The throttle body is tasked with pushing air into the engine. The component is small in size but very vital in the overall running of the engine and car.
There are various reasons why a throttle body will misbehave but the most interesting ones are those that arise after cleaning the component. It sounds odd that cleaning a car part could make it faulty- understanding it’s working will make the picture clearer.
Some of the most common issues with recently cleaned throttle bodies include poor acceleration, dirt build-up, and unbalanced fuel economy.
The Issues That Could Come After Cleaning The Throttle Body
When cleaning the throttle body, ensure no dirt residue is left inside. One of the most common problems with throttle bodies after cleaning is dirt build-ups which affect its effectiveness and consequently that of the engine.
Poor Fuel Economy
This simply means that your car burns more fuel for less mileage. You will notice a drastic fall in the number of miles per gallon if you “know your car”.
The fuel economy might not be constant in all vehicles but if you notice a 10%-15% reduction, the throttle body might need to be unclogged.
When cleaning the throttle body, ensure all the interior sensors are rid of all dirt and grime. When covered in dirt, the throttle body sensor will interpret signals wrongly and in turn relay inaccurate information.
When experiencing electrical issues, the car shifts to the reduced-power mode which causes poor power delivery.
Air Flow Issues
Unbalanced airflow will cause pressure issues which only make your car weaker.
Check Engine Light
When your throttle body malfunctions, the electronic throttle control will detect it and relay it through the check engine light.
There are several reasons why the check engine light will light up so a physical inspection is necessary before settling on the throttle body.
A malfunctioning throttle body results in more or less air in the engine. This causes acceleration issues for the car- they hardly go unnoticed.
After pressing the accelerator, you expect the throttle body to push more air in to burn the incoming fuel. If the throttle body is faulty there won’t be enough air for combustion-this will cause power gaps.
High idle is a clear tell-tale sign of a faulty throttle body. You will notice stalling when you accelerate rapidly or when you stop at a traffic light.
The dirt residue in the throttle body causes interruptions in the airflow, this leads to unbalanced idle speed.
Can You Damage A Throttle Body By Cleaning It?
Yes, cleaning the throttle body might be necessary and all but it could also cause issues. The throttle body is an important component in the combustion process and without it, the whole process will not proceed.
When poorly cleaned, the housing develops dirt and carbon deposits which can easily lender the entire component unusable.
Other cleaning-caused issues that can damage the throttle body include electrical problems, vacuum leaks, and improper stop adjustment.
Should I Reset ECU After Cleaning Throttle Body?
Yes, after cleaning the throttle body, resetting the ECU is necessary. There are several reasons why you need to reset the ECU but high idle tops the list.
Ignoring the ECU can be dangerous. The car tends to accelerate too fast- if the driver is not experienced, the results could be catastrophic.
The ECU also affects the car’s idling rpm. The idle speed will be faster accompanied by loud and rough noises.
Some modern car drivers have experienced stalling after cleaning the throttle body too.
Resetting the ECU after cleaning the throttle body is important and should not be ignored- the effect it has on the car’s functionality is massive.
How Do I Reset My Throttle Body After Cleaning?
The process is pretty simple and should not take more than 10 minutes. You start by turning the engine ON and letting it idle in the park for at least 4 minutes.
At first, the rpm will be high but as soon as the ECU learns the new idle cells, you’ll notice a gradual return to normal.
Now, switch the car off for around 90 seconds after which you will turn it back ON for another 4 minutes.
The engine should idle normally after 4 minutes- if it does not then there is an issue beyond ECU resetting.
Can A Dirty Throttle Body Cause Acceleration Problems?
The throttle body plays a crucial role in the combustion process. A faulty throttle body will cause acceleration issues.
When the throttle body is clogged, the airflow is interrupted, and consecutively the combustion process. Inconsistent combustion causes power deficiency which will result in among other things acceleration issues.
These issues will affect the engine’s performance not only in the present but in the long run.
The combustion process cannot proceed without enough oxygen. The component responsible for oxygen supply is called the throttle body- without it, the car might not even move.
Cleaning the throttle body is one of the many ways to keep the component effective although cleaning it also results in issues if it is not done right. Some of these issues include high idling, power deficiency, and stalling.
To counter these issues, you are advised to remove all residue from the throttle body housing after cleaning and remember to reset the ECU.