4.4L engine "pulses" at low throttle
I have an 05 x5 with 4.4L and have recently noticed that the engine pulses when cruising at very low throttle openings (35 - 40 mph). By pulses, what I am actually observing is that the engine seems to cut out for about half a second at odd intervals ranging from once every 10 seconds to once every 20 seconds. If I depress the throttle further, everything seems normal. Acceleration etc. all seem normal. I suspected it might be dirt on the MAF so I cleaned it per instructions with MAF cleaner. No change. The feeling is almost like I lose ignition momentarily but I am assuming that if that were the case and I had unburned fuel in the exhaust I'd be getting CEL codes and I'm not. I have noticed my fuel economy average has dropped to about 18.5 from 19.1 but that could just be seasonal. I'm guessing it might be a problem related to malfunction in the throttle position sensor but I don't know anything about that part on this motor and am hoping someone more familiar can weigh in with some diagnostic thoughts or some repair pointers.