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Throttle Body Cleaning

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, including 850 R, 850 T-5R, 850 T-5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

This topic is in the MVS Volvo Repair Database » How To Clean Volvo Throttle Body
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CT Volvo

Throttle Body Cleaning

Post by CT Volvo »

On my last service, dealer mentioned my 2000 V-70 needed a Throttle Body cleaning and I am wondering if this is something I would be able to do myself to save some money?? And if I were to do myself, how long would it take?? Also, I have seen many posts that I should not be surprised if something does happen to this Throttle Body at some point even if I do clean it. Will cleaning possibly push off chance that I do have problem?? Thanks for all your help.

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Post by Jot »

The cleaning your dealer mentioned is going to be your wallet

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Post by TAFinley »

Deposits, mostly from crankcase ventilation, will build up around the throttle plate. Eventually, these deposits can become thick enough to negatively impact engine performance. As Jot points out, the dealer will clean both the thottle plate and your wallet. Expect to pay about $70 for this service at the dealer.

OR... you can go to your local auto parts store and buy a cleaning kit for about $5. If the deposits are not too thick and have not coked or burnt onto the plate or throttle body, you should not need to remove the whole throttle plate assembly. With the engine off, simply remove the air hose from the throttle body intake and carefully wipe away the deposits from the perimeter of the throttle body and the throttle disk. You can manually operate the throttle while you are doing this.

This is a simple service that I've never seen mentioned in any owner's manual and I'm sure a great number of people pay for unneeded misdiagnosed repairs when all that is required is this simple cleaning. It does make a difference. You should do this at least once a year.
Tom Finley

'97 854 T-5

'85 245 GL


Post by Guest »

The '99s and up have an electronic TB which as you've read are prone to failure. Cleaning is still recommended and sometimes necessary when idle becomes erratic or if you recently had a MAF or 02 sensor go on you and it might be gummed up. The volvo intake is "dirty" anyway so after a while it will always have to be cleaned.

If your car is a turbo expect to pay between $300 and $440 at the dealer JUST FOR THE CLEANING. $70 is extremely cheap and there is no way a volvo dealer anywhere in this country will clean a turbo ETM for that price unless he's a very good friend of yours.

To properly clean the ETM on a 99+ turbo Volvo you need to remove the TB and clean it on a bench. Its tucked way under the intake manifold and its impossible to see what you're doing without removing it. Also replace the gasket. Not sure what the procedure is on the non-turbo.

Given the price volvo quotes for TB cleanings its not a bad idea to learn how to do this yourself. It would be painful to pay $440 for a cleaning then $1200 to have it replaced the following month. There is no concrete evidence that cleaning the ETM will prolong its life.

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Post by sryme »

I paid $80 for the cleaning at a Volvo dealer after my cable was replaced by someone else. The symptoms I experienced were that the accelerator pedal did not operate smoothly. On one occasion, the gas pedal was stuck and I had to shut the engine off to avoid running into the back of someone. I then had to have the car towed.

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Post by kiss4afrog »

Seafoam makes a product with a long "straw" that slips under one of the intake hose joints and allows you to spray the cleaner into the engine upstream of the throttle body while it's running. That way you don't have to manually go in there and spray and scrub. If they are easy to remove I do pull them and clean them but for someone who hasn't done it before the Seafoam product makes it really easy.
You can never have too big a Turbo !

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Post by charleskennedy23 »

I purchased CRC Air intake and throttle body cleaner from the local advance auto parts. Before I sprayed it on my throttle body I decided to read the directions, you know for kicks and giggles. Well lo and behold on the back of the can it says in all caps DO NOT USE ON TURBO CHARGED engines! Well that was a bummer because I have T-5. Can anyone point me to an appropriate throttle body cleaner for my engine if the CRC stuff is not the right cleaning agent for my car's throttle body?

Charles Kennedy
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Post by abscate »

Charles - you can use that CRC cleaner with turbo engines. The turbocharger is upstream of the TB, so unless time reversal comes into play you can't get the cleaner into the turbo - there isnt enough difference between the engines of turbo and NA cars to merit that warning.

My guess is someone used it on a turbo car once, sprayed it into a turbo, cooked it, and sued CRC. Legal put that text on to protect the company thereafter.
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Post by charleskennedy23 »

Thanks abscate! I was thinking it had to be something like that. I plan on removing the TB and cleaning it on the bench anyway.
Charles Kennedy
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Post by loveMy850 »

How do I remove the cable to clean the throttle body, man can I break it by the ball. Need some tip

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