In modern fuel-injected cars, the throttle body is an essential part of the air intake system, controlling the flow of air into the engine, which is used for effective combustion of the fuel in the pistons. Getting the right amount of air is vital. Too much air or too little air can cause your engine to run low on fuel. Keep reading and discover here the common failures of the throttle body .
When the throttle body is working properly, it is synchronized with the fuel intake and the accelerator pedal. Stepping on the pedal increases the flow of fuel into the engine and the throttle body draws in additional air to aid combustion, allowing your vehicle to run at its best and smoothest.
Common Throttle Body Failures
When the throttle body is dirty, clogged, or malfunctioning, airflow to the engine is stopped, which not only causes performance problems, but can cause misfiring with unburned fuel passing through the exhaust system. .
Keep an eye out for the following common throttle body problems that will serve as warning signs of fouling in the system, allowing you to identify this condition before it becomes irreparable.
1- Accumulation of dirt
Unsurprisingly, one of the main reasons the throttle body needs to be cleaned is due to a buildup of dirt and grime inside the part , also known as coking. This creates a rough surface, disturbing the flow of air and fuel, and decreasing the efficiency of your engine. Carbon deposits cause a similar problem by creating an uneven surface within the part.
2- Poor fuel savings
Check fuel economy. Put a full tank of fuel in your car and write down the kilometers traveled on your gauge. Run the car until it runs out of fuel and calculate the average miles per gallon. If the difference is more than 10-15%, then most likely the throttle body is clogged and it affects the performance of the car.
3- Idle poor or high
When the throttle body is operating below its normal efficiency, one of the telltale signs is a lean or low idle . This includes stalling after coming to a stop, a low idle after starting, or stalling when the accelerator is pressed quickly. Dirt makes the airflow in the system turbulent and leads to fluctuating idle speeds.
4- Irregular or slow acceleration
Stepping on the accelerator pedal increases the flow of air and gasoline into the engine. If there is dirt or coking on the throttle body, this will prevent the car from gathering the power it needs from combustion. What does it feel like to drive? It may be that the car takes longer to start than usual or that the speed increases in irregular gusts.
5- Electrical problems
Since many of the systems in a modern car now rely on computer connections and controls, the electronic wiring now serves as the nervous system . If the electronic throttle body sensor is covered in dirt or grime this will result in faulty or unnecessary air fuel mixture corrections which could put the car into a secondary derate mode until seen by a service mechanic.
6- Airflow interruptions
Dirt and grime buildup can cause airflow and pressure problems in the throttle body, or the problem could be a poorly adjusted throttle stop, which is also part of the air intake system. Uneven airflow will cause system pressure issues, which again could lead to poor performance and acceleration issues.
7- Check engine light
If the throttle body performance is not up to the required level, this will alert the electronic throttle control , which in turn turns on the check engine light on your dash. As there are any number of reasons this could come on, it’s best to do some manual checks yourself to see if there is any dirt or carbon around the part.
If you are experiencing any of the common throttle body failures on this list, the first place to start is to look at the throttle body housing. Any excess dirt or grime on the inner shell walls is a sure sign that you have problems with this system and the first place to start is with a thorough cleaning.
Start with your owner’s manual, as you’ll need to know if your throttle body is mechanically or electronically controlled before beginning the cleaning process. If it’s a mechanical drive system you may be able to clean it yourself, but with electronic drive systems it’s best to get a certified mechanic to do an inspection.