Lawn Mower Carburetor: When and How to Clean
Few pieces of home maintenance equipment work as hard as your lawnmower. Despite its rough-and-tumble life, though, many lawnmowers don’t get the care and attention they need.
This is especially true when it comes to the lawnmower’s carburetor. Your lawnmower’s carburetor is a critical component for functionality and will be the thing that determines whether your lawnmower works for years or conks out early.
With that in mind, learning to clean your lawn mower carburetor is a critical part of preventative maintenance. Here’s what you need to know.
When Should you Inspect and Clean a Lawnmower Carb?
While the exact recommendations for this vary from household to household, most experts say you should check and clean a lawnmower carb at least a few times a year.
The reason for this is simple: as you use your lawnmower, the grass, twigs, and debris the blade kicks up make their way into the small engine. Some of that debris eventually wind up inside of the carburetor – clogging fuel and air passages and reducing the performance of the mower’s engine.
4 Steps to Clean a Carburetor
Here are four steps to follow to clean your carb quickly and easily:
1. Start by Checking Your Air Filter
The first step in cleaning the carburetor is to check the air filter to ensure it’s free of debris. A clogged air filter will create black smoke that spills from the exhaust. It will also make it difficult for your carb to get the air it needs to “breathe.”
2. Check all Connections
Next, it’s time to check the connections that run from a carburetor’s throttle and choke plates, since these things can stick when they get dirty.
Additionally, constant vibration and wear can loosen screws over time, contributing to strange handling and additional carb issues.
3. Use Carburetor Cleaner
Next, it’s time to pick up a carburetor cleaner to get rid of the deposits within the carb, which can clog both air and fuel passages and interrupt the performance.
Fortunately, you can generally do this without even taking the carburetor out of the engine. Start by purchasing some commercial lawnmower carburetor cleaner, which comes in a simple spray can and will make it easy to clean the inside and outside of the carb.
After you’ve coated the surfaces of the carb with this cleaner, give the lawnmower a once-over for other maintenance issues, like stale fuel, bad air filters, old spark plugs, dirty engine oil, and more.
4. Check Settings
Now it’s time to check the settings on your carburetor to see if anything should be adjusted or updated.
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, take your carburetor to a local repair service, which can help you identify issues and ensure you’re running your carb as efficiently as possible. This professional will also be able to help you understand why you shouldn’t drain the fuel and how best to care for your lawnmower in the future.
Keeping Your Carburetor Clean and Healthy
A critical piece of your engine’s functionality, the carburetor keeps your lawnmower running strong and functioning well. When you understand how to clean your lawnmower carburetor, you can keep your lawnmower in great shape for years to come, no matter how hard you use it.