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How To Clean Lawn Mower Carburetor: Tips and Tricks

In this article we will explain how to clean lawn mower carburetor safely and choose the proper tools for the job
Last updatedLast updated: December 25, 2022
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The carburetor of a riding mower or self-propelled lawn mower serves the same purpose it does in an automobile. It draws the appropriate amounts of gas and air that are then mixed in a chamber and the mixture combusts after being ignited by a spark plug to run the engine. If your lawn mower fails to start, the most common culprits would be unclean air filters, a dirty spark plug or a dirty carburetor. We will explain how to clean lawn mower carburetors because the gummy residue from bad fuel can clog the carburetor and affect its ability to draw the proper ratio of air and gas into the engine cylinder.

You will save money by fixing and cleaning a dirty carburetor at home instead of taking it to a repair shop. We have detailed all the steps in this comprehensive guide.

Before You Start

Before you begin the process of how to clean a carburetor on a lawn mower, you must confirm that the problem is really with the carburetor since there are other factors that could be responsible.

Check that the device has fuel, the spark plug is clean and bolted properly, the ignition switch is placed correctly, and the air filter is clean.

After you have performed this checklist, you can then proceed to shoot lawn mower carburetor cleaner into the carburetor and then start your mower. You will confirm that the carburetor is the issue if the mower starts or splutters.

How often should you clean lawn mower carburetor?

How To Clean Lawn Mower Carburetor: Tips and Tricks

The carburetor of a lawn mower that you use frequently will accumulate dirt, debris, twigs and grass faster than a machine that is used occasionally.

How often you should clean lawn mower carburetors will mainly vary according to usage. We recommend cleaning the carburetor of the best lawn mower for small yards annually, and at least once in a year if you are a heavy user with an expansive lawn, to improve your machine’s lifespan and fuel efficiency.

What are signs of dirty carburetor in a lawn mower?

Before you learn how to clean a riding lawn mower carburetor, you need to be familiar with the indications of a dirty carburetor. These signs include:

Shaky engine start: The machine has trouble starting when you pull the cord or use the push-button.

Stalling engine: The lawn mower suddenly stalls while trimming your lawn.

Black smoke: The exhauster emits black smoke Trusted Source National Emissions from Lawn and Garden Equipment The contribution of gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment (GLGE) to air pollutant
emissions in the United States has not been extensively studied.
www.epa.gov
which means that the air filter is clogged and the gas and mixture is not burned properly because the carburetor is drawing an excessively high amount of fuel. This increases the cost and puts you at risk of dermatological and respiratory illnesses.

Weaker performance: If your lawn mower makes rough cuts or struggles to cut denser vegetation, it is a sign of a faulty carburetor.

Overheating: If the mixture of air and fuel does not have the proper ratios Trusted Source Diesel and Gasoline Engine Exhausts and Some Nitroarenes. Diesel and gasoline engine exhausts were evaluated by a previous IARC Working Group in 1988 (IARC, 1989a). New data have since become available, and these have been taken into consideration in the present evaluation. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov because of a bad carburetor, the machine will overheat since the engine will require more effort to operate.

Cleaning Lawn Mower Carburetor

Once you have diagnosed a faulty carburetor, use the following guide on how to clean carburetor on a John Deere riding lawn mower at home.

Step 1: Prepare tools

How To Clean Lawn Mower Carburetor: Tips and Tricks

These are the tools you will require to clean the carburetor of the best riding lawn mowers:

  • Paper clip or piece of wire
  • A screwdriver
  • A nut driver
  • A rag or any piece of cloth
  • Lawn mower carburetor cleaner
  • A flashlight

Step 2: Safety precautions

Work in a well-ventilated area to keep you safe from the toxic fumes of old oil. Keep all the doors and windows open in your garage or workshop.

Consider taking photos of every step as you disassemble the lawn mower for quick reference when reassembling the carburetor after cleaning it.

Use a flashlight to inspect the internal connections for better visibility.

Using fresh fuel with a stabilizer will help to prevent carburetor issues. There are best self-propelled lawn mowers that are battery-powered, but since our guide on how to clean a carburetor on a lawn mower only applies to gas models, we recommend using fresh fuel to fill the gas tank. You could add a fuel stabilizer to maintain fuel quality peak performance of your carburetor.

Step 3: Remove outer casing

Loosen a few screws with the screwdriver to remove the outer panel and reveal the internal components. The procedure for removing the outer casing will depend on your lawn mower model.

Step 4: Remove air filter

How To Clean Lawn Mower Carburetor: Tips and Tricks

Remove the air filter to find and clean a Honda lawn mower carburetor. Inspect the air filter for dirt and debris since dirty and clogged air filters can cause emission of black smoke from the exhaust.

Step 5: Remove the carburetor

You will see the carburetor bolted in position after removing the air filter. Unbolt the carburetor with the nut driver and then empty the fuel line as you hold it to the engine. Disconnect the throttle cables and use the rag to wipe any fuel spillage on the fuel line and carburetor.

There should be a bit of spillage if the carburetor id faulty because no spillage means that the fuel line might be blocked. Check that it is clear before you continue with the procedure for how to clean the carburetor on a Toro lawn mower.

If the fuel line is clear, remove the carburetor from the engine and examine all connections between the throttle and the choke plates of the carburetor.

You will need to replace the carburetor with a new one if it is corroded. Otherwise, move on to the nest step below.

Step 6: Clean bowl and nut

Spray the lawn mower carburetor cleaner around the bowl to clean it and then remove the bowl by unscrewing the nut that secures it. Clean the hole in the nut by inserting the paper clip or wire in the hole to remove any obstructions and clean the bowl by scraping off any stubborn gunk on it. Next, spray the cleaner on the bowl and nut. Remember to use a suitable cleaner such as Gumout 800002230 Carb and Choke Cleaner that can effectively clean clogged carburetors.

Step 7: Replace the pin

Remove the pin that attaches the float to the carburetor and replace the needle in the small gasket with a new one, making sure to fit the new one correctly.

Step 8: Use carburetor cleaner

How To Clean Lawn Mower Carburetor: Tips and Tricks

Look for an appropriate cleaner available in a spray can that you can use to clean carburetor on Craftsman lawn mower since clogged carburetors from dirt residue restrict fuel and air flow and hinder the performance of your machine.

Spray the lawn mower carburetor cleaner on all the inner and outer parts of the carburetor that you removed.

Step 9: Replace the gasket

Remove the main gasket that is between the bowl and carburetor and replace it with a new one.

Step 10: Check settings

Grab the flashlight and inspect the settings of the carburetor that might need adjustment or an update after you clean the push mower carburetor.

Step 11: Reassemble the mower

You can use the photos you took during the process to help you reattach the carburetor to the engine and reassemble the mower.

Next, start the engine and check for any shaking sound. The machine should have a smooth start if you cleaned the carburetor properly. When researching how to clean a carburetor on a Husqvarna or Troy-Bilt riding lawn mower, you will find plenty of users recommending DESIN Carburetor Carbon Dirt Jet Cleaner Tool Kit; a valuable set with an assortment of needles, wenches and brushes that will fit small passages for thorough cleaning of carburetors.

Final Thoughts

Making deep cleaning of the carburetor part of the annual maintenance of your lawn mower if you are using it moderately will prolong the life of your machine and ensure optimal output. It will also prevent expensive repairs and replacements. We have outlined how to clean lawn mower carburetors at home by using tools that are affordable and easily available. The step-by-step instructions are listed in a way that you will easily understand although we recommend taking photos of each stage as you progress with the cleaning for additional reference. We also advise you to use cleaning products that are designed for mowers because they would be more effective. Lastly, ensure that your working space has proper ventilation and illumination as a safety precaution when cleaning a carburetor on a lawn mower.

References

1.
National Emissions from Lawn and Garden Equipment
The contribution of gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment (GLGE) to air pollutant
emissions in the United States has not been extensively studied.
2.
Diesel and Gasoline Engine Exhausts and Some Nitroarenes.
Diesel and gasoline engine exhausts were evaluated by a previous IARC Working Group in 1988 (IARC, 1989a). New data have since become available, and these have been taken into consideration in the present evaluation.
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