Car Repairs: 2008 Escape Throttle Body/Idle Air Valve

So, I’ve been having some weird issues with my 2008 Ford Escape (3.0L) and Dan nudged me in a direction to take a look.

The issues were largely limited to acceleration and power: namely we had two hot as dickens days last week and my car shuddered hard during acceleration and certain idle periods.  It was really quite scary.

Dan suggested that I look at the Throttle Body on my Escape, since the last time he had this issue it was as simple as using some throttle body cleaner on it.

So, I did.

Needed Tools

  • Ratchet Wrench
  • 8mm Socket
  • 10mm Socket
  • 10mm Deep-Well Socket or 10mm Open Ended Wrench
  • Pliers

Removal Steps

  1. Remove the two 8mm bolts circled in red, Image 1.  This will remove the throttle cable shields.
  2. Remove the two 10mm bolts circled in orange, Image 1.  This will allow you to remove the Idle Air Control Valve.  Be sure to disconnect the harness from it by pushing in the locking tab, pushing in (against the IACV), then pulling out (away from the IACV).
  3. Remove the Positive Crankcase Ventilation tube (circled in blue, Image 1) by pulling up the tab on the side and pulling the tube up.  Push it aside (toward the front of the vehicle, it will rotate in that direction)
  4. Disconnect the cruise control throttle cable (circled in blue, Image 2) by pulling slowly (but firmly) the connector down (towards the thick power cable off the battery).  It will come off with firm pressure, don’t worry.  It’s going to slide out of the groove.
  5. Disconnect the throttle cable (circled in green, Image 2) by pushing up on the throttle assembly (the part that rotates), and then slipping the cable up and around it until the little metal nub pops free.
  6. Remove the two screw-type clamps (circled in red, Image 2; only one pictured) that holds the air tube in place between the air filter and the throttle body.
  7. Once you’ve removed the clamps, you can (carefully) pull the air tube out.
  8. (Optional) Remove the air filter box where it separates.  Be careful with the sensor and harness.
  9. Use your pliers to release the two clamps (circled in red, Image 3).  Carefully pull the tubes free from the throttle body.  They have coolant in them, so wear gloves or use a towel!
  10. Remove the three 10mm bolts (circled in green, Image 3).
  11. Remove the one 10mm stud-bolt with your deep-well socket or open-ended wrench (circled in blue, Image 3).  You have now removed the throttle body.
  12. Inspect Idle Air Control Valve gasket and Throttle Body gasket.  Replace as necessary.

Cleaning Steps

  1. Liberally (but carefully) spray the throttle body chamber and flap down with throttle body cleaner.  Don’t use a cleaner not designed for throttle body parts.  Use short, controlled bursts.  The cleaner will blast the carbon off the surfaces, for the most part.
  2. Use a rag to clean off the interior of the chamber and the surfaces of the flaps.  Be sure to pay attention to the edges of the flap and the surface of the chamber that meets up with the flap.
  3. Do the same with Idle Air Valve but be careful to avoid flooding the interior chamber with the fluid.
  4. Clean all mating surfaces and make sure your gaskets are clean as well.

Installation is the reverse of removal, but you may need to completely remove the clamps on the air tube completely to get them to re-attach properly.

My car is running a bit smoother.  The weather is cold so I can’t test the shuddering, but believe me I’ll be keeping an eye on it.

-M, out.

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