Dodge Ram 1500 Throttle Body Problems

The throttle body is a crucial vehicle component because it controls the air and fuel ratio to enter the engine cylinders. When the throttle body is properly in working order, it helps the engine perform optimally. However, if it malfunctions, the throttle body causes several problems.

Therefore, issues with the throttle body are the cause of concern. Although Dodge Ram is a reliable truck, some models suffer from bad throttle body issues. So, if your Ram 1500 truck has a faulty throttle body, you must know the causes and solutions to its problems.

Additionally, you should also know the symptoms and maintenance procedure of the throttle body to prevent it from failing. In this article, I have discussed the Dodge Ram 1500 throttle body problems, their symptoms, causes, and solutions elaborately.

09 Symptoms of a faulty throttle body are given below:

  1. Grime build-up
  2. Airflow disruptions
  3. Worn-out Butterfly valve
  4. Poor or high idle
  5. Reduced engine power
  6. Poor fuel economy
  7. Lack of acceleration
  8. Check engine warning light
  9. Electrical problems

The throttle body helps an engine to perform optimally. In contrast, a faulty throttle body badly affects the engine performance. Ram 1500 faulty throttle body generally causes the following problems:

1. Rough Idling

Dirt, coking, or grime inside the throttle body restricts air-flow into the engine and disrupts the engine operation. As a result, poor or high idling occurs. This is the common indication that the throttle body isn’t working correctly. If the throttle body is seriously damaged, it causes the engine to stall or sporadic high revs.

2. Check Engine Light

A faulty throttle body reduces the engine performance. So, the Electronic Control Module (ECM) triggers the check engine light. This is the primary indication of engine issues. In this case, you have to identify which engine components have issues.

Use an OBD-II scanner to scene faulty codes and identify the faulty parts. If a throttle body is responsible for the engine issue, you may get a P0121 faulty code on the OBD-II scanner. This code indicates that the Throttle Position Sensor “A” circuit is in issue. You may also receive a P0171 or P0174 code, which means the air-fuel mixture is too lean.

3. Lack of Acceleration

Acceleration issues arise when the throttle body is not working correctly. The throttle body controls the air-fuel ratio that helps the vehicle engine to accelerate smoothly. Improper air-fuel ratio impacts the engine’s smooth function. As a result, when you press the accelerator, the vehicle hesitates or struggles to pick up speed.

4. Misfires

Faulty throttle body causes improper air-fuel mixture and indirectly causes cylinders to misfires. The misfires indicate incomplete combustion in the engine chamber. This incomplete combustion increases the exhaust particulate emissions and reduces engine performance. Ultimately, it will become a reason for engine failure.

5. Reduced Fuel Efficiency

A malfunctioning throttle body reduces fuel efficiency. When the throttle body malfunctions, an inaccurate amount of air-fuel mixture enters into the engine. It will make the engine work hard and reduce fuel efficiency. Overall, low fuel efficiency for trucks means a lot of unnecessary spending.

What Causes Throttle Body to Fail Ram 1500

The Dodge Ram throttle body fails due to the following 05 reasons:

  1. Electrical Problems: Electrical connectivity problems, low or high voltage, and incorrect signals can cause the throttle body to fail and reduce engine power.
  2. Dirt Buildup: Over time, dirt, grime, or coking builds up in the throttle body. These builds affect the throttle body’s performance and air-fuel mixture ratio. As a result, the throttle body fails to provide an accurate air-fuel mixture and ultimately reduces engine performance.
  3. Bad Throttle Position Sensor: With time, the throttle position sensor becomes dirty. This causes it to sends incorrect data to the engine ECM and results in poor engine performance. Sometimes, cleaning the throttle position sensor fixes this problem.
  4. Technical Error: Sometimes, errors in the technical components impact the throttle body response time, indirectly decreasing engine effectiveness.
  5. Bad Fuel Injector: If the fuel injector is faulty, it cannot inject the appropriate amount of fuel. This will slowly decrease throttle body effectiveness and performance.

How to Diagnose a Bad Throttle Body

Start by inspecting the throttle body visually. Check for any signs of dirt build-up and damage. Dirt and grime buildup in the throttle body are the main reasons for throttle body failure.

On the other hand, if your truck has already run over 80,000 to 100,000 miles, the throttle body may be corroded or damaged. So, check for corrosion or damage. In case of corrosion or build-up, throttle body cleaning becomes necessary to fix the issue.

How to Clean Throttle Body Ram 1500

You must be very careful when cleaning the throttle body in Ram 1500. The throttle body is an important component, so everything needs to be performed perfectly. You need a throttle body cleaner in this process. So, buy it before starting the process.

The summary for the throttle body cleaning procedure is:

  • Disconnect battery
  • Remove air intake
  • Remove throttle body
  • Inspects the gasket
  • Install the gasket
  • Start the engine and test

Let’s briefly discuss the procedure for better understanding. Additionally, at the end of the discussion, I have attached a video for visual understanding if needed.

Ram 1500 throttle body cleaning procedures:

  1. Part the truck at a level surface.
  2. You will find the throttle body under the truck hood; locate it.
  3. Disconnect the negative battery terminal to avoid any shock.
  4. Remove all the hoses from the throttle body and mark them. So, when reinstalling, you can easily put each hose in the correct position.
  5. Before starting the cleaning process, use protective eyeglasses and gloves for further safety.
  6. Carefully remove the air duct from the throttle body.
  7. In some Ram 1500 models, a few electric wires are connected to the throttle body. They are the important signal provider and are connected to the sensors. So, don’t remove them and clean the throttle body carefully.
  8. Use a throttle body cleaner and spray it in the air duct. Then, use a small brush and scrub the dirt and gum from the interior.
  9. Continue the process until the throttle body is clean enough and the metal part is exposed.
  10. Put a few drops of oil on the throttle body shaft. This will reduce friction when throttle blade rotates.
  11. Clean the throttle body and nearby parts with a clean paper towel.
  12. Reinstall the air ducts, hoses, and negative battery cable. Tighten them properly.
  13. Start your Ram 1500 and let the engine idle for a few minutes.
  14. Take a test drive to check whether everything is working correctly.

In this way, you can fix the throttle body problem. Clean the throttle body every 75,000 miles.

Watch the video given below to learn how to clean the throttle body of a 2015 Ram 1500:

How to Replace Throttle Body on Ram 1500

If the throttle body is damaged enough, cleaning may not be enough to fix the problems. In this case, the throttle body needs to be replaced.

You can replace the throttle body yourself if you have enough mechanical experience. But I always recommend hiring a professional technician to replace the throttle body, as it is a little bit tricky.

This is because improper replacement or adjustment makes throttle body problems more expensive to repair. However, if you have mechanical knowledge and the necessary tools, you can replace the faulty throttle body.

Replacing a throttle body costs around $300 to $500 if you do it yourself. On the other hand, it will cost around $380 to $570 if you have it done by a mechanic.

Watch the video given below to learn how to replace a 2003 Dodge Ram’s faulty throttle body:

Testing the Throttle Position Sensor Ram 1500

Sometimes, the throttle body seems to be in perfect condition, but still the poor acceleration, reduced fuel economy, and other throttle body problems appear. In this case, it is necessary to test the throttle position sensor.

The throttle position sensor is responsible for connecting the throttle body and ECM. When the sensor malfunctions, the ECM receives and sends an incorrect signal to the throttle body. As a result, the throttle body fails to control the air-fuel mixture at the correct amount.

So, test the throttle position sensor to fix the throttle body problem completely:

  • In most of the vehicle, the throttle position sensor situated in one side of the throttle body. Locate it.
  • Measure the TPS terminals resistance using a multimeter. While measuring, turn the key on but keep the engine off.
  • Slowly move the throttle from closed to open position and take readings.
  • If the throttle position sensor correctly functions, the resistance reading will increase simultaneously as the throttle opens. But if the reading is erratic or jumps, it means the sensor is faulty.
  • Also check the voltage of the throttle position sensor. In multimeter, the voltage should be show around 5 volts. If the voltage is far below or high from 5 volts, it means the sensor is not working correctly.

Sometimes, resetting the throttle position sensor fixes this problem. Start the vehicle, but do not start the engine. Press the Throttle Position Sensor reset button until the tire pressure indicator light flashes 3 times.

Now, start the engine and wait for at least 20 minutes. The TPS should be reset in this way. Then test the sensor again. If it still seems to be faulty, replace the throttle position sensor. Replacing the throttle position sensor will cost around $195 to $210, including the labor cost.

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