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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Throttle Body

Top view of the throttle body with the air intake attached.
The throttle body is one of the most important components in a internal combustion engine. All cars with fuel injectors have a throttle body. The job of the throttle is to regulate the amount of air flowing into the combustion chamber. The throttle body is controlled by your foot, each time you press on the accelerator you "pump" in air into the combustion chamber where it is ignited by the spark plugs.

The throttle body with the air intake removed.

The throttle body has a plate that over time will accumulate oil, gum and varnish. A dirty throttle body will cause rough starting, rough idling, loss of power, and hesitation. I will show you how you can easily service this part and immediately notice a better throttle response. Cleaning the throttle is a simple 30 min job anybody can do, You will need a screwdriver or a 10mm socket, a throttle body  or carb cleaner, rags  and  a toothbrush(optional). Some throttle bodies may need a special cleaner because of the special coating it has, it has one it will have a  warning label, Ford usually has a warning label on their throttle bodies.

The opened throttle body.

1. Disconnect the negative battery terminal. Remove the air intake from the throttle body.
2. Have someone press and hold the accelerator cable, or you can place anything heavy on the accelerator cable if you are working alone. For example: a dumbbell may work just fine.
3. Spray inside the throttle body, don't be afraid to get it soaked.
4. Clean inside with a rag. You may use a toothbrush to deep clean. Just don't loose it inside!
5. Try to clean everywhere you can inside and leave it as clean possible.
6. You will have to let the throttle body air dry or other wise you may have a hard time starting the engine.
If you experience a hard start, this is perfectly normal, the engine may run rough at first but that is the cleaner being burnt off.
7. Reattach the air intake and reattach the negative terminal of the battery. I asked you to take off the battery terminal because the ECU (computer) needs to be reset in order for it to react to the changes.

Depending on how dirty your throttle body is, you might see a night and day difference in your car or you may not feel anything at all if its already clean. Throttle body cleaning is a service that is required over time and can be costly. You can do this for the price of 5 dollars and 30 minutes of your time. Keep those plates clean! If you're comfortable with your mechanical skills you can take this further and take apart the throttle body assembly and get better access in those hard to reach places.  A new gasket may be needed if the throttle body is removed.

1 comment:

  1. It is a lot safer to remove entire throttle body (if possible) and clean then dry outside of car. This way you can remove all electronics that the cleaning agent might damage (or will damage for sure depending on car). This method will allow you to replace gaskets that might be old as well.