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The problems after cleaning throttle body occur when you use the wrong cleaner or technique. For instance, you might damage the throttle position sensor and electrical connections or create leaks while installing the gasket.
You can resolve these problems by replacing the damaged components or using a sealant to fix leakage. This article will guide you through the diagnosis and fixing steps to restore high engine performance.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- 1 Why Do Problems Occur After Cleaning the Throttle Body?
- 2 How To Fix the Issues Caused by Cleaning the Throttle Body?
Why Do Problems Occur After Cleaning the Throttle Body?
Problems occur after cleaning the throttle body because the cleaning solution contacts and damages the throttle position sensor. The solution may also damage the fuel injectors and electrical connections. Moreover, you might damage the gasket or overtighten its bolts during reinstallation, leading to vacuum leaks.
Faulty or Dirty Throttle Sensor
A common reason for the malfunctioning throttle body post-cleaning is a damaged throttle body sensor. You might have neglected the sensor or damaged it while cleaning. Or you might have sprayed too much throttle body cleaner on the sensor.
The sensor fails if the cleaner enters its body and contacts the electrical components. The problems after cleaning the throttle body make some people question, “Does cleaning throttle body make a difference?” Although it’s essential to clean it regularly, doing it the wrong way can create issues.
The sensor requires adjustment after cleaning, and you must take care of it during the process. Most sensors require calibration after the cleaning steps; otherwise, they send incorrect signals to the engine.
You can prevent this problem by letting the throttle body completely dry before starting the engine. Once it dries, moisture will not enter the sensor, so there will be no damage to the electrical connections.
There’s also a possibility of the sensor being dirty because of improper throttle body cleaning techniques. Sensors covered in dirt or oil fail to read the airflow rate and create an imbalance of power and acceleration.
The faulty sensors send false results to the electronic throttle control. As a result, the engine runs lean (because of too much air compared to fuel) or rich (because of less air and more fuel). These issues create difficulty starting the engine and lead to rough idle.
Poorly Installed or Leaky Gasket
A poorly installed gasket leads to air leakage, causing the following problems after cleaning the valve unit:
- Exhaust gas leaks into the engine compartment, causing carbon monoxide poisoning and other health risks
- Dirt and debris enter the valve unit and restrict airflow, making the engine stall
- Warped or cracked throttle body and difficulty controlling the engine speed
- Poor fuel economy and engine misfires because the engine runs lean
These issues can worsen and affect the engine, answering, “Can throttle body cleaner damage engine?” The gasket gets displaced if you overtighten its bolts. Using harsh cleaners can also damage the gasket and create gaps that allow air leakage.
So, if you lack experience, you should hire a qualified mechanic. They have the tools to prevent damage to other components while cleaning the valve unit.
However, if you plan on cleaning yourself, use the correct tools and be gentle, as harsh scrubbing can damage the gasket. Also, use mild and compatible cleaners and allow the moisture to dry before you start the car.
Getting the Cleaner on Electrical Parts
Another common problem is damage to the electrical connections and components. The electrical connection can break once the cleaning solution touches these parts.
The throttle lies in the intake manifold connected to various components. These include throttle sensors, airflow sensors, and the air control valve.
If you use spray cleaners, there’s a higher chance of getting into this problem. The cleaner gets on the electrical units due to the pressure and causes damage. You can avoid it by being careful while using sprays and prefer throttle brushes.
However, if you’re wondering what to do after cleaning throttle body if the cleaner comes in contact with wires, here’s what you should do:
- After cleaning the valve body, wait 30 minutes to let it dry.
- Reinstall the throttle body once it dries.
- Attach all bolts without damaging the gasket.
- Start the engine and check for air leaks.
Cleaners Damage the Fuel Injectors
Although rare, the fuel injectors can get damaged while cleaning the valve unit. The injectors lie close to but are not directly connected to the throttle body. Still, if you accidentally spray the cleaner on the fuel line or injectors, you can damage them.
It usually happens if you don’t use the right tools, such as a throttle valve brush, to clean throttle body nooks and instead go for a spraying cleaner. Moreover, if you use an excessive cleaner that drips on the injectors or doesn’t wait long enough to dry it, you will damage the fuel line.
Suppose you’re wondering how long to wait after cleaning throttle body. In that case, waiting 30 minutes to one hour after cleaning the throttle is recommended. The moisture evaporates during this time, and the system completely dries.
Otherwise, after cleaning the throttle body, you will notice a rough idle, explaining the “cleaned throttle body now high idle Silverado” query. Starting the car will also be challenging because the injectors cause the engine to run rich or lean.
Vacuum Leaks Associated With Throttle Body
A vacuum or air leak is another common cause of problems after cleaning the throttle valve unit. The throttle body has a throttle bore, gasket, diaphragm, and hoses.
If any of these parts get cracked or damaged, there will be a leakage. You might find a torn intake hose because of harsh cleaners or mishandling during reinstallation.
It usually happens after you open and reinstall the throttle. The cleaning process may dislodge dirt or debris from the throttle to the intake manifold.
You will notice high idle, starting issues, stalling, and poor engine performance. Moreover, the engine will misfire if the cylinders don’t get enough air.
The glowing check engine light usually indicates the problem. You can also detect the problem by listening to a hissing sound from the engine.
You can also get a smoke machine; if it creates a smoke cloud, you can confirm the leak. If the engine speeds up, spraying the carb or brake cleaner around the throttle can indicate a problem.
How To Fix the Issues Caused by Cleaning the Throttle Body?
To fix the issues caused by cleaning the throttle body, you can reset idle or reinstall the gasket that does not sit perfectly on the manifold. You can also clean the sensor or replace faulty fuel injectors. You can buy a suitable sealant for leaky hoses and prevent air leakage.
Adjust the Idle Air Control (Iac) Valve To Reset Idle
“Do you have to reset throttle body after cleaning?” is a common question, and setting the idle correctly usually fixes the problem. You can do it yourself or hire a mechanic. But ensure the engine is excellent and disconnect the battery before starting.
The following steps will guide you on how to reset idle after cleaning throttle body:
- Start the engine and wait for it to idle for a few minutes.
- Turn off the engine and locate the IAC valve near the throttle body.
- Turn the IAC screw clockwise with a screwdriver until the engine begins to idle roughly.
- Then turn the screw counterclockwise until the engine idles smoothly.
- Turn off the engine and reconnect the battery.
- Start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes.
Clean or Adjust the Throttle Sensors
If you have a bad throttle body sensor, you can clean it to avoid problems. The following steps below will help you through the process:
- Find the sensor on the throttle body (a metal plate).
- Disconnect the battery to prevent electrical problems while working on the sensor.
- Remove the screws from the sensor using a screwdriver and detach the sensor.
- Use a cleaner specifically designed for the throttle body and clean the sensor. Use a brush to remove all dirt and debris.
- Wipe the sensor with a rag and install it back by tightening the screws.
- Connect the battery’s negative terminal, start the engine, and see how it idles for a few minutes.
Reinstall the Gasket So It Sits Correctly
If you’re having problems with poor gasket installation, you can remove and install it again. Also, ensure the gasket is the correct size and type; otherwise, it won’t sit correctly on your car. Sometimes, people damage the gasket while cleaning the throttle, so you must replace it.
The following steps will show you how to install the gasket:
- Disconnect the negative battery cable. This will prevent electrical issues while working on the throttle body.
- Remove the old gasket using a screwdriver to pry it loose.
- Clean the surfaces of the throttle body and intake manifold with throttle cleaner.
- Apply a thin coat of gasket sealer to the mating surfaces between the throttle and intake manifold.
- Position the new gasket on the intake manifold and tighten the screws.
- Reconnect the battery and start the engine.
Replace Fuel Injectors To Resolve Post-Cleaning Problems
If the above solutions do not solve your problem, you can use a scan tool to diagnose and fix the issue. For instance, it might detect faulty fuel injectors. In that case, you can do the following:
- Disconnect the battery and locate the fuel injectors. Use your car’s manual to know the exact position, but usually, they are located on the intake manifold.
- Disconnect the electrical connectors from the injectors.
- Remove the retaining clips and release the injectors from the manifold.
- Install the new injectors in the manifold and secure them with clips. Do not overtighten them.
- Connect the electrical connectors to the injectors.
- Reconnect the battery, start your car’s engine, and check for leaks.
Fix Leakages Using Sealants
If you diagnose a leak, for example, a hole in the vacuum hose, you can use a silicone sealant to repair it. Here’s how you can do it:
- Disconnect the battery and locate the vacuum hoses connected to the throttle.
- Inspect them for any cracks or holes.
- If you find holes or cracks, apply a small amount of silicone sealant to the area. Use high-temperature adhesive made for use around the engine.
- Allow the sealant to dry completely.
- Reconnect the battery negative cable and start the engine.
- Check for leaks.
Only put a little sealant because it creates difficulty starting the engine. Also, always let it dry before you start the engine; otherwise, it will fail to fix the leakage. You can also take the car to a mechanic if you’re uncomfortable fixing the leak alone.
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