do my throttle body and spark plugs look right?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Prius_Gnome, Mar 27, 2021.

  1. Prius_Gnome

    Prius_Gnome Junior Member

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    On my 2007 Prius, I recently changed the spark plugs and cleaned the throttle body. But they seem to be in bad condition. Should I be concerned?

    Throttle Body (before cleaning)
    throttle body.jpg
    Is that gunk/oil/gasoline supposed to be at the bottom of the throttle body? Do I need to clean that out somehow?

    Spark Plugs (old)
    spark plugs.jpg
    1 = closest to passenger side ; 4 = closest to driver side

    #1 and #2 have a small amount of rust on the bolts.
    #3 had so much rust that it got stuck in my spark plug socket. I had to use WD40 and pliers to take the spark plug out of the socket.
    #4 looks just as rusty and I noticed excessive "gunky" buildup when I was removing it.

    I'm guessing I have water leakage? Should I be worried?
    I've heard about the issue where rainwater will run onto the engine from the windshield cowl, so maybe I need to look into that. But do I need to do anything else?

    Spark Plug "Wells" #3 and #4
    Well#3
    spark plug #3 cylinder.jpg

    Well#4
    spark plug #4 cylinder.jpg

    By "well", I mean the cylinders/chambers that the spark plugs screw into (I don't know what the technical team is). Since spark plugs #3 and #4 looked nasty, I took these pictures. Do I need to clean that? How do I do that?

    Spark Plug Socket
    spark plug socket.jpg
    This is a Craftsman 5/8" Magnetic Swivel Spark Plug Socket.
    I assume the blue "ceramic coating?" should completely cover the interior so I guess the rusty bolts destroyed my socket. I guess I'll have to get a new one now.

    Thanks for taking the time to read (and hopefully chime in). Thanks!
     
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    How many miles on it, first time or?
     
  3. Prius_Gnome

    Prius_Gnome Junior Member

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    It's currently 90K miles. This is the first time I've replaced spark plugs. I purchased it used a few years ago. The Toyota Owners website's service history only shows when the recalls were done, so I don't know if/when spark plugs were ever changed by previous owner.
     
    #3 Prius_Gnome, Mar 28, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
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  4. mr_guy_mann

    mr_guy_mann Senior Member

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    Those are likely the original plugs. Reseal the cowl to hood and keep the rain water off the engine. Normally I use a compressed air blowgun to force any debris out of the spark plug hole and well.

    Assuming you don't have an air compressor, you might try folding up half a paper towel into a small square, soaking it in WD-40. Then hold that with needle nose pliers and twist it in the well as a rotating mop to "sweep up" debris.

    You can try to soak up the oil in the intake, but it really doesn't matter much. With local driving (and engine stopping and starting oil will just accumulate). Just clean the throttle body bore and blade as well as you can. Shoot some cleaner on a rag and scrub the parts.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    What I’ve done in past to facilitate that: hacksaw just the threaded portion of one of the old plugs, securely glue it to a length of wood dowel (say a foot long), screw that in before using air to clear out the spark plug well. It’s a lot skinnier than the full spark plug, won’t impede the air blast as much, but will prevent debris getting into the cylinder.
     
  6. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Don't worry about the deposits on the intake manifold, that is normal.

    Yes, you need to keep water from getting into the spark plug wells for cylinders 3 and 4. You could use black RTV sealant on the black plastic cowl. Note that cowl has two pieces and the seam is at the center.

    The spark plug socket could be cleaned a little but I would say it could still be utilized. My guess is that the blue coating is intended to cushion the porcelain tail of the spark plug.

    You haven't mentioned what the spark igniters look like for cylinders 3 and 4. If the rubber at the bottom is looking nasty with rust stains, etc., maybe it would be good to replace those spark igniters after you address the issue of water getting into the cyls 3 and 4 spark plug wells.
     
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  7. Prius_Gnome

    Prius_Gnome Junior Member

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    It was raining yesterday. It wasn't hard but it wasn't a drizzle. After it stopped raining, I opened up the hood and I didn't see any water on the engine and there was no water in the windshield cowl. I realize that's not proof that water isn't occasionally draining onto the engine sometimes. But I now suspect the gunk/water got into cylinders #3 and #4 when the car detailer cleaned my engine bay a year or 2 ago; perhaps he used pressured water right onto the engine which forced itself underneath the rubber seals of the ignition coils.
    I think I'll just seal the cowl for now and push off cleaning the spark plug cylinders out until next time.

    I suspect you're right about the spark plug socket.

    I inspected all 4 spark ignition coils and the rubber seals at the top looked fine and didn't seem to have any cracks.
    I didn't think to take photos of the spark ignition coils. But I do remember that the bottom of coils #3 and #4 were brown (with rust?) and I easily wiped it clean before reinstalling. I also remember that the bottom half of the coils were a little stained (whitish/yellowish water stains/streaks?) which also wiped off easily. The "gunk" seen in the photos in the first post were not stuck onto the coils).

    Thanks everyone for your insights!
     
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  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Pressure washing (or even just hosing) the engine bay seems a big gamble; don’t know it’s pushed. :mad:
     
  9. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Looks like its seen some horrible oil quality over its years. The bottom of the intake should look clean but filled with oil. See my pic.
    .
    You can see how discolored the bottom of your throttle body looks that's some really cheap oil pcv fumes baked on there.

    Pull the 2 hoses off the throttle body that come from the valve cover the ports they plug into on the throttle body will be choked with crap and so will the pcv valve and the hoses. See my picture of those 2 hoses.

    Those plugs look like they have 2000,000 miles on them.

    I would take off the intake manifold and clean it out it will be gunked up pretty bad and the VVT oil filter will be clogged too. I bet it runs really bad no pick up.

    What kind of engine oil are you running?
     

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    #9 edthefox5, Apr 2, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
  10. Prius_Gnome

    Prius_Gnome Junior Member

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    Yeah, I agree about my throttle body and spark plugs being in horrible condition. That's what prompted my post. It's interesting that you mention pcv, I should probably go through the entire ordeal again to replace the PCV valve.

    As for your suggestion of removing the entire intake manifold, that might be too daunting for me. I might be willing to remove just the throttle body housing, but that's about it.

    I'm not especially picky about the motor oil I use. For what it's worth, I've only used synthetic since I've owned it, but I'm not sure what the previous owner used.
     
  11. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    The problem with the intake and extreme ingress of sludge into the throttle body is the atkisson intake uses a big tank at the bottom of the intake. That may be holding a lot of horrible gunk. Seen posts about removing it so I don’t think it’s too bad but would require some real good wrench skills.
    Very easy to get too though. Few bolts and requires a new factory gasket.

    If you have taken the windshield cowl off it’s easy to get the valve cover off to see exactly how bad it is and what damage it has done to the cam lobes. It’s easy to take valve cover off if that cowl has been removed.

    be careful taking the pcv valve out it requires a deep socket do not use a wrench on it.

    Good to take the cowl off as there will be a large amount of leaf debris trapped in there and needs to be cleaned out.

    at the very least I would remove the VVT filter and the VVT solenoid and see how gunked up they are. Both are extremely easy to remove one bolt.
    If either are clogged the engine will run very poorly.

    use the search forums link up top and search

    VVT
    VVT solenoid or red bullet.

    good luck.
     
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