Although I'm fairly familiar with the question of using fuel injector cleaning solutions, and using Seafoam for intake/injector cleanings, recently I've been looking into cleaning my throttle body since my car is approaching 100k miles.

The main reason this actually came up is because while I've been using Seafoam and Gumout for my fuel system without issue, I noticed that 3M offers a DIY fuel system tuneup kit which has an intake cleaner, fuel addative, and a can of throttle body cleaner.

While I don't plan to buy the kit since I have a can of spray throttle cleaner on hand, when looking into the procedure, most sites (including Popular Mechanics) say it's best to dilute the spray cleaner because it can damage sensors on contact.

Most of the articles however also were focused on the matter of cars idling and stalling while driving - an issue I have yet to encounter - so is this type of cleaning something best saved for when something breaks, or is it a good preventive maintenance measure?

The 3M kit on Amazon has close to 5 stars so I'm assuming it works well, however I'm not sure if the "kit" has a diluted user friendly version of the cleaner to prevent accidental damage, vs. your standard no thrills aerosol spray.

1 Answer 1


If you're regularly using seafoam, taking care of the engine, and haven't noticed any issues (and also aren't using it for baja or rally), I'd probably skip it. I've done it on every vehicle I own (around 140k on the wife's jetta, 160k on a ranger and 240k on an f150) the first two were starting to have a slight roughness on idle... the f150 I was doing a bunch of other stuff to it and did that too....

it's not hard, but as you've read some of the sensors are mighty sensitive (I cleaned the MAF on my ranger at the same time, such an expensive little thread of metal...)

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    I wouldn't bother, unless there's an issue. I do rally my cars and have put a lot more miles on them than that and I've never had to clean the TB. It may not be much of a risk to do the cleaning, but why take any risk when there's no problem the way things are? Commented Nov 1, 2011 at 12:36
  • Thank you both very much for your answers. I had a feeling cleaning the TB is a bit overkill since every article I read had an emphasis on the sensors and spraying correctly, so I guess while the kit has some valid usages - I guess it's another case of the marketing teams pushing unnecessary maintinance. Good to have confirmation though, since most of the articles I read were from publishing sites rather than auto users.
    – theonlylos
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 3:23

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