Q: Throttle body cleaning

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I’m going to clean my throttle body because it’s never been cleaned in 10 years. No idle or stalling problems just want to clean some of the black gunk I saw on it when I changed the engine air filter. It’s not that dirty but I want to clean it to see if I get better gas mileage. I don’t want to use throttle body cleaner because it’s toxic (carcinogenic) and smells really bad like turpentine. What can I use? Is water ok? I don’t think water on paper towel will remove the gunk, but what about alcohol or engine degreaser? I’m not sure, but probably not. And I’m assuming household cleaners like Method and Seventh Generation are a no, no too... Thanks.

My car has 112000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The only approved cleaner for the throttle body is "throttle body cleaner" (be sure not to use carburetor cleaner). The carcinogenic (and other notable adverse health effects) of this (or any cleaner) are linked to the dose. If you set up a fan that draws the vapors away from you, and you are outdoors, your exposure will be close to zero which is, as I emphatically agree, exactly what your exposure should be (i.e., zero exposure). If the vehicle presently idles well, cleaning the throttle body will, in all probability, have zero effect on your gas mileage. For there to be an improvement at the conclusion of cleaning, the present deposits would have to be impeding the throttle movement and you can determine if that is presently the case by manipulating the throttle. If you still want to do it, use these instructions or, if you want a certified mechanic to perform the operation, select YourMechanic’s throttle body service. If you request that service, the responding certified mechanic will perform this service right at your location at relatively low cost. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic because we want you to make the most of your repair dollars and help you to get the best possible results.

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