Dodge Journey: under warranty & carbon buildup on throttle body


#1

I have a 2009 Dodge Journey that is just under 2 years old (we bought it new off the lot). it has had some mechanical issues… But the dealership has done well in servicing it under warranty. But they just told me that as part of their 23-point safety/maintainence inspection the mechanic found that the throttle body has carbon buildup that should be cleaned out. The mechanic found this while checking the air filter and the intake hose to the throttle body.

The car has low miles and the maintainence clerk says if I don’t do this service then it would void my warranty if carbon fell into the engine via the throttle intake and caused damage. It seems kind of fishy that he could see this without taking the throttle body apart. And it would cost about $190 for the service.

Is this just an unnecessary sales push… Like undercoating a car at the dealership or some other nice to have tune-up point that I really don’t need to worry about?


#2

I find it very strange that they would go looking for this. If it does have carbon build up behind the throttle, and it probably does, all vehicles do, but if it is excessive, then the cleaning should be done under warrantee as well as finding out why it has excessive buildup.

Excessive buildup can be caused by an EGR valve that does not close completely. I would ask the service writer if they would like to clean the throttle body and replace the EGR under warrantee.

You can easily see the carbon build up behind the throttle plate without removing the throttle body. All you have to do is remove the intake duct and open the throttle plate. You can also clean the throttle body without removing it by having someone step on the gas to hold the throttle plate open and using throttle body cleaner on a paper towel to clean the stuff off, then spray around the butterfly shaft at the bushings to finish.

If you have a fly by wire throttle, stepping on the gas pedal won’t open the throttle, you will have to find another way.

As for the threat, if it is not listed in your owners manual as required maintenance, then not doing it will not void the warrantee. If any of the carbon comes off the back of the throttle during operation, it will pass harmlessly through your engine.


#3

This is a SLEAZE dealership.

Have the dealer point out in the owners manual where it says that this service is required or that if the service is NOT performed it will void your warranty. This is BOGUS.

First off…very very unlikely that you have carbon buildup…If so then there’s a design flaw with that vehicle.


#4

Fishy. Carbon build up is a design flaw. It is actually making a come back in Direct Injected vehicles.

I think the service writer is blowing smoke to get you to pay the $190 for their magic machine. If you are concern contact Chrysler customer care, they will give you the answer.


#5

I too agree that this is fishy.

Loook through your recommended maintenance schedule. Induction cleaning will not be there. Then, point out to them that since it isn’t part of the recommended maintenance, then it being necessary by definition means there’s something defective going on. Have them document it in detail on the shop order and tell them you’re making them repair it under warranty. Tell them you’ll push the issue as high as necessary.

My guess us that they’ll do an “we don’t normally, but we’ll do the induction cleaning for free since customer satisfaction is our most important product” dance. Then they’ll take the car into the shop, do nothing, tell you they’ve done it, and hope you leave quietly. At that time you’ll have earned the moral right to walk through the showroom on your way out showing potential customers your shop order and saying “can you imagine that, the car had carbon buildup after only two years?”

This is BS. They’re trying to prevent you from developin gan excess buildup in your bank account. Their revenues are low. Sales are down.


#6

I’d schedule a little chat with the dealership owner about this. Try to get it all down in writing what the repair person said, his implied threat, and the dealership owner’s response. Ask the owner: Is an appropriate way to treat a GM customer? And if the owner doesn’t resolve this situation to your satisfaction, take it to the GM representative. This looks pretty fishy to me and GM should have the opportunity to know what is going on. Just my opinion…


#7

There should be a warning on the throttle body “Do Not Clean”. Chrysler advises not to clean electronic throttle control throttle bodies to avoid the possibility of cleaning solvents from entering the control mechanism.

Cleaning can be done by applying solvent to a shop rag and wiping out the throttle body but it isn’t nessessary, modern vehicles can compensate for normal amounts of carbon build up in the throttle body.