Jeep Patriot:  Bad Throttle Body → Symptoms + Diagnosis

If your Jeep Patriot has a bad throttle body, it can cause it to run terribly.  Common symptoms of a bad throttle body include, dirt and grime, the check engine light, and an erratic idle.

Your Patriot’s throttle body controls the amount of air that enters the engine.  You control the throttle body position with the gas pedal.  So, the symptoms of a bad throttle body will all affect how the vehicle feels responding to your throttle input.  A rough idle is also a very common symptom.

Bad Throttle Body Symptoms Jeep Patriot


Bad Throttle Body Symptoms:  Jeep Patriot

Here are the most common symptoms of a bad throttle body in your Patriot.  The problem with almost all of the noticeable symptoms are that they can also indicate problems other than the throttle body as well.  That’s why we strongly recommend that you start with the check engine light, if it happens to be on.  It can tell you a lot about what is going on.


Service Engine Soon Light

The check engine light is one of the most common symptoms of a bad throttle body in your Patriot.  The check engine light itself being on is not a bad thing.  The trouble codes that are stored in the computer can tell a lot about what is actually going on.  This makes diagnosing the throttle body much easier.


Jeep Patriot Bad Throttle Body Diagnosis
A Typical Throttle Body


Dirty Throttle Body

While coming to a stop, you may notice that your Patriot feels like it wants to die.  The RPM may shoot up by as much as 500 until it finally finds the proper idle speed.  This is a telltale sign of a dirty throttle body.

It would be prudent to inspect the throttle body to see if there is any grime buildup present.  Often the throttle body isn’t necessarily “bad”.  It’s just dirty.  A dirty throttle body will exhibit many of the symptoms of a bad throttle body.

Here’s a great video showing how to clean a throttle body.  Make sure that you use throttle body cleaner, and not brake parts cleaner, WD40, or even carb cleaner.  Cleaning it is easy and cost effective.



Wiring Issues

As your Patriot’s throttle body opens, the various sensors in your Patriot measure the air coming in, and oxygen content coming out.  If any of these sensors goes bad, it can feel the same as a bad throttle body.  That’s why getting the trouble codes is so important.  It can really narrow down what you are looking for.


Erratic Idle

If your Patriot is not letting enough air in at idle, it’ll struggle to keep running.  The idle speed will keep jumping.


Conclusion:  Jeep Patriot Bad Throttle Body Symptoms

Good luck diagnosing your Patriot’s bad throttle body issues.  Most of the time, if it is the throttle body, it just needs cleaned.  Don’t forget to see if there are any trouble codes.  An engine misfire or bad MAF sensor can cause the same set of symptoms.

If there is anything that you would like to add, please feel free to leave a comment below.