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I got a mazda 323,DOHC engine - B6DP, (non carburetor type). Every PM (usually yearly), I have the mechanic clean the ICV. They are using the carburetor cleaner to clean it and remove the accumulated dirt.

It looks something like below, you can see the plastic / rubber like spring.
I had a discussion with my colleague though that carb cleaner is not the right cleaning agent for such. According to him, he uses silicon cleaner or something of that type of cleaner (Cyclo brand) because carb cleaner or other stronger cleaner damages the spring and shorten its life.

Now my question is, what is the correct way to clean this type of ICV?

enter image description here

  • Why are you cleaning the ICV yearly? I've never seen an Idle Control Valve need maintenance that often. – GdD Jan 11 at 9:11
  • Cause it idles roughly if not. It accumulates dirt and after cleaning, idle gets back to normal. I change filters too. I posted a question related to this year ago and was pointed to checking the ICV or ISV. – L42 Jan 11 at 13:05
  • I've never heard of one getting gunked up so quickly. – GdD Jan 11 at 13:53
  • My 1991 truck has never had the icv cleaned 270K – Moab Jan 11 at 16:53
  • @GdD I wasn't cleaning the ICV too before, but when I experience the rough idle, it turns out I need to have it checked based on recommendations from this site too and so I included that in the maintenance list so not to repeat the same scenario as before. If this is abnormal however, (ICV getting dirty too often) what do I need to check to have it fixed? – L42 Jan 12 at 1:29
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Fuel System Cleaner (i.e. Carburettor cleaner) is the correct cleaning solution to clean an ISV. Does your friend have any studies to back up his claim that fuel system cleaner shouldn't be used?

  • How would fuel system cleaner clean an ICV when only air goes through it (fuel from the system will never touch this part)? If you are talking the spray in type of carb cleaner, you might want to clarify. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 11 at 19:25
  • It’s essentially largely the same stuff as brake cleaner. Fuel system cleaner will dissolve without any residue and won’t harm the spring. – Steve Matthews Jan 11 at 20:03
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    So you are talking about the spray on stuff and not the stuff you put in your fuel tank ... with that I would agree. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 11 at 21:11
  • So break cleaner is ok? or any other cleaning agent of that sort? – L42 Jan 12 at 1:26
  • I’ve always found brake cleaner make a great substitute for carburettor cleaner. Ingredient wise, they’re largely the same. – Steve Matthews Jan 12 at 1:30

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