So you’ve just cleaned your throttle body, and the car won’t start. There probably are a million thoughts going through your head. Stay calm as this is easily fixed most of the time.
First of all, try and use a throttle body cleaner product when possible. I’m not saying a carb cleaner or brake cleaner products don’t work! I’m just saying that they tend to be more aggressive and sometimes even damage any plastic and rubber components it touches – and even sensors or stuff if you have a modern car.
Let’s get down to how to start a car that won’t start after you’ve just finished cleaning the throttle body:
Floor it while starting the engine
And release the gas pedal once it starts. This works most of the time. What happens is that you have quite a lot of product left over in the throttle body – it didn’t evaporate, or you overspray. It can happen!
To ensure you get rid of the excess, keep it at 2k RPM or so for 1 to 2 minutes once your car has started. After this, your car should start to run smoothly when idle.
Let it sit
Yes, it sounds kind of dumb. But just let it sit for like an hour or even more. If there’s too much product and stuff is flooded or wet, your might just get rid of the starting issue like this.
Check if you seated everything properly
When taking apart something, I recommend taking a picture first. It can help in case you forget what gets plugged where.
This being said, check all your connections. Maybe you didn’t plug a hose or sensor all the way. It happens to everyone.
The hilarious coincidence
Not once, I’ve seen people panicking that their car won’t start after a good throttle body clean… and the issue was a dead battery, spark plugs, and something weird like this. Now, as to why that battery died exactly then, nobody can tell. Make sure to check the basics if, after trying all the above and even letting it sit a couple of hours or even overnight doesn’t fix your issue.
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