Owning a car is often one of the best choices you can make, especially if you are the kind of person who travels a lot for business or pleasure. And while owning a car can have a profound impact on your daily routine, this does not mean that it is easy to keep your car running, as they require a lot of care and attention to work.
Whether that be regular oil changes or maintenance inspections, cars have many components that could become damaged and ruin their performance.
These days, many car owners find themselves having to contend with a dirty throttle body, which is located between the air intake filter and intake manifold. The primary purpose of the throttle body is to restrict the amount of air going into the engine, with the gas pedal opening the throttle plate and allowing more oxygen to pass through the intake manifold. And while this is normal, your throttle body can become dirty over time and make your car lose its power.
Of course, cleaning your throttle body is the best way to combat this problem, even though many people assume that the part will have to be removed, which is not always the case. In fact, it is possible to clean your throttle body without removing it from your car, which can make the process much easier in the long run.
So if you want to know how you can clean your throttle body, then you have come to the right place.
How To Clean A Throttle Body Without Removing It
If your car is beginning to underperform, then this could mean that too much oxygen is being let into the engine and that your throttle body needs to be cleaned. Fortunately, cleaning the throttle body is a very simple process, which can be done by anyone with the correct tools and mindset.
When it comes to cleaning the throttle body, the best way to approach the task is by leaving the throttle in your car and making sure to clean it every 30,000 miles. So if you want to know how you can clean your throttle body, we have outlined everything you need in the following steps:
Step One: Get A Towel & Cleaning Product
Before you can start cleaning the throttle body, you will need to find a clean towel and an appropriate throttle cleaning product. In some cases, your throttle body will advertise the kind of cleaning products that you can use to clean it, although most cars do not come with this information.
For example, Ford vehicles will usually need specific cleaning products for the job, while other brands will be open to any product that you can find. If there is no warning on your throttle body, then it is safe to assume that you can use a common product from your local store or amazon.
Step Two: Gain Access To The Throttle Body
For this next step, you will need to gain access to the throttle body by removing the air intake rubber. This can be done by opening the bonnet of your car and locating the rubber between the air intake filter and the intake manifold, which is a lot easier than it sounds.
In most cases, the rubber will be held in place with a clamp, which can be detached without issue or fuss. When the clamp is gone, you will then need to remove the screws and secure the air intake rubber. If you are still unsure about where the throttle body is, the rubber will also alert you to its location.
Step Three: Move Throttle To Open Position
To begin cleaning inside the throttle body, you will need to place the throttle plate into an open position. This can be done by either getting into your car and pressing down the gas pedal or asking a friend to do it for you.
You should never attempt to open the throttle plate by hand, as this could confuse the computer and result in the need for a reset.
Step Four: Use The Throttle Cleaning Product
Once you have placed the throttle plate into an open position, you can begin spraying your throttle cleaning product into the interior of the throttle body.
However, you must make sure that you do not spray a lot, as this could overflood the engine and damage your car. For the best results, we recommend spraying 3 – 4 times on the inside of the throttle body and on the plate itself.
Step Five: Clean The Throttle With A Towel
When the cleaning product has been applied, take your towel and wipe down the inside of the throttle body. For the best results, we recommend using a clean towel as this will not deter the process and will help to remove unwanted debris without adding to the mess.
During this step, you will also need to make sure that you are cleaning the plate as well as the body.
Step Six: Reinstall The Air Intake Rubber
After you have finished cleaning the throttle body, you can reinstall the air intake rubber by tightening the screws on the clamp.
When the rubber is back in place, take a moment to make sure that it is secure and in the correct position. If you have done everything right, you won’t have to worry about the air leaking out.
Step Seven: Start Up Your Car
For the final step, you will need to start up your car like normal to see if everything is running smoothly. If your vehicle does not start, you may need to press the gas pedal to the floor and try to start it again.
If it continues to stall, then this could mean that you have overflooded the engine with the cleaning product, which means you will need to keep cranking the engine until it finally starts.
What To Look Out For
If your car is starting to act strange, then this could mean that your throttle body is clogged or dirty. Fortunately, there are common signs that could alert you to the condition of your throttle body and whether it needs to be cleaned.
Here are some of the most common signs that your throttle body is clogged or dirty:
1. Reduced Power
If you have noticed that your car is slower than normal, then this could mean that your throttle body is clogged and needs to be cleaned.
Reduced power is a safety feature designed to limit the performance of your engine in order to prevent further damage or accidents. In most cases, the computer will set your car into what is called ‘limp mode’ when the fault has been detected.
2. Performance Issues
The throttle body is often responsible for allowing a certain amount of oxygen into the flow of the engine, which means it can stall your car and limit its overall performance when the throttle body is clogged.
To combat this problem, you will need to clean the throttle body using a towel and cleaning product. However, if you still experience the same issues, then this could mean that your throttle body will need to be replaced.
3. Lack Of Speed
If your throttle body is dirty, then this could result in a general lack of power and speed, with your car only reaching lower gears. For example, some vehicles will only be able to drive in second gear and reach a total speed of 35 miles per hour.
So cleaning your throttle body can have a profound impact on your car and how it drives.
And there we have it, that’s how you can clean a throttle body without removing it from your car.
We hope that you found this article helpful and that you will continue to refer to it whenever your vehicle begins to demonstrate a lack of power and speed.