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Old 05-31-2020, 01:24 AM   #1
Upstate Saturn
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2001 SL2
Default How often do you clean your throttle body?

I have a 2001 SL2 manual with 285k miles, and about 65k miles on the remanufactured engine that's in it. The gas pedal has gotten a little sticky at low speed in first, so I thought maybe the throttle body has gotten gunked up. But now I think that the linkage needs to be lubricated because it's sticky with the engine off, too.

Hopefully some linkage lubrication will fix things, but it raised the question in my mind of how often a throttle body should be cleaned. I did a brief search and found the instructions, but I didn't see anything on the maintenance interval. What's typical? The old girl is running fine otherwise.

I have to get it fixed soon - it makes me look like I don't know how to drive a stick!
...
.

2001 SL2 manual - original owner - remanufactured engine at 228k miles, December 2015
1992 SL1 manual - bought used in '93, totaled in '00 at 170k miles, drove it cross-country a lot!
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:05 AM   #2
454cid
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Default Re: How often do you clean your throttle body?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Upstate Saturn View Post
I have a 2001 SL2 manual with 285k miles, and about 65k miles on the remanufactured engine that's in it. The gas pedal has gotten a little sticky at low speed in first, so I thought maybe the throttle body has gotten gunked up. But now I think that the linkage needs to be lubricated because it's sticky with the engine off, too.

Hopefully some linkage lubrication will fix things, but it raised the question in my mind of how often a throttle body should be cleaned. I did a brief search and found the instructions, but I didn't see anything on the maintenance interval. What's typical? The old girl is running fine otherwise.

I have to get it fixed soon - it makes me look like I don't know how to drive a stick!
Running, not running.... that shouldn't make a difference on a cable operated system.

Disconnect the throttle cable from the throttle body and work both by hand, and see if you can feel which is hanging up. I would guess its the throttle body.
...
2000 SL2 Automatic (back on the road) 17X,XXX miles.
1999 Chevy K3500
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:13 AM   #3
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2002 SC2
1998 SL2
Default Re: How often do you clean your throttle body?

With my 2nd gen, I cleaned it once every year or three depending on what else I was doing (for example, if I was replacing the air filter or cleaning the EGR, I'd go ahead and pull the throttle body off).

With my 3rd gen, the vertically mounted throttle body doesn't seem to get dirty as much. The throttle plate is horizontal so it does not seem to collect as much carbon on the backside.

So . . . if this is the first time on this engine/TB, I'd pull it off for a thorough cleaning including IAC and TPS passages after pulling the sensors off. Then clean again as needed.

But if I was feeling lazy, because it is vertically mounted, I'd also be perfectly fine with pulling the black plastic intake tube off and just spraying carb cleaner down the throat while working the throttle plate back and forth. Hit the sides and open the throttle all the way to hit the back of the plate. I'd also lube the pivot point for the accelerator pedal in the car

Then not worry about it again unless it sticks again, or maybe in about another 3~5 years do another thorough cleaning
...
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Old 05-31-2020, 09:54 AM   #4
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1999 SL2
1998 SC2
Default Re: How often do you clean your throttle body?

I do mine on every engine rebuild, or 285K miles, whichever comes first. Generally only when I have a reason to take it off.
...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018
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Old 05-31-2020, 11:04 AM   #5
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1997 SW2
Default Re: How often do you clean your throttle body?

I've done it twice in 107K miles since new. First time at 60K miles it was pretty bad and I took it off the intake manifold and removed/replaced the TPS and IAC and the vacuum lines on top.

The 2nd time @40K miles, it was just sticking a bit, so I just cleaned the throat plate and the body behind it.

I must admit, at >20 years, I worry about touching brittle plastic stuff like the vacuum lines.
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Old 05-31-2020, 06:32 PM   #6
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2001 SL1
Default Re: How often do you clean your throttle body?

With my SW2, I only had to clean it once in 100K.

Never have had to clean any throttle body on any other car or truck I have owned in 50 years of driving.
Only my Saturns have ever needed cleaning or replacing.
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Old 05-31-2020, 09:48 PM   #7
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1997 SL2
Default Re: How often do you clean your throttle body?

Mine was pretty gummed up around 105k in 2017. Partly due to my air filter having a hole in it for who knows how long. It's still pretty much as clean now as it was then 14K miles later
...
97 SL2, auto, 119K miles
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Old 06-08-2020, 07:43 PM   #8
TomM96
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Default Re: How often do you clean your throttle body?

on my '97 it got sticky & i sprayed it clean a couple times...
but after changing to synthetic oil, the issue never repeated
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