This question comes up more than just about anything else and it has to do with throttle body cleaning.
So, I made this video for all of you that will come to my site in the future looking for this information.
What is the throttle body?
In total layman’s terms, the throttle body is where fresh air from the air filter enters the engine. If you follow the large plastic hose from the air filter box to the end and removed the hose from the throttle body (that is what it is attached to :)) you will be able to look inside the throttle body and see a large valve.
That valve moves as you depress the gas pedal, and allows more air, or less to enter the engine.
I want you to watch the video below in a minute, so I am not going to add a picture here.
Why Clean a Throttle Body?
Symptoms of a dirty throttle body are these:
1. Slower starts, with more engine cranking time than normal
2. Rough idle speeds – erratic “hunting and picking” as idle speed fluctuates up and down trying to find a steady speed.
3. Engine dying at idle and or slow speed – because the TB is dirty the metal vane inside can not fully close and has basically an air leak causing the engine to die.
How often should you clean a throttle body?
I have mine cleaned about every 30,000 miles. I personally think it improves idle speed and makes for a more comfortable idle and quicker start ups. Using premium grade fuel can also help reduce the gunk that gets deposited inside the TB…but might not be worth the extra expense over cheaper regular grade which I personally use.
The video above shows my truck getting a throttle body cleaning, its pretty easy to do and you can do it yourself if you want. Just use a cleaner or solvent that is made for upper intake cleaning so you don’t damage anything, ask your auto parts store.
Cost to clean a throttle body
Before I just throw out a number…Many shops now are adding other suggested repairs along with just cleaning the throttle body, because as you can see in the video its pretty easy to do and the shop can’t really make any money just doing that.
Sooooo they are smart capitalists, they combine other repairs, like cleaning the fuel injectors (naaaaa, you can pass on that they kept themselves very clean these days), or an upper intake chamber cleaning (naaaa, you can pass on that too, just use brand name gasoline and you will be ok) JUST get them to clean the throttle body AND the idle air motor IF your vehicle is equipped with one and it can be cleaned.
If you can get them to just clean the throttle body and the idle air control motor (IAC) you will probably spend about $80-120 depending on where you live and the shop labor rates. Let them do their “intake cleaning” and you will easily spend/waste $225