Acura MDX SUV Forums banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Acura service is recommending that I have the throttle body cleaned on my 2015 MDX sh-awd. My vehicle has 47,000 miles on it and there haven't been any fault codes or warning lights although I don't know if a dirty throttle body would trigger any warnings.

I admit that I have no idea if this is necessary or even why it matters. I understand what the throttle body does and I also know that it is supposed to be adjusted automatically by the engine computer which apparently compensates for gradual wear/dirt.
Should I do it?
What performance difference would I see if any?
Why does it matter?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Should I do it?
What performance difference would I see if any?
Why does it matter?
With modern fuel injection systems, the throttle body will get dirty. How soon or badly depends on a handful of things. Maybe this is why you probably don't see throttle body cleaning on most (any?) preventative maintenance schedules, which leaves car owners in limbo about the service. Generally, if the car idles roughly or doesn't accelerate well, a dirty TB or fuel injectors could be the cause.

Unfortunately, TB cleaning can also be an opportunity for some dealers to improve revenue, charging unsuspecting customers for what may be an unneeded service. For example, I once had an Acadia in for service, at lower mileage than your MDX. The dealer tried to pressure me into the service by insisting I initial the shop order, specifically stating I was declining TB cleaning and making it seem like I was taking a big risk. The charge was >$200, so I declined, went home and did some research on the topic. Afterwards, seeing how easy it was to get to the Acadia's TB, I checked it out myself and it looked almost like new. Never returned to that dealer.

Which is not to say your dealer is trying to take advantage you. I haven't been under the hood much on my MDX, so don't know about accessibility. You also didn't mention how much they charge.

Anywho, more info for you:

https://mobiloil.com/en/article/car-maintenance/how-to-do-it-yourself/proper-throttle-body-cleaning-guide

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&as_q=throttle+body+cleaning
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The inspection report states: Perform throttle body service based on time/mileage and or dealer history (Found intake to have Carbon build up.) $169.95

This is definitely not a routine maintenance task I feel comfortable attempting because of the probable computer programming that could be involved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
If the control module has made throttle plate position adjustments to accommodate for carbon build up, there would be some relearning needed. That was not the case for me, but different vehicle, mileage,.... A good scan tool to reset the ECM/PCM, whether it's made specifically for Honda or one that works with a range of different makes, could cost as much or more than your dealer's service charge. While a scanner can be used for other purposes, I can understand not being comfortable with the reprogramming. This probably makes the dealer option worth the peace of mind. 50K miles also seems like a reasonable point to do the cleaning as a PM item.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
I have put a lot of miles on a lot of cars, including 260K on a BMW, and I have not had service on fuel injectors or a throttle body in over 30 years. In the early days we would use a product like Techron to keep the fuel system clean. Now I don’t do that. I use Top Tier gasoline products, which supposedly contain additives that help keep the fuel system clean - zero problems:

https://www.toptiergas.com/licensed-brands/

I would not touch the throttle body unless I was having driveability problems - period. I would go by the MID for my normal maintenance services and ignore what the dealers want to sell me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,660 Posts
This 'service' is a way for the dealership to make money. There's no need for it unless there's a specific demonstrable issue they can show you that's directly attributable to the TB being 'dirty'. I've never had to clean the TB in any vehicle I've owned including the Durango I put 235K miles on.

Beware of these 'add-on' up-sells from dealer service departments. They're mostly a way for them to make a lot of money.

If you're considering having them do this regardless, ask them specifically what they do when they 'clean' it since it might amount to them dumping an $8 can of chemical in the gas tank and/or just spraying the visible areas of the TB with carb cleaner which will really have no effect on its operation but would cost them about 5-10 minutes of effort and a couple of squirts from a can to reap $169 from you. If they say they'll remove and disassemble the TB to clean it that's at least more work for justification of their cost but also exposes you to it not working so well once they reassemble it.

I'd skip it if I was you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
As long as you are using premium fuel and maintaining your air filters you should be just fine! I have always used premium fuels and maintain my air filters , checking and cleaning them 3 times a year! I clean my maf sensor yearly as it is simple to do and i get to inspect the throttle body which is as clean as a whistle. 10 years on this vehicle and have not needed to clean throttle body. That being said there would be no harm spraying the throttle body if you see dirt build up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,389 Posts
^ Hitting VTEC on regular basis also help.. I found out on the shop that carbon build up is more prevalent on Honda engines that never see high RPM.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
Just pointing out that air intake tract is not exposed to any fuel (direct injection), so whatever you might put in the tank is not going to have any effect on this portion of the intake system. However, plenty of PCV oil vapors and similar in there that will cause a build up over time.

My understanding of the prevailing logic is, yes, if you look at the backside of the throttle body it's likely to have a layer of dark brown or black film, but unless it's causing drivability problems its best to leave it be (unintended consequences of damaging it or something else). I gather if the car is used mostly in stop and go driving, the build up will be greater. Quality oil and on time changes may help reduce the issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you all for your advice on this issue. Since I don't perceive any performance or operating problems I have decided to just leave it alone. If something changes I'll update this thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,110 Posts
While detergents in gasoline should take care of buildup, you can periodically use a can of Techron or Seafoam in the gas. I use Seafoam in high mileage vehicles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
I do agree with most here that most SA try to push for this service unnecessarily. I would be okay if SA would ask owners if they're experiencing any dirty-throttle-body-associated-symptoms first then recommend the service.

In the past when I still had time and as a side hobby and secondary income, I auctioned clean title, high mileage Accords and Integras (and other 90's Japanese sport cars) then clean them, brought them up-to-date and sold for profit. There were at least a couple v6 Accords with high miles that I remember having dirty throttle body, to the point the disk plate stuck in the closed position, due to dirty deposits buildup inside the body in the middle where it touches the plate. This caused the gas pedal to be "stuck" and when it got pressed hard enough, it let go (pushed in) hard, caused a hard/sudden acceleration. This happened more on cold mornings, especially after the car not been driven for a couple days. Sprayed a bit of cleaner, let it sit for a while then cleaned with a rag. Did not got stuck again. This was just one of the problems with dirty throttle body I experienced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
+1 for it being a legit service, but at 50K? Way too soon IMO, so just a money grab by the dealer. That said, ALL maintenance decisions should be made with your overall goals in mind. If this is a car you plan to run to 200K+ then doing it at 100K isn't a bad idea, but planning to sell/trade before 150K and I would roll the dice that you never have a driveability issue that requires it to be done. Keeping the air filter changed on the 30K interval and the oil changed as the MM specifies with the 0W20 full synthetic required should keep things clean enough that PCV oil vapors don't cause an excessive build up. My '07 Odyssey has never had it done (210K) though full syn oil at 5K intervals keeps things clean and minimizes issues like a dirty throttle body.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Just an aside - If you are going to clean it yourself, make sure you use a cleaner that is designed for the job, as some cleaners out can harm the protective coating that some throttle bodies have. And yes, sometimes a reprogram of the TPS is required afterward. I agree with those advising not do do it yet. And it IS a moneymaker for dealers, as are "power steering fluid flushes". Ridiculous, I feel. Cha-*****!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
My Acura service is recommending that I have the throttle body cleaned on my 2015 MDX sh-awd. My vehicle has 47,000 miles on it and there haven't been any fault codes or warning lights although I don't know if a dirty throttle body would trigger any warnings.

I admit that I have no idea if this is necessary or even why it matters. I understand what the throttle body does and I also know that it is supposed to be adjusted automatically by the engine computer which apparently compensates for gradual wear/dirt.
Should I do it?
What performance difference would I see if any?
Why does it matter?
Personally I would do it. I have 2014 tech 168k, owned it from 17k certified pre-owned. Last week while on I-75 traveling to Florida, all the warning sensors started flashing and could not drive faster than 20mph. Had MDX towed to Sutton Acura (Macon GA), they reset the “codes”, said it was GPS antenna not properly grounded, and it went into “limp home mode”. MDX drove fine to beach. That same night same thing occurred. I had it towed to Duval Acura (Jacksonville FL), full diagnostic performed. Yes, GPS antenna issue, but THROTTLE BODY unit was beyond repair. New throttle body unit installed and codes reset. The MDX drives like new! Better acceleration and MPG’s (23 to 28mpg) too. I’m the primary driver and I conservatively drive the MDX. Per service technician the MDX needs to be “gunned” from time to time to keep the throttle body unit clean. I primarily use Top Tier gas (Costco), which is recommended but also to floor it as well. New, installed throttle body $660. Repair the GPS/XM antenna, $600 (will do that later).
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top