Lawnmowers are similar to cars in that they have carburetors. In a lawnmower, the carburetor guarantees the movement of the blades used to cut your grass. This little device injects air into the fuel to create what is called “internal combustion”. Combustion is what powers the blades to do their job.
Like other types of machinery, and in particular your lawnmower, carburetors need to be cleaned regularly so that your lawnmower can work properly and do an efficient job.
Not everyone has the technical know-how or even wants to take apart a lawnmower to clean the carburetor, so we’re going to discuss how to clean a carburetor without removing it from the mower. This is a nice option if you do not feel ready to take your mower apart.
How to Clean a Carburetor Without Removing It – Do’s & Don’t Tips by Expert
Let’s consider types of lawnmowers:
- A traditional lawnmower without a motor relies on you pushing it so it will not have a carburetor. The kinetic energy provided by the wheels turning will allow a set of blades to get the cutting done.
- Lawnmowers that you walk behind are rather popular and quite efficient. It again is pushed but uses a motor, so it doesn’t depend on the pushing to cut the grass.
- Lawnmowers that you can ride are similar to a small car or even a golf cart. Here you simply sit in the seat on the mower and steer it in whatever direction you wish to cut the grass.
Any machine using fuel should be operated and cleaned regularly. If your lawnmower remains in your garage for an extended period, liquids like fuel or oil may evaporate, harden or thicken and impede the parts of your mower to move efficiently. They actually may get stuck!
Signs that your carburetor is not doing its job adequately include:
- Smoke emissions, usually black, may indicate that your mower is consuming large amounts of fuel. Apart from an increase in costs for fuel, you will also be running health risks by breathing in this smoke when trying to cut your grass.
- Your lawnmower overheats. This implies that you have a poor mix of fuel and air and the engine must work harder, stressing it.
- Your lawn mower suddenly shuts off. Perhaps after you have been mowing for an hour, it just stops. Look to the carburetor first off.
- The lawnmower jumps, chugs or coughs when you turn it on and begin mowing. Regardless of whether you start your lawnmower by pushing a start button or pulling a cord, it should not have difficulty starting up. Again look to a dirty carburetor.
- Your lawnmower’s engine seems to be under performing. Perhaps it isn’t cutting your grass evenly or demonstrates difficulty when cutting very thick patches of grass. This also can be traced back to a dirty carburetor.
Should the Carburetor Be removed?
This is the question, and a lot will depend on your level of technical knowledge and experience with machinery. Someone who regularly does mechanical work will probably have no problem actually removing the carburetor, cleaning it, and putting it back in its place on the mower.
However, if you are a homeowner who rarely comes into contact with machinery, it may be a wiser choice to clean it in place without taking apart your mower. Once you have removed the carburetor, it will be of no use if you can’t put it back.
Necessary Tools for Cleaning without Removing
So, we will not be disassembling the mower but cleaning the carburetor while it remains in the machine. You will need these tools to do the job:
- Aerosol Cleaner: You will need to purchase an aerosol cleaner that is specifically for cleaning electrically charged or fuel-powered machinery. These aerosol sprays can be used on machinery without causing rust.
- Air-compressor Gun: Some points or parts of your carburetor may display a heavy buildup of grease as well as clumps of grass and dirt. Before you attempt to clean this with a rag, try blowing compressed air over the entire machine to remove as much dirt as possible.
- Flashlight: To inspect your carburetor, you’ll need good light. Ideally, a headlamp would be the optimal choice because it would leave both of your hands free to work.
- Screwdriver: Choose the correct screwdriver for removing screws to arrive at the carburetor. Afterward, a plastic credit card is ideal for prying off snapon parts so that you avoid damaging any plastic parts with the screwdriver.
- And, You’ll need rags for both your carburetor and for your own hands during cleaning.
Cleaning the Carburetor Procedure
Assuming that your carburetor has regular maintenance to keep it in good shape, here are the steps for cleaning the carburetor it without removing it:
- The lawnmower should be turned off.
- Open your mower so you can see the carburetor and do a complete check before cleaning. Look for any exposed wires chewed by rodents, rust patches, or other potential problems. If your mower is still, under warranty, it may be eligible for a cleaning. If you find evidence of extensive problems, it may be better to have a professional clean it.
- Take a photo before you touch anything. If there are snapon parts, the photo will provide a reference for how the lawnmower should look after you have finished cleaning. Should you find signs of damage, this can also be helpful for a warranty claim with the manufacturer or seller.
- Remove the air filter. This will need to be cleaned. All the air used in the mower passes through this filter, so you will find plenty of dirt. Clean both sides and put the filter aside to dry thoroughly.
- With your flashlight, look inside the carburetor. Look at every aspect. Check for exposed wires, moss, rust, or any discoloration visible.
- Check the connections of your carburetor. Wires are important and relatively delicate. If they are exposed and touch something flammable, a serious injury could result. Also, check to see that the wires don’t snap or break. In this case, they should be replaced. Look at spark plugs, they may be aged or simply worn out and not receiving electricity efficiently.
- Remove any dirt and grime you see with the air-compressor gun. Rather than using your hands when trying to reach hard to get to places, use compressed air. Do not use industrial-strength air compressors or the highest settings.
- Spray the inside of the carburetor with aerosol cleaner. Do not use water. Now carefully turn the lawnmower on and pulse the aerosol cleaner in the center of the carburetor while the mower is running. Do this a dozen times. Leave the mower running for one to two minutes so that the cleaner runs through the machine. Once again turn the mower off and spry the throat of the carburetor entirely. Also, spray the lower plate.
- Remove any grime buildup. Once you have used the air compressor gun and the aerosol cleaner, you need to clean any remaining grime buildup manually. With a damp rag, wipe off any remaining dirt you see. Rinse the rag and repeat if necessary. If you have a lot of grime buildup, you must rinse the rag as often as necessary to avoid smearing the dirt around on the carburetor.
- Do a final inspection. Spot check everything. Replace the air filter and any snap-on parts you may have removed. Now test your mower and let it run for about five minutes. You should notice a smoother start with no shaking or chugging.
Proper maintenance at regular intervals is important for both good performance and to prolong the lifespan of your mower. Should you find a large amount of rust, you will probably need professional assistance. While regular monthly partial cleaning without removing the carburetor is important, it is not a substitute for disassembly and deep cleaning.
While the first time you clean the carburetor may seem intimidating, this step-by-step guide should assist you. Processes may vary depending on the manufacturer, brand, and model of your mower, so keep this in mind when cleaning your mower. We hope this article will assist you in how to clean a carburetor without removing it. Thank you for reading.