Maintaining your car to keep it running takes work, as they require much care and attention. Cars have many components that could damage and ruin their performance, requiring regular oil changes, maintenance inspections, etc. One of the ways to maintain your car is to clean the throttle body.
A throttle body is a valve inside a car engine’s intake manifold. The primary function of the throttle body is to control the air entering the engine, with the gas pedal enabling more oxygen to travel through the intake manifold by opening the throttle plate. Over time, the throttle body might get clogged, causing your vehicle to lose power.
In this article, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to clean the throttle body without removing it from the intake manifold.
Signs of a Dirty Throttle Body
It might be difficult to pinpoint precisely which engine component is at fault if your car’s performance suffers. Not every driver knows that a filthy throttle body might harm their car. Hence, if you are having issues with acceleration and your car’s overall performance, here are the most common signs of a dirty throttle body. If this sound familiar, it may be time to start cleaning.
- ‘Jumpy’ or uneven acceleration.
- poor fuel efficiency
- electrical problems
- sluggish idling
- Check Engine Light
- Airflow disruptions
Tools to clean throttle body without removing it
- Clean cloth or old toothbrush
- Throttle body cleaner
- Rubber gloves
How To Clean A Throttle Body Without Removing It
Removing the throttle body for cleaning might be challenging if you don’t have the necessary mechanical know-how. But any driver may readily clean their engine’s throttle body without removing it. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it.
Step 1: Get A Towel & Cleaning throttle Product
Before you can begin cleaning the throttle body, you must locate a clean cloth and a suitable throttle cleaning product. Although most cars do not come with this information, your throttle body may occasionally promote the kinds of cleaning agents you can use to clean it.
For instance, Ford cars typically require particular cleaning materials, although other models are generally open to whatever product you can purchase. It is fair to presume that you can utilize a popular product from your neighborhood store or Amazon if your throttle body has no indications.
Step 2: Locate the throttle body
In this step, you must remove the air intake rubber to access the throttle body. This may be accomplished by opening the car’s hood and locating the rubber between the air intake filter and intake manifold, which is much simpler than it sounds.
In most instances, the rubber will be held in place by a clamp, which may be easily withdrawn. After removing the clamp, you must remove the screws and secure the air intake rubber. If you are still determining the location of the throttle body, the rubber will also indicate its location.
Step 3: Move Throttle to Open Position
You must set the throttle plate open to start cleaning within the throttle body. You can either step on the gas pedal in your car or ask a friend to do it for you. Never open the throttle plate manually, as this could cause the computer to malfunction and require a reset.
Step 4: Use the Throttle Cleaning Product
You can start spraying your throttle cleaning solution into the interior of the throttle body after the throttle plate is in the open position.
But you must be careful not to spray excessively, which could overflood the engine and harm your car. We advise spraying the inside of the throttle body and the plate itself three to four times for the greatest results.
Step 5: Clean the throttle body
Spray inside the throttle body multiple times with the throttle body cleaner. Then, clean the throttle body by wiping it with a cloth or the toothbrush. If there is a lot of built-up grime and the component is extremely grimy, continue cleaning with the toothbrush and add cleaner gradually.
Throttle body cleaners are made to eliminate accumulated filth and grime, but you should use less because the cleaner is abrasive. Please read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before cleaning the throttle body because some may advise letting the cleaner evaporate rather than wiping it with a cloth or toothbrush.
Step 6: Clean inside the butterfly valve
The next step is to clean the inside of the throttle body’s butterfly valve. Since the valve is connected to the engine’s electrical system, you can find it challenging to open it while the car is off. Turn the ignition on, but don’t let the engine run through. For the next step, you will require assistance.
Ask someone to press the gas pedal once the ignition is turned on. The butterfly valve will open as the accelerator is compressed. After that, use the toothbrush or cloth along with a couple of throttle cleaner sprays to get rid of as much gunk as possible.
When the engine is running, the valve will only be fully open in some automobile types. If this applies to you, keep the engine off and open the valve by pressing down on its top. To prevent any harm, use caution when manually opening the valve.
Step 7: Reinstall the Air Intake Rubber
After you have finished cleaning the throttle body, tighten the clamp screws to reattach the air intake rubber. Once the rubber is back in place, censure it firmly and securely. If everything has been done correctly, you won’t have to be concerned about the air seeping out.
Step 8: Start Up Your Car
The last step is to start your car normally to ensure everything works properly. If your car doesn’t start, you might need to depress the gas pedal and give it another go. If it keeps stalling, you may have overfilled the engine with the cleaning solution, so you must keep cranking the starter until the engine starts.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should the Throttle Body Be Cleaned?
You might be asking how frequently you should clean the throttle body now that you know how simple it is to do so without having to remove it. When a car has more than 60 to 70,000 miles and frequently travels in stop-and-go traffic, cleaning the throttle body is crucial. Throttle body cleaning is separate from routine maintenance and may be required between your yearly appointments with the mechanic.
Can you clean the throttle body without taking it off?
The throttle body can indeed be cleaned without having to remove it. Spray a throttle body cleaner on it and wipe it down with a clean cloth or toothbrush to clean the throttle body without removing it from the engine.
Cleaning the valve’s interior can be challenging because it won’t fully open unless the engine is running and the gas pedal is depressed. You can force it open but must be cautious since you might encounter resistance.
Can a dirty throttle body cause loss of power?
Certainly, sluggish acceleration is one of the signs of a filthy throttle body. You might need to examine at the throttle body if you notice that your automobile is losing power and not accelerating as quickly as it usually does.
When the throttle body is operating correctly, the engine receives the ideal quantity of airflow when the gas pedal is depressed. If the throttle body valve is clogged with dirt, air will not flow through it as quickly and will not reach the engine sufficiently to support fuel burning.
Does the fuel injector cleaner clean the throttle body?
A fuel injector cleaner only cleans the fuel system’s pipes, lines, and parts. You won’t be very successful if you clean the throttle body with a fuel injector cleaner. But there are cleaning agents that have been specially created to clean the throttle body, so you should use one whenever you can.
Can a dirty throttle body cause a hard start?
Indeed, a dirty throttle body may be to blame if your automobile is difficult to start. Air cannot easily flow through the valve and into the engine when the throttle body is dirty. Your car can idle poorly or struggle to start if there is not enough air to get to the engine. Another indication of a filthy throttle body is stalling, accompanied by low fuel efficiency and the check engine light.
By this point, you know the tools needed, how to clean the throttle body without removing it, and how to determine whether it needs cleaning. You should know that this preventive maintenance is done to keep your car in top shape.
It is advised to seek professional assistance if cleaning your throttle body is still difficult. Stop if the process makes you uncomfortable since you risk harming some portions. Moreover, remember to put on safety goggles to protect your eyes from harmful materials.