7 Steps to Remove and Clean Your Carburetor. Cleaning a mower carburetor

Steps to Remove and Clean Your Carburetor

If you have a vehicle or a piece of power equipment that’s struggling to start, you’re probably sweating and wondering if you’ll need to take it in to a mechanic. Fortunately for you, it’s possible that the problem is simply a clogged carburetor that needs a good cleaning, which you can do yourself with some time and effort. Check out the instructions below to learn how to remove and clean your carb.

Note that in situations like these, it’s a good idea to check your owner’s manual for advice and recommendations. Be sure to comply with the information you find there, as it’s likely that it will be better calibrated to your specific vehicle or equipment.

Also note that there are many kinds of carburetors, which makes it difficult to create blanket instructions that apply absolutely everywhere. These steps are meant as guidelines, and you may have to make some adaptations for your carburetor type.


To complete this project, you’ll want to gather the following:

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wire brush
  • Wrench or socket set
  • Carb cleaner
  • Compressed air
  • Chemical dip (optional)
  • Gasket set or carb rebuild kit (optional but recommended)
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Thin wire
  • Old toothbrush


Be safe while you’re completing this project. This means taking steps like wearing the recommended protective equipment and working in a well-ventilated area since you’ll be working with various chemicals. 2 Saving time and money by DIY’ing is great, but it shouldn’t be done at the cost of your health or safety.


Remove your carburetor from your vehicle or equipment.

Before you start disassembling, take some time to note where everything goes so you won’t be struggling to replace any parts. Taking a picture before doing anything might be a good idea depending on how comfortable you are with relying on your memory.

To start taking out your carb, you’ll want to first turn off your fuel valve. Then find the fuel line on your carburetor and disconnect the hose. (If you find that this hose is cracked, it’s time to replace it.) Also disconnect the overflow hose coming out of your carburetor. 1

Remove any screws and clamps attaching your carb to the engine block so that you can completely pull the carb out. 1 You may want to use a rag to plug the hole left behind to prevent debris or small items from falling in. 2

If there’s any fuel left in your carb, drain it out. 2, 3

steps, remove, clean, your, carburetor, cleaning

Remove the carburetor float.

There are two parts to this. First is the float bowl, which you’ll need to unscrew and take off. There may be a gasket in there—if you’re planning on replacing the gasket, no worries, but if not, take care that you don’t tear the gasket. If you see gunk inside the bowl, you’ll want to clean it, but you can save that until a bit later if you want. With the float bowl off, the actual float should be exposed. There will be a hinge pin holding it in place that you’ll want to remove using a needle nose pliers before taking out the float. 1, 3

Take out the jets.

Your carb has two jets, which are tiny channels that help deliver a mix of fuel and air into the engine.

The wider jet you’ll see is the main jet. Remove this with your flathead screwdriver. Hold it up to the light to see if there are any clogs. 1, 3

If you do see obstructions, set it aside to be cleaned. Do the same for the needle jet underneath the main jet. Then repeat these steps for your pilot jet if it’s removeable, especially since it’s the smallest passage in your carb and the first to get clogged if fuel goes bad. 3

The ROP Shop Carburetor Kit with Gaskets, O-Ring, Seal, Needle Valve, Pin, Cap, Screw, Spring Filters for Briggs Stratton 696146

The ROP Shop Carburetor Rebuild Kit with Needle, Seat, Gaskets, O-Rings Hardware for Evinrude 390055

Take out mix and idle screws.

For your mix screw (also called the air screw), before removing it, tighten it and note how many turns it takes to be fully tightened. Then you can unscrew it. Watch for a spring, O-ring, and washer that sometimes come with these screws. 3

Clean everything.

With the above components of your carb removed, it’s time to give everything a cleaning.

Before beginning, double-check to make sure all gaskets and O-rings have been removed, and be sure to follow instructions for the cleaners you purchased. 1 Now is also the time to don that protective gear.

If you opted to buy a chemical dip, you can place your carburetor parts in it to soak. Alternatively, you can spray carb cleaner throughout the various channels in your carb (such as the spots where the jets, float pin, and air and idle screws were). Also spray cleaner through any dirty jets. 1, 3

For the exterior, if you didn’t soak it, you can use carb cleaner spray and an old toothbrush or a wire brush to remove grime. 3

Don’t forget to clean your float bowl if you didn’t earlier. You can use the same spray and toothbrush method you used for the exterior. 3

For the jets, you may need to use a wire to thoroughly clear them out. However, be sure to use a wire made out of a material that is softer than the material your jets are made from (usually brass). 3

Don’t get any carb cleaner on plastic parts or rubber seals. 3

Use compressed air to remove any extra debris and dry your components. 1, 3

Reassemble your carb.

Replace the parts that you removed in reverse order. 1

When replacing your air screw, tighten it completely and then loosen it the number of turns it took you to tighten it earlier. 3

As you’re reinstalling components, you may want to replace various seals and gaskets—this is the simplest way to “rebuild” your carburetor. 2

Reinstall your carburetor (and take care of it from now on).

There you have it! You’ve successfully cleaned your carburetor and hopefully solved your engine woes. However, you could experience the same problems going forward if you don’t invest in some preventative measures. First, replace the fuel in your tank so that your carburetor will have fresh fuel running through it. 1 You may also want to use a fuel stabilizer to keep your fuel good for longer and prevent clogs. 3

Got questions on any of these steps, or are you still having trouble with your engine? Contact our customer service team!

The ROP Shop Carburetor Rebuild Kit with Gaskets, Needle Valve Kit Solenoid Seat for Kohler 12 757 03-S


How to Sharpen Mower Blades for a Better Lawn

Mowing with dull blades is a recipe for disaster—for your lawn and for your mower. Learn how to spot the signs of blunt blades and how to sharpen them.

How to Find Your Pressure Washer’s Model Number

Your pressure washer model number is your key to finding the correct right replacement parts and accessories, but it’s not always the easiest to find. Learn how to locate yours here.

If you’re not getting the performance you want out of your mower, it might be because the deck needs to be cleaned. Here’s why and how to do it.


If you’re excited about lawncare season but don’t know where to begin, your friendly experts at The ROP Shop have you covered. Keep reading to get a head start on thick, lush grass this spring!

Best Carburetor Cleaners: Remove Dirt and Improve Engine Performance

Restore your carburetor to like-new condition with our top picks for best carburetor cleaner.

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more

Have you taken a close look at your carburetor lately? Whether your car is a somewhat newer model or has seen many miles and years on the road, you might be surprised at just how much gunk is hiding in and around your carburetor. This central component under the hood may not be as popular or as common as modern fuel injectors, but carbs are still found in plenty of vehicles. Designed to control the flow of fuel as it moves to and through the engine, a carburetor plays a critical role in your car’s operation. And, as a result, it can get pretty dirty.

Dirt, unfortunately, can also cause your carburetor to fail. Over time, and with the flow of fuel, your carb can develop buildup and deposits that keep it from working properly. As a result, your fuel efficiency can drop — along with your engine’s performance. If you’re looking to keep fuel flowing easily and your engine in its best possible shape, try a carb cleaner. We have a selection of the best carburetor cleaners right here to make finding one simple.

WD-40 Specialist Fast-Acting Carb/Throttle Body Parts Cleaner

Aerosolized and applicable to nearly any carburetor, WD-40’s fast-acting carb cleaner uses a solvent formula to break away stubborn carbon contaminants, leaving you with a clean carburetor.

  • Safe for use on unpainted metal parts
  • Suitable for restoration work and modern cars
  • Works fast, even when facing stubborn buildup and dirt

CRC manufactures many potent cleaning solutions and the Carb Choke Cleaner is no exception. An environmentally friendly and fast-acting formula puts this product on the top shelf.

Gumout Jet Spray Carb/Choke Parts Cleaner

If you’re looking to unearth some horsepower beneath all those carbon deposits, the quick-drying formula from Gumout works fast to get your carb clean and back to working efficiently.

  • Effectively dissolves carbon buildup
  • Easy to store, with a replaceable cap
  • Improves both engine performance and fuel efficiency with regular use

Types of Carburetor Cleaner


If you live in California, you won’t have to worry about choosing between chlorinated and non-chlorinated carburetor cleaner because chlorinated variants are banned. This is likely due to the number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contained in chlorinated carburetor cleaners. Unfortunately, these same VOCs are what remove stubborn built-up contaminants found on your carburetor. Chlorinated carburetor cleaners are also non-flammable.


Considered the less-toxic alternative to chlorinated carburetor cleaners, non-chlorinated carb cleaners are more flammable. You should be able to find non-chlorinated carburetor cleaners at most auto parts stores across the nation. Non-chlorinated carburetor cleaner doesn’t dry as fast as chlorinated does, but it is safer to use on plastic components.

Aerosol/Spray Can

Most carburetor cleaners come in the form of a spray can or aerosol can. Unlike many cleaners, carburetor cleaner requires a bit of force to be most effective. It’s not the easiest thing to find a rag that will fit in the small openings of a carburetor, especially when left on the vehicle, so having both the liquid cleaner and the air to propel it makes the entire process more efficient.

Dipping Can

Alternatively, you can also buy dipping cans filled with carburetor cleaner. They’re mostly designed for the auto enthusiast who has a lot of parts to clean. Geared more towards extensive long-term use, dipping cans full of carburetor cleaner soak the part versus spraying the cleaner into the tiny cracks and crevices. Dipping cans are not as popular as aerosol cans but they can be a handy alternative.

Key Features


No one wants to sit and scrub car parts for hours. Isn’t that why we created things like car washes and carburetor cleaner? The best carb cleaners should work quickly so that you can have more fun driving the car rather than cleaning all the individual components. Sometimes fast-acting cleaners need to be a bit potent, but they don’t always have to be.


Carburetor cleaners should also be effective. That doesn’t necessarily equate with fast-acting either. Effective carburetor cleaners remove contaminants the first time around. Depending on how dirty your carburetor is, you may need a few cans to get down to the bare metal, but each of those cans should pull its weight when it comes to removing stubborn contaminants to reveal the clean part beneath.


Carburetor part cleaners are good to have around in case you’re working on a project and don’t feel like running to the auto parts store. For that reason, carburetor cleaners should store well, whether you have to replace a cap or simply store in a climate-controlled area. Having a product that is one-time use only isn’t necessarily efficient or a good investment.

Safe for Most Materials

The best carburetor cleaners shouldn’t destroy the components near where the carb sits or even those within the carb that aren’t necessarily metal. It’s a good idea to keep carburetor cleaners away from painted sections of your vehicle, but the best cleaners make it so you don’t have to worry about that at all. Carburetor cleaners that are safe for most materials make the job much easier as you can FOCUS on more important things.

Best Carburetor Cleaners Reviews Recommendations 2021

WD-40 Specialist Fast-Acting Carb/Throttle Body Parts Cleaner

The popular brand WD-40’s Fast-Acting Carb/Throttle Body Cleaner won our top pick for best carburetor cleaner. If you’re looking for a cleaner carburetor in just a few minutes, this product will make the most of a few minutes’ time. There’s no dipping or scrubbing involved. Best of all, the product comes in a handy spray can with a convenient replaceable lid, so you can keep on cleaning as the days go by.

There are many reasons why we chose WD-40’s carb cleaner as our top pick. Many people get confused and don’t always know the difference between throttle body and carburetor cleaner. With WD-40’s product, you don’t have to know the difference. In fact, you can use it on both types of components with similar results. The aerosol can comes in 13.5-ounce cans, which is more than enough for two or three carburetors/throttle bodies. The product is also fast-acting, so you won’t have to wait around for the parts to come clean.

The only drawback we could find on the WD-40 Fast-Acting Carb/Throttle Body Parts Cleaner was the absence of a straw. The straw allows you to pinpoint the stream of cleaner to achieve better results. However, nearly anyone willing to learn a bit about carb cleaning can use this product with ease.

CRC Carb Choke Cleaner

You’ve probably seen CRC’s products at your local auto parts store. It makes a variety of cleaners, including our value pick for the best carburetor cleaner. This aerosol can of carb cleaner comes with a storing cap in a 12-ounce can. Let’s take a closer look at the value you get when you purchase this product.

For those living in California, CRC is a carburetor cleaner you can easily buy. It’s VOC-compliant and won’t harm any oxygen sensors or catalytic converters it comes into contact with. The fast-acting cleaning action works quickly to remove stubborn contaminants, dissolving them to be easily washed off.

Not having a straw to attach to the nozzle of this product is one of the drawbacks. It’s also important not to use this product around painted areas, and also be careful of other materials besides unpainted metal. The cleaner could potentially damage these components. All the same, you can easily use CRC’s Carb Choke Cleaner.

Gumout Jet Spray Carb/Choke Parts Cleaner

The easiest way to troubleshoot carburetor problems is to first clean the component, and Gumout’s Jet Spray Carb Cleaner gets the job done right. Proven to improve engine performance in terms of horsepower, fuel economy, and rough idling behavior, Gumout’s carb cleaner works quickly so you don’t have to spend all day in the garage.

Gumout made storage easy by fitting their carb cleaner with a replaceable cap that effectively seals the cleaner from escaping over time. The cap won’t get knocked out of place either, seeing as it’s the same shape as the can itself. Gumout’s Jet Spray cleaner begins to work immediately, dissolving carbon deposits before it dries clean moments later. That means you won’t have to scrub or wipe away nasty residue.

Our biggest concern with Gumout’s product is that it may not be safe to use on all types of materials. We suggest trying it on a test piece before going crazy spraying it in the engine bay. That being said, the product is straightforward and should give any carburetor a wake-up call your engine won’t soon forget.

Super Tech Carburetor Cleaner

Super Tech Carburetor Cleaner will help your engine operate smoothly. Designed and formulated to tackle dirt, grime, and all different kinds of deposits, this cleaner will strip away whatever’s causing your engine to act sluggish or less than ideal. It can be used across the entire carburetor, tackling everything from sticky sludge to stuck-on varnish and more. It’ll also clean up the air intakes, PCV valves, automatic choke, and linked parts for well-rounded cleaning capability.

Once you apply this carb cleaner, it gets to work quickly. It dries fast so you can get back on the road in no time. And once it’s finished, it can actually improve your fuel efficiency and eliminate issues like hesitation or rough idling.

Unlike many other carb cleaners, Super Tech’s aerosol is actually California-compliant. It doesn’t include the potentially harmful ingredients banned for sale in California. However, that does mean that this cleaner may not be as harsh or as capable as others that do include extra-powerful ingredients.

RSC Chemical Solutions Gunk Carburetor Parts Cleaner

The RSC Chemical Solutions Gunk Carburetor Parts Cleaner removes carbon, grime deposits, grease, and oil. It has a drip basket inside the 96-ounce can and is ideal for cleaning small engine parts as well as other metal parts found in your garage or shop. The manufacturer notes that it is an environmentally-friendly product that is non-corrosive and non-chlorinated without ozone depleters.

The cleaner has a brightener that creates a factory-like appearance. The basket makes it easy for you to drop the carbs into the can and easily retrieve them, making it ideal for small carburetors. It also works quickly and doesn’t discolor metal.

The biggest complaint about this product is it may get dented and distorted during shipping. Some have complained that the product was leaking when they received it and that it was packed improperly.

Gumout Fuel Injector Cleaner/Carb Cleaner

Gumout’s Fuel Injector Carburetor Cleaner prevents deposits from forming on carburetors, fuel injectors, intake valves, and ports. It’s safe to use on turbocharged and supercharged vehicles and is oxygen sensor safe. The cleaner reduces emissions and will not void a factory warranty.

When you add this product to the gas tank, your engine will run more smoothly. Many users have reported an uptick in fuel economy after using this cleaner. It also improves acceleration and makes the engine idle a little better. Overall, it does an efficient job of maintaining your engine.

There are little to no complaints about this fuel injector and carburetor cleaner. However, it may not fix a rough idle on all vehicles or boost gas mileage for all types of cars.

3M Throttle Plate and Carb Cleaner

The 3M Throttle Plate and Carb Cleaner removes residue and cleans and lubricates carburetor assemblies and the throttle body. It has an ergonomic trigger for more control, and the nozzle design allows you to use the product when the can is upside down. It’s designed to make vehicles run smoother and start more easily.

The product works as described, and according to several users it clears engine codes and increases fuel economy. It’s a great cleaner if you want to fix fuel issues, and it’s a lot less expensive compared to consulting a professional mechanic. You will notice an overall boost in your vehicle’s performance after using this product.

One drawback is that the cleaner contains a high acetone concentration that can Cloud plastic and paint. You need to wear solvent-resistant gloves when using this product if you plan on handling wet parts.

Sea Foam Motor Treatment

Sea Foam Motor Treatment is an aerosol, spray-on carb cleaner that’ll tackle some of the toughest dirt and buildup. A single 16-ounce can of this product will get to work on your fuel injector or carburetor, cleaning up and clearing out passageways, intake valves, and chambers. It can get rid of deposits and restore stronger, more efficient engine performance — and bring back some of the power you’re lost.

Sea Foam’s cleaner works to lubricate for improved performance too. It can lube up upper cylinders, and it can also clean up crankcase oil, liquefying residues and deposits that might be lurking. It’ll even stabilize gas or diesel fuel, which can help better your fuel efficiency. And this cleaner is suitable for use in all motor oils, both conventional and synthetic in their formulas. Just keep in mind that you’ll need a higher concentration of this cleaner if you’re dealing with particularly stubborn residue or dirt; you may need to add more on a more regular basis.


Q: Do modern cars have carburetors?

No. Rather than a carburetor, most modern cars are equipped with a throttle body and fuel injectors. These injectors typically sit above the engine and spray fuel in a predetermined amount. Carburetors, fuel injectors, and throttle bodies are all part of the vehicle’s fuel system and have a hand in fuel efficiency. Rather than carburetor cleaner, modern cars use fuel injector cleaner instead, which goes into the gas tank.

Q: What is the most popular carburetor brand?

Most auto enthusiasts have heard of Holley carburetors. Edelbrock is another well-known brand. There are a number of different carburetor manufacturers out there, each offering its own unique set of good and bad features. No matter what brand carburetor you buy or own, however, each of them will need to be cleaned at some point.

Q: Do I have to take the carburetor out of the car in order to clean it?

No, you don’t necessarily have to. It’s easier to direct the spray of your carburetor cleaner if you do take the carb out of the car, but it’s not a requirement. If you do leave the carburetor in the car, just make sure that you place rags around it to catch any runoff carburetor cleaner.

Q: How often should I clean my carburetor?

Generally speaking, you should clean your carburetor every time you change your oil. For most vehicles, that’s about every 3,000 miles. However, you may want to clean it more often if your car sits for long periods of time. If left alone, the contaminants sitting on the carburetor could potentially damage the metal and cause even more problems.

Q: What symptoms can a dirty carburetor cause?

Dirty carburetors are often the cause of rough idle, decreased horsepower, and any other symptoms relating to an engine that isn’t running as it should. There are a few key components that allow an engine to perform well. These include the correct air-fuel ratio, spark, and timing. Dirty carburetors affect the air-fuel ratio and can cause a number of issues to occur if left unchecked.

Q: Why is there a straw attached to the carburetor cleaner?

This is for using the carburetor cleaner in pinpointed areas where accuracy is necessary. For example, it’s best to use a straw when you’re cleaning the jets of the carburetor because you’ll be able to direct the stream of the cleaner into and through the jet hole easier.

Q: Are throttle body cleaner and carburetor cleaner the same thing?

Only in the fact that they are caustic cleaners, meant to remove carbon buildup. When cleaning the components of your vehicle’s engine, it’s best to always purchase and use the intended cleaner. That is, use throttle body cleaner for throttle bodies and carburetor cleaner for older engines equipped with carburetors.

Q: What other types of engines have carburetors, besides cars and trucks?

Motorcycles, lawn mowers, and even airplanes have carburetors. Many small engines have carburetors because it’s easier to control the flow of fuel than it is with a fuel injection system.

Certified Mower Carb Clean

Final Thoughts

We chose the WD-40 Specialist Fast-Acting Carb/Throttle Body Parts Cleaner as our top pick for best carburetor cleaner because of the fast-acting formula that cuts down on carbon contaminants quickly so you can get back on the road.

The CRC Carb Choke Cleaner is another great alternative if you’re working on a budget.

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

How to Clean a Lawn Mower Carburetor Without Removing It (Yes, It’s Possible)

Removing the carburetor 20-thread bolt using an M10 wrench sounds more like an engineering project than a quick lawn mower repair for a Saturday morning. Carburetors are fairly complex mower parts that annoyingly need attention if you want to keep your lawn mower running smoothly. So, do you have to know a lot about engines and have a tool collection to clean a carburetor? And do you have to remove the carburetor to clean it? Let’s take a look.

Can You Clean a Lawn Mower Carb Without Removing It? (The Short Explanation)

If you’re suffering symptoms of a bad carburetor, you’ve probably come across a lot of people who recommend removing the carburetor to clean it. Even though I say this myself, it’s not the only solution. A carburetor doesn’t need to be stripped down and squeaky clean to work well. So, do you need to remove the carburetor to clean it? No.

There are two methods to cleaning a carburetor while it stays on the lawn mower. The first is a chemical spray clean, and the second is a jet removal clean. So let’s go over how to clean a carburetor without removing it.

Chemical Spray Cleaning

  • Remove the Air Filter Cover
  • Remove the Air Filter
  • Spray the Outside of the Carburetor with Carburetor Cleaner
  • Brush the Outside of the Carburetor with Small Nylon Brush to Remove Dirt Grime
  • Start the Engine
  • Set Engine to Fast Idle
  • Spray Cleaner into Carburetor
  • Run the Engine for Several Minutes to Burn Off Cleaner
  • Replace Air Filter
  • Replace Air Filter Cover
  • Switch Off the Lawn Mower

Jet Removal Cleaning

  • Switch Off the Fuel
  • Remove the Fuel Cup Bolt
  • Remove the Fuel Cup
  • Remove the Jet Retaining Screw
  • Remove the Jet
  • Clean the Jet
  • Replace the Jet
  • Replace the Retaining Screw
  • Replace the Fuel Cup
  • Replace the Fuel Cup Bolt
  • Switch On the Fuel
steps, remove, clean, your, carburetor, cleaning

How to Clean a Lawn Mower Carburetor Without Removing It? (Step By Step)

Now that you have seen how to clean a lawn mower carburetor without removing it let’s take a more detailed look at the steps you’ll need to follow.

Step By Step Carburetor Chemical Spray Cleaning

The first step is to remove the cover from the air filter to gain access to the inside of the carburetor. You may find that your cover is secured with a screw, so you’ll need to grab a screwdriver to remove the fastener.

Next, remove the air filter from within the filter housing and set it to one side. If your lawn mower has two filters, you’ll need to remove both of them, including the air filter and pre-filter.

Now, grab your carburetor cleaner and give the outside of the carburetor a good spray. Try to get the cleaner into all the nooks and crannies so that it really gets to work on all the dirt.

Next, use a small nylon brush and start working off all the dirt and grime. I like to use an old toothbrush for this part of the cleaning. Also, don’t be tempted to use any type of metal brush as the carburetor is made of a soft alloy that is pretty delicate. A toothbrush should work just fine.

Once you are happy with the outside of the carb, you can go ahead and start the lawn mower’s engine and set the throttle to a fast idle.

With the engine running, use the same cleaner and give the inside of the carburetor a good spray. A couple of seconds should be enough. Just make sure that you don’t stall the engine. Once the engine has burned off all the cleaner, give the carburetor another spray inside. I like to repeat this a couple of times to make sure it’s getting a good thorough clean.

Next, allow the lawn mower to run for a few minutes after you believe the engine has burned off all the cleaner. This allows any of the cleaner sticking around to burn off completely.

The last job is to reinstall the air filter and replace the air filter cover. If you had to remove a screw for the cover, remember to screw it back in. Also, this is the perfect time to inspect the air filter and make sure it’s not soaking in oil or worn out. You could even clean the air filter before putting them back in.

Finally, switch off the lawn mower or head out and tackle your lawn.

Tools Parts to Spray Clean Your Carburetor

steps, remove, clean, your, carburetor, cleaning

Step By Step Carburetor Jet Cleaning

The first job is to switch off the lawn mower’s fuel if you have a cut-off valve. This will save any unnecessary fuel spillage.

So, start by removing the bolt on the bottom of the carburetor located at the center of the fuel cup. You’ll need a small wrench for this. Now, for some of you guys, this bolt is the actual jet. This means you can skip the next steps until we get to the cleaning part. For you guys that don’t have this type of carburetor, keep following along.

Next, once you have removed the bolt, you should be able to pull the fuel cup off the carburetor. Just be a bit careful, as the cup will probably be full of gasoline.

Now, located where the fuel cup bolt would connect to the inside of the carburetor, you’ll find a screw. Take a screwdriver and remove this retaining screw. Once you take this screw out, the jet should fall out. Some lawn mowers incorporate the jet into the screw, so just take a close look.

Next, it’s cleaning time. So, if you take a look at the jet, you should see a clear hole all the way through it. I find holding it up to the light helps. What you are going to need to do is remove any dirt that is clogging the hole. I find that a thin wire works well enough. Once you have it cleaned out, you can give it a spray of your carb cleaner and wipe off any grime.

Finally, it’s time to put the few bits back on the mower. So the order is the jet, screw, fuel cup, and finally, the bolt. For you guys with just the bolt/jet, pop it back into the mower and tighten it up with your small wrench.

That’s all there is to it. It’s pretty straightforward and takes no time at all. Just don’t forget to turn the fuel back on.

Tools Parts for Carburetor Jet Cleaning

Cleaning a Mower’s Carb: To Remove or To Not Remove

So, we have discussed how to clean a lawn mower carburetor without removing it, but will this solve all your carburetor issues? Well, it depends. You’re going to find that spraying the cleaner directly into the carburetor is going to cure problems from fuel impurities, fuel gum, and bad fuel in your mower. However, a clog in the carburetor jet needs a bit more work, like my jet cleaning method. Also, you’re going to find that some lawn mowers don’t offer enough room to remove the carburetor jet. This means the carb is going to have to come off.

So, if you have a lawn mower like a Yard Machine with a Briggs Statton engine, you’ll probably have to remove the carb, but give the chemical spray a try first.

About Tom Greene

I’ve always had a keen interest in lawn care as long as I can remember. Friends used to call me the “lawn mower guru” (hence the site name), but I’m anything but. I just enjoy cutting my lawn and spending time outdoors. I also love the well-deserved doughnuts and coffee afterward!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Copyright © 2010. 2022 LawnMowerGuru.com, All Rights Reserved.

Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. You can learn more about this here.

How To Locate and Clean The Carburetor On A Lawn Mower? | A Beginners Guide

Like a car engine, the carburetor on a lawn mower helps the engine run. It ensures that a proper mix of gas and air enters the engine cylinder to allow for proper combustion, increasing overall fuel efficiency. In addition to overtime wear and tear, the carburetor of a lawn mower is also prone to damage from the lawn debris that can clog up the air filters, thus limiting the carburetor and lawn mower’s function. In this article, find out where is the carburetor on a lawn mower.

Keeping the carburetor of your lawn mower clean, well-maintained and in good shape is very important. It is a great way to save yourself some money, increase the lifetime of your mower and avoid unnecessary headaches and hassles down the road.

However, mower engines are quite compact, and most people often find it very difficult to locate various engine components, especially the carburetor.

Generally, the carburetor of a lawn mower is located behind the air filters, and it is often blocked from the view. So, you can start by looking for a square-shaped or circular filter housing. This filter housing usually contains a foam or paper filter. In addition to that, you can also locate the carburetor by tracing the fuel pipeline coming from the gas tank of your mower.

That said, lawn mowers come in a range of shapes and sizes. Depending on the lawn mower you have and its manufacturer, the location of the carburetor can vary.

So, you will need to understand a lot more about mower carburetors before you can precisely locate them, and we are here to help. So, let’s get started!

Lawn Mower Carburetor 101

Before we get into locating and fixing the carburetor of a lawn mower, it is important to understand what a carburetor is, how it works, what it looks like and why taking care of a lawn mower carburetor is essential.

What Is A Lawn Mower Carburetor?

The carburetor is an essential part of a gasoline-powered lawn mower’s engine. It regulates the flow of fuel from the gasoline tank and air from the environment in a correct combination. However, unlike the carburetor system used in a vehicle, the carburetor of a lawn mower is generally placed in a horizontal position.

In addition to that, the carburetor of a lawn mower also does not have any throttle butterflies. The carburetor is the lungs of a lawn mower, and it is a complex device with multiple connections. These connections typically include air lines, fuel lines and exhaust lines.

What Does A Carburetor Do In A Lawn Mower?

You might already know that any gasoline-powered engine burns fuel to generate power. However, what you might not know is that the fuel must be mixed in a correct ratio with air to yield maximum energy and fuel efficiency.

This is where the carburetor comes in; the carburetor of a lawn mower determines how long the engine has been running, the speed at which the mower is moving, the type of train that you are crossing and then adjust the balance of fuel and air accordingly.

If the carburetor of a lawn mower is not working correctly, the engine of the mower can still run; however, the fuel efficiency and engine power will be significantly reduced.

How Does A Lawn Mower Carburetor Work?

The carburetor of a lawn mower has two chambers. One chamber is known as the carburetor’s bowl, which stores fuel that will be injected into the second chamber, known as the combustion chamber.

As you might have already guessed by now, fuel mixes with air and burns in the combustion chamber.

A float pin in the carburetor’s bowl regulates the amount of fuel that enters the combustion chamber. In the combustion chamber, a spark plug ignites the air and fuel mixture, which produces thrust that, in turn, pushes the piston of the mower’s engine.

The piston then rotates the crankshaft, and this is how the blades on a mower spin.

What Does A Carburetor On A Lawn Mower Looks Like?

The carburetor of most lawn mowers looks very similar. Usually, it is a medium-sized metal component with springs and levers.

Carburetor can be rectangular, round or bowl-shaped. If you hold a carburetor in your hand, you will notice that it has two main openings. One opening is for air intake, and the other is for the exit when.

However, not all lawn mower carburetors look similar. For example, carburetors are now available in the market that are made of plastic, and some of the latest lawn mowers are using them.

Also, the fuel bowl on these plastic carburetors is not as pronounced as the conventional gas bowls in the older models of the lawn mowers.

Where Is The Carburetor Located On A Lawn Mower?

The carburetor of a lawn mower is typically hidden from the view. It is typically present inside or behind an air filter which in some cases has a hood on top. over, the location of the carburetor varies depending on the type of lawn mower and its manufacturer.

However, if you know what you are looking for, finding the carburetor of a lawn mower is not difficult. You can locate the carburetor by simply tracing the air filter or the fuel lines. Here’s a complete guide on how to locate the carburetor of a lawn mower:

Park The Lawn Mower

Park the lawn mower in a comfortable, preferably flat spot so that you do not risk accidentally rolling over the lawn mower. Also, ensure that the ignition is turned off and the engine is cool so that you do not risk burning yourself in the process.

Remove The Engine Hood

As already stated, not all lawn mowers will have engine hoods. It is usually the riding lawn mowers that come with an installed engine hood. So, if your lawn does not have a hood, you can skip this step. The hood is used to protect the engine.

You will have to remove the engine hood to reach the mower’s carburetor. The hood is usually attached to the mower’s body by hood latches. Just release the hood latches on both sides, and you will be able to see all parts of the engine.

Locate The Air Filter

The carburetor of a lawn mower is usually located beneath or behind the air filter. So, you will have to first locate the air filter of your lawn mower, which is often encased in a filter housing.

Depending on the shape of the carburetor, the housing of the air filter can be square or round. The air filter housing is usually located on the side or top of the mower’s engine, and it has slits or holes in it for air intake.

The filter housing is usually attached to the carburetor by screws or fasteners that hold the filter in its place. The filter is usually made up of paper or foam.

The function of the air filter is to prevent dust and lawn debris from entering the carburetor. All in all, finding the filter housing is the key to finding the carburetor of the lawn.

Locate The Gas Tank

Another way of locating the carburetor of a lawn is to trace the gas tank and fuel lines of the mower. For most lawn mowers, locating the gas tank is an easy task.

It is the place where you add gasoline. However, there are some lawn mowers on the market that, just like cars, have the filling cap and gas tank in a different location.

Some lawn mowers also have their gas tank covered. Nonetheless, a gas tank is very easy to locate due to its characteristic shape.

If you can locate the filling cap, you can quickly locate the gas tank by tracing a fuel line to it. From there, it would be straightforward to locate the carburetor of your lawn mower.

The carburetor is usually located next to the fuel tank at some height below it.

Pinpoint The Mower Carburetor

Once you have located both the air filter and the gas tank of your lawn mower, locating the carburetor is easy.

A carburetor is a metal object underneath, beneath, or behind the air filter with springs and levers. These springs and levers regulate the flow of air and fuel into the carburetor for efficient combustion.

If you look closely, you can clearly see that the carburetor has two large holes in it. One of these holes is from where the air enters the combustion chamber of the carburetor.

In the combustion chamber, it is mixed with fuel and then ignited. Due to ignition, the temperature rises, air expands, and it is forcibly ejected through the second hole.

Also, the carburetor of a lawn mower is usually black, lies in the center of the main body and has connections with nearly every essential part of the mower.

However, not all lawn mowers have the same-looking carburetor. The size and shape of the carburetor varies greatly with mower types and mower manufacturers, as described below.

Carburetors On Walk-Behind Mowers

Walk-behind mowers usually come in four different variations. Depending on your needs and requirements, one type might work better for you than the others.

Below we have described the different types of walk-behind mowers and their uses. Following that, we will discuss how you can locate the carburetor of a walk-behind mower.

Electric Walk Mower

As apparent by the name, an electric walk mower runs on electricity. It will not have a carburetor as it runs on an electric motor. Such mowers are suitable for small properties.

Self-Propelled Mower

When you have a large lawn or a big area to mow, self-propelled mowers come in handy. Self-propelled mowers come in two variations: 1) Front-wheel drive and 2) Rear wheel drive. Front-wheel drive lawn mowers are suitable for lawns that are even or flat.

Whereas rear-wheel drive lawn mowers are suitable for lawns with a slope or a lawn located on a sidehill. Nonetheless, both lawn mowers are great for mowing large areas.

How To Locate The Carburetor On A Walk-Behind Lawn Mower?

For most walk-behind lawn mowers, you will find the carburetor on one side of the main body. It is located near the base of the lawn mower. Once again, tracing the air filter and fuel lines is the key to locating the carburetor of a lawn mower.

However, if you are having trouble finding the carburetor of your walk-behind lawn mower, we suggest that you look for the round or square filter housing. It is usually located on the side in walk-behind mowers, though sometimes it might be on the top.

The manufacturers usually make it easy to locate and remove the filter housing so that lawn owners can easily swap filters independently. Once you have located the filter housing, you can pop it open to access the lawn mower’s air filter.

There might be a few screws, latches or bolts holding the filter housing above the carburetor in its place. Ensure that you do not lose the screw or bolts when removing the housing.

Carburetors On Riding Mowers

If you have a very large turf or need to mow a very large area such as a sports field turf, walk-behind mowers just do not cut it.

For such situations, you will need a riding lawn mower. It is more powerful than a walk-behind mower, and you can sit on top of the machine while mowing for easy maneuvering and movement.

Like walk-behind lawn mowers, riding lawn mowers also come in multiple variations. We have described different types of riding mowers in the text below.

Lawnmower service. Step by step / Including carburetor cleaning (HONDA)

Make sure that you know which type of riding mower you have so you can refer to the correct part of this article:

Zero Turn Radius Mower

A zero-turn radius mower has a turning radius that is effectively zero. It can literally turn on a dime and is known for its speed and maneuverability.

Lawn Tractor

A lawn tractor mower has its cutting deck located in the middle of the body. They usually have more power than the other types of riding mowers. Therefore, they are very suitable for mowing large expanses of land.

Rear Engine Riding Mower

It is the smallest of all riding mowers. Unlike the lawn tractor, it has its cutting deck located in the front, making moving around much more effortless. However, it is not as powerful as a lawn tractor due to its small size.

How To Locate The Carburetor On A Riding Lawn Mower?

Identifying and locating the carburetor is generally difficult in riding lawn mowers compared to walk-behind lawn mowers.

It is because riding lawn mowers are larger and more complicated. However, just like walk-behind lawn mowers, the carburetor of a riding lawn mower is located near the engine.

So, once again, you will have to locate the filter housing and the fuel lines of your riding lawn mower to reach the carburetor.

To do this, we highly recommend that you use the manual that came along with the mower to avoid any issues.

If you cannot make any sense of the things mentioned in the manual, a quick search on Google or YouTube can find you an article or video that can help you through the process of locating the carburetor on your lawn mower.

If you are still in doubt or do not want to risk opening the lawn mower on your own, you can always hire a professional to look at your lawn mower.

Do I Need To Clean The Carburetor On My Lawn Mower?

Other than regular wear and tear, the carburetor of a lawn mower is also prone to damage from the lawn debris.

Therefore, the carburetor of the lawn mower needs to be kept clean and in good shape. It directly supports the mower engine in its function, and without it, the lawn mower will eventually stop working altogether.

In many cases, when the lawn mower is not working correctly, the issue is nothing more than a clogged or dirty carburetor.

And if you just clean the carburetor of your lawn in such instances, it will start working again. Below is a list of some issues that result as a result of dirty or clogged lawn mower carburetor:

  • Engine stalling while you are mowing the grass.
  • Black smoke is coming out of the lawn mower’s muffler.
  • Difficulty in starting the lawn mower.
  • The engine is running turbulently or sputtering during mowing.
  • Fuel efficiency decreases over time.
  • Mower starting with a jump or shutting down while mowing.
  • Engine overheating during the mowing.

If you have any of the issues mentioned above, chances are it is due to a dirty or clogged carburetor. So, you will need to clean it and here is how you can do it:

How To Clean A Carburetor On A Lawn Mower?

The first thing you need to do while cleaning the carburetor of your mower is to remove it from the mower’s main body. And, Please note that the below-mentioned instructions are only meant to be used as a general guideline. Refer to your lawn mower’s manual for the exact process of removing and cleaning the carburetor.

Removing The Carburetor

  • Before cleaning the carburetor, it must be entirely removed from the lawn mower.
  • Remove the engine cover if it is required.
  • Remove the air filter housing and then the filters.
  • Turn off the gasoline if possible. If not, make a crimp in the gasoline line.
  • Remove the fuel line from the carburetor and be prepared for some spilling.
  • If gasoline falls on the mower, clean it with a rag.
  • Disconnect the carburetor’s choke and throttle links.
  • Remove the carburetor from the mounting nuts with a sliding motion.
  • Release the carburetor bowl, if needed, by unthreading the screws.
  • This will release the carburetor bowl.
  • Finally, remove the float pin to release the fuel float inside the carburetor.

Once you have taken out the carburetor from the main body of your lawn mower, you can move towards cleaning it. Here’s how to do it:

Cleaning The Carburetor

  • In order to completely take out the carburetor of your lawn mower, you will probably have to unscrew the nuts and bolts all around it.
  • Once you have done that, you will need to remove the gaskets, diaphragm and the metering plate attached to the carburetor.
  • To properly clean the carburetor, ensure that the carburetor intake and outlet ports are fully exposed. Then, use a carburetor cleaner spray to clean it thoroughly.
  • If there is a carburetor bowl, make sure that you clean it as well.
  • If there are any signs of rust on the carburetor, use sandpaper to clean the rust.
  • Following that, allow the carburetor to dry in the open air.
  • Once the carburetor is dry, put all the parts together and ensure that everything is in its proper place and you have not missed anything.
  • Put the carburetor bowl in its place, if needed and use a sliding motion once again to reinstall the carburetor in its original place.
  • Tighten up the bolts and nuts holding the carburetor in its place.
  • Reattach fuel lines as well as carburetor throttle links and choke.
  • Also, clean the air filter and its housing and reinstall it in its place.
  • If there is an engine hood, place it back in its place and you are done. Congrats!

How Do You Fix A Lawn Mower Carburetor?

Sometimes the issue with a faulty lawn mower is not a dirty carburetor but a carburetor that needs to be fixed.

So, if your lawn mower is not working even after cleaning the carburetor, there is an issue with the carburetor or any other part of the engine.

If you are sure that the problem is with the carburetor, you have three options to fix it.

  • The first option you have is to get a carburetor repair kit. These kits are readily available, and they are inexpensive. For example, you can easily find a mower carburetor repair kit for about 20 or 30 US dollars on amazon.
  • If you think that the carburetor on your lawn mower is beyond repair, do not worry. Carburetor replacements are readily available online and in hardware stores. A typical carburetor replacement can cost anywhere between 50 and 100.
  • If you do not want to go through the hassle of fixing the carburetor on your own, you can take it to a professional, and they can fix it for you. The cost will vary depending on the work done and labor cost in your area.

Conclusion | Lawn Mower Carburetor

A lawn mower is a necessary piece of equipment when it comes to lawn care. However, what most people do not understand is that you have to properly take care of your lawn mower to keep it going and increase its life.

And keeping the carburetor of your mower clean and in good shape is vital to lawn mower maintenance.

That is why you should at least clean the carburetor on your mower two to three times a year; however, depending on the use, you might need to clean it more often.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I know if my lawn mower carburetor is bad?

If the lawn mower has trouble starting or starts with a jump, overheats or stops working during the mowing, releases black smoke or increases fuel consumption, there is a big chance that the carburetor on your mower needs to be cleaned or fixed.

Can you use wd40 to clean a carburetor on a mower?

Yes, you can if you do not have the carburetor cleaner spray. However, we highly recommend that you use a specific carburetor cleaner spray.

What causes a lawn mower to start and then die?

If you are facing a situation in which your lawn mower starts and then quickly dies, there is a high chance that its carburetor needs cleaning or some sort of repairs.

Where do you spray carburetor cleaner on a lawn mower?

You need to spray the carburetor cleaner right in the middle of the carburetor. We suggest that you do it in pulses which is a much more effective approach to removing the debris.

How often should a carburetor be cleaned?

In general, you should at least clean the carburetor of your lawn mower at least two to three times a year. However, depending on the use, this frequency might need to increase.