The average cost for a throttle body replacement is $400 to $620, depending on if you do it yourself or have it done by a mechanic.
The listed cost is a national average for all vehicles and does not include additional fees or taxes. This figure also does not include any other related maintenance or repairs, including the throttle position sensor. For a more accurate estimate based on your specified make, model, and mileage, check out the RepairPal Fair Price Estimator.
Cost at the Mechanic: $485 to $620, depending on how many components are being replaced
- Parts: $400 to $500
- Labor: $85 to $120
Throttle body replacement can usually be done in under an hour depending on the make and model of your vehicle and the specific engine. While replacing a throttle body is not a common repair you should have to worry about, this important engine component should be cleaned about every 75,000 miles to keep it operating effectively and efficiently.
Cost to DIY: $400 to $500
Replacing the throttle body is generally an easy repair with most of the cost coming from the parts, so you won’t save too much by going the DIY route. Depending on the repair shop, you can save about $100 by doing this repair yourself, and it’s definitely a job that beginner DIYers can tackle. And since the throttle body rarely fails, it’s possible to save even more money by buying this part from a junkyard.
The throttle body is made for specific makes and models of vehicles, so make sure you purchase the one specific to your vehicle. If you aren’t sure, consult a mechanic’s manual or the owner’s manual to make sure.
What Is a Throttle Body?
The throttle body has a flat (butterfly) valve that will rotate inside a tube-like housing to control the mixture of fuel and air that is sent to the engine. The throttle body is also fitted with various sensors to track and control throttle position and air-fuel mixture. If any of this information is off, the vehicle will likely get a check engine light.
On fuel-injected engines, the throttle body performs a similar job that carburetors do on older engines, and it is mounted similarly as well between the intake manifold and air filter. Depending on the specific vehicle, the throttle body is controlled either by cable and linkage connected to the gas pedal or, more commonly these days, a wiring harness connected to the main engine computer via a throttle-by-wire system. The more the accelerator pedal is pressed, the more the throttle body valve opens, which in turn sends more fuel and air to the engine. In addition, the airflow sensor detects the increase in airflow and tells the computer to increase the fuel.
What Does Throttle Body Replacement Include?
Throttle body replacement is generally an easy repair that consists of removing some of the air intake components (such as the air filter housing) and unbolting the throttle body from the intake manifold. Diagnosing a faulty throttle body is generally the more difficult element of this repair.
The first thing the mechanic does is scan the car’s computer codes to see what error messages, if any, are present. Reading the error codes may be a required step for a new vehicle. The wiring and electrical connections connecting the throttle body are examined to ensure there are no issues with that. Any built-up carbon deposits around the intake inlet must be cleaned out and removed from the throttle body, and the old gasket needs to be replaced with a new one. Finally, any error codes need to be removed.
What Happens if You Don’t Replace Your Throttle Body?
Usually, not replacing a bad throttle body will result in poor vehicle performance in the form of sluggish acceleration and rough idle. In worst-case scenarios, a throttle body that has failed or has too much carbon build up can result in the engine not starting or the vehicle being in limp mode, which limits the speed you can drive as well as the acceleration so you can drive a short distance without causing excessive damage to the engine.
How Often To Replace Your Throttle Body
A throttle body isn’t a component that needs to be regularly replaced, but you’ll want to perform preventative maintainance at regular intervals. The exact recommendations for this service vary depending on the year, make, and model of your vehicle, but It’s good practice to clean it every 75,000 miles to extend its life. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, the throttle body may fail. Then you will need to replace it.
Related Maintenance Services
Common Symptoms Indicating You Need to Replace Your Throttle Body
You may experience one or more of the following symptoms if your throttle body needs to be replaced:
- Poor engine performance
- Rough idle
- Check engine warning light
- Cylinder misfires
- Higher RPMs at idle
- Stalls at idle
- Increased fuel consumption
- Decreased fuel economy
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