How To Reset Electronic Throttle Control Manually (Step By Step Guide)

The electronic throttle control (ETC) is an important component of modern vehicles, responsible for regulating the airflow into the engine. Over time, the ETC can become clogged or develop faults, causing problems such as reduced power, stalling, or even complete engine failure.

In such cases, the ETC may need to be reset manually to restore proper functioning. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to reset the ETC manually.

To begin with, turn off the engine and disconnect the negative battery terminal to prevent any electrical surges. Then, locate the throttle body and clean it thoroughly using a specially formulated cleaner.

Next, reconnect the battery and turn on the engine to allow it to idle for about 15 minutes. During this time, do not touch the accelerator or any other controls. After 15 minutes, turn off the ignition and wait for another 15 minutes. Finally, restart the engine and test the ETC for smooth operation.

It is important to note that if the ETC problem persists despite the manual reset, it may indicate a broader issue with the vehicle’s electronics or engine management system. In such cases, it is recommended to seek professional diagnosis and assistance from a certified mechanic.

How to Reset Electronic Throttle Control Manually – Step-By-Step Instruction

If you’re experiencing problems with your car’s performance, one of the possible causes could be an issue with the electronic throttle control (ETC). ETC is responsible for the regulation of air intake and fuel injection in modern automobile engines. Sometimes, this system may need to be reset in order to correct any calibration errors or sensor malfunctions.

If you’re not familiar with how to reset the electronic throttle control system, don’t worry. In this article, we’ll guide you on the necessary steps to properly perform this procedure.

Importance of Cleaning the Throttle Body Before Resetting

Before we go through the actual reset procedure, it’s important to note that you should clean the throttle body first. The throttle body is where the air intake passage meets the engine. Over time, gunk and dirt can build up in this area, which can negatively affect the operation of the ETC system.

To clean the throttle body, you’ll need a cleaning solvent and a lint-free cloth. Disconnect the air intake hose from the throttle body and apply the cleaning solvent to the cloth. Wipe the inside of the throttle body thoroughly, making sure to remove any visible debris. Once you’re done, reattach the air intake hose and keep it aside for now.

Step 1: Ignition Switch and Accelerator Pedal Sequence

With the throttle body cleaned, it’s time to move on to the actual reset procedure. Start by turning the ignition switch to the “off” position. Next, press the accelerator pedal all the way down and hold it in that position.

While keeping the accelerator pedal depressed, turn the ignition switch to the “on” position and wait for at least five seconds. After the time limit has elapsed, release the accelerator pedal.

Step 2: Check Engine Warning Light and Diagnostic Test Mode

Once you’ve completed the ignition switch and accelerator pedal sequence, check your car’s dashboard for the check engine warning light. If the light is still on, it indicates that there’s a persistent issue with the ETC system that needs to be addressed.

If the check engine warning light is off, you can proceed to the next step. Turn the ignition switch back to the “off” position and wait for at least 10 seconds. Then, turn the ignition switch back to the “on” position, but only for a couple of seconds before returning it to “off” again.

Immediately after turning the ignition switch back to “on” for the brief interval, press and hold the accelerator pedal down for at least 10 seconds. This will initiate the diagnostic test mode for the ETC system.

Step 3: Starting the Engine and Completion of the Reset Procedure

Now that you’re in the diagnostic test mode, it’s time to start the engine. Turn the ignition switch to the “on” position and wait for the engine to start up. Once the engine is running, let it idle for a few minutes so that the ETC system can self-calibrate.

If the engine runs smoothly and the check engine warning light does not come back on, then the electronic throttle control reset procedure is complete. If the warning light reappears or the car’s performance is still suboptimal, you may need to repeat the reset procedure or seek professional help.

Alternative Method for Resetting the Electronic Throttle Control

The electronic throttle control (ETC), also known as drive-by-wire, is a technology that replaces the traditional throttle cable in a car’s engine. It relies on electronic sensors and motor controls to regulate the engine’s throttle response.

Occasionally, the ETC can malfunction, causing various symptoms, such as rough idle, stalling, or poor acceleration. In such cases, resetting the ETC can help clear up the issue.

There are two methods of resetting the ETC: using a scanner or disconnecting the battery. While using a scanner is the more advanced method, disconnecting the battery is a simple and effective alternative that can be done manually.

Disconnecting the Battery as an Alternative Reset Method

One of the easiest ways to reset the ETC is by disconnecting the battery. Here’s how to do it properly:

1. Turn off the ignition and remove the key from the vehicle.
2. Locate the battery in the engine compartment or trunk.
3. Use a wrench or pliers to loosen the negative (black) battery cable clamp. Be sure to do this first, as it prevents unwanted sparks or short-circuits.
4. Remove the negative cable from the battery and keep it separate from the battery terminal for at least 10 minutes.
5. Reconnect the negative battery cable to its terminal and tighten the clamp back.
6. Turn on the ignition and wait for the ETC to recalibrate, which may take a few minutes.

Disconnecting the battery can erase stored codes and data, thus resetting the ETC and clearing out any errors. However, it’s important to note that this method requires resetting other vehicle systems, such as the clock and radio presets. Additionally, disconnecting the battery can also reset transmission adaptions and cause a slight delay in shifting patterns.

Importance of Considering Control Parameters and ECU Ranges

When dealing with electronic throttle control issues, it’s crucial to consider the control parameters and ECU ranges. These codes and values configure the relationship between the accelerator pedal and the throttle body, as well as the engine and transmission functions.

If the ETC is not reset according to the control parameters and ECU ranges, it may fail to function as intended. This can lead to further damage to the engine or transmission if left untreated.

Therefore, it’s advisable to use a scanner or consult a professional mechanic who specializes in ETC repairs. They can diagnose the problem accurately, reset the ETC properly, and adjust the control parameters and ECU ranges as needed.


In conclusion, resetting the electronic throttle control manually is a quick and simple solution to address issues with the acceleration of your vehicle. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily reset the throttle control and ensure that your car runs smoothly.

It is important to note that if your vehicle is experiencing persistent issues with acceleration, it is recommended that you consult a professional mechanic to diagnose and repair the problem.

Additionally, regular maintenance and care of your vehicle can help prevent issues with the electronic throttle control.

Overall, taking care of your vehicle’s electronic throttle control is an important part of maintaining its longevity and performance. By following these simple steps to reset the control, you can ensure that your car runs smoothly and safely on the road.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1) What is an Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) and why does it need to be reset?

An ETC is an electronic device that controls the acceleration of a vehicle by regulating the amount of air that enters the engine. It needs to be reset when it starts malfunctioning or gets stuck in a particular position, causing performance issues like stalling, sudden acceleration, or loss of power.

2) How do I know if my throttle control needs to be reset?

You will notice symptoms like the check engine light coming on, reduced acceleration power, or a rough idling of the engine. If these symptoms persist, it indicates that the ETC needs a reset.

3) Can I reset the ETC by disconnecting the battery?

Yes, disconnecting the battery for a few minutes can reset the ETC. However, it is a temporary solution, and the issue may recur if the root cause is not addressed.

4) Can I reset the ETC manually without using any tools or equipment?

Yes, you can reset the ETC manually. The steps involve turning on and off the ignition, pressing the accelerator pedal, and resetting the throttle valve. However, it requires proper knowledge of the vehicle’s make and model and may not be applicable for all vehicles.

5) Is it safe to reset the ETC manually?

Yes, it is safe to reset the ETC manually if done correctly. However, it is recommended to consult the vehicle’s manual or a professional mechanic before attempting the reset procedure to avoid any damage to the vehicle.

6) How often should I reset the ETC?

There is no set frequency for resetting the ETC, as it depends on the vehicle’s usage and the environment it operates in. However, it is advisable to consult the vehicle manual or a professional mechanic to determine the optimum frequency for resetting the ETC to maintain optimal performance.

7) What should I do if the ETC continues to malfunction after a reset?

If the ETC continues to malfunction even after a reset, it is recommended to have the vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic to diagnose the root cause of the problem. Replacing faulty parts or cleaning up the throttle mechanism may be required to restore optimum performance.


  1. How Electronic Throttle Control Systems Work
  2. What is a Car Diagnostic Test 

Leave a Comment