Quick-Clean the throttlebody: MPFI Horizontal Intake

Saturns commonly have some troubles that benefit from a good throttlebody cleaning, including running rough and a sticking pedal. For a quick check to see if your throttlebody needs cleaned, push down on the quarter circle piece on the end of the throttlebody shaft. If it sticks at all, it needs cleaned. Cleaning is easy and cheap, though, so you may want to clean it anyway.

If you are unfamiliar with how these work, try having someone push on your gas pedal (car off) and watch the throttle plate and surrounding parts. The black quarter-circle piece on the side of the throttle plate housing will be pulled by its attached cable, turning the shaft and moving the plate.

The outside of the plate, as you see here, is normally shiny. The other side, however, is usually rather nasty with an oily sludge.

Author: Jonathan Swain (aka "PurdueGuy")

Relevant Models

1991-1992 SC
1995-2002 SC1
1993-1999 SC2
1995-2002 SL
1995-2002 SL1
1991-1999 SL2
1993-2001 SW1
1993-1999 SW2


  • Ratchet
  • 7mm socket


Step 2

From here, you can simply push down on the quarter circle piece (see below) to open the throttle plate, and spray carburetor or throttlebody cleaner into the opening. Be ready with a rag, because nasty black liquid will come streaming out. Keep doing this until there is no sticking when pushing on the quarter circle piece.

Step 3

When you’re satisfied with your cleaning, reassemble everything.

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