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Kia Soul 2015 2.0 litre EX GDI Alien Green II Pearl
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The 2015 2.0 litre Soul was idling "rough". By "rough", I mean, that it was not steady. Every now and then, the RPMs would drop before going back up. Most folks would not notice. I do.

So I decided to clean the throttle body air intake valve and area, something I have not yet done on the Kia but have done a few times on Nissan off-road vehicles.

I unclipped the air filter cover, and then unscrewed clamp holding the rubber hose on the intake and moved the entire assembly out of the way. See photos below.

I used some old MotoMaster Throttle Body Cleaner (discontinued) but exact brand name choice does not seem to matter. CRC, Kleen, WD-40, Kia brand name, they all should work.

IMG_4523_1.jpg



I wore nitrile gloves. I am an eye glass wearer and almost always wear a baseball cap. Some may wish to don safety glasses or goggles.

I used a soft cotton cloth and a used tooth brush to remove and wipe off carbon deposits on and near the throttle body butterfly valve. I used my fingers to open the valve so I could clean the inside side and the throttle body on the other side of the valve.

Then I left it open for a few minutes so any remaining cleaner would dissipate. During that time, I took out the air filter that was relatively new, inspected it by holding it up to a light source, blew and pulled a few larger particles out of it and vacuumed the air filter canister before re-installing the air filter. Then I re-attached the hose to the intake.

The vehicle was not started until the following day. As far as I could determine, the slight hesitancy during idling was gone. I have listened to the vehicle idling now on 3 occasions. As far as I can tell, my minor problem was SOLVED.

Some mechanics recommend removing the entire throttle body with valve but that does not appear to be necessary. It is important to be careful. Make sure the throttle body cleaner straw is firmly secured so it is not "lost" in the intake. Do not leave bits of cotton cloth, shop cloth or toothbrush fibres, etc., behind.

Otherwise, this is easy straightforward do-it-yourself maintenance. Move slowly so as to not scrape skin off your knuckles.


A Philips screw driver with a long handle is useful to remove/replace the hose. A 10 mm deep socket will also work. When re-attaching, make sure the hose is well seated and tighten the hose clamp until it is snug. The factory service manual actually gives torque ratings 2.2 ~ 3.6 lb-ft. but for something this simple I do not bother with a torque wrench. Just snug it up.

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Here is a view of the air filter cover and hose out of the way.
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After cleaning:
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Everything back to place.
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Yes the engine bay is a tad dirty. Cleaning it is on the list.
 

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2017 Base/auto, Shadow Black (Betsy)
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Thanks for the pictures westslope,
Doing my 1st CRC run this month. Been going over the procedure with spouse. This will help.
I have been stressing the safety features mostly, so I don't get accidentally ran over.
 

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I've done the same thing about a month ago and it seemed to solve the rough idle, but it lasted for the said month. I also cleaned the map sensor.
 

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Kia Soul 2015 2.0 litre EX GDI Alien Green II Pearl
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Discussion Starter #4
eGAK009, you are welcome.

By "CRC", do you mean CRC GDI IVD Intake Valve & Turbo Cleaner? You want to do that a day or two before changing the oil. The intake valve cleaner is sprayed into the same place but while the engine is running and a second person (wife) is maintaining RPMs somewhere between 1K and 2K rpms (from memory). My wife had no issues maintaining the idle speeds just above 1K rpms.

You could clean the intake butterfly valve and surrounding area at the same time you clean the intake valves. The engine should not be running and one person is more than sufficient. It is not necessary to change the oil after cleaning the intake throttle body. But it is a very good idea to change the oil not too long after using CRC intake valve cleaner.

Please note that I removed the engine cover to make things a little easier. The engine cover pops off and pops back on. Pressure fit. Easy.
 

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eGAK009, you are welcome.

By "CRC", do you mean CRC GDI IVD Intake Valve & Turbo Cleaner? You want to do that a day or two before changing the oil. The intake valve cleaner is sprayed into the same place but while the engine is running and a second person (wife) is maintaining RPMs somewhere between 1K and 2K rpms (from memory). My wife had no issues maintaining the idle speeds just above 1K rpms.

You could clean the intake butterfly valve and surrounding area at the same time you clean the intake valves. The engine should not be running and one person is more than sufficient. It is not necessary to change the oil after cleaning the intake throttle body. But it is a very good idea to change the oil not too long after using CRC intake valve cleaner.

Please note that I removed the engine cover to make things a little easier. The engine cover pops off and pops back on. Pressure fit. Easy.
Yep, that's the CRC procedure (1st time at 10,000 mi). Thanks for the tip, will do a little cleaning w/WD40 & dry off before, while opened.
Annual (for me) 3,000 mi. service scheduled for 1st of July.
I've had that cover off many a time in my search for turds or chewing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
WD-40 is absolutely wonderful for cleaning metal and plastic. But I would not use it in the throttle body as it will leave a slight residue.
 

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Nice write up Westslope. Appreciate the photos & details. Brilliant!
 
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I've done the same thing about a month ago and it seemed to solve the rough idle, but it lasted for the said month. I also cleaned the map sensor.
XxHaimBondxX, Do you also have a 2015 Soul 2.0? I have a 2014 Soul 2.0. Where do I find the map sensor?
 

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eGAK009, you are welcome.

By "CRC", do you mean CRC GDI IVD Intake Valve & Turbo Cleaner? You want to do that a day or two before changing the oil. The intake valve cleaner is sprayed into the same place but while the engine is running and a second person (wife) is maintaining RPMs somewhere between 1K and 2K rpms (from memory). My wife had no issues maintaining the idle speeds just above 1K rpms.

You could clean the intake butterfly valve and surrounding area at the same time you clean the intake valves. The engine should not be running and one person is more than sufficient. It is not necessary to change the oil after cleaning the intake throttle body. But it is a very good idea to change the oil not too long after using CRC intake valve cleaner.

Please note that I removed the engine cover to make things a little easier. The engine cover pops off and pops back on. Pressure fit. Easy.
westslope, I read somewhere that not all butterfly valves should be opened manually as it may damage it for some. were you aware of this & does this apply to the soul 2.0 engine like the one you have?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
westslope, I read somewhere that not all butterfly valves should be opened manually as it may damage it for some. were you aware of this & does this apply to the soul 2.0 engine like the one you have?
New to me. Been cleaning butterfly valves on the air intake throttle body for over 2 decades.

I would be careful not to lose anything in the air intake. I would use a soft toothbrush in good shape that does not lose bristles. I would use a clean, soft cotton cloth in good shape to wipe down the valve and surrounding area.

Have wondered if I should only use lint-free Shop towels that are popular with those who wipe on varnish in the woodworking world but have never come across such a recommendation.
 
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XxHaimBondxX, Do you also have a 2015 Soul 2.0? I have a 2014 Soul 2.0. Where do I find the map sensor?
I have a 1.6l, not sure if these engines are a lot different, but mine was right under the coolant fill. I used this guy with the best accent ever. For easier access, I removed the hood latch.

 

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It should be stressed to use an actual throttle body cleaner.
These three spray cleaners are listed in order of strength:
1. brake cleaner ( I use a lot, also kills weeds, black window spiders, cockroaches, etc.!)
2. carb cleaner
3. throttle body cleaner...not as strong, but safe for sensors

1 or 2 could be used if throttle body off the vehicle, but that may depend upon the throttle body...YMMV
 
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