Modern intake systems are capable of operating for a long time without the need for maintenance. In particular, the throttle body cleaning is worth it. You can take care of this task on your own in just 10-20 minutes.
For throttle body cleaning, the system must be fully opened and clean with a special diluent to remove soot or oil from the throttle.
What is the throttle body?
This element is part of the air consumption system and is liable for managing the air provided to the combustion chambers. It has a direct influence on the process of formation of the air-fuel mixture. It can have both a mechanical and an electrical drive. It is installed in a housing connected to the hoses for the cooling, crankcase ventilation, evaporative emission control systems, sensor connectors, etc.
Symptoms of a dirty throttle body
The throttle body cleaning is necessary because of these symptoms.
Engine starting problems: Due to deposit formation, the butterfly valve may allow less air to pass through than necessary with a small opening angle. This leads to a reduction in traction, especially when the engine is running at low rpm. Sometimes the engine can stall.
Unstable or high revolutions per minute at idle: This occurs when more air than necessary is supplied to the motor due to the stuck open mechanism. This is one of the dirty throttle body symptoms.
Increased fuel consumption: In some vehicles, an excess supply of air causes more fuel than necessary to enter the engine. In this case, the fuel is burned in vain.
Engine power reduction: If the valve does not open to the required angle, insufficient air will enter the combustion chambers. The driver may notice that the vehicle’s dynamics have significantly worsened. Therefore, throttle body cleaning is mandatory in this case.
How do you clean the throttle body without removing it from the vehicle?
Here are the steps of how to clean throttle body.
- First, park the vehicle on a plane surface so that you can access the engine compartment from either side. It is best to work outdoors or in rooms with good ventilation.
- Secure your vehicle with wheel chocks.
- Open the engine hood. Disconnect the negative pole of the battery.
- Locate the throttle body. It should be somewhere between the intake manifold and the air filter. If you are having trouble finding the component, have a helper depress the accelerator pedal to watch the throttle valve open.
- Determine what tools you need to remove the air cleaner tube and prepare them. You will need protective goggles and gloves, paper towels, and some motor oil in addition to tools. You will also need a small soft brush or soft cloth, masking tape or visibility tape, plus a bottle of the accelerator’s cleaner.
- With the aid of masking tape or conspicuity tape, mark all the hoses that will need to be removed to reach the throttle body and air duct.
- Using a screwdriver or wrench, loosen the clamp that holds the air duct.
- Remove the tube carefully. Make sure you do not damage the gasket if any. Carry out the work carefully so as not to disconnect any electrical connections or hoses. If the throttle body is connected to the air tubes on both sides, it is enough to release one of them.
- Put on protective glasses and gloves before cleaning throttle body.
- Spray the throttle body cleaner on the inner surface of the component. Let the commodity dry in for 5-10 minutes.
- Clean dirt with a brush or a soft cloth. Please note: some throttle bodies have a special moly coating. In these cases, you must clean them carefully.
- Use the paper towels to clean up any residue left behind by the cleaner with dissolved deposits. If necessary, treat the surface a second time.
- Dry the assembly.
- Implement a droplet of oil to the throttle shaft. You can use, for example, a cotton swab to distribute it.
- Connect the intake manifold tube and tighten the clamp with approximately the same force that it was originally tightened. Put any hoses you removed back in place.
- Start the engine. Let it idle for a few minutes.
- Take a test drive. If a dirty throttle body caused the engine problems, they should have been fixed.
Prevention of throttle body from getting dirty
You can get throttle body service at different places, but the prevention is better than cure. Use only high-quality fuel. It is advisable to bleed the fuel tank from time to time for throttle body cleaning. Replace the air filter in due time.