Cleaning throtle body

The throtle body on my 96 Ford Duratec 3.0 warns not to clean it with solvents. I know they use a special coating that can be easily damaged by conventional Carb cleaner or similar. My question is can I safely use products labled at Throtle Body cleaner or other solvents like Isoprople alcahol? Also does that warning also apply to the intake plenumn?

Throttle body/air intake cleaners were created for this exact reason. Before these were available, people would use just regular carb cleaner. And this would damage any special coating in the throttle body.


I would get the job done right by having it professionally disassembled and cleaned.

I would just remove the air duct, have someone hold the gas pedal to the floor and use the throttle body cleaner and a good quality paper towel to clean the throttle body. It works for me.

I guess everyone has their own thing. Personally I prefer pulling it off & giving it a good bench cleaning, mostly by spraying it down & using a q-tip or two for nooks & crannies and/or to help loosen up thicker stuff. I can’t see paying someone else to do it and if you don’t pull it you don’t do nearly as well with the whole back area.

If you do pull it, just make sure to have a new gasket handy - I’d also have a torque wrench & the right specs handy for the reinstall. Though I suppose some might do it by feel, I like to know it is right.

I would just use chemicals intended for cleaning the throttle body or intake and not give it a second thought. At this point, that “special coating” is probably long gone anyway.

What happens when the “special coating” inside the throttle body is washed off by the use of incorrect solvents, like traditional spray carburetor cleaner?

I know in the past I’ve mistakenly sprayed throttle bodies with carb cleaners before I knew the difference.

If someone can share the problems this causes, I’d appreciate it.

The coating prevents deposits from the PCV and EGR systems from forming on the inside of throttle bodies/air intake plenums.


I used to go to all that trouble too, but I found having someone step on the gas pedal works just as well, and its a lot quicker and easier, and a new gasket isn’t needed.

And my understanding of it is that if the coating goes you might just have to clean it up more regularly. Worse things could happen.