APP sensor - Acura TSX Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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APP sensor

Hi everyone,

I need some feedback as I'm having an issue with my '04 TSX and think I'm pretty sure what's going on after extensive research online, including reading posts here:

For the past several days, I noticed occasional surging, short bursts, but nothing more than that. I figured it was related to needing general maintenance, oil change, etc. which is coming up soon.

But yesterday evening, I got a few blocks from home and it began stuttering and the VSA light with warning sign was on and the malfunction indicator was lit up.

I immediately turned around and came back home, and after reading online it seems this very same thing happens to many TSX owners and it means the APP sensor needs to be replaced.

Of course, this happened late evening Saturday so I can't get anything done until Monday.

First of all, the dealership recently did throttle body service on my car - could that have anything to do with this particular issue?

I just want to make sure that nothing I've had done on it in the past several months could cause this.

Some people report that the cable to the sensor is loose and tightening it fixed the issue for them - and others say it didn't help them at all.

So I'm fairly certain it will be the APP sensor.

Is it ok to drive short distances until I can get the work done?

I am an older woman, can't do the repair myself, and am afraid to take it to small shops (won't take it anywhere like NTB or Firestone) - so I don't know what to do.

Guess the best option is to take it to the dealership??

Thank you.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 02:56 PM
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Have you checked the codes?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 06:13 AM
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The sensor is quite easy to replace. It is very accessible and you only need a few tools.

My experience with this is that while holding the pedal in about the same position, there was some light surging or roughness. When I monitored the throttle plate position, I saw that it was jumping around. I put the car in cruise control, and it smoothed out immediately. That's how I narrowed it down to the APP - the dealer had already given me a quote for throttle body replacement, which would have been quite expensive and would not have fixed the issue.

When I did change the sensor, there was a lot of slack to take up. All that did was reduce the movement of the pedal before the throttle opened. May the car feel newer...
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgeman View Post
Have you checked the codes?
The next day after this happened, the VSA was no longer on, but the malfunction warning indicator was still on.

I took it to both O'Reilly and Auto Zone for computer check - both read same code:

"P2138 APP Sensor A/B or 1/2 TPS D/E - Incorrect Volate Correlation - Code P2138 indicates that with the ignition on the PCM detected the difference between the throttle/pedal position sensor/switch D signation and the throttle/pedal position sensor/switch E signal was greater than the maximum allowable value"

However . . . I had read that a few people resolved the issue completely by tightening their gas cap.

So I stopped and put in a half tank of gas and made sure to tighten the cap with several extra clicks. I got in, started my car - and the malfunction light was off. It drove fine and a few hours later I went out and started it up - no warning lights on. As of today, the warning lights are still off.

In fact, the Acura manual I have says the gas cap may be the possible source of the problem.

What I now wonder if that IF that did solve the problem and caused the warning lights to be on - would the Auto Zone computer still show the code for the APP sensor since the malfunction indicator is what lights up for that issue?

I hope this was the fix, but I'm not feeling confident yet because frankly my car has had a "push/pull" feel when accelerating from a stop sign, etc. for a long time now, so that may have been the first symptoms of the APP sensor going out, and this gas cap may just be coincidence or something. ??

I'm now debating about whether to go ahead and order the APP sensor just to have it here in case it happens again.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 09:35 PM
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I had to replace my APP sensor. I also had the push/pull behavior. Initially it was minor and then it progressed a little more over a week's time. Then it calmed down for a day or two. When it returned it was much worse and then it rapidly worsened after a few days.

After 2 weeks from the initial symptoms it got so bad that the car went into limp mode. It would take off very slow and would not go past 30 or so miles per hour. All the while it was running very rough. I had the P2138 and another emission code. I can't remember which one.

If it is the APP sensor then I don't think it's wise to put it off any longer than necessary. You may end up with a car that is extremely hard to drive in traffic. And if it is far from home, you'll have a miserable and long drive back.

Your issue definitely sounds like the APP is faulting. It may not be but then roll the dice if you can afford to go wait it out. I have a second car but the experience of trying to 'limp' home was long and miserable and I regret not replacing it sooner.

You can buy a direct replacement much, much cheaper online if you'd like. It fairly easy to replace. Someone with basic skills can do the work in less than 30 minutes, 10-15 if you are used to working on your own car. Just Google 'APP replacement/install TSX' or something similar for directions on how to adjust it before installing it. It sometimes is also referred to as a TP (throttle position) or TPP (throttle pedal position) sensor too. Good luck.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Litespeed08 View Post
I had to replace my APP sensor. I also had the push/pull behavior. Initially it was minor and then it progressed a little more over a week's time. Then it calmed down for a day or two. When it returned it was much worse and then it rapidly worsened after a few days.

After 2 weeks from the initial symptoms it got so bad that the car went into limp mode. It would take off very slow and would not go past 30 or so miles per hour. All the while it was running very rough. I had the P2138 and another emission code. I can't remember which one.

If it is the APP sensor then I don't think it's wise to put it off any longer than necessary. You may end up with a car that is extremely hard to drive in traffic. And if it is far from home, you'll have a miserable and long drive back.

Your issue definitely sounds like the APP is faulting. It may not be but then roll the dice if you can afford to go wait it out. I have a second car but the experience of trying to 'limp' home was long and miserable and I regret not replacing it sooner.

You can buy a direct replacement much, much cheaper online if you'd like. It fairly easy to replace. Someone with basic skills can do the work in less than 30 minutes, 10-15 if you are used to working on your own car. Just Google 'APP replacement/install TSX' or something similar for directions on how to adjust it before installing it. It sometimes is also referred to as a TP (throttle position) or TPP (throttle pedal position) sensor too. Good luck.
Hi, thanks much for that info.

Yes, when mine went into limp mode the other day, it felt like it was going to stall completely when I was at an intersection stop sign, but thankfully it got through and was able to pick up a little speed, but that's a really helpless feeling. Was grateful that I was only a few blocks from home.

It's still doing fine after giving the gas cap some extra turns, and I'd like to think that solved it, but since it had been surging off and on for awhile, I expect it's the APP.

I'm going to order it online to have it here, and I think I can find someone to put it on for me, for a reasonable fee.

On a thread somewhere, I read that they ordered from Rock Auto, but I couldn't locate the part there, will try again.

Do you recommend that website or what is the best place to get the lowest price?

Thank you!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 12:44 PM
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You can try this dealer:

OEM Acura TSX SEDAN 2004 ACCELERATOR SENSOR parts

and also check your PM for a separate source.

It is very easy to put on.

04 CGP A-Spec 6MT/LSD - 165K miles and still going
13 ASM SE 6MT - 35K miles
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 10:22 PM
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Rock Auto is an excellent place to purchase car parts online. They have great prices compared to most other places. And the quality is very good. They also have parts divided into different levels of quality/use that you can use as a guide if you're trying to save more money. I've ordered many, many times from them the last 10 years and have never been disappointed. You can find it under the subsections Interior > Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor.

I purchased my part on Amazon since I could get it the next day with free shipping. The price was very good but not as cheap as Rock Auto. It was close enough considering that I wanted it as soon as possible for a great price. Rock Auto has low shipping rates if you are willing to wait for ground delivery which can be up to 7 days depending how far you live from their distribution centers (in the continental U.S.)
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