What Does a Throttle Body Do?

A throttle body is the component of the intake system in a traditional gasoline engine that regulates the amount of air flow in the engine's combustion chamber. It plays a fundamental role in providing the engine with a proper mixture of air and fuel, according to About.

The throttle regulates air flow by obstruction or constriction. Typically located between the intake manifold and the air filter box, the throttle body consists of a rotating butterfly valve and shaft. The throttle body connects to the gas pedal with a flexible cable or linkage, which allows the valve to open or close to ensure proper airflow. Mobil notes that a malfunctioning throttle results in a rough idle, stalling or delayed acceleration.

When the gas pedal is pressed down, the butterfly valve opens to permit airflow into the engine. When the gas pedal is released, the butterfly valve closes to obstruct airflow. By opening and closing, the butterfly valve effectively governs the engine's workload and subsequently the vehicle's speed, according to About.

Most automobiles utilize a single throttle body. However, high performance vehicles, such as sport cars, use individual throttle bodies for each cylinder. Individual throttle bodies improve vehicle performance because airflow transfers in and out of the engine at a faster rate, states CarsDirect.