How to Clean a Lawn Mower Carburetor?

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A clogged or corroded carburetor can dramatically affect the performance of your lawn mower engine. If you discover that your engine isn’t working as it should, the first point of call will be to check out the state of the engine carburetor.

The carburetor functions to regulate the flow of air and gasoline to the engine cylinders by creating a highly combustible mixture that regulates engine speed and function.

It is an intricate part of the engine system that must be taken proper care of.

To boost the efficiency and extend its lifespan you must practice regular cleaning and maintenance.

Thoroughly cleaning the carburetor will ensure you have a smooth ride and operation around your garden or lawn. If you are very careful to keep this component clean, you will experience less stalling.

Fortunately, cleaning and adjusting the carburetor is an easy task that can be undertaken in no time. Let’s jump right in.

First and Foremost: Access the Situation

First and Foremost: Access the Situation
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Read more: How to Remove a Stuck Lawn Mower Wheel?

Access the Fuel Lines

You need to be sure the carburetor is indeed the causative part in the engine before you can take calculative steps to resolve the situation.

Using a lubricant dedicated for cleaning the carburetor, pour a short burst within it before attempting to start the engine. If you are able to start up the engine it means the problem is related to fuel rather than the engine itself.

Remove the fuel pipe connecting the carburetor to the engine. Fuel ought to leak out from both ends, if not, it means your fuel line or filter is jammed or clogged. In this case, clean up or replace the filter.

Access the Carburetor

Lawn mower carburetors are usually attached to the engine with bolts. Use the proper sized socket wrench to remove these bolts placing it in a disposable bag to capture fuel leaks.

Once you have unscrewed the carburetor, inspect it properly for signs of corrosion or clogging.

How to Cleaning the Carburetor?

How to Cleaning the Carburetor
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Cleaning the  carburetor undergoes several rigorous steps to ensure its smooth functioning so that it can be used every now and then when required. There are various steps of cleaning the carburetor which are mentioned below as follows:

1. Check the Air Filter

Inspect the air filter to ensure that there is unobstructed flow of air to the carburetor region.  A clogged air filter will be full of debris and is a common cause of black smoke from the exhaust pipes.

2. Access the Connections

Check the connections that fasten the carburetor to the engine to see if they have been fastened in place. Over time, because of regular usage these connectors can loosen up hereby affecting carburetor function.

3. Using the Carburetor Cleaner

Debris inside the carburetor can hinder the smooth flow of air and fuel to the engine. This will entirely reduce the performance of the engine. Fortunately, there are carburetor cleaners or lubricants that can be used to clean out the carburetor without having to remove it from the engine.

The lubricants come in ergonomically designed spray cans and jets that help users clean inside and outside of carburetors without removing it.

For a more effective clean, completely remove the carburetor from the engine playing close attention to how all the parts fit in so that you can reassemble it quickly. Once you have dismantled the carburetor, place all the pieces in a container filled with carburetor cleaner.

4. Use Compressed Air to Dry

Allow to soak for up to an hour for effective cleaning of the parts. Next, rinse the parts with water and dry them under compressed air. Before reassembling the carburetor parts, ensure that you have completely air dried the parts.

5. Clean With a Soft Clothe

Use a soft clean rag to gently wipe the inside of the bowl of the carburetor till it is completely clear of any debris or water. Any gas, dirt or water that might still be lurking inside will be completely removed.

Ensure you wipe gently because the carburetor cylinder is made of aluminum. Applying too much pressure can deform or distort the orientation of the carburetor cylinder.

6. Reassemble the Carburetor

Time to fit back the major component of the carburetor. If need be, replace all the nuts and bolts to ensure it is fitted properly to the engine deck.

7. Start Up the Engine

Turn on the fuel and pull the starter cord to start up the engine. If all you did went well, it should start without any hassles. If it doesn’t start up or doesn’t work smoothly then the fuel line is still clogged or there is improper gas mixture at the carburetor.

8. Contact Your Local Dealer

If you continue to experience problems with your carburetor contact a local dealer or technician for a professional fix.

Safety Tips

  • One of the major jobs of a carburetor is to form a homogeneous mix of highly combustible fuel sent to the engine. If you are to clean this delicate part, ensure there is no inflammable substance around.
  • Employ the use of safety goggles throughout the cleaning process to protect your eyes from toxic chemicals and vaporized hydrocarbons.
  • Carry out the cleaning in an open space where there is plenty of air and regular ventilation. The constant airflow will dissipate concentrated emissions from the cleaning agents.

Tools and Materials

Cleaning the carburetor of a lawn mower is a daunting task. But if you have the right tools and materials, you can crack the job effortlessly in no time. So here is the list of tools you must keep getting to clean the carburetor of your lawn mower.

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Socket set 
  • Nut driver
  • Carburetor cleaner 
  • Gloves

Before You Begin

A clogged carburetor is a reason behind your lawn mower not starting. However, there could be other factors that pose such issues. So, before you begin cleaning the carburetor of your lawn mower, you must check for the proper functioning of other parts.

An empty fuel tank or a closed fuel valve may also result in a stuck lawn mower. Moreover, a defective spark plug may prevent the engine from starting. Hence, ensuring the fuel tank is full and filled with the right fuel is necessary.

Also, you must open the fuel valve and check if the spark plug is functioning well. If this exists in the spark plug, spraying aerosol lubricant or carburetor cleaner may go in vain. If you want to ensure the problem lies in the fuel system, you can start the lawn mower after spraying the carburetor cleaner. If the problem persists, you must repair the fuel system.


Where to find the air filter housing in the carburetor?

You can find the air filter on the top of the carburetor.

Is a dirty carburetor the only reason behind my lawn mower not starting?

There could be other reasons, such as an empty fuel tank, wrong fuel, a defective spark plug, and a closed fuel valve.

What precautions to take while disassembling the carburetor?

You must keep the carburetor parts safe and remember which part fits where. If any   part goes missing, your carburetor will not function properly.

How to ensure good health for a lawn mower?

You can ensure the good health of your lawn mower by changing the oil regularly, cleaning the carburetor at regular intervals, winterizing the lawn mower when the mowing season ends, replacing defective spark plugs, etc.

What can we use to clean the carburetor?

You can get commercial carburetor cleaners and spray them on the carburetor’s throat.


Mowing a lawn can be a daunting task. Over that, a lawn mower not starting when needed can be a day spoiler. While there are various reasons behind your lawn mower not starting, a dirty carburetor is quite common among them. Hence, you can tackle this issue by following these simple steps to clean a lawn mower carburetor and get going with your lawn day.

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