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Drive By Wire

What is drive by wire, and how does it differ from a cable-actuated throttle?

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Drive by wire throttle actuator butterfly how to Cable Throttle Drive By Wire Control Butterfly

Drive by wire throttle is something that has really started to take over when it comes to controlling the throttle butterfly. In the past, a cable controlled the throttle bodies throttle plate. This cable was directly hooked to the accelerator pedal. This was convenient because there was a direct connection between the acceleration of the vehicle and the drivers’ right foot. Manufacturers are starting to steer more towards using an electronic throttle for control now.

How Drive By Wire Works

Unlike a cable throttle where you actually pull the throttle butterfly, in a drive by wire set-up your right foot is actually just connected to the ecu that monitors where the accelerator pedal is in its travel. That xsignal is then relayed to an actuator motor that controls the throttle butterfly. There is now no direct link between the accelerator pedal and the throttle of the car.

Why are companies making the change?

For starters the packaging of a drive by wire set-up is much easier than a cable. Lets face it. A wire not only is smaller, but can’t be bent and made to run anywhere. Next would be the ability of the car to control throttle inputs now for systems like traction control, stability control, accident management control, and all the other new control systems that auto manufacturers are coming up with.

Downsides of drive by wire

With anything that becomes more complicated, also comes more area to fail. Toyota, while one of the first companies to be hammered by this in 2010, will most likely not be the last. As our automobiles become more and more controlled by complex electronics, we are only setting up more areas for malfunctions or failures. In the end, its innovation that keeps the cars on the road getting better and its our job here at to make sure we keep you up to date on all the newest changes.


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