Auto mechanics - Throttle Body?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ikiru, May 13, 2002.

  1. ikiru

    ikiru Stunt Coordinator

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    I was at the dealer getting my state inspection done and they came back saying I needed to do the following:

    - Change the air filter $35

    - Change the fuel filter $75

    - Do something with the throttle body (replace it I think) $95 - he said that this was like a "tune up" (which made me suspicious)

    I own a 2000 Olds Alero with 41,000 miles. I can do the air filter (K&N for $45, built to last a million miles). I can possibly do the fuel filter (Im getting a chiltons manual for that). But what the heck did they want to do to my Throttle Body? The only place I see mentioned in my service schedule is to clean it. But for $95? Would this part go bad after only 41k miles? I feel like they tried to rip me off, but then again, what if my car explodes? Anyone have any advice?

    -ikiru
     
  2. Rey L

    Rey L Stunt Coordinator

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    I have never owned anything but Chrysler products. They suggest cleaning the throttle body every 35,000 to 50,000 miles. $95 sounds kind of high to just clean a throttle body, but sounds low to replace it. When I have had to have mine cleaned, it cost about $60. Yours may be more difficult to access and take apart, however.

    Unless you have noticed a problem with bad gas mileage, hesitation and sputtering, I'd get a second opinion on replacing it if that's what they are telling you to do.

    Keep in mind -

    I can only speak from past experiences with my vehicles, and what I have been told by Chrysler mechanics. I'm not a mechanic myself.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
     
  3. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    If you want to clean the throttle body unit on your engine, just dump a can of fuel injector cleaner in your next tank of gas.

    It is possible for the internals of tbi units to get gunky and dirty. With only 41,000 miles I wouldn't think that you would have anything too terrible going on in there. I think that some fuel injector cleaner would do just fine. It won't hurt, and it will only cost you something like $8.00 from Pep Boys or wherever.

    I've been to dealers before that wanted to give me the fancy 'fuel system cleaning' which basically amounts to them doing the exact same thing. If you want to clean the throttle body unit on your engine, just dump a can of fuel injector cleaner in your next tank of gas.


    Nevermind. I had a brain fart.
     
  4. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Typically, throttle bodies cost more than $95. Maybe he was talking about the Idle Air Control/Motor?

    Do you notice anything wrong with the car? Anything funny with the idle? At 41K miles, I can't imagine how either of these would be bad, though. Perhaps they need cleaning?

    Either way, it is exceedingly unlikely that you will experience a catastrophic engine failure from failure of either of these parts.

    Fuel filter is a bit tricky on fuel injected cars. Make sure you vent the fuel line to the engine to relieve the pressure first. Otherwise, you'll get sprayed in the face with gas.

    If you intend to keep the car for a LONG time, I would not use the K&N. Even though these filters increase air flow (and thus a small gain in HP), they also increase the amount of dirt getting into the oil. In a high performance application that sees relatively frequent rebuilds, it's good for use. In a daily driver that you want to get 250K miles on, I wouldn't use one.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Umm, K&N filters filter as good or better than paper elements. The oil is "charged" and actually attracts the particles to it. There is no more dirt than any other filter, so that should be of little concern. I've run foam or cotton elements on every one of my cars for many years. No problems, just keep changing the oil every 3K-5K mi, and all will be good.

    The fuel filter should be quite easy to change, providing it is easy to get to. As mentioned, vent the gas cap, but also disconnect the battery just to be safe. Use gloves and glasses.

    Shawn C - Fuel injector cleaner will never see the throttle body, as the throttle body is upstream of the intake manifold and injectors...the fuel and injector cleaner is pumped through the injectors directly into the combustion chamber.

    $95 sounds about right for a throttle body clean. What they will do is fill the TB with a cleaning foam, which will remove residue from the internals. For a 2000 model year car however, I would say this is completely unnecessary.
     
  6. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    The $95 is probably for a Throttle Body service, which would make sense, it's about a 1hr. job @ $65-78/hr(labor). These TBI units do get gummy, and build-up needs to be cleaned.

    What they are trying to charge you for a Fuel and Air filter is ridiculous.

    An air filter for your Alero (Wix part # 46035), will cost you about $16, and about 45 seconds of your time to change.

    A fuel filter(Wix part # 33311), about $14.00, is your standard GM TBI fuel filter. It has one male end, and one threaded female end.

    You will need two 13/16" open-end wrenches(flared-preferred) to disconnect the female ends.

    On the male end, there is a plastic clip lock, these actually you can just squeeze and pull off, as opposed to some, where you would need a fuel-filter disconnect tool. Will take you about a 1/2 hr. tops.

    Do have a certified mechanic do your TBI service though, at least that is what I recommend. You ARE being over charged for the the Fuel and Air filter, the TBI service is a fair price, if this is what is wrong.

    Someone mentioned Idle Air Control Motor, in which $95 is not that bad, but I doubt that that part is already defective.

    Bless
     
  7. ikiru

    ikiru Stunt Coordinator

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    How do I...

     
  8. ikiru

    ikiru Stunt Coordinator

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    ok, while I got yalls attention...

    How hard would it be to replace the rotors on my 2000 Alero? Would I need any special tools? Is this something that I can do myself or is it a certified mechanic/dealer thing?

    Any recommendation on good rotors?

    -ikiru
     
  9. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    The job only pays 1.2hrs.(for both sides) , from the diagram they are just bolt on rotors. Easier if you have an impact gun.[​IMG]
    Bless
     
  10. ikiru

    ikiru Stunt Coordinator

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    Do I need any special tool to deal with the calipers?

    Thanks again!!!

    -ikiru
     
  11. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    no special tools, just 2 bolts typically and they lift off. The rotors can be a pain to get off if they're rusted on, but there should be a small threaded hole you can ratchet a bolt into in order to pop them free. A cheap repair anual will walk you right through it, it really is a pretty simple task. Much easier than drum brakes [​IMG]
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Chilton's is a good thing to have, but if you intend to do any serious work on your car yourself, it would be advisable to get an actual shop manual for your car. They often include much better diagrams and troubleshooting routines to find problems. These manuals assume you know what you are doing also though, and can be a bit more involved. Between a Chilton's or Haynes (I prefer Haynes) and a shop manual, you should have no problems with most maintenance on your car. I have for more than 10 years.
    I never found drum brakes to be much more difficult than disc, just a few more parts to take off. I will not buy a car that doesn't have, or can't be converted to, 4wh disc though (within reason, classics not withstanding). [​IMG]
     
  13. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I despise drum. My altima is drum rear.
     
  14. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  15. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Interesting Todd. I've pretty much stuck with Foam on my last three cars anyway. [​IMG] Haven't used a K&N for a long time.
     
  16. Stephen_Opipari

    Stephen_Opipari Stunt Coordinator

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    Todd & John,
    The thing that I keep reading that's bad about the K&N's is that the oil on the filter gets into the whole intake system. That can coat on the O2/MAF Sensor and cause it to prematurely fail. I've seen quite a few comments about this on VWVortex, though I have not done a real in depth look since I'm not considering one. [​IMG]
     
  17. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Stephen,

    That could be true, if you overdo the oil, I suppose. I used one on a carbureted system (see my homepage).

    Todd
     
  18. Bill_Weinreich

    Bill_Weinreich Second Unit

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    Ikiru,

    After being a tech at an independent shop for 15 years, the prices may be in line (not saying its fair). Of course it depends on location and labor rates. The prices Zen listed for the filters is fairly accurate (Wix premium line is my choice for filters and IMHO stay clear of Fram oil filters), but many shop will charge full list for parts. Many times this can be twice the over counter price. Some shops will install your own parts but may charge you a higher labor rate. As far as the throttle body service is concerned, different shops perform this differently. Many larger places have induction cleaning equipment which will clean from the air intake to the combustion chambers. Others will physically remove the TB and clean it with gum cutter, and some will even just spray cleaner into the TB.

    Why would you be changing rotors at 41K? If they are vibrating then you could probably just have them machined, providing this service hasnt been done before. Have them measured with a micrometer before they are done. The shop should be able to tell you wheater or not they are machinable. If you are still bent on doing it yourself, There will be a pair of Torx or Allen head bolts keeping the caliper on. Use a quality tool because these can be TIGHT and an ill fitting socket can strip the head easilly. Also if you are installing new pads or new rotors, you will have to compress the calipers prior to putting them back on. In most cases, you can use a large C-clamp. Leave the OLD inboard pad in place to avoid cracking the new pads or the caliper piston. Do it one side at a time and one you are finished, pump the brake pedal several times to reseat the calipers before you try driving anywhere.

    Hope this helps,

    Bill
     
  19. ikiru

    ikiru Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the great responses.

     
  20. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    is it just me, or are rotors getting cheaper and the quality going to crap? Last time I had mine in to be machined the guy mentioned something about the low end GM vehicles (like a cavalier) being so cheap they replaced the rotors rather than machined them
     

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