The A-Z Of Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor, 6 Pin Wiring Diagram, & Types

On this page, you are going to quickly learn what is the accelerator pedal position sensor, types, and wiring diagram.

05:30 Minutes Read

The accelerator pedal sensor or accelerator pedal position sensor shows the position of the accelerator pedal. It converts your foot pressure into electronic signals and sends it to the car computer to increase or decrease the engine speed.

On this page, you are going to quickly learn what is the accelerator pedal position sensor, the six-pin wiring diagram, and types.

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A Little Background

There are two ways you can find the position of something, the first one is contact type, and the second one is non-contact type. The contact type position finding tool is the potentiometer. And the non-contact type position finding tools is the Hall Effect and Inductive type.

Contact Type Position Finding Tool (Potentiometer)

Potentiometer Icon
Potentiometer Icon

The potentiometer is a contact type position finding tool, used to find out the mechanical position of something. The potentiometer is a resistor by which you can measure the voltage difference of a circuit.

Non-Contact Type Position Finding Tool

Hall Effect Sensor
Hall Effect Sensor

Non-contact type position finding tools are Hall Effect and Inductive type sensors. If you want to know the position of something without having a physical connection, then you can use Hall Effect or Inductive type sensors. These sensors are used for detecting the position of a moving shaft, and speed detection.

These sensors are most commonly found in wheel speed sensors (ABS Sensor), and cam or crankshaft position sensors for calculating the revolution of the rotating (RPM) shaft. This was a little about the background to understand the topic in a better way. Now come to the topic.


What Is Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor

Potentiometer Type Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor
Potentiometer Type Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor

The accelerator pedal position sensor or AAP sensor is a part of the drive-by-wire system, which measures the position of the accelerator pedal. It tells the computer how far the accelerator pedal is depressed. It is mounted on the accelerator pedal or sometimes on the throttle body.

The accelerator pedal position sensor converts the accelerator pedal movement into an electronic signal, which then increases or decreases the engine speed by controlling the fuel flow to the engine.

The car computer (ECU) receives the electronic signals from the accelerator pedal position sensor, combined with other inputs like RPM, air temperature, speed of the car, etc, and decides how much fuel to be left to the engine.

Inside the accelerator pedal position sensor, there are two or sometimes three position sensors fitted with individual wirings. This is because, for safe throttle operation and redundancy means if one sensor fails, the other two sensors give the signals to the car computer (ECU) and behave as a backup sensor, so that the car does not stop at the highway and the driver can reach the workshop.

This turns the car into a limp mood and reduces the speed by no more than 35 miles per hour. The first sensor is the main input to the computer and the other sensor’s readings are opposite to the main sensor means if one sensor’s voltage increases; the other sensor’s voltage decreases.

When the accelerator pedal is depressed, the computer continuously compares the output of all two or three sensors. If either of one sensor fails, the performance will decrease. The accelerator pedal position sensor uses a potentiometer, hall effect, or inductive type sensor to measure the position of the accelerator pedal.

This is an Alert
Some accelerator pedal position sensors are removable, and some are integrated into the accelerator pedal.


Types Of Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor

The accelerator pedal position sensor measures the position of the accelerator pedal in two different ways.

  • Contact type
  • Non-Contact type
  1. Contact Type Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor (APPS)

Contact type accelerator pedal position sensor is of potentiometer type. Below is the explanation of the potentiometer-type accelerator pedal position sensor (APPS).

Potentiometer Type Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor (APPS)

Inside Of Potentiometer Type Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor
Inside Of Potentiometer Type Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor

In contact types accelerator pedal position sensor there is a potentiometer ( a type of resistor, which measures the voltage difference) where a wiper blade slides on a strip that changes the voltage and sends it back to the computer.

Whenever the pedal position is changed, the potential difference of the potentiometer also changes, which is sent to the car computer (ECU). Due to having physical connections in the potentiometer, it is more prone to wear and tear.


6 Pin Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor Wiring Diagram

Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor
Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor

Some accelerator pedal position sensors (APPS) have two or three potentiometers inside the APPS sensor with individual wiring. A potentiometer consists of three wires, earth, voltage, and a signal wire (wiper), which moves against the resistor to send back the voltage signal to the computer. A dual contact type potentiometer APPS has six wires.

So, a 6 pin accelerator pedal position sensor wiring diagram is, two wires are for the earth, two for the input voltage, and two for signals back to the computer (ECU).


  1. Non-Contact Type Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor (APPS)

The non-contact-type accelerator pedal position sensor is of hall effect and inductive type. In the Hall Effect and Inductive type sensor, a voltage is produced when the object comes closer to the sensor, this voltage is sent to the computer (ECU) to calculate how far the throttle butterfly valve should open.

The accelerator pedal position sensor also has two or three-wire Hall Effect or Inductive type sensors with individual wirings. Below is the explanation of hall effect and inductive type of sensors

Hall Effect Type Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor (APPS)

Hall Effect Type Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor integrated With Pedal
Hall Effect Type Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor integrated With Pedal

These types of sensors have a magnet and a steel-type material like germanium, so when an object comes closer to the sensor, its magnetic flux changes, and as a result, voltage is produced.

It consists of three wires; voltage, ground, and signal wires. The voltage is needed for integrated electronics (transistors) which is usually 5 volts, but in some cases, can be 12 volts.

And the other two wires are ground and signal wire (the wire goes to the computer from the sensor). This voltage is very low; an amplifier circuit is built up in the sensor to amplify the voltage.

This is an Alert
In the Hall Effect and inductive type sensor, there is no physical connection with the accelerator pedal, hence no wear and tear, and has a long life.

This is an Alert
Sometimes, the Hall Effect accelerator pedal brushes get worn out due to usage. As a result, the pedal does not rotate smoothly, and rough acceleration happens.

The Inductive Type Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor (APPS)

Inductive Type Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor
Inductive Type Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor (Source Gill Sensors & Controls Youtube)

The inductive type non-contact accelerator pedal position sensor consists of a sensor (magnet and coil), and an activator (steel). When the activator comes closer to the sensor, voltage is produced, which is sent to the computer. It has two wires, earth, and signal (voltage) wire.

This is an Alert
As the voltage produced by these sensors is very low, it can be easily distracted by wave signals, so a coaxial shield coat is applied to the wire to protect it from wave signal distraction.

Difference Between Hall Effect And Inductive Type Sensor

The difference between both sensors is, the Hall Effect must be given the voltage, without giving the voltage, it would not work. Because the Hall Effect sensors have an integrated circuit and need an external power source to operate, which amplifies the voltage.

That’s why it has three wires, earth, voltage, and a signal wire. The coil or inductive type sensor needs no external voltage because it produces the voltage itself when an object comes closer to it. And it has two wires earth and a signal wire. It does not need a voltage source to function.


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