How to Set the TPS on a Buick Park Avenue

by Lee Sallings

The TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) is a variable resistor that is attached to the throttle shaft in the carburetor or throttle body in your car. The engine control computer in your Buick Park Avenue monitors the signal from the TPS sensor and uses it to help calculate engine load. When a new sensor is installed or the idle speed is adjusted by rotating the throttle shaft, the TPS should be readjusted to factory specifications in order to maintain an accurate signal transmitted to the computer.

Start the engine and allow it to run until it reaches normal operating temperature. The Park Avenue engine's normal operating temperature is achieved when the engine coolant temperature is 210 degrees. Turn the engine off.

Attach the digital voltmeter leads to the wiring by pushing the red (positive) lead past the wire into the middle cavity on the TPS electrical connector, and the black (negative) lead into the top cavity on the connector. Slightly loosen the screws that attach the TPS to the engine, using a screwdriver or Torx driver.

Turn the ignition key to the "Run" position, but do not start the engine. Rotate the sensor until .710 (+/- .050) volts are measured at the sensor on MAP sensor-equipped cars, or .54 (+/- .075) volts are reached on MAF sensor-equipped cars. Tighten the screws and retest the voltage. Repeat, as needed, until the sensor voltage is within range when the sensor screws are tightened. Turn the ignition key off.


  • close Do not use an analog meter for this repair. An analog meter causes high current flow and may damage the on-board computer.

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About the Author

Lee Sallings is a freelance writer from Fort Worth, Texas. Specializing in website content and design for the automobile enthusiast, he also has many years of experience in the auto repair industry. He has written Web content for eHow, and designed the website. He began his writing career developing and teaching automotive technical training programs.

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