I love driving my 1940 Ford Truck. When I push the gas pedal the truck goes without delay.
In a vehicle that age, the accelerator is connected to the throttle by a series of rods. It’s a sequence of physical connections that makes the engine rev.
Modern vehicles are different. They operate on electronic throttles, not rods and cables.
Electronic throttle control has now become standard. It’s not even an advertised feature. All cars have it. The majority of drivers don’t even know there was a different way before.
But if you want fast acceleration, an electric throttle controller can seem frustratingly slow. It’s as if you don’t have as much control of your own vehicle. Auto makers intentionally delay the throttle response for safety and fuel efficiency reasons.
An aftermarket throttle controller may be the answer if you want a performance improvement.
What is a Throttle Response Controller?
All throttle systems have two main components: the accelerator pedal and the throttle valve.
In older cars, the accelerator and the throttle valve are connected by a cable. The harder you press down on the accelerator the wider the valve would open.
The accelerator and throttle valve are not physically connected in cars with electronic throttle control.
Today, electronic sensors measure how far you push the gas pedal. This information is sent to the computer. Notice the plastic box the pedal is connected to. This is the sensor.
The computer then communicates with a second set of electronic sensors. These are throttle position sensors which control the throttle valve.
The computer also optimizes your acceleration to make it smoother and more economical.
If you’re interested in performance, then you may want an aftermarket throttle controller.
Does Pedal Commander Really Work?
Yes, the Pedal Commander does work. Most cars and trucks have a small lag between the time you push the accelerator and when the vehicle moves.
The Pedal Commander will decrease that lag.
It increases throttle response and makes your car or truck feel more responsive. But it won’t increase horsepower.
You may also see a small fuel efficiency increase in the ECO mode.
Does Pedal Commander Increase MPG?
Yes, you can see a small increase in fuel efficiency.
Pedal Commander claims it can save up to 20% fuel efficiency in ECO mode. It depends on the vehicle, but most users see between .5 and 2 MPG in savings.
Does Pedal Commander Void Warranty?
No, it will not void warranties or interfere with a warranty claim. The Pedal Commander won’t flag the ECU or leave any evidence if you take it in to a dealership.
But you may want to take it out of your vehicle if you ever take it in for service.
Is the Pedal Commander Safe?
For the most part, yes. It is safe.
However there are some buyers who have experienced issues. Some report the engine will spontaneously rev up. Others have problems with the check engine light coming on.
The manufacturer states the product won’t trigger check engine lights when installed properly. Nor should it cause it to rev. It’s possible it wasn’t installed correctly or it malfuctioned.
Either way, this can be a dangerous situation.
It’s unclear how much this does happen but a small number of users mention it.
Things to Consider In a Throttle Controller
If you want the improved acceleration speed that an electronic throttle controller can bring, be sure to consider the following:
Installation – Most of the throttle controllers on the market are plug and play. You connect the cable in-line to the accelerator sensor. It takes a few minutes to connect the cable and mount the device. All of them are very easy to install. Check the image above to see the connection point.
Modes – How many modes will you need? Most people will need only 3 to 4 modes between sport and eco. But some other products on the market have six or more.
Programming – Pedal commander has one feature that others don’t: Bluetooth connectivity. The Pedal Commander smartphone app enables you to change the mode on the fly from your phone. One word of caution is to change it only while you’re stopped, not accelerating.
Vehicle Model – Make sure you choose the right model according to which vehicle you have. There are different model Pedal Commanders for each car and vehicle make.
the Pedal Commander Details
The Pedal Commander Throttle Controller is one of the most popular on the market. It comes with a huge range of options, including four driving modes. These modes adapt your acceleration to meet your needs.
There’s Eco Mode, which optimizes your acceleration for fuel economy. In fact, Pedal Commander claims they can improve your fuel economy by as much as 20% with this mode.
Then there’s what many drivers likely buy the controller for: the City Mode. This mode gives your accelerator the feel of a manual system. There is almost no delay between when you press the pedal and when the throttle valve opens.
Sport Mode increases acceleration response even more. Pedal Commander claims that Sport Mode will make your vehicle “accelerate like a race car.”
These modes give you more control over your acceleration than a standard throttle controller.
Just to clarify again: It doesn’t increase how fast your vehicle accelerates. It eliminates the delay between pressing the accelerator and the throttle responding.
Features and Benefits
Here are a few of the most notable features of the Pedal Commander throttle controller, and how they might benefit you:
- Four modes to adapt to your driving preferences
- Eco Mode improves your vehicle’s fuel economy
- City Mode eliminates all throttle lag
- Sport mode improves upon the power of manual acceleration systems
- Easy to install without voiding your car’s warranty
- Bluetooth compatibility allows you to change modes with an app
- Custom products optimized for specific vehicles
- Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee
What Are Users Saying?
Most people find the Pedal Commander throttle controller very positive.
The controller surprised many drivers. They said that they didn’t know their vehicles were capable of so much power.
I think these people are probably feeling the quicker throttle response and equating it to more power. It won’t give more horsepower. Only quicker acceleration.
Many say that the controller made driving their cars more fun. They say they felt the change right away and throttle response was improved.
A lot of users seem to like the Sport Mode which goes beyond even 1:1 acceleration. It makes your car faster than a manual or electric system would allow. They also thought it was easy to install.
I will say some of the negative reviews are concerning.
Pedal Commander says that if their product is correctly installed it will not cause your check engine light to turn on.
Many users report that the product did activate this light, which could either be human error or a malfunction. It’s impossible to know for sure.
More troubling are the people who say the product negatively affected their acceleration. Some say that their cars began to rev up without them pressing on the pedal.
Others claim that they lost control of their pedals completely, not allowing them to accelerate at all.
The users reporting these problems are definitely in the minority. Also, these issues seem to happen infrequently. The downside about this is it’s impossible to know if the problem is with the product, the person installing it, or the vehicle.
Problems like these can put you at grave risk, and you’ll need to decide if the risk is worth it.
What Are the Alternatives?
Pedal Commander’s products are easily the most popular on the market. But there are other competitors to consider.
The Wind Booster throttle controller offers “10 acceleration modes” compared to Pedal Commander’s four. However, they technically have six, with four of them available in both auto and manual variants.
Injen’s X-Pedal Pro has only three modes: Eco, Sport and Drag Race. These modes have different levels that you can adapt to meet your needs.
How A Gas Pedal Works
Is It Right for You?
If you are wanting quicker throttle response or more fuel efficiency, Pedal Commander is a great option.
It’s the most reviewed and most popular type on the market. There are lots of other options available on the market, each coming with unique modes and features.
Spend a few minutes shopping and you’ll immediately see the difference. Most of the throttle controllers on the market don’t have a lot of user reviews available.
Buy another product and you might be operating on blind faith.
With Pedal Commander you can read about the experiences of other users and decide definitively if the product is right for you.
If you’re going to buy one of these products, Pedal Commander’s seems to be the way to go. They are the leaders of this niche industry, and they have the reviews to back it up.