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Old 12-09-2012, 03:28 PM   #1
Ubie
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Default After cleaning throttle body

Quick question:

I just followed an excellent guide to clean an SL2 throttle body on YouTube by Richpin06 that I can't link to because of low post restrictions.

How long before I should see a difference? Throttle body is now shiny clean and I also made sure to clean the idle air control while I was in there. I couldn't move the pindle to save my life though, should it slide in and out? The shaft and spring are shiny and free from debris.


History of the problem:
The car has always idled at about 1150rpm for the last 20months that I have owned it. Starting about two weeks ago the engine would begin revving to about 2100rpm when taken out of gear, and a couple of times would race to 4000rpm sustained if out of gear and rolling. This would drop back down to about 1150rpm after stopping the car and taking out of gear for 5-7 seconds or so. Can definitely feel it pulling the car on the highway, etc.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: After cleaning throttle body

What would you expect to see a difference in? Cleaning the TB helps with a sticking problem. If thats the case, obviously you'd notice the effects immediately.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: After cleaning throttle body

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Originally Posted by AlexofNazareth View Post
What would you expect to see a difference in? Cleaning the TB helps with a sticking problem. If thats the case, obviously you'd notice the effects immediately.
I did a quick run around the neighborhood and noticed it was still popping up to about 2k rpms when out of gear for a few seconds. It does seem marginally better but I did not have time to bring it up to full op temp to run it through the paces. Mainly I wasn't sure of there was an adjustment period while the onboard computer re calibrated or something. This is the first time i've cleaned a throttle body and don't know enough about the electronics of the DOCH to know what affects what in that regard.
Unfortunately I'm guessing at this point that my problem hasn't been fixed, suggestions on the next step in case i'm correct? I'm taking a longer drive this afternoon that will get me up to oper temp for a bit, but better to plan for the worst.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: After cleaning throttle body

1-Where's the temperature needle after the engine warms up? The next question relates directly to this question.

2-Was the coolant sensor ever replaced with the flat nosed brass one?

3-Was the thermostat ever replaced with a 195F one?

High idling is caused by several problems that the 2nd and 3rd question addresses. Any other reasons for high idling requires more questions and answers. Address the coolant sensor and t-stat first and post replies before continuing.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: After cleaning throttle body

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
1-Where's the temperature needle after the engine warms up? The next question relates directly to this question.

2-Was the coolant sensor ever replaced with the flat nosed brass one?

3-Was the thermostat ever replaced with a 195F one?

High idling is caused by several problems that the 2nd and 3rd question addresses. Any other reasons for high idling requires more questions and answers. Address the coolant sensor and t-stat first and post replies before continuing.
Yeah, next step is going to be the ECTS. The temp gauge on the dash has never quite registered correctly (needle barely moves over the 'C' line unless idling in traffic, then never above 1/4). Off to O'Reilly to change. I do have records from the PO that the t-stat was changed out in 2009.

Thankfully this should be a fairly straightforward change, although it will have to wait until next Saturday. Will report back once I've changed out the ECTS. All told the throttle body was disgusting and needed to be done anyway, so nothing lost there (except grime!). I want this car to go another 100k (190k on it now), so I need to get more used to low level repairs like this anyway.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: After cleaning throttle body

Replacing the coolant sensor is a 5-minute job and shouldn't present any impediments to make this task take longer. With verification that this was never replaced, as corroborated with your observance of incorrect temperature readings, replacing it should be as soon as possible otherwise poor engine starting and running will continue.

A key to replacing it would be to do it with a cold engine, remove the coolant cap and immediately replace it to allow normal atmospheric pressure to enter, remove the coolant sensor and immediately replace it with the new one. Very little coolant leaks out. Tightening only requires turning the sensor until its snug and then turning about 1/4 to 1/2 turn more. Very little torque is needed to seal this sensor - either a sealant is already on the sensor threads or a few turns of Teflon tape will do. Do not over tighten this sensor otherwise it will break in half. The sensor is never bottomed out as the pipe threads tighten long before the shaped nut touches the engine block.
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Last edited by fdryer; 12-09-2012 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: After cleaning throttle body

I changed out the ECTS earlier today, snagged the wife's car and ran down to O'Reilly's so i was able to leave the Satty cold. About 5min to switch it out and another minute to reset the PCM. My brother immediately needed to use the car, waiting for him to come back for a full report. Car spiked idle on start-up to 1500rpm then dropped to 1150rpm, this is from dead cold. This is an improvement over the 2200rpm it had been spiking and sustaining before settling to 1150rpm.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:11 AM   #8
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Wrench Re: After cleaning throttle body

FWIW-

You might also try temporarily plugging the PCV hose connection to the intake manifold and see if it idles down.

Check the PCV valve for sticking, cracked elbows or cracked tubing. Any of these will drive the idle RPM up. Replace as necessary. I had to replace the PCV and its elbows and plastic line literally the first day I owned my car.

If that fails to make an improvement, also check for air leaks at the intake manifold gasket, EGR valve, and the power brake booster hose.

And of course as fdryer said, what does the temperature gauge read when it is warmed up now? It should be just under 1/2.

1500 at start up dead cold is not unusual. Mine did that until I fabricated a restrictor for the IAC passage. Now it usually tops out at around 1250, idles down to around 1000, and when warmed up idles down to about 850 (right where it should be).
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: After cleaning throttle body

Things are looking pretty good now:
Cold start RPM spike ~1500rpm
Warm up idle at ~1150rpm
Warm idle ~900rpm
Rolling idle >4mph ~1150rpm
RPM spike when switching out of gear ~1250rpm

Temp gauge on the dash now moves rather quickly to just a hair under 1/4 and pretty much stays there except when idling in slow traffic, then will nudge up to just over 1/4.


Overall, i'm calling this a win. $11 for the ECTS, $8 for the carb cleaner and brake cleaner, plus under 1hr of labor. Car now runs smoother than it has since i've owned it and I expect a possible minor increase in MPG.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: After cleaning throttle body

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubie View Post
Things are looking pretty good now:
Temp gauge on the dash now moves rather quickly to just a hair under 1/4 and pretty much stays there except when idling in slow traffic, then will nudge up to just over 1/4.
You will need to change your thermosatat. The gauge should read at about the 3/8 mark, half way between the 1/4 and 1/2. Your car is running too cold.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: After cleaning throttle body

^ ^ What he said. Next is the t-stat.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: After cleaning throttle body

^ ^ ^ +1, that's the first thing I noticed... about 3 years is when my last thermostat died, too. though it is possible your gauge just reads low, since you mention it heats up quickly. You can throw a reader on to see what temp is being reported, or put a thermometer in the return stream at the reservoir when the car is warmed up to double check

If the ECTS connector had any crud in it, that may need to be replaced. My ECTS replacement had no effect because my connector was completely dead. that was $1 for a "wire pigtail" at the junkyard, plust a few minutes to solder and shrink wrap two wires. Went from ~20 mpg to 35 mpg, win
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubie View Post
. I couldn't move the pindle to save my life though, should it slide in and out?
I might be getting mixed up with the EGR pintle, but I thought it is supposed to move - I usually do both at the same time so I could be getting mixed up. Pretty sure the richpin video covered it.

BTW, cleaning the EGR should be on the "to do" (and as usual, there is a richpin video) - you already have carb cleaner, so cost = $0, $3 if you need to replace the gasket, or $8 if you use one of the screened gaskets. Pic of my screened gasket after 15k miles
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