How to Identify a Bad and Install New Throttle Controller on Your Jeep Cherokee

Today’s vehicles come with more and more systems embedded into them to help make them more efficient, safer, and more convenient. Smart features and components have been introduced over the years to improve the driving experience bit by bit. The introduction of electronic throttle controls has also made significant improvements in how your vehicle performs. Today’s throttle control systems are known as drive-by-wire. This system has made the most fundamental function of a vehicle more advanced. And by advanced, I mean more efficient and convenient.

When you press the accelerator pedal, this system allows the fuel used by the engine to be regulated by electrical signals instead of mechanical linkages. With such a complex system, issues can happen even on a vehicle such as your Grand Cherokee. Although this may sound like a disastrous issue, the solution to it is often quite simple.

How to Fix Electronic Throttle Control?

Resolving a corrupt ETC (electronic throttle control) system, or simply adding one to your Grand Cherokee can be a hefty process. While some other ways to improve vehicle performance and driveability are installing a new 4WD exhaust system a simpler one is to install an aftermarket Jeep Grand Cherokee electronic throttle control module.

What Does a Throttle Controller Do?

evc throttle controller

How it Works

Unlike the stock throttle control system in your Grand Cherokee, an aftermarket throttle controller works by sending electrical signals. Aftermarket throttle controllers are far more advanced than the system in your vehicle. This is mainly due to the fact that the stock throttle control system makes use of a wire rather than an electric voltage signal. The electric voltage signal makes it so there’s less delay between pressing the pedal and the ECU taking the input from the pedal.


There are quite a few benefits from installing an aftermarket throttle controller, but the major ones include improved acceleration, improved fuel economy, better performance, and fewer emissions being pumped into the atmosphere. Even if you leave the device on its “auto” setting, it will still do a good job at balancing all three.

Installing a Throttle Controller

  1. With the right type of throttle controller for your Grand Cherokee, the installation will probably be the easiest upgrade you’ll ever do to your vehicle. First, you need to turn the engine off and have the vehicle idling for about 10 minutes.
  2. After those 10 minutes have passed, find the original sensor plug at the accelerator pedal and unplug it. Then, connect it to the adaptor that comes with the aftermarket throttle controller, and insert the adaptor to the pedal’s original outlet.
  3. Lastly, place the display screen of the aftermarket throttle controller anywhere you’d like on the dashboard. Just make sure it doesn’t interfere with any other controls.
installing idrive

How to Identify a Bad or Failing Throttle Controller

Intermittent Operation

When you press the accelerator pedal in your Grand Cherokee you expect it to be responsive and accelerate almost instantly. Unfortunately, sometimes the accelerator pedal starts acting up. For instance, you may press the pedal and the acceleration pedal may take a few moments, or you may experience some pauses when accelerating. This is a strong indicator of either an issue with the cables or a failing throttle controller. The former can be solved by running the cable through a safer place without any component pressing on it, whereas the latter requires replacing the existing module with a new one.

jeep i drive

Fuel Economy

Since a throttle controller has a direct effect on fuel consumption, if it goes bad, or if it’s starting to fail, you’ll notice that your Grand Cherokee is using up more fuel than usual. However, your Grand Cherokee can also use less fuel than it needs, which will make it less powerful. No matter at which end of the stick the issue is, you’ll need to either do some calibration, or install a completely new module.

Acceleration Issues

Since this is the accelerator pedal we’re talking about, acceleration will be affected too. It’s not that your Grand Cherokee won’t accelerate at all, but it will do so inconsistently, or not as smoothly. When you press the accelerator pedal, the acceleration of the vehicle will feel like it’s being interrupted for a moment, and then it may instantly lunge.

throttle body

It will almost feel like you’re in driving school again trying to prevent your car from stalling. If this is the case and you’re an experienced driver, replace the module immediately or visit the nearest mechanic for a more in-depth inspection. Usually, replacing the module can help resolve the issue, but if it doesn’t, a visit to the mechanic is imminent.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, aftermarket throttle controllers are accessories that won’t break your bank, yet will provide a plethora of benefits that enhance your Cherokee’s driveability, performance and fuel economy. These accessories can especially come in handy if you’re towing a trailer or caravan, as you’ll need the extra kick-start when towing heavy loads.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.