How to Clean Throttle Body

Maintaining every part of your car’s engine is the only way to expand the lifespan of your beloved vehicle. And knowing what do to with what and how to do it is just the right step to keeping a healthy engine and the car running well on the road. This article is the guide to clean throttle body of your engine.

What does a throttle body do on a car?

Your engine runs on a mixture of air and fuel and in order for it to run smoothly, the mixture has to be properly balanced at all costs. This is regulated by the intake system of your engine. The part of your intake system that helps control the amount of air that enters your engine is the throttle body. It acts as a gateway for air to enter your engine’s combustion chamber.

When do you need to clean your throttle body?

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Once you notice that your car runs rugged when it’s idle, one of the reasons would be because of a dirty throttle body. When your throttle body gets dirty, it doesn’t work efficiently mishandling air that enters the engine. And when it gets dirty, your car doesn’t idle smoothly. You might want to consider cleaning it yourself before heading to the mechanic; it might just be a dirty throttle body that you can just handle by yourself.

How does it get dirty?

Every time your engine shuts down, hot exhaust and unused fuel rise towards the top of your engine. Since your throttle body is the entrance of air, these vapors would need to find an exit point and they would often pass through your throttle body. These gasses leave behind soot and carbon deposits all over your throttle body.

Where is it found?

located throttle body

Image Source: throttle body

Since it is part of the intake system it is found between your intake manifold and the air cleaner. If you’re still not sure where it is, you can have someone press down on the gas pedal (even when the engine is off), you will see your throttle shaft moving when the accelerator is stepped on. Once you find the throttle shaft look follow the cable and it will lead you to your throttle body.

How to Clean Throttle Body?

Things to take note before cleaning the throttle body

  1. Park your vehicle outside. The throttle body deals with volatile chemicals that can be dangerous when inhaled. Parking your vehicle outside will make sure that you have good ventilation.
  2. Make sure you are in a well-lit area; if not, you must have extra bright lighting to make sure you can see what you’re doing.
  3. You don’t have to remove or disconnect any cable, wires or sensitive terminals.

What are the tools and materials that you need?

  • Screwdrivers (Torx screwdrivers)
  • Socket wrenches
  • Throttle body cleaning brush or an old clean toothbrush
  • Throttle body cleaner (be careful, it’s flammable)
  • Oil (all-purpose oil will do)

How to Clean a throttle Body?

  1. Disconnect your car’s battery negative terminal or ground terminal.

replace car battery

  1. Every time you remove a hose connected to your throttle body, you should label them. You might end up mixing those cables up if you don’t put labels on since they all look the same.
  1. Locate the air duct attached to the throttle body. Use your Torx-head wrench and loosen the hose clamp that secures the air duct to the throttle body. If your throttle body has air ducts connected on both sides, you only need to disconnect one to reveal the throttle body.
  1. Once your throttle body is revealed, rotate your throttle blade and spray a liberal amount of throttle body cleaner. You might want to use gloves and eye protection. The cleaner can be pretty irritating. NOTE: Don’t use a carburetor cleaner on your throttle body.
  1. Wipe the residue clean with paper towels.
  1. Keep repeating the process until the throttle body is clean. You’ll know it’s clean of all you can see is bright shiny aluminum.
  1. Dab on a really thin layer of household multipurpose oil on the throttle body’s shafts using a cotton swab.
  1. Clean off the surrounding area to make sure that no spilled spray residue is left on your vehicle.
  1. Reposition the air ducts and tighten the hose clamps back the way you removed it. Return the cables you’ve detached and remove the labels.
  1. Reattach the ground terminal to your battery.
  1. Start your engine and let it rev for a while. There might still be some residue left behind by the spray. You can let the engine rev in order to burn it off. Just give it a few minutes, it might stir for a while but a good cleaning will eventually pass off the short uproar to a clean and smooth revving engine. Take your vehicle for a run and see how it goes.

Servicing your own vehicle only takes a bit of your time and a little bit of your hygiene but compared to a simple fix you can do at home than hiring a mechanic for a simple duty, you’re off to a good start in maintaining the good condition you want your car to be.

How to Clean Throttle Body
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