6 Steps to Cleaning Your Carburetor

6 Steps to Cleaning Your Carburetor

cleaning your carburetor

The carburetor is a crucial component of your car’s engine that supplies fuel and air. Essentially, your car’s carburetor is in charge of mixing an appropriate amount of air and fuel to regulate its speed and ensure efficient performance. Any interference with this process can alter the ratio of air and fuel it supplies, which causes your car to become sluggish while becoming less fuel efficient.

Some common signs of a bad carburetor include the following:

  • Black exhaust smoke
  • Idling when you take pressure off the gas pedal
  • Difficulty starting your car
  • Noticeable drop in gas mileage

If you notice any of the signs above, you may be dealing with issues related to your carburetor. Below, we cover valuable tips on how to clean a carburetor to keep it in top shape — and avoid the need for replacing your carburetor. You’ll only need a carburetor cleaner and some other tools to start.

Below, we show you how to use carburetor cleaner to clean your carburetor and share actionable steps that can guide you through the cleaning process.


Everything You Need to Prepare Beforehand

Before you get started on cleaning your car’s carburetor, there are a few things you need to prepare beforehand, namely:

Tools and Materials

Staying organized is right next to efficiency. Prepare the following tools and materials beforehand to ensure a straightforward cleaning process:

  • Flat screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Wire brush
  • Wrench or socket set
  • Carburetor cleaner
  • Throttle body cleaner

The Work Site

Throttle body cleaner and other chemicals can give off harmful fumes that can leave you lightheaded. Ensure you’re working in a well-ventilated space to clear away the fumes in the area. If you’re working inside your garage, ensure the garage door and windows are open to allow sufficient air to flow.

Safety Equipment

To promote a safe environment, wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent injuries or incidents. Wear gloves and goggles to keep your hands and eyes from getting in contact with cleaners. 


How to Clean a Carburetor

Follow these steps below to learn the carburetor cleaning process and how to use carburetor cleaner to simplify this process:

  • Remove the carburetor from the manifold.

You can clean the carburetor while it’s still attached to the engine. However, if you want a deeper clean, then you have to detach it from the manifold. But before you start disassembling anything, take a picture of it with all its attachments so you have something to refer to when putting everything back together.

To remove the carburetor, start by turning off the fuel valve and then disconnecting the hose. Loosen the clamps securing the carburetor to the manifold and pay close attention to any hoses, wires or linkages. Once all of these are detached, carefully remove the carburetor. Drain all the excess fuel that remains.

  • Disassemble the carburetor in proper order.

Taking apart your carburetor must be done in the proper order, starting from the bottom with the carburetor float then followed by the jets. The mix and idle screws are removed last. The steps on how to disassemble each component are shown below:

  • Carburetor Float

Unscrew the four screws on the bottom of the carburetor, slowly removing them as they strip quite easily. Pull off the float bowl while taking special care not to remove the gasket (if you’re not replacing it). Then, remove the float pin using a pair of needle nose pliers to pull it out. 

  • Jets

Remove the wider jet using a flathead screwdriver, then the needle jet underneath it. Hold both jets up to the light to see if there are clogs. If they have any clogs, set them aside for cleaning. 

  • Mix and Idle Screws

Before removing the mix screw, make sure to tighten it first while taking special note of how many turns it takes to fully tighten. This will make it easier to reattach it later on. After doing so, you can unscrew it. Be aware of the spring, O-ring and washer that may also accompany these screws. Lastly, carefully remove the idle screw.

  • Clean the carburetor’s exterior and interior surfaces and components

To begin cleaning all the detached parts, spray carburetor cleaner on the carburetor’s exterior surfaces. Wipe away grime or debris using a clean rag. Then, use a wire brush to clean the individual parts. Meanwhile, the throttle body cleaner is used for the throttle plates and other related components.

  • Soak the disassembled parts in the carburetor cleaner

It may also be beneficial to soak the disassembled parts in carburetor cleaner to remove debris on heavily soiled or clogged components. While soaking in a single batch is more efficient, it can be confusing later, especially if you’re unfamiliar with all the parts.  Make sure each piece soaks for at least 20-30 minutes in the cleaner.

  • Reassemble the carburetor

Once all the parts are clean, it’s time to put everything back together. But put everything back in the opposite order by which they were disassembled. Start with the screws. But when replacing the mix screw, tighten it until it becomes completely tight. At that point, loosen it by turning it by the number of turns it took to tighten earlier.

  • Reinstall the carburetor

Finally, it’s time to reinstall the carburetor. If you can’t recall where the hoses go, you can refer to the picture you took before you began disconnecting everything.


Protect Your Engine with Berryman Products

The engine is your car’s most crucial part. Therefore, you must take special care of your car’s engine to ensure that it can run smoothly and efficiently, giving you a more comfortable driving experience. By taking the time to maintain your engine regularly, you can keep your carburetor and its other components protected and avoid problems that might hinder its performance.

For over 100 years, Berryman Products has supplied motorists and car enthusiasts with quality, innovative cleaning and maintenance products that keep your engine in tip-top shape. If you want to learn more about our products, message us or check out our product catalog here.

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