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Can You Clean a Throttle Position Sensor?

by Andrea Stein

A throttle position sensor refers to a sensor that monitors the throttle’s position in an internal combustion engine. Throttle position sensors reside within the throttle body, which may require maintenance and cleaning to preserve normal function.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a throttle position sensor in need of maintenance include engine problems, such as stalling, rough idling or poor engine performance. Throttle position sensor issues can be determined via a self-diagnostic check.

Causes

Throttle position sensors can clog due to crankcase vapors. These vapors commonly pass through the throttle body when reintroduced into the combustion process and can deposit oily residue on the throttle plate facilitating the accumulation of sludge.

Cleaning

Cleaning the throttle body itself can be done using carburetor fluid and a clean cloth for the removal of light sludge. If heavy sludge buildup is an issue, the throttle body must be removed, cleaned in a solvent and allowed to dry. During this process, the throttle position sensor should not be cleaned due to the possibility of contamination or wire damage. The best way to preserve the sensor is to remove and replace it after cleaning is finished.

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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