Frequently Asked Questions
What is pedal lag?
Well first we have to take you back, to the good old days of throttle cables and carburettors. In the old days, the gas pedal was directly connected to the engine's throttle plate by a cable, and any lack of response from the engine could be attributed to a couple of things. Either the cable has stretched enough to create slack and, consequently, a delay in pedal response, or the engine was out of tune which meant it was not making as much power as it should've been. Easy fix, by a new throttle cable for $20 and get your carby tuned. Nowadays though, unfortunately it's not that simple.
Let's look at how modern electronic throttles work.
Instead of a cable, the pedal is now connected to what essentially are potentiometers. They generate a certain amount of voltage which the ECU reads and equates to throttle angle openings. They first of all measure how far your foot travels when you push the pedal to a certain point as well as how fast you pushed the pedal to reach that point and creates a throttle calculation for your ECU. The ECU then sends a signal to the butterfly position sensor which controls the opening rate of your butterfly on the throttle body, and opens it up by the amount programmed into the ECU for a given voltage generated at the pedal. There is also a feedback sensor on the throttle body which informs the ECU that the throttle butterfly is doing what it is supposed to (i.e. opening the throttle up to the angle dictated by the ECU).
Now, like with most electronic control systems, there is redundancy built into drive by wire systems. Instead of just one demand sensor at the pedal, there are two. Same goes with the feedback sensor at the throttle body. This is to avoid loss of control should one fail. The complex nature of this system with its variety of potentiometers, computers, sensors and management systems is what results in a noticeable delay when you first hit the pedal, known as throttle lag or dead zone. No matter how hard or fast you stomp on your accelerator there is no overcoming this delay, it is an inherent electrical delay that physical input cannot conquer.
An interesting fact about drive by wire systems: the voltage signals generated by the redundant sensors aren't identical. The ECU always monitors both signals to constantly check if everything is working normally. Should one signal be outside of expected sensor readings or fail outright, the ECU will throw a code and go into fail-safe mode. This means power is reduced to avoid having the car speed out of control, exceed the ECU's expected parameters, and the orange light comes on and your engine loses power.
Why the change from a physical cable to invisible electrons telling your engine what you want to do? Well a few reasons, first of all the electronic throttle system is a lot lighter, reducing weight in modern cars, also they are far easier to service and tune, simply hook up a computer and let it do the work for you. It is also worth mentioning the impact of emissions control in regard to switching to electronic throttle systems, using electronics allows for much more precise control of the throttle opening compared to a cable that stretches over time. It also allows the throttle response to be programmed in by the manufacturers. Yup, that's right. The throttle response on drive by wire control systems can be programmed. This is where the iDRIVE Throttle Controller comes in.
The iDRIVE throttle controller modifies the voltage signal from the drive-by-wire pedal assembly to allow you to tune the response from your accelerator pedal and greatly reduce the dead zone from when you initially depress the pedal commonly referred to as throttle lag. The iDRIVE is providing new points of reference for the vehicle's throttle mapping. It is still working within the standard parameters; however, it introduces a far sharper throttle curve. It is also bringing the throttle in earlier in the pedal stroke, introducing the fuel/air mix into your engine earlier in the throttle stroke thus improving throttle response and acceleration.
The real benefit of the iDRIVE though is its ability to give you complete control over the throttle response of your engine, if your engine is too responsive you can dampen its response to a level that suits your driving style with Economy mode, or if your throttle response is too lacklustre put the iDRIVE into Ultimate mode and find a setting that works best for you. You can also change the iDRIVE's settings and modes on the fly so if you are driving along the freeway and need to overtake someone, crank the iDRIVE up a few levels to deliver better throttle response, or if you are towing a trailer/ caravan you can bump up the throttle settings to account for the extra added weight. Don't just take our word for it though, every iDRIVE comes with a 30-day money back guarantee so you can try the iDRIVE and see its effectiveness for yourself.
How does the iDRIVE work?
The iDRIVE throttle controller modifies the voltage signal from the fly-by-wire pedal assembly to allow you to tune the response from your accelerator pedal and greatly reduce throttle lag. The iDRIVE plugs directly into your pedal command module and can generally be installed in as little as 5 minutes.
Does the iDRIVE increase horsepower?
No, iDRIVE throttle controllers will not increase power output. They have no control over fuel mapping, air to fuel ratio or injection timing. The iDRIVE simply changes the way your throttle responds, eliminating any lags or delays in the throttle system and sharpening response. It essentially gets rid of the feeling that there’s a big wet sponge sitting underneath the accelerator pedal of most modern cars with the fly-by-wire system.
Is iDRIVE suitable for towing?
iDRIVE throttle controllers are very useful for towing as they help get your vehicle up to speed from a standing start while using less effort, placing less strain on your motor and using less fuel; especially handy around town where there is a lot of stopping and starting.
What transmission does the iDRIVE work with?
iDRIVE throttle controllers are suited to both manual and automatic transmissions and can be individually programmed to perform with either transmission.
Is the iDRIVE hard to install?
On the vast majority of vehicles the iDRIVE can be installed in under 2 minutes with no tools or technical knowledge required. Every unit comes with a clear set of instructions which take you through a step-by- step installation. The iDRIVE was always designed with plug and play application in mind, so anyone, anywhere can reap the benefits of an iDRIVE in their vehicle.
Is the IDRIVE universal or vehicle specific?
Although every iDRIVE shares the same main hardware and applications, each iDRIVE is specifically programmed to each vehicle, meaning they are not transferable across makes and models. Please check our application guidelines for the makes/models we can supply an iDRIVE for.
Is the iDRIVE suitable for petrol engines?
The iDRIVE can be used on both naturally aspirated and forced induction petrol and diesel engines.
Can’t I just press the accelerator harder?
iDRIVE throttle controllers work in two ways. When you first depress the pedal, there is what is referred to as a dead zone, where there is very little response, no matter how hard you hit the pedal, nothing happens. The iDRIVE converts this dead signal to action, completely eliminating the dead zone. The second part of the iDRIVE's function is opening the throttle earlier in the pedal stroke, which cannot be replicated by pressing the pedal harder or faster. No matter what people tell you, or how sceptical they are you cannot simply slam the pedal harder, every iDRIVE comes with a 30-day money back guarantee for this very reason, every single day we are turning sceptics into believers. If someone isn’t 100 percent happy and satisfied with their iDRIVE, they can simply return it for a full refund, that is how confident we are in our product. We are always on the lookout for people trying to leave negative comments about the “science behind the iDRIVE' or people who don’t believe in its functionality as we love sending these people a free iDRIVE to test for themselves, and it’s fair to say we very rarely get the iDRIVE back.
Will the iDRIVE work with other modifications?
- Aftermarket Cruise Control – To date we have not come across an aftermarket cruise control system that is not compatible with the iDRIVE.
- ECU Tune/ Re-flash – iDRIVE’s can be used with any ECU Tune and re-flash as they don’t change throttle parameters.
- Power chips/exhaust – iDRIVE's work on a completely different internal system than power chips and exhaust systems, making them a great compliment for these two modifications.
Will an iDRIVE void my new car warranty?
Any aftermarket modification/ non-genuine product can potentially impact your new car warranty. Unfortunately, new car warranties are not a blanket warranty in the US and are often interpreted differently from dealership to dealership. We tackled this issue early on in our journey though through extensive testing on new cars and found a correctly fitted iDRIVE absolutely can not damage a vehicle in anyway. Every iDRIVE also comes with the factory setting mode so that if it develops a fault in can be turned of and wont effect the drivability of the car. Installation only takes a few minutes, so if you ever have any concerns, simply unplug the iDRIVE and return it to us for a replacement/refund.
My iDRIVE doesn’t turn off?
iDRIVE throttle controllers don’t require their own power source. They rely on power from the accelerator pedal, which runs of the ignition system. In more than a few vehicles when power is cut to the ignition, many accessories such as the radio, headlights etc. take time to power down, the iDRIVE will switch off with these, it cannot stay powered for more than 30 seconds once the ignition is off. Sometimes this iDRIVE may also switch off due to inactivity, such as long periods with cruise control on, however the moment the accelerator is pressed again the iDRIVE will switch back on.
How fast is delivery?
iDRIVE USA is committed to fast and efficient delivery from the time you purchase your product. We understand the wait for new car parts is often excruciating as you just want to hook it up and see results straight away, that is why we use express shipping on all our orders, with most deliveries arriving within 24 hours of purchase. Every purchase also comes with a tracking number which is supplied along with your retail invoice.