Lightning Bolt-On Dodge Ram (Read This First)

All vehicles have warning lights and symbols that draw attention to the vehicle’s mechanical and electrical faults.

When that happens, it’s best to take the vehicle for servicing immediately. Like most cars, Dodge Ram has an electronic Throttle Control Indicator Symbol.

The lightning bolt between reversed parenthesis or brackets in your Dodge Ram is an ‘Electronic Throttle Control Indicator.’ The Symbol will illuminate once there is an issue with the car’s electronic throttle control system. As long as the lightning bolt isn’t illuminated, all is well and good.

Lightning Bolt On Dashboard Dodge Ram 1500?

This Symbol on the dashboard represents the car’s electronic throttle control indicator.

When the lightning bolt turns red, it indicates that there may be a problem with the car’s electronic throttle control systems.

According to vehicle experts, the Dodge Ram 1500 is one of the most dependable trucks in the market, but like all cars, it needs to be serviced from time to time to keep it functioning correctly.

To that end, the Dodge Ram has all kinds of system checks and warning lights. Once any part of the vehicle develops a fault, the system will alert the user to the fault.

The electronic throttle control system electronically connects the throttle to the accelerator pedal. It replaces the mechanical link.

Electronic Throttle control, also known as drive-by-wire, uses electronic signals instead of mechanical signals to control the throttle.

When you step on the car’s gas pedal, you activate an accelerator pedal module instead of opening the throttle, as with the mechanical signal.

The accelerator pedal module then converts the gas pedal pressure into an electric signal. 

Afterward, the pressure goes to an ECU, Electric Control Unit, which takes your input and several other variables into account and opens the throttle to make room for optimum performance and efficiency. 

There could be a few reasons that could be responsible for a faulty electronic throttle control system. 

What Does The Lightning Bolt Mean On Dodge Ram?

The lightning bolt on the dashboard stands for electronic throttle control.

Unfortunately, when the light comes on or starts blinking red, there is an issue with the electronic throttle control system. And the system needs to be reset or repaired.

The electronic throttle control system on Dodge Ram is complex, but it has advantages. It reduces engine wear and improves engine performance and efficiency. 

Unlike its mechanical counterpart, the electronic throttle control system has fewer moving parts, which means less wear and tear.

And less wear means less maintenance and longer life for the system. 

Furthermore, the electronic throttle control system relies not only on the driver’s input, i.e., a foot on the accelerator.

It also considers the wheels, the steering system, and the brakes. That helps put driver error in check and keep the vehicle under control.

Additionally, the system is a key component in several cruise control systems and helps make driving safer and easier and requires less maintenance.

How Do I Fix My Electronic Throttle Control Light?

The Electronic Throttle Control system is a very important component of a vehicle.

It is the component from which the input generated from your foot on the accelerator pedal goes to the engine.

The system behind this is complicated and has even become more so with the introduction of electronic throttle controls back in the 80s.

Once the lightning bolt light is illuminated on the dashboard, the throttle control is not functioning properly.

And as long as the malfunction persists, the light will remain on. If the system is not functioning well, there are some issues that you might experience.

#1. Engine Stalling

Usually, a few factors could be responsible for a stalling engine, like the power train falling or another malfunction.

However, ETC can also make the car stall. Of course, you can’t be certain, but if the electronic throttle control light is on, that is the cause.

#2. Check Engine Light

The check engine light indicates a fault with the engine. However, an ETC fault could simultaneously cause the check engine light and the ETC light to come on.

Additionally, an ETC error could also affect the car’s engine.

#3. Reduction In Fuel Efficiency

The throttle directly affects the engine’s combustion processes.

Therefore, if the electronic throttle control has a fault, it can cause combustion issues, making the engine burn more fuel.

Various issues can cause these signs of bad ETC that you may encounter. These problems will also cause the lightning bolt on the dash to turn on.

So, there are some reasons why the ETC light may turn on. Some of them include.

  • Damaged Wires
  • Clogged Butterfly Valve
  • A faulty throttle position sensor
  • Damaged throttle body

The throttle control system does not easily develop faults. Often, it outlives the car itself. It is not a common repair job that you have to do all the time.

Moreover. electrical repairs are more complicated than mechanical repairs.

Here are a few steps you can take to resolve a surface issue with your ETC system;

  • First of all, make sure that your check engine light is on. If your throttle is bad, then the car’s check engine light is on. So, use a scanning device to scan the vehicle. If the code reads P0121, it means the throttle is bad. Then you can go about changing it.
  • The throttle control is usually on top of a vehicle’s engine, so you need to remove the air duct, loose, and unbolt the throttle clamp. Then, unplug the electrical connection so you can safely navigate.
  • Once that is done, use a screwdriver to remove the connection and remove the four bolts to attach the throttle. Then, slide the throttle from its assembly.
  • Please get a new throttle control, and place the new gasket in, after which you will properly place the new throttle in and bolt it securely in place.
  • Plug the electrical connection in carefully, place the air ducts back in place and tighten the bolts.

You could feel like the light is a false alarm at times, and there is no issue with ECT.

Thus you could try resetting the ETC to find out if the light is a false alarm or if you need to get the throttle checked out.

To do that, you can carry out the process of relearning. This process resets the ETC’s programming and software.

The process isn’t much different from the hard reset done on phones or computers.

Can I Drive With The Throttle Control Warning Light?

It is possible to drive with a bad throttle. Keep in mind that once your throttle is bad, the throttle control warning light will come on and stay on until the issue is resolved.

But, even while the throttle is bad, you will be able to drive your vehicle.

However, that you can do so doesn’t mean you should. Driving your car while the throttle control warning light is still on can be very dangerous. 

The first concern is for your safety and that of other road users. Several complications can arise from a faulty throttle.

One of them is that you have little or no control over the vehicle’s acceleration. Thus, it can choose to accelerate at the wrong time, and sometimes, it may not even accelerate.

And this increases the chance of getting into an accident involving other road users. 

Secondly, continuously using a damaged throttle control system can damage your vehicle’s engine.

When you finally decide to fix the issue, they would have become compounded and could end up costing you more time and money.

Also, the wear and tear on your vehicle will become more extensive the longer the issue persists. Therefore, to be on the safe side, it’s best to solve the issue pronto.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix Electronic Throttle Control?

Of course, the Electronic throttle control is not nearly the most important component of any vehicle, but it is not cheap.

You will find that replacing the electronic throttle control on your vehicle can set you back reasonably.

To replace the throttle control, you may spend $450 to $650 for parts and labor.

Doing it yourself could save you some money on labor, but the process involves some wires, so it’s always better to have professionals do it.

Additionally, the kind of car you own, the level of damage, and the time frame for the job all affect the cost. For example, if you own a luxury vehicle, it will cost you more. 


The lightning bolt on Dodge Ram indicates the electronic throttle control system, and a flashing lightning bolt means that the system has complications.

The system issues may not be too severe, and fixing them can also be relatively easy.

But since it involves wires and electrical issues, it’s often best to get a professional to do it.

Similar Posts