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My 2003 Volvo S60 Non-Turbo was exhibiting a stalling condition. I would start the car (which ran and idled fine in park) however once I started to drive the vehicle - that's when the fun began. I would be driving the car and when coming to a either a stop or a low speed turn the engine would shut off. This could be caused by a number of things, but I began to think of what the engine needed to stay running, which is air and fuel. I also thought of the conditions the vehicle was under when it was producing the concern and some of the known data:

  • JAY-1Idles in park (higher than desired idle - no load)
  • Stalls only in drive and at a stop (lower than desired Idle, drivetrain engaged - higher load)
  • Stalls during low speed turns (higher load)

 

I was pretty sure the throttle needed cleaning

Now think about this for a moment. Think about when you start your car and it's in park, and how when you move the transmission gear selector into drive, your idle dips. This is normal but the point I'm trying to get at is that when the idle dips, you're getting a lower amount of air into the engine. Your throttle is designed to allow a certain amount of leakage of air through the blade opening, it never really closes entirely. At this point I started to think about when the last time the throttle was cleaned which I was pretty sure the previous owner had never done. The next step was to hook up a scanner to the vehicle to obtain the readout from the ECM of what the leakage across the throttle blade was. On this particular engine the specifications should be roughly between 5-8 g/s but what the car was actually reading was 0 g/s. I was pretty sure the throttle needed cleaning, so on to the removal.

IMG_1732[1]

 

Throttle Removal

On these non-turbo engines the throttle is very easy to access and removal is short and sweet. You'll need to start by removing the inlet hose from the air box to the throttle which is easily removed by loosening two hose clamps with a 7mm socket.

Next, remove the throttle's electrical connector and remove the (4) 10mm bolts securing the throttle to the intake manifold. Remove the throttle and toss the gasket.

 

Throttle Body

Cleaning

You can clean the throttle using intake cleaner and a wire brush. Most of the debris can be removed by a shop rag however you may have to deal with some harder carbon buildup with a brass bristle wire brush. Use a brass brush, as it's a softer metal and will not score the throttle. Once it's clean give it once last wipe down, install with a new gasket, and reinstall the inlet hose. Calibrating is carried out automatically via the ECM so there's no programming, just simply plug and play. The engine now idles much more smoothly and the stalling condition has been eliminated. Estimated cost savings by doing it yourself vs. bringing to a repair shop? Roughly $200-$300 between diagnostics and labor.

 

 


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Written by :
Jay VanGorden

Jay has been with the company since 2011. He's been in the automotive industry for over 25 years and brings a great amount of automotive experience to FCP Euro. He graduated from Universal Technical Institute of Exton PA. in 2005 and then went on to graduate from the Volvo S.A.F.E program in 2006. From there he worked at a Volvo dealership for 7 years before joining the FCP Euro team achieving his ranking as a Certified Volvo Technician in 2 years, and a Master Volvo Technician in 4 years. During his tenure, Jay VanGorden has worked in multiple areas and roles within FCP Euro and is currently the VW Catalog Manager.


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