What Is A Throttle Body? How Can It Be Cleaned?

A throttle body is also known as a throttle housing. It is responsible for the compression, transfer, and delivery of air/fuel mixture to your engine’s cylinders. If you have not heard of it before, the throttle body works together with other parts of your car’s internal combustion engine (ICE), e.g. intake manifold, to control the amount of power that is generated by the engine. In this article, our car experts will tell you more about what is a throttle body and how to choose a good one for your car.

What Is A Throttle Body?

Single-barrel, butterfly valve throttle bodies are used to open the engine’s intake manifold to air. It’s used on many modern engines to improve performance and efficiency.

A throttle body does not contain an air filter, as a carburetor does. Instead, it has an electronically controlled valve and an integrated amount of fuel injector for each cylinder. The throttle body is mounted on top of the intake manifold to direct air into each cylinder, depending on how much fuel is being injected into the engine at any given time.

The throttle body is connected to the accelerator pedal by an electric motor or cable operated by your foot position and speed of travel. When you press down on the pedal, more airflow is allowed into the engine’s cylinders; when you release pressure on the pedal, less airflow enters each cylinder. Because there are multiple valves in each throttle body unit, they can be controlled independently of one another so that only one or two may be open at any given time.

Where Is The Throttle Body Located?

The throttle body is located in the area of the motor where the air intake system is located. It has a butterfly valve that opens or closes according to how much air you want to let into your engine.

The Throttle Body Located

Your engine’s speed is determined by the amount of air that enters the throttle body. Allowing additional air into your engine by stepping on the gas pedal will open this valve. The throttle body can be found near the intake manifold on most vehicles.

It consists of a butterfly valve that regulates airflow into an engine and may also contain an idle air control valve speed control motor that can adjust idle speed by varying lift and duration of valve opening.

What Does A Throttle Body Spacer Do?

Spacers between the throttle body and the intake manifold are often referred to as “throttle body spacers”. Throttle body spacers are designed to boost engine airflow.

The basic premise behind a throttle body spacer is that it increases airflow by reducing turbulence in the inlet passage. This turbulence occurs when air flowing passes through the air filter, around the throttle body, and into the intake manifold. By reducing this turbulence, more airflow can be pulled into the engine at a faster rate, which allows more fuel to be burned and thus creates more power output.

What Does A Throttle Body Spacer Do

Another benefit of installing a throttle body spacer is that it eliminates any vacuum leaks that may have developed over time due to wear or damage to your factory parts. This helps improve fuel economy as well as performance by allowing more fuel to enter the combustion chamber without having to wait for more pressure from your turbocharger or supercharger.

Throttle body spacers are made from aluminum or steel and then coated with anodized black paint or powder coated black for durability and corrosion resistance. They can also be polished if you prefer a shiny finish instead of matte black paint or powder coating.

How Many Throttle Bodies?

There are a lot of variables when it comes to the number of throttle bodies on a vehicle. Engines range from having only one to having many. The number of throttle bodies an engine has is typically determined by its application: Automotive engines tend to have one throttle body per cylinder bank, while diesel often has multiple throttles per cylinder bank.

How Many Throttle Bodies

The number of throttle bodies in an engine can also be affected by fuel economy concerns. Many modern carmakers are trying to keep their vehicles as efficient as possible in order to meet stricter government standards. This means fewer cylinders and fewer throttles, so they can use smaller engines with fewer moving parts that cost less to manufacture and operate.

The main reason why manufacturers use more than one throttle body is that it helps reduce emissions without sacrificing power or efficiency. It also improves responsiveness by allowing each cylinder bank to operate independently of each other (as opposed to having all four banks sharing a fresh air cleaner).

How Can A Throttle Body Be Cleaned?

When the air filter is changed, it’s a good idea to clean the throttle body as well. For those who aren’t acquainted, here’s a step-by-step tutorial:

How Can A Throttle Body Be Cleaned

  1. Remove the air filter cover from your automobile. You may need to use a screwdriver or ratchet wrench to do this depending on your make and model of vehicle.
  2. Unscrew the four bolts that hold the throttle plate in place, then remove the plate itself by pulling it back and off of the throttle body.
  3. Clean off all dirt and grime from both sides of the throttle plate with a soft cloth or rag and carburetor cleaner spray. Make sure you don’t break any rubber seals while doing this.
  4. Replace any gaskets or seals that may have been damaged during the removal/installation of parts during an assembly at the factory (they are inexpensive).
  5. Install new gaskets/seals onto the throttle body before reinstalling the throttle plate (if necessary).

How To Choose Throttle Body Cleaning Products?

It’s possible for the throttle body to get clogged with carbon deposits from poor fuel quality or from driving under conditions that cause excessive idling. If you find yourself facing a clogged throttle body, you can clean it yourself instead of having to pay for expensive professional repairs.

The appropriate cleaning solution is critical when it comes to your throttle body. Some products are too strong and could damage other parts of your engine, while others don’t work at all. Here are a few pointers for picking a quality cleaning product:

  • Check for reputable companies that have been around for a long time.
  • Before making a purchase, check out customer reviews online to get a sense of what other people think of the goods.
  • Buy products made by companies who stand behind their products with warranties if they fail to perform as advertised or if they cause damage to other parts of your car or truck while cleaning your throttle body (such as gaskets).

Types Of Throttle Body Cleaning

Berryman’s B-12 Chemtool

Berryman’s B-12 Chemtool

This is a concentrated chemical cleaner that dissolves carbon deposits on your throttle body. It comes in an aerosol can, so you don’t have to use any other equipment to clean it. Spray it on the throttle body and let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing it out with water. Simple as that.

CRC Throttle Body And Air-Intake Cleaner

CRC Throttle Body And Air-Intake Cleaner

This product from CRC is specially formulated to quickly and safely clean dirty throttle bodies and intake systems. It contains no abrasives or acids, so it doesn’t damage any of your other parts or components.

WD-40 Specialist Cleaner

WD-40 Specialist Cleaner

The WD-40 Specialist Cleaner is another chemical-free option that you can use to clean your throttle body. This cleaner works on both carburetors and electronic fuel injection systems, so it’s a good all-around choice if you have an older vehicle with carburetors instead of fuel injection systems.

Johnsen’s Throttle Body And Air Intake Cleaner

Johnsen's Throttle Body And Air Intake Cleaner

This is another concentrated chemical cleaner that dissolves carbon buildup on your throttle body. It comes in a bottle with a brush attached to the cap, so you can easily apply it directly to the throttle body without having to use any other equipment.

Signs That A Throttle Body Is Wearing Out

Dirt And Other Buildups

A throttle body that is wearing out may have buildups of dirt and other debris inside. This can lead to poor engine performance and difficulty starting the vehicle. If you notice that your vehicle is having difficulty starting or idling, this could be an indication that your throttle body needs cleaning or replacement.

Poor Idling

If your throttle body is worn out, it can cause a lack of power during acceleration and even when driving at higher speeds. Your vehicle’s engine may also idle poorly or stall unexpectedly while driving. Your throttle body may need replacement or repair if this occurs.

Uneven Acceleration

A worn-out throttle body will create problems with acceleration as well as poor idling. You may notice that when accelerating from a stop, your vehicle doesn’t pick up speed evenly but rather surges forward before slowing down again. This could indicate that something is wrong with your throttle body and it needs replacing or servicing immediately before further damage occurs.


If you notice oil or coolant dripping from under your hood, chances are good that there’s a leak in your throttle body gasket or seal. The leak may be small or large and may be confined to one side of the engine or spread across both sides.

Electrical Problems

A faulty throttle body can also cause electrical problems with other parts of the car’s engine management system, including sensors and computer modules. You might notice an illuminated check engine light on your dashboard or hear strange noises coming from under your hood when you start the car up.


Can You Drive With Throttle Body Problems?

If you have a throttle body problem, it can be dangerous to drive your car because it can cause poor acceleration and other problems with your vehicle’s performance. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of this issue, make sure you get it looked at right away by a professional mechanic instead of trying to drive yourself home or anywhere else.

How Much Does It Cost To Clean The Throttle Body?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including your vehicle, your local repair shop, and the type of clean you want the throttle body to receive. It is important to note that the throttle body needs to be inspected prior to cleaning it. There may be a need for a replacement if there are any symptoms of wear and tear or damage.

The cost of cleaning or replacing the throttle body can vary from $200-$400 depending on whether you have it done at a dealership or an independent garage. If you feel like doing it yourself, there are several kits available online that will cost around $50-$100 depending on where you purchase them from.

Is Your Throttle Body Acting Up?

If your throttle body is acting up, it could be causing a multitude of problems in your vehicle. Many throttle bodies have issues that result in a rough idle and poor performance. Aside from that, if you don’t have your check engine light addressed, it might lead to even more significant issues down the line.

In Closing

Hopefully, this article about what is a throttle body has provided you with a basic overview of throttle bodies and the benefits they provide. In fact, more and more engine builders are adding them to their rebuilt engines based on this very technology. Whether you’re looking for an engine rebuild or simply curious about what one of these is, keep reading. You might just find that a throttle body might be a good fit for your application.

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