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Old 03-01-2003, 07:00 PM
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Cleaning a throttle body


There seems to be some conflicting advice about cleaning a throttle body.

First, specifically, what is the best cleaner to use?

Second, is there anything that needs to be done before cleaning?

What may have been good proceedure a few years ago, might not be so good now.


chicago124 (1990 300E)

Last edited by chicago124; 03-01-2003 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 03-01-2003, 10:21 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 565
Don't know if you saw these posts. Some good info about bad things that can happen when you try to clean the throttle body:

What Product to Use to Clean W124 Throttle Body?

260E Throttle Body
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Old 03-02-2003, 11:27 AM
I told you so!
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,743
Some manufacturers put a special coating on the throttle body to resist deposits. On those designs you have to use a special "throttle body cleaner" now sold in many auto supply houses, since regular carb cleaner is too aggressive and can remove the coating. This is probably the basis of conflict you've been hearing.

I have seen no such warning on my 95 E320 or in the manual. So I can assume you can use regular carb cleaner for your car.

When cleaning, use solvent and a toothbrush. The stuff doesn't just "melt" away--- you really have to work at it. Clean the bore ID surface and the butterfly valve edge. When finished you should have a clear, even gap between the valve and bore.
95 E320 Cabriolet, 131K
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Old 03-02-2003, 07:04 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

Another MB contact sent me a note saying that using brake cleaner and spraying inside the throttle body is fine. At least on my 1990 M103.

He said not to remove or change the calibration of the air mass sensor (the round plate which is exposed when you remove the air cleaner.) Also, it is just under the air mass sensor that I see the grime. I guess the TB is further down the passage. I just removed the air cleaner and pushed down on the air mass sensor to see the grime.

By the way, I don't use a K&N filter on my car. He concurs on that point. More problems than it's worth.

I've asked him about whether the car should be running or not when I clean the air flow passage.

Hope this helps others when they are in the same situation.

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