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How to Clean a Carburetor on a Lawn Mower (Step-by-Step Guide)

You know, one of the very few loyal pieces of technology is a lawnmower. The little tool helps us get rid of all unwanted grass and operates for a good decade if you take proper care. So, where does it get all of this endurance from? The answer is a carburetor.

A carburetor is a simple device inside your lawnmower that mixes air and fuel. But, speaking of a carb, you may encounter a situation where your push lawnmower carburetor becomes dirty. Today, we’ll show you how to clean lawn mower carburetor quickly and safely.

What are the Signs of Bad Carburetor Lawn Mower?

You wouldn’t want to go through the hard work of disassembling your carburetor and realizing it’s not the problem, right? You might have a completely different problem to deal with. Factors such as dirty air filters and dirty spark plugs can also contribute to your lawnmower not working.

Before we jump into how you can clean your carburetor, let’s visit some symptoms that guarantee it needs cleaning.

Dirty Carburetor Symptoms

We’ll list out some symptoms or problems to make sure that your lawn mower carburetor needs a clean up:

  1. You keep pulling the mower string, but the engine has trouble turning on.
  2. Your mower engine stalls for a while after turning on.
  3. You feel the engine is moving roughly while you mow.
  4. You can see black smoke emitting from the lawn mower muffler (the object at your exhaust lowers harsh engine noises).
  5. Your mower uses more fuel than it should during regular mowing sessions.

You can use fresh fuel for your lawnmower or even add a fuel stabilizer if you don’t use it much often. A fuel stabilizer will assist in keeping the fuel intact for an extended period and ensure that your engine does not face any problems. However, if your carburetor is completely clogged, cleaning it is the best option you have.

How to Clean Lawn Mower Carburetor?

Now that we’ve taken a glimpse at the factors to ensure that cleaning a carburetor on a lawn mower is important, let’s explore how you should clean. We’ll go step by step to help simplify and ease the entire process.

Step 1: Precaution

A famous saying states, ‘better be safe than sorry. So, before beginning the disassembly process, make sure that your engine has cooled down. You might even find out that old oil can prove to be highly toxic. This is why you should clean your mower in a well-ventilated area.

If you’re in a room of any kind, open every door, window, and any openings that allow for ventilation. You can also set up a table fan if the room is too small. Of course, the best place to perform this activity would be your backyard. Another important thing you should think about is taking pictures on your phone before and after each step to remember which part goes where.

Step 2: Taking out the Outer Case and Air Filter

This step can be different for all of us. Every mower has a different way to go about when taking it apart. While many open up in a matter of a few screws, others might be a bit more complicated. Try pulling out your mower’s manual if you’re unsure how it should be disassembled.

Once you figure it out, remove the upper covering of your mower. Next, take out the air filter, and you should be able to see the carburetor. Try cleaning the air filter once, too, since dirty air filters also result in malfunctioning of your lawnmower.

Step 3: Unbolting the Carburetor

The carburetor is usually fixed quite tightly on the inside of your lawnmower. However, that’s only true until you unbolt it. So, grab the necessary tools and unbolt your carburetor.

Next, remove fuel from the fuel line while attaching it to the engine. After this, remove the throttle cables and prepare a cloth to catch any fuel leak on the carburetor and fuel line.

Step 4: Remove carburetor bowl

There’s only a single nut that keeps the carburetor bowl in place. So clean around the bowl first with a lawn mower carb cleaner and then unscrew the bowl nut. The nut itself is more of a jetted hole so try picking out any dirt inside it, using something as simple as a wire.

Most often, the reason for carburetors to stop working is due to debris stuck in this hole. However, simply removing any dirt from the hole could fix all problems.

If old enough, a little bit of the gasket can be stuck to the nut, so scrape it off and clean it. Finally, spray some carburetor cleaner on it.

Step 5: Change the Needle

After successfully removing the bowl, you’ll see the float with a pin. Remove the pin and replace the needle in the gasket. Take care while fitting the new needle to the correct position.

Step 6: Clean the entire carburetor

Once you’ve disassembled the entire carb, spray the carburetor cleaner all over it and clean it thoroughly. There are many holes inside of a carburetor that you’ll have to clean too.

Just like in step 4, use a wire or maybe even a paperclip to extract any debris or dirt from them. Ensure to give the entire carburetor a good spray and no more dirt inside any hole.

Step 7: Throw out the old gasket

Once you take apart the carburetor and have it cleaned, consider replacing the old main gasket with a new one. Of course, we’re talking about the gasket which connects the carburetor and the bowl.

There’s nothing too complicated, and replacing it isn’t hard at all. However, if you’ve gone through the trouble of disassembling the entire unit, you should change the gasket to ensure your carburetor works smoothly next time.

Step 8: Reassemble

Remember the pictures we asked you to take earlier? Well, it’s their time to shine now. So use those pictures, reassemble your carburetor unit, and fix it to the engine again.

Once you’ve reassembled the entire mower, add some fuel to the tank and check whether your mower is working or not. If you’ve done all the steps that we’ve mentioned above but still haven’t had your mower fixed, try giving it over to a repair service shop.

How Often to Clean Out Carburetor Lawn Mower?

Lawnmowers can live up to a decade, so how often should we clean their carburetor? A good practice is getting your lawn mower’s carburetor cleaned at least 2-3 times in a year to ensure smooth working. When you use your mower, it is bound to catch up on several amounts of debris in its way, causing dirt to enter the carburetor. Hence, regular cleaning for your push or riding lawn mower carburetor will be a must for the best performance.

Final Verdict

To conclude, the carburetor is one of the essential parts of your mower. If faced with dirtiness, it can cause several problems with your mower performance or cause it not to work at all. If your mower does stop, don’t panic! Carefully go through the steps we’ve mentioned, and there’s a good chance your mower will be back in action soon enough!

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