Like we mentioned on the last page, cleaning out the deepest areas of your car's engine with an additive is the quickest and easiest way to remove engine deposits. Using the product is as simple as going to the store, picking up the type of cleaner you want and then following the instructions on the label. Additives will vary based on the type of engine, what they're cleaning and how often they should be used. Just make sure you follow the instructions properly.
But if you're planning to clean out engine deposits from the throttle body, prepare to get your hands dirty. You'll need to remove the emissions hoses, intake air hose, sensor wires and anything else connected to your car's air intake. Once the throttle body is exposed it's best not to run the engine. Firing your engine at this point may set off trouble codes from the sensors and require your engine to go through all the necessary checks to correct the conditions when you run the engine the next time [source: Allen].
Use a flashlight to look inside of the throttle body and you'll likely see the engine deposits stuck on the internal walls. The problem with using an aerosol solvent to clean the throttle body is that many of these cleaners have strong chemicals to counter the fact that you won't be doing any actual scrubbing. Strong solvents can reduce the coating inside the throttle body that's there to reduce the buildup of deposits. And don't forget, it can damage sensors and seals as well [source: Allen]. Using other tools or even cleaning with a soft-bristled toothbrush may also damage some of these areas. That's why specialty tools like the Intake Snake (or others like it) are a better bet. These tools are specifically designed to clean out deposits without damaging sensitive areas.
If possible, find a pliable, plastic tool that will reach into the throttle body and allow you to clean the deposits without scratching or damaging anything. Some of these tools come with pre-soaked tips that attach to the tool. These tips have just the right amount of mild solvent and have a chemical composition that won't hurt the internal coating of the throttle body [source: Allen]. Swipe the tool around the entire inside of the throttle body until you've cleaned out all of the deposits you can reach. Once you're done, do a visual inspection to make sure you've gotten all the deposits that you can see and then replace all hoses, wires and clamps.
Looking for more information about removing engine deposits? Follow the links below.
- Allen, Mike. "Cleaning Throttle Bodies." Popularmechanics.com. May 1, 2001. (June 6, 2011) http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/repair/1272341
- Paul, Rik. "Car Care - Deposits Inside an Engine." Motortrend.com. March 1996. (June 6, 2011) http://www.motortrend.com/womt/112_9603_car_care_deposits_inside_an_engine/index.html