Sometimes the computer can detect a problem and give you a "Generic" code. And an expierenced mechanic can look at that code and say 9 time out of ten that is this part.

Example is code 455, Evaporate Emission control systems, MAJOR LEAK.

Sounds big and expensive: Try putting the gas cap back on stupid. (Yup that is the code of missing gas cap).. Of course it can be a major issue.. You do not know till you get into it)
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:34 PM   #14
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Sometimes the computer can detect a problem and give you a "Generic" code. And an expierenced mechanic can look at that code and say 9 time out of ten that is this part.

Example is code 455, Evaporate Emission control systems, MAJOR LEAK.

Sounds big and expensive: Try putting the gas cap back on stupid. (Yup that is the code of missing gas cap).. Of course it can be a major issue.. You do not know till you get into it)
Been there, done that. Our old 99 Buick check engine light would come on randomly. Asked a neighbor/mechanic about it and he told me to buy a new gas cap. Light never came on again. The light or code only gives the mechanic a place to begin looking for the problem.
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