If you are having issues with a rough idle on your Volvo and you don’t have a record of the throttle body ever being cleaned then this is something you’ll want to consider doing. If there is an inexpensive project like this that I can do that removes grime from where it shouldn’t be and will possibly improve performance then I’m all for it. I did this project on our Volvo S60 last year and there is no doubt that it improved an idle issue that we were having. The car had intermittent problems prior to the cleaning with completely stalling out when we would try to take off from a stop.

Products Used

Tools Used

When I did this project I took the pictures just for my own records because I love to see before and after photos of my efforts. If I’d have known I’d later be putting together this post about it then I would have documented the process better with a few more photos. I used basically the same process described in the video at the bottom of this post. The guy in the video does a great job of explaining the removal of not only the throttle body but all the other things you need to remove to get it out for cleaning.

One thing of note, I had more trouble getting the inlet hose off of the throttle body than he did. With a few curse words and elbow grease I was eventually able to work it back and forth with enough downward pressure to break it free. I’m guessing this is because it had never been removed and after 14 years and 155,000 miles it wasn’t in the mood to go anywhere. It also proved to be a bit of a pain to get back on.

There were a couple of the 10mm bolts that hold the throttle body in place that were tricky to remove from above so I ended up getting those from underneath. I used the 1/4″ ratchet with the extensions to reach.

Here are some photos from before the cleaning. The approach I took was to just soak a paper towel in carb cleaner and stuffed it into each end of the throttle body. I then let that sit for 30 minutes or so and came back with an old toothbrush and scrubbed it down. I just kept scrubbing until it was to my liking.

Here are the pictures after a few rinse and repeat sessions. You’ll notice that the wiring harness is missing most of its conduit so I ended up just covering it with electricians tape. I will be doing this project soon on our other Volvo S60 and I plan to use the replacement conduit listed in the products tab above for a more OEM appearance. I always think it’s a good idea to try and make everything as good or better than it was if you are dealing with it anyway.


Here is the video that helped me out immensely during this process.

I hope this post helps you in some way. Feel free to comment with any questions you might have or experiences that you’ve had that might be beneficial to someone thinking of attempting this maintenance.

Last Updated: Aug 4, 2016 @ 10:03 am


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I am not a professional mechanic (or writer) but I take pride in fixing cars and not only keeping them going but making them better. I have slightly above average skills just like I would expect a lot of people who find this website do. Please follow my advice at your own risk... sometimes I fix things but sometimes I make them worse!


    • Hello! I apologize for the late reply, I didn’t a notice of this comment. I did not have to reprogram or update anything after cleaning the throttle body. If I recall there was a process of leaving the ignition in the on position for 10 minutes before you start the car to allow the ETM to reset itself properly.

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