Do they actually work?
Understanding Throttle Controllers
A simple guide to understanding Throttle Controllers.
Wondering what all the fuss is around throttle controllers for modern fly-by-wire throttle type vehicles? If you're struggling to determine the difference between bogus 'free horsepower' claims and genuine throttle response improvements for a range of driving situations, we're here to help and give you the low-down on all there is to know about throttle controllers including whether or not the claims are true, what a throttle controller actually does, how does it do it and are there any negative impacts to be taken away from installing a throttle controller on your car.
What is it about Throttle Controllers that have people talking?
Do Throttle Controllers Really Work?
While a throttle controller won’t simply offer free horsepower, it will drastically improve drivability in a range of driving applications by tuning throttle response. So if they don't just offer up extra horsepower, you might be wondering exactly what do throttle controllers do? Throttle controllers work to tune your throttle inputs depending on the driving application at any given moment. Taking the EVC throttle controller for example, these units offer a range of different settings to tune your throttle response for quicker acceleration and sharper, snappy throttle response times which is ideal for anything from towing, darting around side streets or even spirited driving through the hills. If you need to tune your throttle to be softer, smoother and not respond so aggressively to throttle inputs you can select a more mild setting which will actually subdue throttle inputs when compared to stock. These settings are ideal for challenging terrain such as rocky ascents where you don't want to break traction or even when parking your car so you don't make any sudden unexpected throttle inputs and end up introducing the rear bumper to the garage wall.
How does a Throttle Controller Work?
Left clueless about how a little plug-in box can have such a drastic effect on the performance of your car? In simple terms, EVC throttle controllers and all the other throttle controllers on the market work in a similar way. They essentially take over the pedals job of sending torque requests to the car's ECU (engine control unit) and alter patterns including time taken to reach WOT (wide open throttle) or percentage of throttle pedal movement required to reach WOT. For example, a manufacturer may tune the car so that the throttle gradually reaches WOT at the throttle body after the pedal has been held to the ground for up to two seconds. They do this to reduce throttle jerkiness or harshness, however compromises to performance and acceleration are compromised. A throttle controller interferes with this signal and sends the full throttle signal from the pedal to the throttle body instantly. Similarly, when tackling tougher terrain with a more subdued setting, the throttle controller will command slower response times from the throttle body for more cruisy, consistent and calculated driving.
How do you Install a Throttle Controller?
Not too handy on the tools? Lucky for you, throttle controllers like the iDrive throttle controller available at Repco are ultra-simple to instal. You won't need any fancy tools, electrical knowledge or wiring expertise for this install. Simply locate the plug on your throttle pedal, unplug it and plug the iDrive throttle controller in between the two factory plugs. It's literally that easy. Next you'll want to tuck the wiring out of the way behind the dash and install the display somewhere discreet but easy to access when you're wanting to change the setting between terrains and driving types.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of using a Throttle Controller?
Throttle Controller Advantages
Where you'll notice the biggest gains from your throttle controller is while towing a heavy load, you'll find it much easier to get up to speed at the on-ramps or between traffic lights. You'll also notice greater acceleration across the board no matter what you're pulling behind you. On the other end of the scale, you'll notice exceptional gains in car control over bumpy, rutted out tracks, steep ascents or other rough terrain to not only make it easier to maintain traction and difficult lines, but also prevent harsh throttle inputs from accidentally mashing the throttle pedal when bouncing around inside the car. The more gentle settings on your throttle controller also make sand driving much easier as you will find that you won't make so many harsh throttle inputs which can cause you to brake traction and dig into the sand rendering you stuck in little to no time.
Throttle Controller Disadvantages
One of the only gripes that customers have reported from the throttle controller-equipped cars is that when set to higher performance settings where full throttle can be achieved as low as 50% throttle, the remaining throttle travel doesn't have any effect on the car's performance as the throttle is already all the way open. A small price to pay for a whole bunch of tuneable performance if you ask us!
Experience a Throttle Controller
Shop Throttle Controllers and More!
Now that you know what all the fuss is about, it's time to get your own car kitted out with a throttle controller and experience it all for yourself. Shop our full in-car tech range online or in-store at Repco today and use our REGO search function to find a throttle controller to suit your car. Browse the website to find a whole range of in-car tech and 4x4 accessories such as recovery gear, UHF radios, UHF antennas, head units, speakers and so much more to get your car fully kitted out for the next road trip or adventure.