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In fuel injected engines, the throttle body is the part of the air intake system that controls the amount of air flowing into the engine, in response to driver accelerator pedal input in the main. The throttle body is usually located between the air filter box and the intake manifold, and it is usually attached to, or near, the mass airflow sensor. Often, an engine coolant line also runs through it in order for the engine to draw intake air at a certain temperature (the engine’s current coolant temperature, which the ECU senses through the relevant sensor) and therefore with a known density.
The largest piece inside the throttle body is the throttle plate, which is a butterfly valve that regulates the airflow.
On many cars, the accelerator pedal motion is communicated via the throttle cable, which is mechanically connected to the throttle linkages, which, in turn, rotate the throttle plate. In cars with electronic throttle control (also known as “drive-by-wire”), an electric actuator controls the throttle linkages and the accelerator pedal connects not to the throttle body, but to a sensor, which outputs a signal proportional to the current pedal position and sends it to the ECU. The ECU then determines the throttle opening based on the accelerator pedal’s position and inputs from other engine sensors such as the engine coolant temperature sensor.
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