How to Clean a Throttle Body? Follow the Steps

How to Clean a Throttle Body? Follow the Steps

The throttle body needs to be cleaned occasionally because a clean throttle body contributes to an overall smoother-running car engine. Fortunately, you don’t need to call a mechanic to complete this auto maintenance; you can do it yourself in 10 to 15 minutes. So, How to Clean a Throttle Body?

Prepare the tools and supplies first. Then, gain access to the throat of the throttle body, Use cleaners to clean, and reinstall all the parts.

In the following paragraphs, we’ll demonstrate how to clean a throttle body without even taking it out of the car!

Tools/Supplies Needed

  • screwdriver
  • socket set
  • two clean rags or cloths
  • throttle body specific cleaner
  • toothbrush
  • cotton swabs
  • penetrating oil

How to Clean a Throttle Body?

Here are the details:

Gain Access to the Throat of the Throttle Body

By removing the main intake duct, we can first gain access to the throttle body’s throat. Although models will vary, the majority of vehicles have a rubber intake tube that is attached with a gear clamp and can be removed using either a socket or a screwdriver. Remove any breather tubes or vacuum lines that are attached to the throttle body directly. Make sure there is no residue left behind or that the cleaner doesn’t venture where we don’t want it to when spraying a clean into the throttle body. Since this is a cable-operated throttle, as seen in the video, we can operate it manually or ask a helper to hold it open for us. In some vehicles, the throttle is electronically controlled; as a result, you cannot manually open it and doing so could ruin any factory-set calibrations. An assistant can operate the gas pedal to open and close an electronically controlled throttle by turning the key while the engine is off, but always check with the manufacturer’s instructions first to be safe.

How to Clean a Throttle Body? Follow the Steps
How to Clean a Throttle Body? Follow the Steps

Use Cleaners to Clean

To catch any cleaner that leaks, place a rag or piece of cloth below the throttle body opening. I’m using a Permatex Throttle Body, Carb, and Choke Cleaner, which is available at any nearby auto parts store. Only use a throttle body-specific cleaner as it won’t damage any components associated with your throttle body or intake. Open the throttle plate by operating the linkage or having an assistant push on the gas pedal and spray the cleaner into the throat. After letting it sit for a moment, remove the buildup with a clean rag. If you use a rag, make sure it is clean and free of debris because we don’t want any of it to end up inside the intake. If more cleaning is required, we can spray the cleaner onto a rag and then wipe away any dirt. A tooth brush or cotton swabs can also be used to clean the throttle body; however, anything that could harm the throttle body’s bore should not be used. Once done, ensure that any vacuum or breather ports do not have any cleaner pooled in them. Use a clean rag to give a final wipe down to remove any of this access cleaner.

Reinstall All the Parts

Before reinstalling all the parts, apply a small amount of penetrating oil of your choice to the throttle plate shaft. Any access oil that drips out can be re-cleaned by spray some of the throttle body cleaner onto the rag and wiping it away. Do not spray it directly into the throttle body as this can wash away the oil we just applied. Make sure the throttle plate is working correctly, then reinstall all products in reverse of installation.

This guide will go over how to wash a car at home and some frequently asked questions about best practices for washing cars in order to assist you in keeping your car clean.

What Happens When a Throttle Body Goes Bad

A dirty throttle body may be the root of your car’s rough idle. The engine’s air intake is regulated by the throttle body, and when it’s dirty, the engine can’t idle smoothly. As a result, before you take the car to the shop, think about spending 10 minutes cleaning the throttle body yourself using a spray can of cleaner and paper towels. By performing a throttle body cleaning on your own, there is a good chance that you will solve the issue and potentially save a ton of money.

The throttle body gets dirty in the following manner. Unburned fuel and hot exhaust gases rise to the top of the engine when it shuts down. Inside the throttle body, sooty black carbon deposits are created as the engine vapors bake.

Follow the plastic duct from the air filter housing up to the throttle body. The rotating mechanism and throttle cables can be found by removing the duct. Spray the cleaning agent inside the throttle body while the throttle mechanism is rotating. After giving it some time to work, remove the debris.

How to Clean a Throttle Body? Follow the Steps
How to Clean a Throttle Body? Follow the Steps

What to Look Out for

Your throttle body may be clogged or dirty if your car starts acting strangely. Fortunately, there are common warning signs that can let you know how well your throttle body is functioning and whether cleaning is necessary.

Here are some of the most common signs that your throttle body is clogged or dirty:

Reduced Power

Your throttle body may need to be cleaned if you’ve noticed that your car is moving more slowly than usual.

Reduced power is a safety feature that restricts how well your engine performs to stop further damage or mishaps. When the fault is found, your car will typically enter what is known as “limp mode” thanks to the computer.

Performance Issues

Because the throttle body is frequently in charge of allowing a certain amount of oxygen into the engine’s flow, it can stall your car and reduce its overall performance when it becomes clogged.

To combat this problem, you will need to clean the throttle body using a towel and cleaning product. However, if you still experience the same issues, then this could mean that your throttle body will need to be replaced.

Lack of Speed

Your car might have a general lack of power and speed, only shifting into lower gears, and a dirty throttle body could be the cause. For instance, some cars can only go 35 miles per hour in second gear.

As a result, cleaning your throttle body can significantly alter how your car handles.

How to Clean a Throttle Body? Follow the Steps
How to Clean a Throttle Body? Follow the Steps


What Are the Symptoms of a Dirty Throttle Body?

When the throttle body gets dirty, it has a direct effect on how smoothly the engine operates. Signs indicating a problem include rough idling, jumpy or sluggish acceleration, poor fuel economy, and stalling.

Can I Clean My Throttle Body Myself?

Cleaning fuel injectors is generally not a do-it-yourself project, but you can clean the throttle body on your vehicle with common tools and specialized spray cleaners. While throttle-body cleaning is good preventative car maintenance, it should also help engine drivability.

Can I Use WD-40 to Clean Throttle Body?

Gently spray the WD-40 Throttle Body, Carb and Choke Cleaner down the throttle body and wipe with a cloth to remove any dirt and grime. In order to get it clean and dry, repeat the process.

How Often Should Throttle Body Be Cleaned?

It might be time to clean your throttle body if your truck seems to idle more erratically or stumbles when accelerating. Even if you are not having any issues yet, a thorough throttle body cleaning is advised maintenance every 75,000 miles to prevent these issues before they start.

Final Thoughts: How to Clean a Throttle Body?

There you have it, a guide on how to clean a throttle body without taking it out of your car.

Prepare the tools and supplies first. Then, gain access to the throat of the throttle body, Use cleaners to clean, and reinstall all the parts.

We sincerely hope that you found this article to be useful and that you will continue to use it as a resource whenever your car starts to run slowly and erratically.

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