Many experienced car owners already have the know-how to service their vehicles on their own when that is needed. This is nothing huge because some problems with the car definitely can be diagnosed and solved simply, without having to take your vehicle to a professional car service. Therefore, if you need to clean a throttle body then don't worry, you can do it on your own.
You can notice that your throttle body needs cleaning by the difficulties with starting the engine, its "failures" at idle, the movement of the vehicle in jerks, and increased fuel consumption. To clean a throttle body, you only need a few tools and about an hour of free time. Let's get started!
What Is the Function of the Throttle Body?
The throttle body regulates the supply of air necessary for the formation of the fuel/air mixture to the engine intake manifold. The damper opens slightly at the moment the gas pedal is pressed. The more intensively this happens, the more air enters the combustion chamber and the more revolutions the engine produces.
Most budget cars come with a mechanical throttle. Its damper has a position sensor (DPDZ) and an idle speed regulator (IAC). These mechanisms allow the car to move away and help maintain optimal shaft speed, depending on the load on the onboard network.
Problems in the operation of the mechanical throttle assembly can be seen and eliminated by any car owner who is a little bit handy. Some devices which come with more expensive car models, should not be disassembled on your own to avoid additional problems. Failures in their work are usually resolved in specialized service centers.
Causes and Signs of Broken Throttle Body Issues
The air entering the engine through the throttle body is far from sterile. Dust particles, which air filters will not catch, settle in the oil layer on the throttle body and its damper.
Issues with the throttle body can also be caused by:
- Poor quality fuel
- Wear of the cylinder-piston group
- Crankcase ventilation system malfunction
A thick layer of dirty oily deposits on the damper can lead to its periodic "sticking". Due to the huge amount of carbon deposits, it ceases to close completely and allows excess air to pass through. In these cases, cleaning is a must!
Problems in the throttle body can arise not only due to the formation of deposits. Sometimes the cause is the failure of the position sensor, malfunctions in the drive, and other malfunctions. Experts will help you find out more precisely.
Moreover, if the throttle body needs repair instead of cleaning then you should check out our other article that covers that topic in specific. There you will learn how to clean the throttle body step by step.
How to Clean a Throttle Body?
There are two ways to clean the throttle body: with the removal of the damper and directly on the car. Let's check them out!
Most Common Way to Clean a Throttle Body
1. Removing the damper: Disconnect the coolant hoses and the damper position sensor wiring. Unscrew the fasteners, remove the damper housing.
2. Cleaning the shutter: Place the removed shutter in a suitable container. In case of stubborn dirt, wipe off with a plastic brush and repeat spraying. Pay particular attention to cleaning the starting gap and the damper shaft. Blow off residual dirt with compressed air or wipe off with a cloth. The damper in the body should rotate without delay or binding. Put the damper back.
How to Clean a Throttle Body Without Removing It?
- Firstly, gain access to the throttle body. If necessary, remove the liners, remove the supply air duct.
- Secondly, spray the cleaning compound (check out below which throttle body products are the ones we find to be the best) into the throttle body, using approximately 100-150 ml of the composition. Let the composition work for 2-3 minutes.
- Thirdly, start the engine and maintain some speed to continue spraying the rest of the composition. If using CRC 05078, a long probe can be used to get as close as possible to the intake valves of each cylinder. The engine will emit white-gray smoke. This is normal and it indicates that cleaning is proceeding normally. It is necessary to maintain the increased engine speed and make sure that the engine does not stall.
- Lastly, stop the engine. Restore connections, check engine operation, and ECU errors. If necessary, remove errors.
You can control the efficiency of the cleaning process using a gas analyzer such as this one on Amazon.
Recommended Products to Clean a Throttle Body
There are several special products available to clean the throttle body on Amazon. Some mechanics use WD-40, acetone, solvents, and other similar compounds for this. They are all super affordable. and considering that it is not necessary to clean the throttle body so often, any car owner can have them in their garage.
This is by far the best throttle valve cleaner. Cleans dirt and oil deposits efficiently:
Here is another high-quality cleaner that is popular between car owners worldwide:
If you are in search of some great car cleaning products then perhaps you can also have a look at our other articles that reviews the top 8 best car cleaning products.
If the issues mentioned above occur, check the condition of the throttle body. Cleaning is not very difficult and it definitely can improve the functionality of the throttle body. Therefore, do not forget to regularly clean the throttle body, at least on every 30 or 50 thousand kilometers you pass with your vehicle. As for the cleaning products, use any of the above to do this because it will definitely make your job significantly easier and faster.
In fact, many car owners can improperly clean the throttle body, risking not getting the desired effect, and ending up breaking it instead of fixing it. Remember, it is important to know exactly how you can clean the throttle body before actually doing it. Therefore, I would highly suggest you re-read the article if you need before jumping into action.