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Jerry, Master Mechanic
Category: Jeep
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Experience:  ASE Master...30+ years...Shop owner..engine builder..collision structural repair
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Jeep Wrangler What is a red lighting bolt with in ( ) The

Resolved Question:

What is a red lighting bolt with in ( )? The 2009 Jeep Wrangler will start but dies when the accelerator is pressed.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Jeep
Expert:  Jerry replied 5 years ago.

Hello and welcome to Just, Super mechanic here. About your vehicle.

ECT, (electronic throttle control)

ETC Indicator


ETC Indicator - Operation


The Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) indicator gives an indication to the vehicle operator when the ETC system, or a circuit or component of the system is ineffective. The ETC indicator is controlled by a transistor on the instrument cluster circuit board based upon cluster programming and electronic messages received by the cluster from the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) over the Controller Area Network (CAN) data bus.

The ETC indicator Light Emitting Diode (LED) is completely controlled by the instrument cluster logic circuit, and that logic will only allow this indicator to operate when the instrument cluster receives a battery current input on the fused ignition switch output (run-start) circuit. Therefore, the LED will always be OFF when the ignition switch is in any position except ON or START. The LED only illuminates when it is provided a path to ground by the instrument cluster transistor. The instrument cluster will turn ON the ETC indicator for the following reasons:

  • Bulb Test - Each time the ignition switch is turned to the ON position the ETC indicator is illuminated for about three seconds. The entire bulb test is a function of the instrument cluster.
  • ETC Indicator Lamp-On Message - Each time the cluster receives an electronic ETC indicator lamp-ON message from the PCM, the ETC indicator will be illuminated. The indicator can be flashed ON and OFF, or illuminated solid, as dictated by the PCM message. The indicator remains illuminated solid or continues to flash for about 12 seconds or until the cluster receives a lamp-OFF message from the PCM, whichever is longer. If the indicator is illuminated solid with the engine running the vehicle will usually remain drivable. If the indicator is flashing with the engine running the vehicle may require towing. A flashing indicator means the ETC system requires immediate service. The indicator will be extinguished when the ignition switch is turned to the OFF position.
  • Actuator Test - Each time the cluster is put through the actuator test, the ETC indicator will be turned ON, then OFF again during the bulb check portion of the test to confirm the functionality of the LED and the cluster control circuitry. The actuator test illumination of the ETC indicator is a function of the PCM.
The PCM continually monitors the ETC system circuits and sensors to decide whether the system is in good operating condition. The PCM then sends the proper lamp-ON or lamp-OFF message to the Electromechanical Instrument Cluster (EMIC) (also known as the Cab Compartment Node/CCN). If the PCM sends a lamp-ON message after the bulb test, it indicates that the PCM has detected an ETC system malfunction or that the ETC system is ineffective. The PCM will store a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) for any malfunction it detects. Each time the ETC indicator fails to illuminate due to an open or short in the cluster ETC indicator circuit, the cluster sends a message notifying the PCM of the condition, then the EMIC and the PCM will each store a DTC.

For proper diagnosis of the ETC system, the PCM, the EMIC, the CAN data bus or the electronic communication related to ETC indicator operation a diagnostic scan tool is required.

You will want to have the code(s) read to know for sure, but it sounds like the APPS may be bad.


APPS (Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor)

Normally Autozone will read the codes as a service at no charge to you, and also tell you the most likely part or system the problem is in. Then we will have a better understanding of what area the problem may be in, thanks

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Is there any way to bypass the positioner to get the vehicle to a repair shop?
Expert:  Jerry replied 5 years ago.
No.The throttle body is controlled by the PCM, which gets the APP sensor signal and and processes it to control the throttle. The circuits are all integrated precision electronic components. Towing it to a shop may save a lot of headaches.
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