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Discussion Starter #1
Hello folks, let me thank you up front for your help on this.

2007 ZX3 SES with a 2.0 Duratec, five speed and A/C.

My wife drives this back and forth to work daily - 45 miles each way. It's always been a very reliable vehicle and we take good care of it for her.

Last week she complained that the accelerator felt "sticky" when pressing down at times. I drove it for about 15 minutes and it did it a couple of times for me too. It never stuck open, we just felt resistance when depressing the accelerator pedal on occasion.

I looked it up and the wide consensus was that the throttle body likely had heavy coking. Welp, I watched a couple Youtube videos, got the throttle body out without issue, inspected it and yes, it was sticking and it was due to coking. I cleaned it throughly and placed it all back together, buttoned it up, the car starts fine and the pedal doesn't do that occasional sticking anylonger - which is nice.

Here is the drawback... It had routinely idled between 700-1000 RPM within seconds of start up and stuck with that idle consistently. Now, after my cleaning of the throttle body, the idle starts at about 2,000 RPM for about 6-10 seconds and then slowly goes down to about 1,500 then plummets to the usual idle speed - between 700 and 1,000. Then when I press the gas, it does it again. Same result. And, it seems to do this all of the time now. I drove the car 100 miles today and had it do all of that over and over again. It will drop to normal idle, but only after 10-15 seconds of accelerated idle. This makes the car drive entirely different when it is in gear, of course.

I had pulled the negative terminal clamp off the battery while I was doing this cleaning yesterday. Should I clear the system in some way using my OBD-II scan tool? Tell it to clear codes, even if none exist? Should I leave the battery disconnected again, for a longer period of time? What else?

It is acting like it had been compensating for the coked up throttle body and now that it is clean, it doesn't know what to do.

I double checked my connections, but see no trouble. This isn't exactly a difficult system to work on from a labor standpoint - at least.

Your input would be greatly respected and appreciated. Thanks again folks...


Jason
 

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I believe sometimes the gasket on the backside of the throttle body housing doesn’t get seated properly upon reinstallation - causing a vacuum leak.

It’s something a bit more specific to consider/research.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Beretta... I took it all apart and back together last night, double checking everything once again and am getting ESSENTIALLY the same result. I MIGHT be seeing a reduction of RPM by 200 or so at the top end and will look at it again today. The gasket itself looks good, but I have to admit that I have some vision trouble, so I will ask my wife to peek at it as well today. I'll keep you in the loop and thanks again!


Jason
 

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Another idea I've run across when working to diagnose a similar issue is the throttle body plastic will warp. I'm not sure if the solvent(s) used during cleaning can affect it. However, I suspect the gasket or reinstalling the TB is the more likely culprit in your situation.

Additionally, I've also read where the TB cleaner can get into the IAC and also cause a problematic idle.
 

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Again, thanks for the insight here. I will say that I used Berryman's carb and throttle body cleaner in a spray can, allowing the throttle body to sit and "surface soak" (meaning the product soak into surfaces for a few minutes per spray down but not IMMERSE within the liquid) inside a plastic shoebox. I then used a plastic bristled toothbrush to scrub and wiped clean with a terrycloth towel. I may have done this process several times to ensure 99% of what was visible was cleared away. The gasket itself is a high contract color compared to the throttle body, like a greenish or green-blue color. And, I can detect no damage to it. But, I will inspect it again.

One aside is this... I did lose a bolt in the initial process. It was one of the four 8mm bolts clamping down the throttle body itself. I searched for it for an hour in the engine compartment with lights and a magnetic tool too without success. So, I went into my shed and got out another one that was similar, fits the threads well and about .5 mm shorter in length. It didn't have an integrated washer head on it, so I added an appropriate washer. It snugs up fine, and I am certain of the right thread fitment as it is tightening down and is slightly shorter than the others. Perhaps I am not making it as snug, I am not using a torque wrench after all. I ran into my local NAPA and asked them if they had those bolts - they did not. But, they seemed to think what I did was a fine replacement, who knows. Perhaps I will remove an original one and then take it into the local hardware store, see if they have something similar. My luck I'll lose that one too. Ha....

My assumption is that any gasket maker between the throttle body and intake would be a very bad idea. I might be wrong but I am disinclined to try it.

I cannot seem to find the answer to this question either in my Chiltons... What is the tube that connects the rubber air intake boot (that which connects the air filter assembly to the throttle body) into the side of the engine (some may say the back of the engine, but - regardless - the side closest to the firewall)? If that tube - which feels like somewhat thin plastic to me - was damaged in some way, could it impact this idle as well? When I first removed it, it did move in an odd fashion, though I can see no damage to it and hear no obvious vacuum leak it it carries vacuum at all.

By the way, the idle control valve seems to be working fine as it does alter the idle slightly when the A/C is running compared to when it is turned off.

Beretta, thanks again for your time and patience. My wife and I are going to tackle this this evening, I believe.

Jason
 

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2006 ZX5 2.0, 2004 ZX3 SVT EE. 2004 ZX3 SVT
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Over tightening the throttle body can cause warpage. Finger tighten all bolts then snug in a diagonal pattern in several steps.
 

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X2 on the last two posts, you are not looking for a torque there, the gasket is so soft you hit solid on the bolts then just enough more to make sure you're solid, you warp the body after that.

The gaskets can look perfect but be bad when you reuse them, check a new one, the body will likely be 3X as dense to seal better. The silicone gets softer with use and heat. Can't seal with as much force then. We keep telling people to never reuse them and this hanging idle complaint comes up again and again.

Proper is engine revving high at stone cold then slowy dropping down to idle but should immediately go to idle speed if engine is hot on a restart.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys, your input is dearly appreciated... Here is what we have got here... According to my wife, the car is working perfectly this evening. She reports that she believes it is smoother, feels more responsive and is really pleased with it. What we did this evening is remove everything again, no problems getting it apart. I turned the throttle body over and showed it to her, she reported no damage that she could see but some "grunge" which she tried to point out to me on the gasket surface as well as the intake surface where the gasket meets. She is a doctor of audiology and has some interesting wipes on hand I use occasionally that are formulated for cleaning rubber, latex, nitrile, plastic and silicone surfaces. She uses them with her specialist equipment and I have a canister here to use on various projects from time to time. We got the canister out, I used a couple wipes to clean both the gasket surface and the mating surface on the intake. We then reassembled it, I did all the normal routine, including tightening in a star pattern like I would any other project. I threw it all back together and she reported a faster reduction in RPM and what she would consider "normal" throttle response while parked. We too kit for a test drive and she is pleased with it. So, I consider it a victory.

Hey, listen folks... You may or may not believe me when I say that I appreciate the input. I was a little stumped here but it might have been my less than ideal vision - who knows. Regardless, I hope you guys really also appreciate what is happening here and keep up the good work. It is not so easy to get by these days and to have a community of friendly and knowledgable folks is a real asset. Good work and thank you all again.

190,000 miles on our 2007 Focus. She has never left us stranded or in trouble and - although she may not look showroom under a microscope - with a little squint she looks just as good as the day I put the money on the barrelhead for her back in the spring of 2008. Better yet, according to my wife, she is running better than she has in years.

You were a part of that, thanks...

Jason
 

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The get back and thanks are enough, you'd be amazed how few think they even owe a word back for free stuff. Props to others that helped.

Luck..........always pleasant to talk to somebody who understands give and take rather than just take and often with attitude.
 

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You know, I think this world we are living in is troubled enough without us going about acting like we don't care about taking up other people's time. I would venture to guess that less than 3% of the people on forums like these are on there exclusively for a power trip or trolling. The rest of us are simply happy to either help others or really need the help because we aren't rich enough (or foolish enough) to blow money on a new car every time we don't want to deal with something.

Amazingly, my 2007 Ford Focus was the first brand new car I ever purchased. And, to be honest, I have always loved it and doted upon it. I know that some of you really love your cars too, or at least depend upon them and we share that history. You are kind enough to give me something to work with and I asked for help. Folks, it's a sad state of affairs when the ones helping are expecting to not hear a word of thanks for their effort. Welcome to the 21st century, huh?

Anyhow, I am not kidding when I tell you that our Focus has been completely trouble free for the last 190,000 miles. I drove it off the lot with 27 miles on it and a couple terribly bad OEM wiper blades that I immediately replaced. Since that day, it has been there for us and never missed a beat - not really. I replaced the reverse light switch a few years back and then had to replace the value cover after I accidentally dropped my toolbox on top of it, breaking the oil fill neck. I fixed the center console as it failed and was flopping around for a month or two but I got that taken care of without too much expense and it feels better than new. She needs new struts and shocks one of these days as she creaks a bit every now and then. But, that is the beginning and end of it. Yes, after 190,000 miles.

Now I have this odd idling business, which began with a sticky throttle. My experience in cars is this... Rarely does it go as easily as I have been told it should. Perhaps it's just my bad luck, perhaps it is - sadly - my own failure in this realm, who knows. But, I needed help and you guys stepped in to offer it. In my eyes, you are the same kind of nice and giving folks willing to take time and try to improve other people's lives. That - to me - is greater than any professional sports player. Yet, we all get paid peanuts - relatively. Well, that is my assumption at least. :)

Thanks again guys... I wish I could offer more but so far I have had so little trouble with this car of ours. Now, our Kia Sportage is a different story. Oh, never mind. Hahahaha...

Jason



The get back and thanks are enough, you'd be amazed how few think they even owe a word back for free stuff. Props to others that helped.

Luck..........always pleasant to talk to somebody who understands give and take rather than just take and often with attitude.
 
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