How to Clean a Carburetor

A carburetor is a part of engine that carefully mixes the proper amount of fuel and air to allow combustion and generate power. The engine would not work without this device. The automatic fuel injector replaced this device during the 1980s. Carburetor is still very common in many small engines, motorcycles and some high performance vehicles.

Carburetor should be kept clean for ensuring its proper running. If not, then its capability to regulate the combustion will be seriously compromised. Air should pass into the inlet housed in the carburetor to mix with gas and fire the engine. Here is how a carburetor can be cleaned.

Materials Needed

  • Vehicle’s manual
  • Carburetor cleaner (spray)
  • Clean rags (lint-free)
  • Can of compressed air

Clean  Carburetor

  • Toothpicks
  • Toothpicks
  • Gloves

Tools Needed

  • Wrench
  • Screw driver


  • The first step is to remove the carburetor from the motor. The best way for removing it will differ depending in the type and age of the vehicle. The vehicle’s manual can be consulted to know how it will be properly removed.
  • When the carburetor is disassembled, lay the parts on one rag. A carburetor has many small parts so they have to be kept together. Using lint-free rags are important so that no material will be left on the carburetor to obstruct its performance. When all the parts are laid down, they would have to be sprayed with the carburetor cleaner.
  • The individual parts of a carburetor have a lot of grooves, nooks and small holes. Inspect each piece and make sure that it is free of debris and gunk build-up. Every hole in the throttle shutter, fuel bowl, flange gasket, etc. should be examined to make sure that they are clean. In case they are not, use toothpicks to remove stubborn substances. Use the same technique for screw grooves.
  • If there are shafts, valves or small holes that are left unclean by the carburetor spray, then position the compressed air can’s straw about four to five inches away from the part and start spraying. If the compressed air can is held too close to the part, then it can leave deposits that can affect the performance of the carburetor.
  • When all the parts have been wiped down, heavy deposits can be found on some that can be easily wiped away. Use carburetor cleanser and soak parts with heavy build up and leave it for overnight. Use a glass bowl that can bear the chemicals. When the parts are soaked for few or more hours, it can be wiped and cleaned with lint-free rag.
  • When each part has been cleaned and dried, the carburetor can be re-assembled and re-installed in the vehicle.


It is important to use proper care while cleaning the carburetor. Use proper equipment, don’t use wires or machine-powered products for cleaning. These equipments might damage the carburetor because carburetor is carefully calibrated to a precise setting.

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