Mar 292010

This is not my typical tech project, but I really wanted to write about it because it turned out so well.  The accelerator in our car had been sticking for a while now, and lately it had been getting worse.  I knew it was the throttle body because the same thing happened a few years ago, and the dealer service rep. explained that a “throttle body cleaning” would get rid of the sticking.  I have to give some credit to wife for getting this project going, because she was the one who did a little research and found a lot of folks online who talked about doing it themselves.  So in the interest of saving a trip to the shop, I decided to try this one on my own.

View of my car's engine showing the throttle body location.

Where's Waldo? Or, find the Throttle Body.

I did some research of my own online before I got started, and it’s a good thing I did.  I found out that I could actually damage the sensors (i.e. mass air flow sensor) just past the throttle if I used the carburetor cleaner I had on hand (used for cleaning the lawn mower carburetor and engine).  Instead, I stopped at AutoZone (which, by the way, doesn’t show its in-store product inventory on its website, so you actually have to go to the store to see if they have what you need) and found a cleaner made just for this job: Throttle Body & Air Intake Cleaner by CRC Industries, Inc.

Armed with enough knowledge to be dangerous and a beautiful, sunny weekend afternoon, I headed out to the driveway to see if I could figure this out.  Continue reading »