How To Clean the Throttle Body
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Cadillac Tech Tips - How to fix it Discussion, How To Clean the Throttle Body in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; A common problem for Cadillacs, and many other cars at that, is their reputation for getting a dirty throttle body ...
  1. #1
    SL1CK's Avatar
    SL1CK is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    How To Clean the Throttle Body

    A common problem for Cadillacs, and many other cars at that, is their reputation for getting a dirty throttle body due to carbon buildup. Dirty throttle bodies would eventually produce what many people would refer to as a "sticky gas pedal" and frequent stalls at stops. The simple fix for this common problem is one that can be done by anyone with the proper tools.

    By now you may be wondering, what is the throttle body? In simple terms, the throttle body is a round opening that controls airflow. For a further explanation on how this works, read the article in the yellow box on this page: http://www.popularmechanics.com/auto...tml?page=3&c=y

    Now, down to the nitty gritty...how can I clean the throttle body? Cleaning the throttle body is a simple process that this walkthrough will demonstrate. Let's start.

    Tools Needed:
    Ratchet with 9/32" bit.
    Carb Cleaner (Top Gum Brand is used in this walkthrough)
    Rag or Toothbrush (to clean)

    Step 1: Remove the Air Intake. This can be done by simply pulling it off at the round opening at the top.

    There is one sensor that may have to be unplugged (it should have red lining). In this walkthrough, there are a total of 3.



    Specifically, this is the air intake:


    Step 2; part 1: The removal of the air intake will expose the MAF screen.



    Specifically, this is the MAF screen:


    Step 2; part 2: Remove the MAF screen with a ratchet. (You will need a 9/32" bit)

    The red outlines indicate where you should remove the screws. The blue outlines indicate sensors plugs that can/may be removed for easier access as previously mentioned. There are 3 screws, one is under the MAF screen, remove this one first to make things easier (it is the hardest to loosen because of its location).



    Step 3: The throttle body and throttle body blade ("blade" does not indicate that it is sharp) are now exposed.

    The throttle body blade opens when the accelerator is pressed. It will need to be kept open in order for proper cleaning. In order to do this, you may lay something heavy on the accelerator (manually keeping it open will tire your hands).



    Step 4: Proceed to clean the throttle body with Carb Cleaner.

    You may either spray some on the actual blade and bore, or spray on a toothbrush and clean. DO NOT FORGET to clean the blade perimeter as well.



    After you are done cleaning the throttle body, reassemble everything by following these steps backwards. REMEMBER TO RE-CONNECT ALL UNPLUGGED SENSORS.

    The total amount of time required for this task depends on how well you are aware with the location of certain objects. It may range from 30 minutes to 2 hours including cleaning.

    -SL1CK
    jammgm, jammgm, jounier11 and 3 others like this.

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  3. #2
    96-deville-man's Avatar
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    Re: How To Clean the Throttle Body

    Nice write up. i wasnt sure how i should clean mine now i know how too. thanks im gonna do it tomarrow.

  4. #3
    OffThaHorseCEO is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: How To Clean the Throttle Body

    judging from the pictures it looks like this will work on my 2k1 deville, is that correct?

    if so the owners manual says something about an electronic control pedal, which im guessing would eliminate the possibility of layin somethin on the pedal to keep the blade open

  5. #4
    SL1CK's Avatar
    SL1CK is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: How To Clean the Throttle Body

    It should work for the 2k1 deville, although some parts may LOOK different and MAYBE require a different size ratchet bit.

  6. #5
    Tommy Deville's Avatar
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    Re: How To Clean the Throttle Body

    Man its amazeing how the more things change the more they stay the same

  7. #6
    Kimura-sensei is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How To Clean the Throttle Body

    Thanks for the great pics and instructions. That's exactly the problem I was having, sticky gas pedal and stalling at 30mph when slowing down from high speed. I was shocked how much crap was in my throttle body at 66k miles for my 99 deville. It looked like a used car's motor oil which was never changed. I went through 5 cotton rags to clean all that black junk out.

    For that bottom screw, I had to use a 2 inch extension. And I don't know what it's called, but the lever where the wire is being pulled on that connects to the blade... I opened the blade then placed a wrench on the lever which kept the blade open. Oh, I was a bit concerned for a moment after I finished my task and attempted to start the car. The engine struggles like as if it's been flooded and revs up the engine multiple times like as if it's a misfire or something. After 45-60 secs, it calms down and runs fine.

    For a guy who does decent amount of maintaince and repairs on his car... this project took me 1hr. Taking it all apart, cleaning, re-assemble, and turning the car on to purge the remaining cleaner out of the engine.

    Thanks guys, this forum kicks ass.

  8. #7
    MrEr1c's Avatar
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    Re: How To Clean the Throttle Body

    so it is ok to leave excess cleaner in the throttle body?

  9. #8
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    Re: How To Clean the Throttle Body

    Excess cleaner will not stay in the TB. It will drain out the front or the back and settle in the manifold where it will evaporate or be injested and burnt. Personally, I stick a rag in as far as I can get it and try to sop up as much of it as I can out of the manifold.

  10. #9
    andrew99eldorado is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: How To Clean the Throttle Body

    This is a great post. Very easy to follow. Is there anything else i should know about. I know its very important to not touch the mass air flow sensor. I have heard some people get some carb cleaner on the MAF and run into problems. I was just wondering if there is other things to be careful of.

  11. #10
    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: How To Clean the Throttle Body

    Not much. It is pretty straight forward. Just don't get crazy if it is really carboned up and try to scrape it with anything metalic. Remember, the TB is aluminum (soft).

  12. #11
    Guy,mn.usa is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: How To Clean the Throttle Body

    I cleaned my TB last nite. 98 STS 130,000 miles. This stuff/gunk/cabon was an 1/8" thick on the back side of the throttle blade and a 1/8" thick rim of it behind the throttle blade!! Inside the intake looks way thick with the gunk, I'm thinking of taking the intake off and cleaning it too! The best part was throttle responce I got after just cleaning it back to the intake!!!! Off idle throttle responce is awsome now!!! Now what will happen when I clean out the intake, my guess would be more power!! Port matching & porting an intake on hot rod V8 can be as high as 20hp! Maybe we need pictures/instructions how to remove and clean a North star intake?
    Guy

  13. #12
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    Re: How To Clean the Throttle Body

    My mom's 97 FSM states that this is a 30K mile cleaning interval.

    I have tried to keep up on this on most of my cars that are EFI. I just installed a oil separator on my LT1 that should reduce this oil residue buildup from the PCV system.

    http://collop.cz28.com/custom2.html gives a good description of it and why this is a good idea.

    Excellent post SL1CK!

  14. #13
    Astronomer's Avatar
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    Re: How To Clean the Throttle Body

    Great information...very easy to do on the 2000 STS as there is no MAF screen to remove. Mine was not that dirty, but no question it needed a cleaning. It took me about twenty minutes. So far the idle looks to have steadied out. I'll see over the next few days how critical this was to the idle problem. Thanks again.

  15. #14
    Patrick7997's Avatar
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    Re: How To Clean the Throttle Body

    Great post. Mine was identical to the pictures... did it Saturday, was a piece of cake.

    My car started right up, but blew some smoke for about 30 seconds.... then cleared up.

    Nice write up, nice pics. Thanks a million.....

  16. #15
    David Jenison's Avatar
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    Re: How To Clean the Throttle Body

    Quote Originally Posted by SL1CK
    A common problem for Cadillacs, and many other cars at that, is their reputation for getting a dirty throttle body due to carbon buildup. Dirty throttle bodies would eventually produce what many people would refer to as a "sticky gas pedal" and frequent stalls at stops. The simple fix for this common problem is one that can be done by anyone with the proper tools.

    By now you may be wondering, what is the throttle body? In simple terms, the throttle body is a round opening that controls airflow. For a further explanation on how this works, read the article in the yellow box on this page: http://www.popularmechanics.com/auto...tml?page=3&c=y

    Now, down to the nitty gritty...how can I clean the throttle body? Cleaning the throttle body is a simple process that this walkthrough will demonstrate. Let's start.

    Tools Needed:
    Ratchet with 9/32" bit.
    Carb Cleaner (Top Gum Brand is used in this walkthrough)
    Rag or Toothbrush (to clean)

    Step 1: Remove the Air Intake. This can be done by simply pulling it off at the round opening at the top.

    There is one sensor that may have to be unplugged (it should have red lining). In this walkthrough, there are a total of 3.



    Specifically, this is the air intake:


    Step 2; part 1: The removal of the air intake will expose the MAF screen.



    Specifically, this is the MAF screen:


    Step 2; part 2: Remove the MAF screen with a ratchet. (You will need a 9/32" bit)

    The red outlines indicate where you should remove the screws. The blue outlines indicate sensors plugs that can/may be removed for easier access as previously mentioned. There are 3 screws, one is under the MAF screen, remove this one first to make things easier (it is the hardest to loosen because of its location).



    Step 3: The throttle body and throttle body blade ("blade" does not indicate that it is sharp) are now exposed.

    The throttle body blade opens when the accelerator is pressed. It will need to be kept open in order for proper cleaning. In order to do this, you may lay something heavy on the accelerator (manually keeping it open will tire your hands).



    Step 4: Proceed to clean the throttle body with Carb Cleaner.

    You may either spray some on the actual blade and bore, or spray on a toothbrush and clean. DO NOT FORGET to clean the blade perimeter as well.



    After you are done cleaning the throttle body, reassemble everything by following these steps backwards. REMEMBER TO RE-CONNECT ALL UNPLUGGED SENSORS.

    The total amount of time required for this task depends on how well you are aware with the location of certain objects. It may range from 30 minutes to 2 hours including cleaning.

    -SL1CK
    What a great tip. Like many others I had a sticky gas pedal. Just thought it was normal stuff. Such an easy fix. Many thanks.
    Dave,
    1997 concours

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