What does this mean?
We’re reasonably sure your engine’s throttle body is dirty. The throttle body controls how much air is allowed into the engine. The more you push on the gas pedal, the farther it opens. Over time, the throttle body becomes dirty on nearly every car. After 100,000 miles it normally starts to affect engine performance. Dirt prevents the throttle body from closing properly at idle, causing the engine to run poorly at idle. Almost all the time, cleaning the throttle fixes the problem. Most mechanics do this when performing a tune up. The fix is relatively easy to do yourself.
On a scale of 1 to 10, we rate this to have an urgency of 7. Some repairs have very low urgency, and we give those a 1. With these repairs, you can wait for as long as you would like, because it will not ever result in harm to you or your vehicle. These are usually cosmetic damages.
We consider a 5 to be something that will eventually need to be done, but you can likely get away with holding off for a while if other things are more pressing. However, if a repair is close to a 10 (or at a 10), this means you should NOT be driving the vehicle, and should get this repaired as soon as possible.
What happens if I wait?
We’d recommend getting it fixed soon. It is normally cheap to fix. If you wait there is a reasonable chance the repair could get expensive quickly. If you’re really strapped for cash, look on YouTube and figure out how to fix it yourself.
How complicated is this repair?
- This job has no tools required, and can be completed by just about anyone.
- This requires a relatively handy person, but little experience working on cars exclusively.
- This warrants an average person who’s done a fair amount of car repair. Think the weekend mechanic who’s done a brake job or two!
- At this difficulty, the average mechanic could do the job, but you wouldn't want to do it yourself without a fair amount of experience.
- This job is very specialized, requiring very expensive tools only a specialty shop has and a high level of expertise.