To test a sensor circuit for an open or shorted wire, a manufacturer will have you use an ohmmeter. Ohm testing always involves isolating the circuit in test, meaning you must disconnect the computer and sensor for accurate measurements. This is a ridiculous method to confirm wiring integrity. (too time consuming)

In this video I will show you how to test the integrity of a TPS signal wire with just a scan tool and a paper clip. These procedures can be followed for any other potentiometer or pressure sensor circuit on any car. As an added safety, to protect the 5v reference circuit from a shorted sensor signal wire, use a 1k to 5k ohm resistor instead of a paper clip.

Engine Performance Diagnostics chapter 10

Tools used

  • scan tool
  • digital multimeter
  • jumper wire

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(Chapter 7) Potentiometer-position sensor tests TPS, EVP, APP, VAF etc

Related videos:

How to test throttle position sensor wiring with a resistor (any car) :


Toyota Power Steering Pressure Sensor Test (P0550):


How to troubleshoot an EVAP Pressure Sensor (P0452) GM:


Ford 4-wire MAF sensor wiring tests (integrity testing):


How to test a throttle position sensor (P0121, P0122) GM wiring integrity:


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For more information on this topic, I have written a “field manual” called Engine Performance Diagnostics which is available as an eBook or paper book.

Want even more diagnostic training? Whether you are a DIY trying to fix your own car, someone looking to become an auto technician, or a current auto technician that wants to get more into diagnostics, subscribe to ScannerDanner Premium. There is a 14 day free trial.

On ScannerDanner Premium I will bring you right into my classroom at Rosedale Technical College. You will find page for page lectures taken right from my book as well as exclusive classroom type case studies. What is so special about these classroom case studies? I pull live problem vehicles directly into my classroom and we troubleshoot them in real time, using and applying the theory and testing procedures we learn during the classroom lectures. There is no better on-line training of how to troubleshoot automotive electrical and electronics systems anywhere!