How To Improve Throttle Response With ShiftPower


It is simple to improve the throttle response sensitivity for most modern vehicles. It's a well-known fact that cars are getting more and more sophisticated every year. Just take the throttle response on a modern car for example. With so many different sensors, processors, and computers running the show these days, it's no wonder people have trouble figuring out exactly how to improve throttle response in their own vehicle.

Good news is that it might be easier than you think! So what should you do?

To start, be sure to check our ShiftPower to learn how it can help >

Looking To Eliminate The Throttle Sluggishness?

Truck highway

Well if you're like most drivers, your first instinct would be to go online and search for "throttle response." There are tons of articles out there with tips from pro mechanics about how to make your car respond better when you step on the pedal - but which ones work? That is the million dollar question!

We'll tell you one thing for sure. Not all articles will provide you with the information you need. There are easier and better ways to improve your car's acceleration than complex and expensive engine modifications. Some simple, effective upgrades can be completed in as little as 10 min.

What Is Throttle Response?

Throttle response is the way in which throttle input affects engine RPM. A driver adds throttle input is by using the gas pedal. As the pedal moves you increase the input power. Quick throttle response is when you just slightly push the pedal and the engine responds rapidly. Low throttle response means that there is a delay in engine response when pressing the pedal, and usually results in pressing the pedal further.

This is where a driver can get frustrated with their vehicle's responsiveness. A big delay in response means the car can feel... well... sluggish from throttle lag.

Throttle Response In Visual Form

Throttle response is typically measured on a scale or curve called the Throttle Response Curve. Let's take a look at the graph below. It is showing a basic linear throttle response curve with the gray line. (Yes, it's called a curve even though it is a straight line for this example.) The bottom axis is showing throttle position - where the gas pedal is in it's range of travel. The left axis is showing the position of the throttle plate in it's range of travel. A linear response curve means that the throttle plate position exactly matches the gas pedal position in percentage of travel.

Linear response

What Causes Slow Throttle Response?

The manufacturer will design the throttle curve to produce safe, fuel efficient performance through out the various stages of acceleration. This often results in a slow or sluggish response. For example, to hit fuel economy targets, the manufacturer might make the throttle a little less responsive in the initial stages of acceleration that usually take a car to 30 mph.

They also do this to make the vehicle safe for all drivers in all conditions. Many modern cars have much more available than they did just 10 years ago. Without a soft initial throttle response curve, it would be very easy for the car to break traction and spin the tires in wet or snowy conditions. Manufacturers have to look at works best for all drivers in all conditions. But that leaves many of us wanting more throttle response.

Click to learn how best throttle response upgrade >

How Can I Improve Throttle Response?

In modern cars, throttle response is managed by the vehicle's Electronic Control Unit, also known as the ECU. It manages throttle response, and many other functions. The ECU is using a throttle response curve programmed by the manufacturer. With recent advances in technology, it is now possible for the driver to alter the throttle response curve. There are a couple of basic ways to do this on the market.

  • Install an aftermarket Electronic Throttle Controller (ETC) system designed for performance and racing applications. These work very well. But, they require custom programming for each vehicle, and the programming should be done by a person with a lot of experience.
  • Install an aftermarket Throttle Response Controller like ShiftPower, Roar Pedal and others. These solutions also work very well. They are pre-programmed, so all the driver has to do is install the ETC. Installation is a pretty simple process.

Click here to learn more about installation & upgrade with ShiftPower >

What Is An Electronic Throttle Controller?

Throttle control

An Electronic Throttle Controller, also known as a Throttle Response Controller, is a system which provides the driver with an adjustable throttle response curve. It does this by either altering signal timing, or adding/subtracting to the input voltage going into your car's ECU. An ETC makes adjustments based on how you want your engine to respond. This is one of the easiest ways to adjust the throttle response curve.

Most of the ETC's on the market provide the driver with preset throttle response modes to choose from. Some also allow the driver to create a custom mode. There are no downsides to an ETC. They do not affect the vehicles emissions systems in any way. They also do not alter the engines tune or the transmission shift points.

We recommend ShiftPower. It is easy to install, and also easy to setup and use. Here is a basic install and setup video on how to reduce the lag and optimize the settings. This will help teach you about the basics of the ShiftPower system.


Do Throttle Response Controllers Work?

Yes, our team has tested many. You can learn a little more about this subject here. At ISS Automotive we recommend checking out ShiftPower. It allows you to have full control of the throttle response curve using different settings. There are many systems on the market which offer different looks and features. We highly recommend ShiftPower at this time for its ability to allow 100% full control using your smart phone. It is a sleek and simple design for all users.

Click here to learn more about ShiftPower