Clean A Throttle BodyThe throttle body, aka throttle, is one of the most important parts of every car’s automatic engine system. Without this component, the function of your beautiful vehicle can be in trouble. Therefore, cleaning this section is a must. But do you know how to clean a throttle body properly?

The following article will help you address this matter. Now, let’s begin!

What Is Exactly A Throttle Body?

The throttle body is an important part inside the car, where the outside air is adjusted into the combustion sector. Usually, the throttle is set up at the head of the intake manifold and connected firmly to the engine air filter inside.

When the driver releases the pedals, if the throttle valve is closed too fast, the mixture of gas will be much richer than essential because the spraying inertia of the gasoline stream is larger than the airflow, which can hinder the combustion air burn. To control the throttle closing speed, many modern carburetors are equipped with a throttle speed control mechanism.

What Is Exactly A Throttle Body

Based on the wheel drive method, the following two types of throttle body controlling mechanism are classified as two main types:

Vacuum mechanism: This consists of dampers, vacuum pots, and throttle-related actuators to limit causing environmental pollution.

Mechanical mechanism: This mechanism comes with the main throttle valve, a secondary throttle valve, and a rolling spring for the same purpose as vacuum type. 

How To Clean A Throttle Body – When Should You Do It?

Black deposits appear densely in your throttle

Black deposits appear densely in your throttleThe throttle body is usually connected to the air filter and placed on top of the intake manifold. Over time, this unit will accumulate dirt, and black deposits can be found inside and around the throttle. The emissions from throttle walls can affect the engine moderation mode, and then you might have difficulty starting the car.  

This situation can cause many negative effects on the engine of the car. When the dirt attaches firmly to the throttle surface, it will push the standard head position of the throttle body to an incorrect position. 

Dirty throttle body also shortens the throttle opening process, which results in an inappropriate injection of the gasoline department. This phenomenon can put the drivers at immense risk when they are on the road. Therefore, car manufacturers often recommend owners to clean the throttle regularly.

The connection of the sensor and other parts acts up

The connection of the sensor and other parts acts upAnother common issue is the broken or failed connection between the sensor and other parts of the engine. This takes place when your car has a loud noise or suddenly pulls to a stop (dead engine) on the road. In these cases, the best solution is to hire a mechanic for a thorough diagnosis as soon as possible and have them fix the problems.

Your car shakes fiercely

The next sign of a failure throttle body is the unusually intense vibration of your engine. This takes place when the sensor fails to determine the throttle opening situation, or ECU does not receive the responses from the sensor. 

Hence, the amount of fuel spray is unstable. Therefore, there will be instability in the way the engine works, sometimes running on low fuel, sometimes the other way around.

Your engine light blinks all the time

Besides, you should also pay attention to your engine light to see if it acts up. This is also one of the most popular warnings when your throttle body goes cranky. As soon as the ECU does not receive a response from the sensor, the vehicle’s self-diagnosis system will realize something is off and activate the engine error indicator to notify the driver.

Your speed acceleration does not work normally

The engine acceleration is another symptom of an uncleaned throttle. This is a more apparent sign than the above when the throttle body is damaged. 

Maybe you want to press the pedal to speed your car up, but no matter how much you try, the car simply refuses to comply. Or possibly, the car can accelerate quickly, but sometimes it just remains at the same speed. 

Perhaps the sensor connection is broken, or loose in certain cases. But sometimes, an explanation for this could be the throttle body accumulates a great deal of dust and needs to be cleaned or replaced.

The gear shift process cannot operate smoothly

And finally, the gear shift process cannot operate correctly is another blatant sign. For vehicles using automatic gearboxes, sometimes the damaged or uncleaned throttle body will affect its operation. In this case, ECU will do the gear shift process through various signals, including the status of the throttle body. 

So when there is something wrong with ECU, it will send the wrong signal to the throttle body sensor and gear shift control module which controls all the throttle body activities. The result is that your gear shift process works incorrectly and engine operation will not go as smoothly as before

Preparations For Cleaning A Throttle Body

Preparations For Cleaning A Throttle Body

How to clean a throttle body properly? Well, for starters, you should park your car somewhere with a flat surface and good lighting conditions. The cleaning of the throttle body can take quite a few hours, so we think it is more suitable when doing outside, not indoors. 

Then, you need to locate the position of this section in the car. Here are some hints for you to get the exact location:

  • The throttle body is usually connected to the air filter and placed on top of the intake manifold 
  • They are made of aluminum.
  • The throttle is usually attached to your pedals by a cable. Find this cable and your job is halfway finished!

And now, these following tools are necessary for you:

  • Two boxes of throttle body cleaner solution 
  • Specific car-repair kit 
  • Replacement engine air filter (if you want to replace)
  • Screw (flat-head and Phillips-head ones)
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection glasses
  • Flashlight
  • Car oil

And now, the most important of this article. Let’s discover!

How To Clean A Throttle Body Properly?

Note: For safety! 

Before doing anything, if you are unable to remove entire parts, stop and do not make any further attempts. We do not want to see you destroy your lovely car. Let a professional mechanic do this for you, OK?

On the chance that your air filter is way too old, you should probably think about getting a new one. Before doing this, you can drop the car oil on the throttle surface which attaches to the air filter. Only three to five drops, not much! This makes the replacement process go off without a hitch. 

And, you should bring along a flashlight, it can give you a clearer sight of what should be cleaned.

Now, please follow these steps to get the best results.

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Read the instructions from the manufacturer.

Read the instructions from the manufacturer

There are many kinds of throttle bodies. Models manufactured a couple of years ago are likely to have a cable hook from pedals to throttle to control the airflow amount. Meanwhile, newer models come with the electrical sensors to receive signals and then control the electric motors to open and close the throttle valves correctly. 

Therefore, reading the instructions can help you have a thorough insight into your device. Hence, you can spend less time on the cleaning process

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Remove all battery cables

Remove all battery cables

Battery cables go out before everything else. But just to be safe, please remember to put on gloves. Battery cables go out before everything else. But just to be safe, please remember to put on gloves.

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Mark any components that you see!

Mark any components that you see!

For an amateur, you should mark all the components before removing them outside of your engine: the pipes, the ducts, the sensor, ECU, etc. This way, not only can you put them back in place faster later on but also prevent you from destroying your lovely engine because of reinstalling incorrectly.

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Remove the air filter lid, air-flow sensor, and intake manifold

Remove the air filter lid, air-flow sensor, and intake manifold

Remove the air filter lid. After that, unplug the airflow sensor and lower intake manifold carefully.

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Remove the air pipette from the throttle body 

Remove the air pipette from the throttle body

Loosen the air intake pipette, then remove them from the throttle body. Most of these connections are held firmly by a hose clamp, so you should remove the hose clamp so that the air pipette can leave the throttle body.

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Remove the entire intake air pipette from the car

Remove the entire intake air pipette from the car

Next, remove the whole intake air pipette from the engine and put it aside. By doing so, after cleaning, you can reinstall this part easily.

Note: From step 3 to step 6, in order to remove the inside components, you must use screwdrivers (including flat-head and Phillips-head ones). Do everything with extra care to avoid damaging the cables or wires. 

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Replace or clean the air filter

Replace or clean the air filter

A dirty air filter also does a number on a clean throttle body. Therefore, in this case, you should clean or replace a new air filter before cleaning the throttle. This helps the engine operate effectively. Please check your car manual instructions to choose a suitable air filter.

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Clean the throttle body

Clean the throttle body

This is the most important part. You must spray the throttle cleaner solution around the throttle body. Please wait for two minutes, and then repeat the above action with the inside. Start cleaning the inside and outside of the gas fan carefully to do away with the carbon deposits. Repeat this process until the surface is cleaned perfectly. 

Note: In this step, do not let the spray solution get inside the throttle body sectors. If not, your throttle body is going to act up, especially in the early morning. And, spray cleaning solution is a toxic chemical for our health. So, do not touch it directly. If you accidentally let it splash on any part of your body, wash the affected area with clean water instantly

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Check and clean the damper or control valve

Check and clean the damper or control valve

Remove the damper and clean the inside cover like the way you clean the throttle body. Then, reinsert the throttle control valve after cleaning.

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Reinstall the components you removed in reverse order

Reinstall the components you removed in reverse order

After the damper and throttle body have been cleaned, now you must reinstall everything and check the throttle action. Please carry out the installation in the opposite direction of that of the detachment. This process can last over 15 minutes. That’s normal, so don’t worry! 

What Should You Do After Cleaning A Throttle Body?

After completing the process of getting the dirt off your car throttle, you must clean all the tools. Then, throw your gloves and cloth into the recycle bin and store other cleaning tools in a dry place..

Then, you can try restarting the car and driving it around for at least 20 minutes to check the stability. When you do this, you can recognize the difference in terms of performance and efficiency. 

According to recommendations from many well-known car manufacturers, removing or cleaning the automobile throttle body after every 160,000 km is necessary. However, the best way is to clean the throttle body every 50,000 km. This is the best way to make sure that your car engine stays in the perfect condition all the time. 


In the nutshell, do you know how to clean a throttle body now? After reading our article above, we hope you can do it by yourself smoothly. If you have any ideas, please leave them in the comment section below, we would love to hear from you. Anyway, good luck with cleaning your throttle body! We will meet again in another car-related topic. That’s it, until then!