The red lightning bolt symbol in a jeep alerts you about the defective electronic throttle control system ETC. This has many aspects, either there is an issue in the throttle body or the system just needs a setting reboot. Possibly speaking, there can be other indications like a signal for the defective sensor on the gas pedal of your jeep. Regardless of the problem, you need to take urgent action and get the issue fixed as soon as possible to avoid any further complications in your jeep.
The common way to service the system is by resetting it using simple steps: turn the ignition on, press the accelerator for a few seconds, and release it to the rest position after holding. Now turn off the ignition and start the engine of your jeep. Sounds complicated? Don’t sweat it out! I am writing this fruitful blog to make you aware of the red symbol on the dashboard of your jeep and will be answering the common queries related to this topic. Keep reading!
Red Lightning Bolt Symbol In A Jeep Discussed
The red lightning bolt indicates that there is a problem with the electronic throttle control ETC. However, there can be other problems too but if we consider the most common scenario of it, then it would be ETC. The issues with the throttle control have two different aspects: faulty throttle body and defective electronic throttle. Let’s get enrolled in a debate on this:
What Does Red Lightning Bolt Mean on Jeep?
This is a complicated thing to answer because there can be many reasons behind a red lighting bolt on your jeep’s dashboard but let me explain this more thoroughly. In most cases, the red lightning bolt indicates that there is a problem with the electronic throttle control, shortly called ETC. A damaged or faulty throttle body is the main cause; however, the red lighting bolt can sometimes also be a signal for the defective sensor on the gas pedal of your jeep. Shortly, there is an urgent need to deal with the problem!
Long story short, the red lightning symbol in a jeep means two major problems: defective accelerator pedal position sensor and faulty electronic control throttle. In both cases, you need to take action on an urgent basis as there is no second thought. Otherwise, your jeep will indulge in more complications, so none of us take the vehicle’s health for granted, and for that reason, you need to sort this issue out. Let’s talk about both of these in detail.
Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor
The red lighting bolt indicates a defective sensor on the gas pedal of your jeep. The accelerator pedal sensor is part of the throttle control system, but I am highlighting it separately because of its integrity. The sensor aims to communicate the information between the accelerator and battery and manipulate the speed of the vehicle. A faulty pedal sensor means you will not get the acceleration or the car will not move at the speed you want because the computer will recognize the wrong information.
Once you have addressed that there is a fault in the sensor, you need to fix it urgently. For that reason, it is suggested to disconnect the negative terminal of the battery in the first place and reconnect it after a few seconds. Now switch on the vehicle to check if the car is performing correctly or not. Don’t worry! I’ll discuss the details above to fix the sensor in the next section because before that you need to have in-depth knowledge of the throttle system.
Electronic Control Throttle
Electronic control throttle aims to accelerate the following features of your jeep: traction control, precrash system, cruise control, and stability control. You see, all these features circulate the management and generation of torque. That’s why it would be right to say that the control throttle follows a certain movement and integrates the above-mentioned features. However, this movement can be irrespective of that of the accelerator of a car.
In the first step, you need to check the battery voltage sensor. In other words, you need to make sure that the sensor is completely fine. For that, disconnect the negative (-) terminal of the battery for a few seconds and then reconnect it. Now turn the jeep on and notice if it is working rightly or not, if not then go on to the next step.
If reconnecting the battery doesn’t fix the sensor issue and the dashboard of your jeep keeps indicating the red light, it means the sensor needs to be replaced as soon as possible. For that purpose, you must visit online or physical stores that sell automotive parts. In my suggestion, do prioritize Amazon retailers because the platform is providing multiple sellers under one roof with detailed specifications and a reviews section for your ease.
If you’ve no faith in your decision or surfing skills, you have an option to ask the vehicle’s customer service for the parts. The brands are also selling the parts of modern cars at good prices along with a warranty. When you go for the same brand, you’re free from the stress of compatibility and stuff like that. Besides that, the cost of the sensor varies along with brands and specifications, so you should address your budget to make a better purchase.
Symptoms Of A Faulty Electronic Throttle Control
As I said before, the faulty electronic control throttle is the common cause behind the red lighting bolt on the dashboard of your jeep but some other symptoms show a problem in ETC. The common symptoms of a defective ETC are as follows: stalling engine, lower cruising speed than usual, reduction in average fuel economy, engine misfiring, rough acceleration, difficulty in speed maintenance, and rough idling. Also, the jeeps which take forever to start could have a fault ETC.
Faulty throttle and bad throttle bodies are two different things. The above symptoms are from the defective electric throttle and the following are the indication of a bad throttle body. The failing body of the electric throttle leads to power shortages, unstable idling, poor mileage, engine light, acceleration issues, electrical complications, and more.
“How to service ETC?” is among the most-asked questions and here is your answer. In the first place, you need to disconnect the battery of your jeep for some minutes as doing this will restart the light and bolt system. However, this trick doesn’t need to work every time, so if it doesn’t, move on to the next. Try to disconnect the electronic throttle body and reconnect it so that the system gets rebooted and turns the light off.
How do I Reset the Red Lightning Bolt?
You can reset the red lightning bolt, but it depends on the model of the jeep as not all jeeps have reset options. However, if your jeep compass has a reset option, you can follow these instructions to reboot the electronic throttle control. Let’s get enrolled:
In the first step, you need to switch off the ignition and press the accelerator pedal. Hold the acceleration pedal for a minimum of five seconds once you have switched off the ignition. You must hold the accelerator down during the whole resetting procedure.
Now step the pedal of the brake and hold it for a minimum of ten seconds or more once you have turned off the ignitor. Again, you need to hold down the brake during the whole procedure. Repeat these steps twice and thrice for fifteen seconds in the following manner: press down the brake and hold it for ten seconds and duplicate the process until you have a total of twenty repetitions.
How Do You Fix A Red Lightning Bolt On A Jeep?
A red lightning bolt on a jeep’s dashboard is among the common problems, especially among Gladiators and Wranglers. This problem is associated with the battery sensor that fails to send a signal to the computer regarding voltage. Don’t worry! That’s not something unsolvable because I’m going to explain easy steps to fix a red lightning bolt on the jeep or SUV.
Can I Drive With the Red Lightning Symbol Or Faulty Electronic Throttle Control?
In general, it is not a good idea to drive a jeep with faulty electronic throttle control. This is because the problem in throttle causes other issues, for example, a decrease in fuel efficiency, engine misfiring, rough acceleration, difficulty in speed maintenance, and rough idling. Therefore, it is not safe to ride the jeep with a red lightning symbol, you need to take urgent action against the red symbol on your vehicle’s dashboard and solve the issue as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a red light with a lightning bolt mean?
The red lighting bolt means a faulty electronic throttle control, ETC in a jeep or any other vehicle. There are two aspects of this problem: a defective throttle control and a bad body of electronic throttle. In both cases, you need to take urgent action to avoid worsening the condition. However, the red lightning bolt can sometimes also be a signal for the defective sensor on the gas pedal of your jeep. Regardless of the issue, you need to deal with it frequently.
How much does it cost to fix electronic throttle control?
The cost depends on how you are fixing the throttle control. In my suggestion, you must disconnect the battery and reset the settings when you come to know about the throttle problem. While if the body is defective, you need to disconnect and reboot the system. If these tricks don’t work, you need to replace the throttle which will cost you around $300 to up to $1500. The price scale is quite vast because the cost of throttle varies with location, time, brand, and many other factors.
How do I reset my electronic throttle control on my jeep?
To service the electronic throttle control system, you need to disconnect the battery of your jeep for some minutes as doing this will restart the light and bolt system. Turn the ignition on for a few seconds without igniting and shut it off after ten seconds. Repeat this step twice or thrice, and it will reset the electronic throttle control.
The Bottom Line
The red lightning bolt on the dashboard of your jeep is not a threatening indication but it should be that your car’s throttle needs to be replaced or get fixed as soon as possible. Though it is not the death of your jeep do consider it as a serious issue because continual defected throttle might make the situation worsen. There is much more for you to know, for instance, how to fix an ETC, how to replace the throttle body, how to reset the system, and more. Swipe up to read the fruitful debate on this!
Hi! This is Marcus Adams, an adventurer who has a passion for jeeps. I have been exploring terrains for about 10 years and has trailed on a variety of jeeps. My passion for off-roading has allowed me to learn everything jeeps have to offer. Now, I have turned his passion into a professional project in form of this SMOOTHDRIVES website, where I plan to share my expertise about all kinds of off-roading accessories for jeeps, trucks and SUV’s and provide readers with high-quality content.