Throttle Actuator and Idle Air Control Service

Step by step guide on how to service an automotive engine throttle actuator bore and idle air control motor. This article pertains to most vehicles.

Difficulty Scale: 4 of 10 Tool and Supplies Needed
  • Carburetor cleaner (sensor safe)
  • Small socket set
  • Screwdriver set
  • Shop towel
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Impact screw driver
  • Protective eyewear and gloves
Before beginning, park the vehicle on level ground with the engine cold and the parking brake "ON".

Step 1 - After locating the throttle actuator bore begin by removing the air intake boot.

Removing Air Intake Boot

Step 2 - Next, inspect the throttle bore or actuator (electric) and check for vacuum leaks due to failing vacuum lines.

Throttle Bore

Step 3 - Once the unit has been inspected, locate and remove all electrical connectors.

Remove Electrical Connectors

Step 4 - Older vehicle utilize a throttle cable which must be removed, along with transmission and cruise control cables.

Removing Throttle Cable

Step 5 - Using needle nose pliers loosen and remove vacuum lines.

Removing Vacuum Lines


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2014-11-08)