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Old 04-01-2013, 01:36 PM   #1
Zell
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Throttle Body Cleaning

I can't find any info about this.

I am going to be replacing my throttle body gasket this week when doing my intake boots, and I also want to clean my throttle body while it is out.

The E46 uses an electronic throttle body. I've heard that moving the throttle body will mess up the throttle body valve position values, and cause the car to either idle high, stall, or throw an EML light, and the only way to reset it is by using a BMW diagnostic tool. Unfortunately, I've been having a hell of a time getting the BMW diagnostic tool to install on my computer, so I do not have it.

Questions:

1. Will moving the throttle body while it is out screw it up?

2. If #1 is true, will spraying the throttle body plate (front and back) be enough to cause the throttle body plate to move? I've never dealt with one before, so I don't know how easy or hard it is to open on its own

3. If I move the throttle body plate, can I put it back to the proper position and let the car re-adapt over time if it is slightly off?
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:07 PM   #2
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I cleaned my TB yesterday. I lifted it up manually with my finger and sprayed, it seemed to reset okay. It's driving fine today but I think i'll do a throttle calibration now that you mention it.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zell View Post
I can't find any info about this.

I am going to be replacing my throttle body gasket this week when doing my intake boots, and I also want to clean my throttle body while it is out.

The E46 uses an electronic throttle body. I've heard that moving the throttle body will mess up the throttle body valve position values, and cause the car to either idle high, stall, or throw an EML light, and the only way to reset it is by using a BMW diagnostic tool. Unfortunately, I've been having a hell of a time getting the BMW diagnostic tool to install on my computer, so I do not have it.

Questions:

1. Will moving the throttle body while it is out screw it up?

2. If #1 is true, will spraying the throttle body plate (front and back) be enough to cause the throttle body plate to move? I've never dealt with one before, so I don't know how easy or hard it is to open on its own

3. If I move the throttle body plate, can I put it back to the proper position and let the car re-adapt over time if it is slightly off?
I've completely removed multiple E46 throttle bodies without any perceivable impact whatsoever after reinstallation. You will be fine. (I reset them anyway using my diag software)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adionik View Post
I cleaned my TB yesterday. I lifted it up manually with my finger and sprayed, it seemed to reset okay. It's driving fine today but I think i'll do a throttle calibration now that you mention it.
You should remove it. All the dirt is on the back including the bore (not just the plate) The proper way is to completely remove it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lszlszx View Post
Mine idled perfectly right away after cleaning the TB. You'll have to move the throttle plate for cleaning, becauses there is usually grime that will not come off just by spraying. I use a soft rag to break up the dirt and keep spraying it with TB cleaner.
The 328 uses a traditional wired throttle body, no?
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:34 PM   #4
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Okay, good to know. If Mango has done it a lot and had no problems, then I'll trust it. I'll put the throttle body back to its original position as best I can.

Quote from a thread I found online about the Z4:

Quote:
A quick update to an ancient question...
My mechanic just did this "reset" as step #1 to correcting a rich running status with an associated general reduction of power and dodgey throttle response.
His method was to turn the key to position 2 and depress the gas pedal fully and release 5 times.
This cleared the code and apparently allows the car to "relearn" optimal throttle response.
Time will tell if it solves my specific problem but that's how he did this particular process.
Frankly, this decreases mileage of mine has all the hallmarks of a bad lambda sensor but it's not throwing a code for it. Inconclusive (code not always present) so we're trying the throttle reset first.
Cheers
Maybe I'll give it a shot and see how it goes. No idea what truth there is to this.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:40 PM   #5
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What diag software is required to reset TB?
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:14 PM   #6
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I completely removed my throttle body and ICV two days ago to clean them. Replaced them, started the car. It sounded funny for about 5 seconds, then went back to normal. Acted normal on the test drive. It's a straight forward job, just a lot of little bits to get out of the way.

1. remove intake air box w/ MAF
2. remove upper intake boot
3. remove separator wall that separates the brake fluid reservoir and master cylinder from the engine bay (by removing cabin air filter tray first)
4. remove DISA
5. remove nut on bracket for the brake booster right next to the TB/ICV
6. remove lower intake boot
7. remove ICV torx screws and a 10mm nut for the bracket
8. yank out ICV
9. unbolt TB

reverse install.

You should only need 10mm, 6mm, T45 and T50 sockets.

Last edited by WDE46; 04-01-2013 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
I completely removed my throttle body and ICV two days ago to clean them. Replaced them, started the car. It sounded funny for about 5 seconds, then went back to normal. Acted normal on the test drive. It's a straight forward job, just a lot of little bits to get out of the way.

1. remove intake air box w/ MAF
2. remove upper intake boot
3. remove separator wall that separates the brake fluid reservoir and master cylinder from the engine bay (by removing cabin air filter tray first)
4. remove DISA
5. remove nut on bracket for the brake booster right next to the TB/ICV
6. remove lower intake boot
7. remove ICV torx screws and a 10mm nut for the bracket
8. yank out ICV
9. unbolt TB

reverse install.

You should only need 10mm, 6mm, T45 and T50 sockets.
The reason your car ran funny was cause of the leftover TB cleaner sitting in either the ICV and/or TB as you started the car. It just had to burn off

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zell View Post
Okay, good to know. If Mango has done it a lot and had no problems, then I'll trust it. I'll put the throttle body back to its original position as best I can.

Quote from a thread I found online about the Z4:



Maybe I'll give it a shot and see how it goes. No idea what truth there is to this.
TL;dr, but I can already tell there's no truth to it. Also there's no "resetting back to its orginal position" the plate is spring loaded and will have no problems returning word of advice: watch your fingers when cleaning. the plate is sharp and it has very healthy resistance. The back side will be very caked on w/ deposits.

Tip when removing the TB: there's a 10mm nut directly on the bottom of the TB that you need to remove for the TB to come off. There's a bracket holding a wire harness that pulls off. You'll take all four TB bolts off and wonder why the TB isn't budging. The bolt is slightly right of center directly on the bottom of the TB.

also if anyone need an extra drive-by-wire TB, I have a perfectly working one for sale. perfectly cleaned too! $80 shipped
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Last edited by Mango; 04-01-2013 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:55 PM   #8
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Okay cool. Like I said, I've never dealt with a throttle body so I just assumed it was a loose flap being controlled by a motor and moving it could damage the motor or something. I found that to be the case with a lot of crazy expensive projector stuff we had when working in the IT department. Danke fwiends!! Can't wait to get this all cleaned up and idling nice and smooth again.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zell View Post
Okay cool. Like I said, I've never dealt with a throttle body so I just assumed it was a loose flap being controlled by a motor and moving it could damage the motor or something. I found that to be the case with a lot of crazy expensive projector stuff we had when working in the IT department.
Yup, it's very robust. Feel free to do whatever you want with it. Nothing to hurt.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by patdown View Post
What diag software is required to reset TB?
I use INPA
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango View Post
The reason your car ran funny was cause of the leftover TB cleaner sitting in either the ICV and/or TB as you started the car. It just had to burn off



TL;dr, but I can already tell there's no truth to it. Also there's no "resetting back to its orginal position" the plate is spring loaded and will have no problems returning word of advice: watch your fingers when cleaning. the plate is sharp and it has very healthy resistance. The back side will be very caked on w/ deposits.

Tip when removing the TB: there's a 10mm nut directly on the bottom of the TB that you need to remove for the TB to come off. There's a bracket holding a wire harness that pulls off. You'll take all four TB bolts off and wonder why the TB isn't budging. The bolt is slightly right of center directly on the bottom of the TB.

also if anyone need an extra drive-by-wire TB, I have a perfectly working one for sale. perfectly cleaned too! $80 shipped
Good tip about the nut down there. It's another 10 mm. That baffled me for a few minutes until I took my gloves off and felt for it. You can't get your head in there to look at it.
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mango View Post
I use INPA
So the BMW Scanner 1.4 won't work for this procedure?

Bentley manual states that after the TB is replaced, turn the key to the ON position for 10 seconds, OFF for 10 seconds, then start the car.

Are we talking two different procedures here?
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:10 AM   #13
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So the BMW Scanner 1.4 won't work for this procedure?

Bentley manual states that after the TB is replaced, turn the key to the ON position for 10 seconds, OFF for 10 seconds, then start the car.

Are we talking two different procedures here?
I have no idea what BMW Scanner 1.4 is.

I've never had a problem removing and reinstalling an E46 TB
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:41 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Adionik View Post
I cleaned my TB yesterday. I lifted it up manually with my finger and sprayed, it seemed to reset okay. It's driving fine today but I think i'll do a throttle calibration now that you mention it.


What difference do you feel by cleaning the throttle body.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:45 AM   #15
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Don't waste your money on an expensive throttle body gasket. There is no heat or exposure to fuel, so the gasket just seals the air. There is no real deteriation of it. I have done many throttle body reinstalls and never replace them now. If you want to, you can take it out of its groove and turn it over to have a new surface to mate to the intake.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:03 AM   #16
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Don't waste your money on an expensive throttle body gasket. There is no heat or exposure to fuel, so the gasket just seals the air. There is no real deteriation of it. I have done many throttle body reinstalls and never replace them now. If you want to, you can take it out of its groove and turn it over to have a new surface to mate to the intake.
Uh, no. Barnyard logic.

At $7 a pop, it's a no brainer to install a new gasket after doing all that labor. Repeated exposure to heat and pressure shrinks the gasket and comparing a new gasket to the old one is night and day in terms of fit and size. Just because you can physically re-install something doesn't mean you should. Every time you compromise your car by penny pinching over a seal or gasket could cause you to have a vacuum leak or other problem.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:44 AM   #17
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What difference do you feel by cleaning the throttle body.
It could've been a placebo effect but it felt a little smoother.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:02 AM   #18
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Don't waste your money on an expensive throttle body gasket. There is no heat or exposure to fuel, so the gasket just seals the air. There is no real deteriation of it. I have done many throttle body reinstalls and never replace them now. If you want to, you can take it out of its groove and turn it over to have a new surface to mate to the intake.
It was like $7 shipped, and it's a 9 yr. old gasket. There was no reason not to.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:24 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Uh, no. Barnyard logic.

At $7 a pop, it's a no brainer to install a new gasket after doing all that labor. Repeated exposure to heat and pressure shrinks the gasket and comparing a new gasket to the old one is night and day in terms of fit and size. Just because you can physically re-install something doesn't mean you should. Every time you compromise your car by penny pinching over a seal or gasket could cause you to have a vacuum leak or other problem.
You are such an a whole! People have other positions and they are right. If YOU want to do It your way, go ahead. Not diss everyone elses way of doing things. The thing is your logic is so far off and you cant accept anyone elses. The difference is i make a suggestion and you are a DICKtator!

Everyone can do what THEY want to do, but I give them alternatives. You don't!
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:48 AM   #20
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It could've been a placebo effect but it felt a little smoother.
It's smoother.

Quote:
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You are such an a whole! People have other positions and they are right. If YOU want to do It your way, go ahead. Not diss everyone elses way of doing things. The thing is your logic is so far off and you cant accept anyone elses. The difference is i make a suggestion and you are a DICKtator!

Everyone can do what THEY want to do, but I give them alternatives. You don't!
Doing a job half-assed is never an alternative I offer
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