Open Mon-Sat 7AM-5PM


November 17, 2021
The Common Symptoms Of A Bad Throttle Body


There are many ways to recognize a bad throttle body, some of which include the stalling of engines, engine idling, loss of vehicle power, rough running engine, and so on.


One of the most significant parts of your vehicle is the throttle body as it observes airflow to the engine. You will be able to set the angle of the throttle body according to the required amount of air for your vehicle under different circumstances, simply using specific controls.

As time passes, performance-related engine issues may begin to occur due to the throttle body getting damaged.

As the owner of the vehicle, you must stay alert regarding the known bad throttle body issues. Detecting a throttle body-related issue early helps save a lot of money in the long road, as suggested by experts in the automotive industry.

The purpose of this article is to create awareness through a thorough list of issues that may be caused by a bad throttle body. If you are to notice any of these issues it is best to take your vehicle to the nearest repair shop immediately and get the issue resolved. If not done immediately, you may end up facing serious problems later on that will be much heavier on your pockets.


So, what is a throttle body, and what are its functions?

The throttle body is a plate in the vehicle that’s connected to its shaft. Its purpose is to control the air coming into the engine. This decides the speed of the engine. When the plate is resting, not much air enters the engine and so, the engine moves slower.

There are two different kinds of throttle bodies that one could purchase:


-Mechanical Throttle bodies

Mechanical throttle bodies are more commonly found in older vehicles and are reliant on mechanical power. They tend to have an idle air control or IAC valve which is in charge of monitoring air going to the engine. It is the most significant part as it allows the car to remain a bit over idle speed so that engine stalling can be avoided.


-Electronic throttle bodies

This throttle body, as suggested by its name, is reliant on a position sensor that is connected to the throttle body. The sensors provide details about the throttle body to the internal computer of the vehicle. Based on the signals sent by the sensors, the ECM or PCM will ensure the vehicle remains at the required speeds.


What are the signs of a bad throttle body?

The throttle body is not meant to last a very long time, and the time will come to replace it.

On the Brightside, when it is time to replace it, your vehicle will show clear signs of a bad throttle body that you will be able to identify.

Now we will talk about the very common signs of a bad throttle body:


Engine Stalling

When the throttle body is no longer functioning, it may get stuck, whether it be closed or open. This will cause the internal computer to be unable to determine how much air is needed to reach the required idling round per minute. This will create engine stalling.

Engine stalling proves to be quite a threatening situation, especially on a highway. Therefore, if you are dealing with such issues, as recommended by experts, do not continue to drive.

The staling of the engine can happen due to many reasons but some of those may be related to a bad throttle body. Try not to attempt repairs on you’re throttle body until you are sure the stalling is because of a bad throttle body.


Idling Issues

The throttle body’s performance and vehicle’s idling are both interconnected. The powertrain gets information from the throttle body regarding airflow. When such information is not provided properly, some issues with idling may be noticed.


Rough vehicle running

Since the throttle body has a link to the air-fuel mix in the engine, a bad throttle body can cause rough idling if the mix is disturbed.

Vehicles require a specific level of air and fuel to be maintained. If this level isn’t constant the engine will not operate at optimum capacity. You will be able to note a visible low in the performance of the vehicle. The most certain sign will be rough idling.

This could be linked to other reasons too though. To get proper confirmation, you should take your vehicle to a professional.


Illumination of engine lights.

Your vehicle is likely to communicate with you via warning signs regarding internal problems. The illumination of the check engine light, for instance, is your vehicle’s way of bringing your attention to certain internal problems. These can be either very simple issues or rather major.

Therefore, if the light illuminates, you should immediately stop and check what the problem may be.

Since the check engine light could illuminate for a variety of reasons you must not immediately assume it is linked to a bad throttle body and should instead take your vehicle to a mechanic to get checked.

One thing to note is the OBD 2 scanner. It helps pinpoint issues in the vehicle’s computer. It may indicate codes that will point towards a bad throttle body.


Notable reduction in power and the appearance of warning signs.

General Motors vehicles are known to show a reduced power warning message. The throttle body in any GM vehicle is known to affect the overall power of the vehicle, and the car will visibly be operating less efficiently.

Keep in mind, the warning signs may be vague as they can be due to various reasons and you can’t use them as 100% proof that you have a bad throttle body.


Could the throttle body damage the engine?

A bad throttle body is no likely to directly damage your vehicle’s engine but will definitely affect its performance.

However, it’s important to note that if the engine does not receive the required amount of air then there can be an accumulation of unburnt fuel. This unburnt fuel causes a lot of damage and must be avoided.


Can transmission problems be caused by a bad throttle body?

Regardless of how it might sound, the throttle body does have a link to the transmission.

A bad throttle body affects the engine and therefore affects overall capacity. Thus automatic transmission may also be affected by wrong or challenged shifting. Thus, lower engine power and rough idling due to a bad throttle body may also affect the performance of the transmission.


How long does a throttle body last?

There isn’t a fixed number that would indicate a throttle body going bad, however, experts advise changing or clean the throttle body at every 75,000 miles.

Remember, the lifespan of the throttle body is very reliant on your driving habits, environment, vehicle type, and other such factors. Therefore, refer to your vehicle’s manual for a proper idea of its maintenance and replacement.


How much does it cost to replace a bad throttle body?

It truly depends on what kind of vehicle you have and where you would like to get the throttle body replaced. Generally, its replacement requires around $370 to $1500. It must also be noted that since the replacement is labor-intensive, labor costs may range from $70 all the way to $600 depending on where you go.

You might think choosing a small repair shop will save you money but you must keep in mind, that if the mechanic is not skilled enough, they might introduce new and major problems that might cost you much more in the future. Therefore, do not keep the price as a priority.

Some drivers may learn some mechanical repairs on their own to save on labor costs. This can be quite helpful as well but do not perform anything you are not 100% sure of.

Make sure to check your vehicle’s insurance to see what’s covered under the warranty or your insurance.


Is it safe to drive with a bad throttle body?

A bad throttle body will not stop you from driving your vehicle but that does not mean that you should continue driving. Experts suggest not to as it affects your engine’s performance as this can be linked to safety.



The throttle body is a crucial part of your vehicle and over long-term use, it will require replacement and maintenance.

When the throttle body does go bad, there will be signs that will help you identify the issue as stated above.

If any of these symptoms are noted, you should get it checked immediately to avoid further costs in the long run.

If fixing the throttle body proves to be very expensive you could consider selling your car and use the payment towards a different vehicle.


Do you want to get rid of the junk car lying in your garage? At Acres Cash for Cars, you can sell your car for cash because we give the most amazing prices. Acres Cash for Cars is the best place to sell your car online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Acres Cash for Cars Logo

Interested in Selling Your Car For Cash in NJ? Call Today!

(609) 586-3225

Acres Cash for Cars Logo

Acres Cash for Cars has been providing cash for cars since 1976! It is safe to say that if you want to sell your car for parts, we are the most experienced, trustworthy company around.

Stay in Touch
Get the latest updates & offers.

Acres Cash for Cars © 2022. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Sitemap