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Car Throttle Body

Replace the Throttle Body of your Car at an Authorized Service Center in Lowell

by Mechanics Direct January 3, 2021

Anytime the check engine light comes on in your car, it’s concerning. The best way to find out what it means is to take the car to an experienced mechanic so they can determine the problem. However, it’s generally a good idea to go into the shop with some idea of the symptoms of your problem so your technician can hone in on the problem.

Though the check engine light can come on for many reasons, one common one we’re going to talk about today involves issues with the throttle body. We’ll walk you through what a throttle body is and does as well as how to tell when it’s breaking down.

The Purpose of Your Car’s Throttle Body

The throttle body is a part of your car’s engine that controls the amount of air that goes into the engine by adjusting a flat, rotating valve known as a butterfly valve. It’s linked to your car’s gas pedal. So, when you step on the gas, it knows to open the valve up more and when you ease off the gas, it blocks off more air.

This control of airflow is very important for the car’s engine because, in order to operate at its highest potential, a car’s engine must have just the right mixture of air and fuel inside it. If your throttle body stops working the way it should for any reason, it can lead to the car running with too much fuel and not enough air, which is termed as running rich. The opposite could also occur, and your car could run lean, which means running with too much air in relation to fuel.

Both of these conditions will poorly affect your car’s performance. While you might think that more fuel would be a good thing. However, that excess fuel ends up being wasted because there’s not enough air for it to combust. This can have detrimental effects on your car’s gas mileage and overall performance.

Symptoms and Reasons Behind a Faulty Throttle Body

We’ve already discussed some of the signs that point to a possible problem with the throttle body, such as the appearance of the check engine light, poor gas mileage, and poor engine performance. However, we can go into a little more detail about what exactly to expect when your car’s throttle body is failing.

  • Stalling or very low idle: If you notice that your car stalls out for a moment, especially when you press the gas quickly, it could be because the throttle body is having trouble adjusting to react to your pedal press. Similarly, if you notice that your engine’s RPM when it’s idling is very low, it could be because of the throttle body. For the typical passenger car, the idle speed should be somewhere between 600 and 1000 RPM, so if it dips below 600, that’s cause for concern.
  • Vacuum leaks/high idle: Conversely, if you notice that your car’s idle speed is much higher than it should be, over 1000 RPM for most cars that could be an indication of a problem with the throttle body as well. It could also be an indication of a large vacuum leak, where too much air is allowed into the engine.
  • A dirty air filter or valve: If dirt and grime make their way into the throttle body, it can gum up the butterfly valve and make it difficult for it to open and close when it should.
  • Electrical problems: The throttle body is designed to sense when the driver presses down and releases the gas pedal and react accordingly, but faulty electrical connections can cause the wrong information to be sent to the throttle body. If the wrong information is sent, the valve inside the throttle body won’t be able to adjust to provide the right amount of air to the engine.

Car Throttle Body Cleaning

Mechanics Direct For Help

If you need your throttle body replaced, the best place to go is a licensed mechanic you can trust. For drivers who live in or near the communities of North Chelmsford, Chelmsford, Dracut, Tyngsborough, Westford, or Lowell, Massachusetts, Mechanics Direct in Lowell is happy to assist you with all your service center needs. Feel free to visit us in person or contact us to learn more. Call us today.