What to know about the Throttle Kicker Actuator:
When you press the throttle, a cable attached to the throttle body, or carburetor, lets extra air and fuel to enter the engine. If you release the pedal abruptly, your engine speed doesn’t immediately drop to idle; instead, it slows in a controlled manner. Conversely, when your engine’s accessories such as air conditioning come on, the engine speed increases slightly. These operations function via the throttle kicker actuator, or solenoid.
The throttle kicker stops the engine’s RPMs from fluctuating too highly and retains the throttle slightly engaged when accessories draw more power. It is controlled by both electronic means and vacuum. If the throttle kicker actuator isn’t working correctly, your engine can stall when the throttle is released quickly, the transmission may have difficulty shifting, and the ‘fast idle’ feature may not work on startup.
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Facts to Note:
Throttle kicker problems are usually erratic and can arise without warning.
If the throttle kicker actuator stops working correctly, you may also have issues with your car’s anti-slip features, traction control, and other electronic measures that are meant to work with the throttle to provide greater amounts of stability.
How to Fix:
The vehicle battery is disconnected and the air cleaner is detached for access
The faulty throttle kicker is removed
The new throttle kicker is fixed and the battery is connected
The engine is started and the throttle kicker is adjusted to specifications
The air cleaner is reinstalled, repair is confirmed and the vehicle is road tested for proper operation
The throttle kicker actuator fails very seldom and in most cases will last the lifetime of your vehicle. Other problems, such as an idle air control motor or another sensor-related issue, are more likely the cause of your symptoms.
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Common symptoms indicating you may need to change the Throttle Kicker Actuator:
Engine performance is lessened without apparent cause.
Engine stalls frequently.
Difficulty starting your engine.
Transmission is tough to shift.
Importance of this service:
If the throttle kicker actuator is not working appropriately, your engine can stall on deceleration or when idle, which can put you in harm’s way, especially in traffic conditions. The throttle kicker actuator should be changed as soon as it has been professionally analyzed as defective.