Car Problems: Find Out If It's Your Throttle Body & Deal With It

The throttle body helps your vehicle control the amount of air that goes into your engine. That means that the throttle body is responsible for things like your speed, idling, and overall performance, so it can really affect you when it goes wrong. This guide will help you identify some symptoms and help you fix the problem.

Symptoms Of A Dirty Throttle Body

There are several signs of a dirty throttle body, and hopefully the following can help you confirm your issue:

1. The Mileage

One of the easiest things to notice is a decrease in mileage performance. Remember that a specific amount of air is needed for proper engine combustion. A clogged throttle body impedes the right amount of air, which causes your engine to run rich and eat up too much gasoline.

2. Idling

Pay attention to the way your car idles. As mentioned earlier, the throttle is responsible for the amount of air that gets into your engine. A clogged throttle body will make it harder for your car to keep a steady idle. And when your throttle body disk is not opening as it should, your car may stall when idling.

3. Acceleration

A lot happens when you press down on your gas pedal, like the fuel pump delivering gasoline to your engine. And your throttle body disk opens to let the right amount of air in to produce the power you are seeking. When you have a problem, you will feel a slow or rough acceleration as soon as you try to speed up, because the throttle body is too dirty for the disk to open properly.

You can always ask your auto care specialist to confirm some of the symptoms you are seeing, just to be sure.

Cleaning Your Own Throttle Body

You will need the following:

  • Your owner's manual or repair manual
  • Safety glasses and gloves
  • Throttle body cleaning solution
  • Throttle body wire brush or just a regular clean toothbrush
  • Socket wrench set


  1. Park your car in a leveled and safe area.
  2. Let the car sit (if has been driven recently) so that you can work on it safely.
  3. Put your gloves and glasses on, and lift the hood.
  4. Disconnect your negative (red) cable from your car battery, just for safety.
  5. Locate your throttle body. This is usually located on the other end of the air duct, away from your air filter. You can use your owner's manual or repair manual to help you find the throttle body, too.
  6. Remove the bolts holding the air duct to your throttle body.
  7. Use the throttle body cleaning solution and a toothbrush to clean the buildup around the throttle body, the disk (or valve), and behind the disk.
  8. Reconnect the air duct.
  9. Connect the negative cable to your car battery and you are done.

As you can see, you can take care of a dirty throttle body all on your own, saving you a bundle. If you run into any problems, it may be best to rely on the services of a professional such as Slipstream Autocare.