What is a Throttle Body?
All fuel-injected automotive engines require air as part of their combustion process. They can’t burn fuel alone. Rather, automotive engines need a combination of fuel and air. When exposed to an electrical spark, the combination of these elements will produce combustion, thus powering the engine. While fuel injectors control the amount of fuel that enters your vehicle’s engine, though, another component known as the throttle body controls the air.
Overview of the Throttle Body
Located in the engine bay, the throttle body is a relatively small automotive component that’s responsible for controlling the amount of air that enters the engine’s combustion chamber.
Your vehicle’s engine needs air to produce combustion. The more air that enters the engine’s combustion chamber, the stronger its combustion will be. The throttle body is designed to control the amount of air that enters the combustion chamber. You can usually find it located between the air intake manifold and the engine air filter, which ultimately connects to your vehicle’s engine.
How the Throttle Body Works
Although there are different types, most throttle bodies feature a relatively simple construction. They are comprised of a hollow shell-like housing unit affixed with a butterfly valve. When you press down on the gas pedal, the butterfly valve opens so that enter can enter. When you release your foot from the gas pedal, the butterfly valve closes, thereby restricting your vehicle’s engine of new air.
Common Throttle Body Problems
There are a few problems from which throttle bodies can suffer, one of which is a failed temperature sensor.Throttle bodies contain a temperature sensor to measure the temperature of both the air and fuel as it enters the engine’s combustion chamber. If it fails, your vehicle may stall or experience poor idling.
Excessive dirt and debris can affect the temperature of your vehicle’s throttle body. Air, of course, often contains contaminants. While the air filter will remove most of these contaminants, it won’t remove them all. Therefore, dirt and debris will collect within your vehicle’s throttle body over time. When ignored, the presence of this dirt and debris can result in an uneven ratio of air to fuel.
You can clean your vehicle’s throttle body to prevent problems such as this. There are automotive products available that are designed specifically for cleaning throttle bodies. Just open up the housing unit, spray the product into the walls of your throttle body, and wipe it down with a lint-free microfiber cloth.