There are two types of drivers: those whose main goal is reaching the end destination and those who want to enjoy the ride. If you’re looking at your vehicle as a means to get you from point A to B, it is highly likely that you are not that into upgrades and changes to factory settings. And if you want to make the most out of the ride on the way to your destination, then you are probably constantly on the lookout for ways to enhance the performance of your car.
Pondering whether to get an electronic throttle control for your Fiat speaks volumes about you. In other words, you belong to the group of enthusiastic drivers, eager to get their hands on the steering wheel. And who can blame you, this unit comes in very handy even during everyday commuting.
What Is a Throttle Controller?
A throttle controller is a simple addition that gets in between your pedal and the engine. Factory settings on any car, including your Fiat, have built-in throttle lag. This means that when you press the pedal the impulse doesn’t go straight to give a command to your engine. Rather, the lag serves to buffer your vigour according to preset parameters. Car manufacturers do this to comply with fuel consumption standards put forth by environmental laws and carbon emission regulations.
When you buy a Fiat electronic throttle control, you establish a direct connection between your pedal and the engine. If you floor it, the engine will respond accordingly. As we will see below, with a high-quality throttle controller you don’t even have to do that to experience fast acceleration. This device is practically a drive-by-wire that eliminates throttle lag.
Benefits of Electronic Throttle Controllers
Issues with starting the engine in the morning can stem from the infamous throttle lag. If your Fiat doesn’t start right away, installing a throttle controller will probably solve this for you. That is after you have made sure you don’t need to change a spark plug.
A throttle controller enhances performance in general, but you will feel this even more if you need to drive uphill from a stationary position. Just make sure to put the appropriate mode on. A reliable Fiat electronic throttle control will have at least three different modes.
The high-performance mode is designed with 10 adjustability levels so you can stop worrying about not having enough power to put your Fiat through towing, overtaking or any other demanding task. The economy mode is made to dampen your throttle response through technically hard routes, where this is important. The automatic mode is the most popular one as it facilitates a smooth transition between the different styles of driving while commuting (stopping at traffic lights, then overtaking on an open road).
The Installation Process
Installing a throttle controller is one of the easiest car upgrades you’ll ever do. As we noted, it is simply a drive-by-wire, so you need to unplug the pedal from the engine control and wire it to the EVC with small interface. This can be done in minutes, the only thing not to forget is to put the interface on a visible spot and not entangle the wires in your dashboard.
This is a fairly cheap acceleration upgrade, it usually costs around 300 AUD and it provides great value for the money. You practically get an extra boost without changing the original horsepower of the engine. Plus, you can notice the difference as soon as you install the device. Test your new EVC on an open road with ample distance between yourself and the other vehicles. Don’t be surprised by the sudden change in acceleration.
Downsides of Electronic Throttle Controllers
There are a couple of disadvantages of installing a throttle controller. This upgrade changes the performance of your vehicle but it can not be considered a relevant engine upgrade, because your horsepower remains the same.
Another point to take into account is that you will reach maximum power way earlier than you are used to. So you will lose accelerator pedal travel at the top end. When you hit the pedal halfway you will get the highest boost. After that, you can floor the pedal and have no real effect.
Mounting the control box on your dashboard can be tricky. It depends on the place you secured for the interface. You might need to drill some holes and watch out not to hit any wires.
If you outweigh the pros and cons, it’s obvious that the advantages of installing a throttle controller far outweigh the disadvantages. So, make sure you know what to expect from this upgrade. You can further offset your increased fuel consumption by pairing this device with a new exhaust system.