Finding A New Car

How To Tell If Your Vehicle's Throttle Body Is Dirty

Every gas-powered vehicle has a throttle body, which has the job of controlling how much air flows into the engine. Each time you press down on the gas pedal, the throttle body opens up and allows air into the engine, which mixes with the fuel for the combustion process. However, a throttle body can become dirty over time and cause some problems. Here is how you can tell if the throttle body is dirty and needs maintenance:

You Have High Mileage

A simple way to know if it's time to have the throttle body cleaned is to look at your vehicle's total mileage. The throttle body needs maintenance after about 50,000 to 60,000 miles, so if you are within that range on your odometer, consider having your vehicle looked at by a mechanic. A lot of carbon can build up on the throttle body over a long period of time, and you'll need maintenance work performed to get rid of it.

You Have Engine Error Codes

Many parts of your vehicle are designed to give an error code when there is a problem with it, which shows up as a dashboard light that turns on. A computer is then used to read the code to narrow down the potential source of the problem. A dirty throttle body can give the error code of P0121. While the error code can be related to problems like a throttle position sensor that is faulty, it can be from the throttle body being dirty as well.

You Experience Rough Idling

When idling, your throttle body opens up a small amount to allow air into the engine and keep it running. However, carbon buildup around the edge of the throttle plate can restrict airflow going into the engine. The fuel to air ratio is not in proper proportion with there being too much gas entering the engine, which can cause vibrations that you feel in the car in the form of rough idling. 

You Have Poor Gas Mileage 

The problem with having a bad air to fuel ratio in your engine is that it is going to cause fuel to burn inefficiently. This will likely be noticed by you having to fill up your tank more frequently and having poor gas mileage. It's worth tracking your gas mileage to see if it is actually lower than what it should be. 

Reach out to a professional like a Range Rover maintenance technician to get help with cleaning your throttle body.