Is your Jeep Gladiator not as responsive as you’d like it to be when travelling off-road or hauling your RV? Are you having a hard time going uphill? If the answer to these questions is yes, then your Gladiator is lacking throttle response. But how do you improve the throttle response of your vehicle? After all, the slow throttle build-up is not a bug, it’s a feature imposed by manufacturers to ensure smoother acceleration and remove jerkiness. However, off-roaders who haul heavy at the rear don’t really care about smoothness – they want power from the get-go. And this is where aftermarket throttle controllers come in.
Throttle controllers are devices that remap the voltage signal sent from the accelerator pedal to the ECU. There are quite a few different models, with the most popular ones being Ultimate9 (EVC), ShiftPower and PedalCommander. The purpose of a Jeep Gladiator throttle controller is to increase the response of the throttle, reducing lag along the way, as soon as you press the acceleration pedal. Depending on the driving conditions, it may also allow you to drive more efficiently. Testing shows that you can have as much as 80% improved or better control of the accelerator pedal with a Jeep Gladiator throttle controller.
However, it’s important to be wary when adding this aftermarket accessory. Throttle controllers vary in functionality based on their build quality. Take a look at Amazon or eBay and you’ll see that there are quite a few issues users come across. For that reason, I highly recommend getting a throttle controller from a reputable manufacturer that offers a long warranty and customer support.
Do They Really Work?
There are a lot of misconceptions online about throttle controllers. Some people claim that throttle controllers improve performance in terms of horsepower, which can’t be further from the truth. While they improve performance, it’s all about throttle response. They change how your ECU reads the input from the gas pedal, and the rate at which that input is applied to your engine. The ECU is what controls the throttle, maintaining a constant pressure in the fuel tank and controlling the flow of gas to maintain an even idle speed and smooth, proper acceleration. You can see this in older carburettor cars where you’ll find the dash near one of your feet. Throttle controllers allow you to achieve a smoother ride, or a more responsive one when accelerating.
As mentioned already, throttle controllers remove the response delay on the accelerator pedal by changing the single voltage. This improves performance as it improves the pedal’s sensitivity. It increases the response of the pedal by a higher degree than usual, allowing you to accelerate smoother and faster. It prevents acceleration lag, or delay, which is what happens when you press hard on the pedal. This can be annoying for drivers who need to go uphill or when hauling heavy at the rear. Throttle controllers are the most affordable and easiest ways to upgrade throttle performance.
How Does it Do That?
Electronic throttle controllers basically operate as fly-by-wire mechanisms to improve vehicle acceleration. They do so by reading the amount of air going into the engine, and then increasing or decreasing it, depending on the position of the pedal. In the factory setting, the amount of air going into the engine increases gradually, as the throttle opening opens slowly. With a throttle controller, though, you can adjust the settings so that the throttle opens all at once, allowing as much air as your engine can take. As a result, you get an instant burst of power rather than a gradual increase.
As briefly aforementioned, some people think that installing a throttle controller will increase their vehicle’s horsepower. That’s not the case, and only your acceleration is impacted. Another thing people mistake is that a throttle controller can only make your car accelerate faster, while in fact, it can also make it accelerate slower, which can be beneficial when driving through busy intersections where you don’t need as much of a push. This way, you can also save on fuel, as the engine won’t get as much air. In case you didn’t know, the engine works by burning fuel using air, so it needs a specific air-to-fuel ratio. Less air inside the engine means also less fuel is injected.
Another misconception is that throttle controllers void your warranty, which is not the case as it doesn’t impact any parts of your car. It doesn’t do anything to the engine, it only increases or reduces the amount of air that goes in. The warranty can only be voided if the throttle controller causes a malfunction to the engine by letting too much air in, which is almost never the case, and is generally the result of another part malfunctioning or the ECU not doing its job properly.