Will Too Much Carb Cleaner Damage a Car?

Written by debbie mcrill
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Will Too Much Carb Cleaner Damage a Car?
Oil and dirt build-up can cause your car to run poorly. (yellow car, a honda Japanese sport car model image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com)

Carburettor cleaners are made with trichlorethlyene and are powerful solvents that remove grease, rust and accumulated dirt. Because carburettor cleaners are so strong, you should use them with caution as the chemicals may damage car parts.

Carburettor Cleaner Uses

According to Popular Mechanics, when a car "stumbles" or stalls, a possible cause is dirt and gum in the throttle body of the car. A throttle body is a fuel injection device for cars to allow air and fuel to mix. Most car manufacturers have replaced carburettors with throttle bodies. One way to clean the gummy build-up is using a carburettor cleaner, although caution must be used.

Will Too Much Carb Cleaner Damage a Car?
Many throttle bodies have a protective coating. (American v8 engine image by kenmo from Fotolia.com)


Some throttle bodies have a coating applied to resist build-up when the car is manufactured. The protective coating does deteriorate over time, however, using carburettor cleaner can remove the protective coating. This means you will need to clean the dirty accumulation more often.

Sensor Caution

The throttle body has sensors that may be damaged by strong chemicals such as carburettor cleaners. The sensors also have O-rings to seal them in place, which harsh chemicals can damage.

Seal Caution

A car's throttle system has a seal at the mounting holes so that air doesn't enter the system and change the fuel and air mixture. Strong solvents can damage the seals.

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