How to Clean Carburetors

October 16, 2020

A carburetor mixes fuel and air in a perfect ratio for combustion.

All carburetors share the same function. To ensure your machine works properly, you need to keep the carburetor clean. Keeping your carburetor clean will help you save on costly repairs and also prevent corrosion.

The gas in your carburetor can be dried out by the air intake, hence, leaving a sticky substance that builds upon the walls of your carburetor over time. If the connections attached to the carburetor’s choke plate and throttle become dirty, they tend to get stuck.

When the engine is not used frequently, the gasoline can thicken, which prevents the small parts of the carburetor from moving correctly. If your carburetor has a chemical odor or smells like turpentine, you need to clean it. Your carburetor should only give off the smell of gasoline.

Listed below are tips on how to clean carburetors.

How to Clean a Carburetor Using an Aerosol Solvent

Cleaning a carburetor does not have to be a challenging task.

Below are the tools you will need to clean a carburetor using an aerosol solvent.

  • Compressed air
  • Thin wire
  • Aerosol solvent
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Gloves
  • Screwdriver
  • Old toothbrush

Step 1

First, you will need to put on latex gloves and safety glasses. Since a carburetor has many small parts, you need to ensure that your work surface is clean.

Drain the carburetor and remove it from the tool or vehicle.

Then use the old toothbrush and aerosol solvent to clean the carburetor’s exterior.

Step 2

Unscrew the top of the carburetor, and then remove the piston.

Flip over the carburetor and use the screwdriver to remove the flow bowl.

If the flow bowl’s inside is filled with crust or goo, use the toothbrush and aerosol solvent to clean it.

Step 4

You will then proceed to remove the jets. The main jet is in the middle, and it is the biggest one.

On the side, there is a smaller jet, which is the pilot jet. The pilot jet can either be fixed in place or be removable, depending on the carburetor.

Once you unscrew the main jet, hold it against the light to ensure that it is clean. If it is clogged, use the aerosol solvent to clean it up and follow up with compressed air.

If the compressed air and the solvent do not clean and unclog the jet, you will have to use the wire to poke it, so it clears. The jets are made of brass. Therefore, you must use a soft material when cleaning them since brass is relatively soft.

Soak the jet in a warm water solution and solvent if you cannot clear it by poking.

Step 5

There is a needle jet with many tiny holes in it below the main jet.

To clean it, you will have to employ the same procedure as above using a solvent, wire, and compressed air to clean the holes.

Step 6

Clean the pilot jet next and pay special attention to it since it is the smallest hole.

If it is clogged, your machine will not work, so make sure it is well cleaned.

Step 7

Remove the mixture screw and note how many turns you make to seat it.

You will need to reset the mixture screw to that exact number when you are putting everything back. At this point, you will have disassembled the carburetor.

Spray the cleaner in all the passageways and holes, and follow up with compressed air.

Step 8

After cleaning your carburetor and ensuring that it is well dried, reassemble it.

Use a Strong All-Purpose Cleaner

It is essential to have a versatile all-purpose cleaner in your toolbox. An all-purpose cleaner can get rid of any oil, dirt, and grease that may be on your carburetor.

One of the toughest all-purpose cleaners that you can use is Quick Job’s All-Purpose Cleaner/ It does not degrade or harm any rubber or plastic parts that are on the carburetor.

Avoid using bleach and vinegar as they make the metal susceptible to corrosion and rust. Listed below are directions on how to clean your carburetor using an all-purpose cleaner.

  • Do not touch the carburetor to clean it if it is not cool, and ensure that you read the cleaning manually.
  • Dilute Quick Job’s All-Purpose Cleaner with water.
  • Ensure the air filter is free and clean from any blockage before cleaning the carburetor.
  • Remove any clamps or covers holding the carburetor, and then remove the hose clamp connecting the carburetor to the fuel line. Use compressed air to blow off the dirt that may be on the carburetor’s outer case once you remove it.
  • Remove the carburetor float. Ensure that you do not spill the gas remaining inside the float.
  • Remove the rest of the removable components.
  • Soak all the components in the solution for about ten minutes or so, and scrub them. Scrub the metal components using a brass brush. To scrub the plastic pieces, use a stiff nylon brush. Ensure that all the small vents are well cleaned and also clean the small parts.
  • Get a different bucket with clean water and rinse all of the carburetor components you just washed, and allow them to air dry completely. Use a can of compressed air for the smaller vents and holes to eliminate the excess moisture.
  • Reassemble the carburetor carefully back to the engine and then relink all wires, clamps, and hoses.

It would be best to contact a professional if you do not know how to disassemble the carburetor and the different components.

Always stick to your manufacturer’s guide on how to clean carburetors. The cleaning process of a carburetor is the same, although the parts may slightly differ in how they look from one carburetor to the next.