By January 16, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Throttle Body Cleaning – How To

Throttle body cleaning 

I wanted to share this short video I made for you guys about how to clean a dirty throttle body system.  Just about anyone can do this, just make sure you use a cleaner or solvent that is made for throttle bodies.

The throttle body, basically, is where the fresh air from the air cleaner box enters the engine, at the intake manifold at the top of the engine. When you step on the accelerator pedal, a small valve (vane) moves to allow more air to enter the engine.

When that vane gets gummed up due to dirty air and or varnish caused by fuel vapors the vane gets stuck and will not close properly. This causes the engine idle speed to isolate up and down as it tries to close itself. When it gets really gummed up the engine dies at idle speeds, and can sometimes be harder to start than normal.

Why do it?

  • If your engine is dying at idle or slow speeds
  • If your idle speed is erratic and moves up and down as you sit at a stop light
  • If your engine is a little slower to start up, and seems to crank a little longer than normal.

I recommend you clean the throttle body about every 30K miles or so just to keep things in good shape. I hate it when I have a rough idle feeling in my truck :(

Want to clean it yourself? Its not really that hard on MOST vehicles (many European vehicles its more complex and you should see your mechanic). You will need a hard tooth brush or something similar, a soft rag and a can of throttle body/intake cleaner.

Caution, do not let anything fall inside the throttle body (brushes, lent, too much intake cleaner) and use the cleaner sparingly removing the excess with the rag and not letting too much of the liquid get inside the engine.

In most cases you can clean the throttle body ON the vehicle, but there are a few vehicles that require removal.


About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."