Notice your vehicle runs rough when idling? It might be time to check the throttle body. Especially if its an older vehicle with over 100k miles on it. You would be surprised how many people ignore it when their vehicle idles rough. Throttle body cleaning is easy and should be done every 50k miles to prevent symptoms like rough idle and poor acceleration.
So if you’ve recently purchased a used car that runs rough or if your vehicle has just started to run rough – check the throttle body. It’s usually easy to access, and doesn’t require any special tools.
In fact, all you’ll need to get started is a quality throttle body cleaner, shop rags, flat-head screwdriver, sockets/ratchet and 20 minutes.
Recommended throttle body cleaner: CRC Throttle Body and Air-Intake Cleaner
Accessing the throttle body
Make sure your car is turned off the entire time.
Open the hood and find your air filter housing. Follow the intake hose to the throttle body. It’s literally between the intake manifold and the intake pipe.
Loosen the intake clamp and wiggle the intake off to reveal the inside of your vehicles throttle body.
Some vehicles have the throttle linkage connected to the throttle body, allowing you to pull the cable (with the engine off) and open the throttle body.
You’ve probably seen guys rev up their engines by playing with the throttle linkage under their hood.. well, when the engine is turned off and the intake air duct is removed, you will see how it opens up the throttle body.
For a better understanding of how a throttle body works, we recommend watching the video below…
Cleaning the throttle body
Now that you have an understanding of how everything works, we can begin the cleaning process. For this step you will need a throttle body cleaner product and a couple rags. That’s it.
Spray the cleaner into the throttle body and let it sit for a moment before wiping off all the grime. Open the throttle body using the linkage or by having a friend hold down the gas pedal while the car is off.
Once you get rid of all the grime and its shiny again, put everything back together and start the car. Your vehicle should be running smoother while idling now that you’ve cleaned the throttle body.
Still idling rough after cleaning the throttle body? Here are some things you can check! It could be your spark plugs, air filter, fuel injectors, PCV valve…