How To Clean A Lawnmower Carburetor Without Removing It

Kellan Jansen
by Kellan Jansen

To ensure that your lawnmower is functioning properly, you need to take good care of each of its parts. Doing so will lengthen the life of your mower and help you get more out of the time you spend using it.

One important part of your maintenance plan should be cleaning your lawn mower’s carburetor. Thankfully, it’s possible to do this without having to remove the carburetor entirely.

To clean the carburetor on a lawnmower without removing it, you first need a clear view of the inside of it; start by inspecting the air filters and the carburetor connections. Keep the engine running and spray start fluid or carb clean spray directly at the center of the carburetor.

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What Does a Carburetor Do?

If you haven’t worked much with engines before, you may be wondering exactly what a carburetor does. Knowing the purpose of this gadget will give you a better understanding of when it isn’t working properly and what might be causing it.

To understand carburetors, we first need a little background on gasoline engines. They need to take in air as they operate so that the fuel they use burns properly. Getting the mixture between air and fuel correct is an important part of any engine’s ability to function.

Carburetors are the engine parts that regulate this. They’re a tube that allows air and fuel into the engine through valves. Carburetors mix these together in different amounts based on the real-time needs of the engine.

Why Do I Need to Clean My Lawn Mower’s Carburetor?

Now that you know what carburetors do, you should understand the important role they play in allowing your lawnmower to function properly. Carburetors lose their ability to perform their role when they are dirty.

Dirty carburetors can block the valves that regulate air and gas intake. This can cause the fuel to overflow into the carburetor. When that happens, your engine’s entire air-to-fuel ratio could get thrown off. It could even get your spark plugs wet.

If your carburetor isn’t functioning properly, then your lawnmower isn’t going to work properly. This, along with the reasons discussed above, is why you need to keep your carburetor clean throughout the lifespan of your mower.

How to Clean a Carburetor on a Lawn Mower Without Removing It

Thankfully, you don’t need to remove your lawn mower’s carburetor entirely to keep it clean. Instead, you can accomplish this without dismantling your mower by following the step-by-step guide below.

Step 1: Expose the Inside of the Carburetor

The first step in this process is to give yourself access to the parts of the carburetor that need to be cleaned. You’re going to want to turn off your mower first and give the engine a chance to cool down.

Once the engine is cool, use a screwdriver to remove the air filter’s cover. After opening that up, remove the carburetor’s exterior cover and linkage. This should give you direct access to the inner-most parts of the carburetor.

Step 2: Spray with Cleaner

After you’ve got access to the interior of your mower’s carburetor, you’re going to want to turn the engine back on. This will ensure that the cleaner you spray makes it to exactly where it’s needed most.

Once the engine is on, place the tip of your spray bottle into the center of the carburetor. Then, spray into it a few times. It’s important that you hold the spray bottle properly so that it penetrates nicely into the carburetor’s throat.

Step 3: Remove Deposits

As you clean your carburetor, you’ll likely notice some oil and dirty deposits. These are typically stuck near the lower throttle of the carburetor. If you find them, you need to remove the deposits as carefully as possible.

Before starting, make sure that your engine is turned off. This will keep you safe as you work to get rid of these deposits.

You can remove the deposits with your hands if you’re able to. Or, you can try to get them out with a cloth and a bit of spray. Either way, make sure that you root the deposits out entirely to ensure they don’t pose an issue to your lawnmower down the line.

Once you’re finished, give the choke shaft a few sprays with your cleaning solution. This is located at the base of the carburetor throat.

Step 4: Replace Your Cover and Linkage

The last thing you need to do is to replace everything that you disassembled earlier. This should be pretty straightforward and will most likely just require a few simple screws to be reinserted.

One thing that’s important to note here is that you need to make sure you put your mower’s air filter back in its proper place. If you don’t, you may end up harming your lawnmowe r more than you’ve just repaired it.

With the importance of this in mind, make sure to use a screwdriver to tighten your air filter into place. This will secure it and ensure that your lawnmower is set up to function properly for the foreseeable future.

Step 5: Test the Mower

Cleaning your carburetor is a process that involves lots of moving parts. You may have inadvertently interfered with some of these parts as you were working.

That’s why it’s important to perform a test of your mower before calling the job complete. You can use a flashlight to check to see if all of the parts you’ve worked with are back in their proper places.

Once you’ve done that, turn on your engine and listen. It should sound completely normal. If you notice something different about the sound, then take a closer look at the parts you interacted with to make sure none of them are off-kilter.

Is Repairing a Broken Carburetor Worth It?

If you’ve already tried cleaning your lawn mower’s carburetor and the machine still isn’t working, you might be thinking about purchasing a new part. However, many types of engine issues aren’t worth repairing in lawnmowers.

Experts say that major types of engine damage aren’t worth repairing due to how much it costs to do so. Issues like broken rods, pistons, and crankshaft damage are more expensive to fix than it would cost to just purchase a new mower.

However, carburetors are one of the few types of lawnmower engine issues that should be fixed. They don’t cost much to replace or repair, meaning it’s worth fixing the problem instead of replacing the mower entirely.

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Related Questions

How much do new lawnmower carburetors cost?

New carburetors are actually fairly inexpensive. Your exact costs will vary based on the model of mower you own. That being said, you can find new carburetors for as little as $50 on some websites.

Is replacing a lawn mower carburetor difficult?

If you haven’t worked much with engines, you may imagine that replacing a carburetor is too challenging for your skillset. However, the process is actually fairly simple and straightforward. You should be able to complete the process in a few short steps as long as you have the right guide to refer to.

How do I know if my carburetor is bad?

There are a few signs you can look for to identify this. Your mower’s carburetor may be bad if the engine doesn’t start, if it’s running lean, running rich, or flooded.

Kellan Jansen
Kellan Jansen

Kellan is a content writer who specializes in everything DIY. When he's not behind the keyboard, he enjoys spending time with his pets, playing music, and geeking out about basketball. He hopes to make your home improvement projects a little bit easier to accomplish.

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