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How to Fix a Rough Idle by Cleaning the Throttle Body

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Created on: 2014-03-29

If your car or truck is experiencing idle problems then this is one thing you could check for. Carbon buildup in the engine throttle Body can restrict air flow. This will cause the engine to stumble as the engine reduces speed. As the idle decreases the engine will be "choked" for air due to the carbon build up so the engine changes the mixture temporarily to make up for the restricted air, the idle raises back up then starts to let itself down to idle and the process repeats.

  1. step 1 :Cleaning the Throttle Body
    • Loosen the air intake hose clamp with a 7mm socket and ratchet
    • Pull the hose off the throttle body
    • Apply carburetor cleaner to the throttle body
    • Allow the cleaner to soak in
    • Clean carbon buildup from the carburetor with a rag
    • Push the hose onto the throttle body
    • Tighten the hose clamp with a 7mm bolt

Tools needed

  • Flat Blade Screwdriver

    7mm Socket


    Cloth Rags

    Carburetor Cleaner

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Hi, everyone. I'm Don from 1AAuto.com. In this series of videos we're going to be focusing on vehicle diagnostics and maintenance tips. We hope that you find it helpful and when you need parts for your car or truck, think of 1AAto.com. Thanks.

In this video I'm going to talk to you a little bit about what you can do to correct an uneven or shaky idle. There's a bunch of different things that go into why your idle might rev, or fluctuate at idle. It could be that you need a tune-up, spark plugs, and things of that sort.

One thing that I found with these cars as to working on them for so many years, is that the throttle body can actually get dirty. That can cause your fluctuation. If you've tried all those other things, and software updates have been installed, we can go ahead and talk about how we can rectify this, possibly. I'll just show you a little bit about how this one is fluctuating and we'll see if we can fix it by cleaning the throttle body.

Inside your engine compartment you want to locate your throttle body. This is a non-turbo, so it sits out right here. If it's a turbo model it's going to be underneath. I'm going to use a 7mm socket. You can always use a flat blade screwdriver. This is the original clamp, and that is the size that they came with. I'm going to go ahead and unscrew this, so let's go ahead and take a look at how that throttle body looks inside.

Now, take a look down inside of there. Look at that carbon buildup. What we are going to try to do is clean up down here and up here. We've got some carburetor cleaner here, give it a shot and let it soak in for a second, throw a little bit on a rag. Work it in. See all of the gunk coming off right now. Just make sure that you get the top of it as well.

Now, go ahead and reinstall your intake pipe. Now we are going to go ahead and test it out. Because of the carburetor cleaner that I sprayed into the throttle body, it is going to have a little bit of a fluctuation right off the bat, but it should level out. Let's see if it works.

Now it's just had a chance to get the stuff through its system. You can tell that it's a much smoother idle than it was before.

We hope this video helps you out. Brought to you by www.1AAuto.com, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet. Please feel free to call us toll-free, 888-844-3393. We're the company that's here for you on the Internet and in person.

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