How To Locate and Clean The Carburetor On A Lawn Mower? | A Beginners Guide
Like a car engine, the carburetor on a lawn mower helps the engine run. It ensures that a proper mix of gas and air enters the engine cylinder to allow for proper combustion, increasing overall fuel efficiency. In addition to overtime wear and tear, the carburetor of a lawn mower is also prone to damage from the lawn debris that can clog up the air filters, thus limiting the carburetor and lawn mower’s function. In this article, find out where is the carburetor on a lawn mower.
Keeping the carburetor of your lawn mower clean, well-maintained and in good shape is very important. It is a great way to save yourself some money, increase the lifetime of your mower and avoid unnecessary headaches and hassles down the road.
However, mower engines are quite compact, and most people often find it very difficult to locate various engine components, especially the carburetor.
Generally, the carburetor of a lawn mower is located behind the air filters, and it is often blocked from the view. So, you can start by looking for a square-shaped or circular filter housing. This filter housing usually contains a foam or paper filter. In addition to that, you can also locate the carburetor by tracing the fuel pipeline coming from the gas tank of your mower.
That said, lawn mowers come in a range of shapes and sizes. Depending on the lawn mower you have and its manufacturer, the location of the carburetor can vary.
So, you will need to understand a lot more about mower carburetors before you can precisely locate them, and we are here to help. So, let’s get started!
Lawn Mower Carburetor 101
Before we get into locating and fixing the carburetor of a lawn mower, it is important to understand what a carburetor is, how it works, what it looks like and why taking care of a lawn mower carburetor is essential.
What Is A Lawn Mower Carburetor?
The carburetor is an essential part of a gasoline-powered lawn mower’s engine. It regulates the flow of fuel from the gasoline tank and air from the environment in a correct combination. However, unlike the carburetor system used in a vehicle, the carburetor of a lawn mower is generally placed in a horizontal position.
In addition to that, the carburetor of a lawn mower also does not have any throttle butterflies. The carburetor is the lungs of a lawn mower, and it is a complex device with multiple connections. These connections typically include air lines, fuel lines and exhaust lines.
What Does A Carburetor Do In A Lawn Mower?
You might already know that any gasoline-powered engine burns fuel to generate power. However, what you might not know is that the fuel must be mixed in a correct ratio with air to yield maximum energy and fuel efficiency.
This is where the carburetor comes in; the carburetor of a lawn mower determines how long the engine has been running, the speed at which the mower is moving, the type of train that you are crossing and then adjust the balance of fuel and air accordingly.
If the carburetor of a lawn mower is not working correctly, the engine of the mower can still run; however, the fuel efficiency and engine power will be significantly reduced.
How Does A Lawn Mower Carburetor Work?
The carburetor of a lawn mower has two chambers. One chamber is known as the carburetor’s bowl, which stores fuel that will be injected into the second chamber, known as the combustion chamber.
As you might have already guessed by now, fuel mixes with air and burns in the combustion chamber.
A float pin in the carburetor’s bowl regulates the amount of fuel that enters the combustion chamber. In the combustion chamber, a spark plug ignites the air and fuel mixture, which produces thrust that, in turn, pushes the piston of the mower’s engine.
The piston then rotates the crankshaft, and this is how the blades on a mower spin.
What Does A Carburetor On A Lawn Mower Looks Like?
The carburetor of most lawn mowers looks very similar. Usually, it is a medium-sized metal component with springs and levers.
Carburetor can be rectangular, round or bowl-shaped. If you hold a carburetor in your hand, you will notice that it has two main openings. One opening is for air intake, and the other is for the exit when.
However, not all lawn mower carburetors look similar. For example, carburetors are now available in the market that are made of plastic, and some of the latest lawn mowers are using them.
Also, the fuel bowl on these plastic carburetors is not as pronounced as the conventional gas bowls in the older models of the lawn mowers.
Where Is The Carburetor Located On A Lawn Mower?
The carburetor of a lawn mower is typically hidden from the view. It is typically present inside or behind an air filter which in some cases has a hood on top. over, the location of the carburetor varies depending on the type of lawn mower and its manufacturer.
However, if you know what you are looking for, finding the carburetor of a lawn mower is not difficult. You can locate the carburetor by simply tracing the air filter or the fuel lines. Here’s a complete guide on how to locate the carburetor of a lawn mower:
Park The Lawn Mower
Park the lawn mower in a comfortable, preferably flat spot so that you do not risk accidentally rolling over the lawn mower. Also, ensure that the ignition is turned off and the engine is cool so that you do not risk burning yourself in the process.
Remove The Engine Hood
As already stated, not all lawn mowers will have engine hoods. It is usually the riding lawn mowers that come with an installed engine hood. So, if your lawn does not have a hood, you can skip this step. The hood is used to protect the engine.
You will have to remove the engine hood to reach the mower’s carburetor. The hood is usually attached to the mower’s body by hood latches. Just release the hood latches on both sides, and you will be able to see all parts of the engine.
Locate The Air Filter
The carburetor of a lawn mower is usually located beneath or behind the air filter. So, you will have to first locate the air filter of your lawn mower, which is often encased in a filter housing.
Depending on the shape of the carburetor, the housing of the air filter can be square or round. The air filter housing is usually located on the side or top of the mower’s engine, and it has slits or holes in it for air intake.
The filter housing is usually attached to the carburetor by screws or fasteners that hold the filter in its place. The filter is usually made up of paper or foam.
The function of the air filter is to prevent dust and lawn debris from entering the carburetor. All in all, finding the filter housing is the key to finding the carburetor of the lawn.
Locate The Gas Tank
Another way of locating the carburetor of a lawn is to trace the gas tank and fuel lines of the mower. For most lawn mowers, locating the gas tank is an easy task.
It is the place where you add gasoline. However, there are some lawn mowers on the market that, just like cars, have the filling cap and gas tank in a different location.
Some lawn mowers also have their gas tank covered. Nonetheless, a gas tank is very easy to locate due to its characteristic shape.
If you can locate the filling cap, you can quickly locate the gas tank by tracing a fuel line to it. From there, it would be straightforward to locate the carburetor of your lawn mower.
The carburetor is usually located next to the fuel tank at some height below it.
Pinpoint The Mower Carburetor
Once you have located both the air filter and the gas tank of your lawn mower, locating the carburetor is easy.
A carburetor is a metal object underneath, beneath, or behind the air filter with springs and levers. These springs and levers regulate the flow of air and fuel into the carburetor for efficient combustion.
If you look closely, you can clearly see that the carburetor has two large holes in it. One of these holes is from where the air enters the combustion chamber of the carburetor.
In the combustion chamber, it is mixed with fuel and then ignited. Due to ignition, the temperature rises, air expands, and it is forcibly ejected through the second hole.
Also, the carburetor of a lawn mower is usually black, lies in the center of the main body and has connections with nearly every essential part of the mower.
However, not all lawn mowers have the same-looking carburetor. The size and shape of the carburetor varies greatly with mower types and mower manufacturers, as described below.
Carburetors On Walk-Behind Mowers
Walk-behind mowers usually come in four different variations. Depending on your needs and requirements, one type might work better for you than the others.
Below we have described the different types of walk-behind mowers and their uses. Following that, we will discuss how you can locate the carburetor of a walk-behind mower.
Electric Walk Mower
As apparent by the name, an electric walk mower runs on electricity. It will not have a carburetor as it runs on an electric motor. Such mowers are suitable for small properties.
When you have a large lawn or a big area to mow, self-propelled mowers come in handy. Self-propelled mowers come in two variations: 1) Front-wheel drive and 2) Rear wheel drive. Front-wheel drive lawn mowers are suitable for lawns that are even or flat.
Whereas rear-wheel drive lawn mowers are suitable for lawns with a slope or a lawn located on a sidehill. Nonetheless, both lawn mowers are great for mowing large areas.
How To Locate The Carburetor On A Walk-Behind Lawn Mower?
For most walk-behind lawn mowers, you will find the carburetor on one side of the main body. It is located near the base of the lawn mower. Once again, tracing the air filter and fuel lines is the key to locating the carburetor of a lawn mower.
However, if you are having trouble finding the carburetor of your walk-behind lawn mower, we suggest that you look for the round or square filter housing. It is usually located on the side in walk-behind mowers, though sometimes it might be on the top.
The manufacturers usually make it easy to locate and remove the filter housing so that lawn owners can easily swap filters independently. Once you have located the filter housing, you can pop it open to access the lawn mower’s air filter.
There might be a few screws, latches or bolts holding the filter housing above the carburetor in its place. Ensure that you do not lose the screw or bolts when removing the housing.
Carburetors On Riding Mowers
If you have a very large turf or need to mow a very large area such as a sports field turf, walk-behind mowers just do not cut it.
For such situations, you will need a riding lawn mower. It is more powerful than a walk-behind mower, and you can sit on top of the machine while mowing for easy maneuvering and movement.
Like walk-behind lawn mowers, riding lawn mowers also come in multiple variations. We have described different types of riding mowers in the text below.
Make sure that you know which type of riding mower you have so you can refer to the correct part of this article:
Zero Turn Radius Mower
A zero-turn radius mower has a turning radius that is effectively zero. It can literally turn on a dime and is known for its speed and maneuverability.
A lawn tractor mower has its cutting deck located in the middle of the body. They usually have more power than the other types of riding mowers. Therefore, they are very suitable for mowing large expanses of land.
Rear Engine Riding Mower
It is the smallest of all riding mowers. Unlike the lawn tractor, it has its cutting deck located in the front, making moving around much more effortless. However, it is not as powerful as a lawn tractor due to its small size.
How To Locate The Carburetor On A Riding Lawn Mower?
Identifying and locating the carburetor is generally difficult in riding lawn mowers compared to walk-behind lawn mowers.
It is because riding lawn mowers are larger and more complicated. However, just like walk-behind lawn mowers, the carburetor of a riding lawn mower is located near the engine.
So, once again, you will have to locate the filter housing and the fuel lines of your riding lawn mower to reach the carburetor.
To do this, we highly recommend that you use the manual that came along with the mower to avoid any issues.
If you cannot make any sense of the things mentioned in the manual, a quick search on Google or YouTube can find you an article or video that can help you through the process of locating the carburetor on your lawn mower.
If you are still in doubt or do not want to risk opening the lawn mower on your own, you can always hire a professional to look at your lawn mower.
Do I Need To Clean The Carburetor On My Lawn Mower?
Other than regular wear and tear, the carburetor of a lawn mower is also prone to damage from the lawn debris.
Therefore, the carburetor of the lawn mower needs to be kept clean and in good shape. It directly supports the mower engine in its function, and without it, the lawn mower will eventually stop working altogether.
In many cases, when the lawn mower is not working correctly, the issue is nothing more than a clogged or dirty carburetor.
And if you just clean the carburetor of your lawn in such instances, it will start working again. Below is a list of some issues that result as a result of dirty or clogged lawn mower carburetor:
- Engine stalling while you are mowing the grass.
- Black smoke is coming out of the lawn mower’s muffler.
- Difficulty in starting the lawn mower.
- The engine is running turbulently or sputtering during mowing.
- Fuel efficiency decreases over time.
- Mower starting with a jump or shutting down while mowing.
- Engine overheating during the mowing.
If you have any of the issues mentioned above, chances are it is due to a dirty or clogged carburetor. So, you will need to clean it and here is how you can do it:
How To Clean A Carburetor On A Lawn Mower?
The first thing you need to do while cleaning the carburetor of your mower is to remove it from the mower’s main body. And, Please note that the below-mentioned instructions are only meant to be used as a general guideline. Refer to your lawn mower’s manual for the exact process of removing and cleaning the carburetor.
Removing The Carburetor
- Before cleaning the carburetor, it must be entirely removed from the lawn mower.
- Remove the engine cover if it is required.
- Remove the air filter housing and then the filters.
- Turn off the gasoline if possible. If not, make a crimp in the gasoline line.
- Remove the fuel line from the carburetor and be prepared for some spilling.
- If gasoline falls on the mower, clean it with a rag.
- Disconnect the carburetor’s choke and throttle links.
- Remove the carburetor from the mounting nuts with a sliding motion.
- Release the carburetor bowl, if needed, by unthreading the screws.
- This will release the carburetor bowl.
- Finally, remove the float pin to release the fuel float inside the carburetor.
Once you have taken out the carburetor from the main body of your lawn mower, you can move towards cleaning it. Here’s how to do it:
Cleaning The Carburetor
- In order to completely take out the carburetor of your lawn mower, you will probably have to unscrew the nuts and bolts all around it.
- Once you have done that, you will need to remove the gaskets, diaphragm and the metering plate attached to the carburetor.
- To properly clean the carburetor, ensure that the carburetor intake and outlet ports are fully exposed. Then, use a carburetor cleaner spray to clean it thoroughly.
- If there is a carburetor bowl, make sure that you clean it as well.
- If there are any signs of rust on the carburetor, use sandpaper to clean the rust.
- Following that, allow the carburetor to dry in the open air.
- Once the carburetor is dry, put all the parts together and ensure that everything is in its proper place and you have not missed anything.
- Put the carburetor bowl in its place, if needed and use a sliding motion once again to reinstall the carburetor in its original place.
- Tighten up the bolts and nuts holding the carburetor in its place.
- Reattach fuel lines as well as carburetor throttle links and choke.
- Also, clean the air filter and its housing and reinstall it in its place.
- If there is an engine hood, place it back in its place and you are done. Congrats!
How Do You Fix A Lawn Mower Carburetor?
Sometimes the issue with a faulty lawn mower is not a dirty carburetor but a carburetor that needs to be fixed.
So, if your lawn mower is not working even after cleaning the carburetor, there is an issue with the carburetor or any other part of the engine.
If you are sure that the problem is with the carburetor, you have three options to fix it.
- The first option you have is to get a carburetor repair kit. These kits are readily available, and they are inexpensive. For example, you can easily find a mower carburetor repair kit for about 20 or 30 US dollars on amazon.
- If you think that the carburetor on your lawn mower is beyond repair, do not worry. Carburetor replacements are readily available online and in hardware stores. A typical carburetor replacement can cost anywhere between 50 and 100.
- If you do not want to go through the hassle of fixing the carburetor on your own, you can take it to a professional, and they can fix it for you. The cost will vary depending on the work done and labor cost in your area.
Conclusion | Lawn Mower Carburetor
A lawn mower is a necessary piece of equipment when it comes to lawn care. However, what most people do not understand is that you have to properly take care of your lawn mower to keep it going and increase its life.
And keeping the carburetor of your mower clean and in good shape is vital to lawn mower maintenance.
That is why you should at least clean the carburetor on your mower two to three times a year; however, depending on the use, you might need to clean it more often.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I know if my lawn mower carburetor is bad?
If the lawn mower has trouble starting or starts with a jump, overheats or stops working during the mowing, releases black smoke or increases fuel consumption, there is a big chance that the carburetor on your mower needs to be cleaned or fixed.
Can you use wd40 to clean a carburetor on a mower?
Yes, you can if you do not have the carburetor cleaner spray. However, we highly recommend that you use a specific carburetor cleaner spray.
What causes a lawn mower to start and then die?
If you are facing a situation in which your lawn mower starts and then quickly dies, there is a high chance that its carburetor needs cleaning or some sort of repairs.
Where do you spray carburetor cleaner on a lawn mower?
You need to spray the carburetor cleaner right in the middle of the carburetor. We suggest that you do it in pulses which is a much more effective approach to removing the debris.
How often should a carburetor be cleaned?
In general, you should at least clean the carburetor of your lawn mower at least two to three times a year. However, depending on the use, this frequency might need to increase.
How To Use Carburetor Cleaner On A Lawnmower
Owning a lawn mower means maintenance, as it can make all the difference when it comes to your lawn care. It’s a household essential for many, but it also requires its own attention to ensure everything keeps up and running. One of the trickiest sticking points for new mower owners is carburetor cleaner. Chorbie is here to provide a complete, step-by-step guide on how to use carburetor cleaner on a lawnmower to make certain you stay up and running. Read how you’re able to promote safety and quality in your equipment while keeping a tidy lawn.
The first step in any maintenance project on your mower is to understand what exactly you are cleaning and protecting. Using your lawnmower regularly will lead to sludge and debris to build up around your carburetor overtime. The grime that accumulates can greatly affect the mower’s ability to keep the engine running. In fact, without the ability to mix fuel and oxygen in the combustion engine, it will completely stop working. Allowing the problem of buildup to go unmanaged can lead to many more issues besides. In short, however, if you fail to maintain your carburetor, you will be buying an expensive new mower quite soon.
Simple Steps For Lawn Mower Carburetor Cleaning
Carburetor cleaner remedies the issue of problem buildup around your carburetor, affecting smoothness while running the engine. You’ll also increase the lifespan of your mower by using carburetor cleaner regularly and following these steps:
- Grab a screwdriver and your preferred cleaner
- Start by turning the mower off and letting the engine cool completely
- Remove the air filter on the same side that you find the carburetor
Now that you’ve removed the filter and allowed the engine to cool, you can turn to reveal the grime and buildup in the carburetor.
- Take off the carburetor cover and linkage to expose the inside
- Wait for the inside to dry out, and then start the engine
- Spray into the center of the carburetor as it is running.
Cleaning the carburetor while it’s running is best because it allows the cleaner to penetrate and clean the throat of the carburetor, removing deposits in the lower sections. Now for the last few steps:
- Shut off the engine and continue spraying to get extra buildup removed
- Replace the cover, linkage, air filter, and screw everything back in place.
How Chorbie Can Help
Taking care of your mower is essential to save time and money as a homeowner by avoiding costly replacements and frustrating maintenance issues. A clean carburetor helps, and Chorbie is just the expert to assist you in getting this task done. We bring many years of experience to simple and complex tasks for homeowners, giving them peace of mind, greater outdoor enjoyment, and saving time and resources by eliminating complex chores. Contact one of our experts today to see how you can get started in the right direction with all your lawn care and landscaping needs
Lawnmower Won’t Start? Do this.
Bad gas or a dirty carburetor are the most common reasons for a lawnmower that starts hard or runs rough.
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A lawnmower that won’t start, especially when taken from storage, is almost always due to one problem: bad gas.
Storing a lawnmower in the fall without adding gasoline stabilizer to the fuel tank can cause the fuel to break down and plug the fuel passages. If fixing that problem doesn’t help, there are a few others that can help fix a lawnmower that won’t start, as we explain here.
How to Fix a Lawnmower That Won’t Start
Replace the Bad Gas
Over time (like the six months your lawnmower sat in your garage over the winter), the lighter hydrocarbons in gas can evaporate. This process creates gums and varnish that dirty the carburetor, plug fuel passages and prevent gas from flowing into the combustion chamber.
The carburetor bowl below formed corrosion and deposits during storage, which can easily plug fuel passages and prevent the engine from starting.
Storing equipment without stabilizing the gas can lead to deposits that foul the carburetor or injectors.
Ethanol-containing gas can absorb water from the atmosphere, which can lead to phase separation, which occurs when ethanol and gas separate, much like oil and water. Ethanol that has absorbed enough moisture and has sat long enough can foul the fuel system and prevent the engine from starting.
No matter how many times you yank the pull cord and pollute the air with your advanced vocabulary, the lawnmower won’t start if it’s trying to run on bad gas.
In extreme cases, evaporation of lighter hydrocarbons can change the gasoline’s composition enough to prevent it from igniting. The gas may be fueling the engine, but it doesn’t matter if it won’t ignite.
Bad Gas in Your Lawnmower? Here’s How to Fix It
If you neglected to add gasoline stabilizer to the fuel prior to storage, empty the tank and replace with fresh gas. If the tank is nearly empty, simply topping off with fresh gas is often enough to get it started.
On some mowers, you can easily remove and empty the fuel tank. Sometimes that’s more trouble than it’s worth. In these cases, use a fluid extraction pump or even a turkey baster to remove the bad gas. You don’t need to remove all of it; but try to get as much out as possible.
Clean the Carburetor
You’ve replaced the fuel, but your lawnmower still won’t start.
Next, try cleaning the carburetor. Remove the air filter and spray carburetor cleaner into the intake. Let it sit for several minutes to help loosen and dissolve varnish and gums.
Remove the air filter and spray carburetor cleaner into the intake. Let it sit a few minutes to loosen deposits.
On some carburetors, you can easily remove the float bowl. If equipped, first remove the small drain plug and drain the gas from the bowl. Remove the float bowl cover and spray the float and narrow fuel passages with carburetor cleaner.
This kind of “quick-and-dirty” carburetor cleaning is usually all it takes to get the gas flowing again and your lawnmower back to cutting grass.
If not, consider removing the carburetor from the engine, disassembling it and giving it a good cleaning. Be forewarned, however: taking apart a carburetor can lead to nothing but frustration for the uninitiated. Take pictures with your phone to aid in reassembly. Note the positions of any linkages or the settings of any mixture screws, if equipped. If you’re at all reluctant, visit the servicing dealer instead.
Consider replacing the carburetor altogether. It’s a fairly simple process on most smaller mowers and it’s often less expensive than taking it to the dealer.
Direct compressed air from the inside of the air filter out to remove debris that may be reducing airflow and preventing the lawnmower from starting.
Clean/Replace the Air Filter
With the air filter removed, now’s the perfect time to clean it.
Tap rigid filters on a workbench or the palm of your hand to dislodge grass clippings, leaves and other debris. Direct compressed air from the inside of the filter out to avoid lodging debris deeper into the media.
Use soap and water to wash foam filters. If it’s been a few years, simply replace the filter; they’re inexpensive and mark the only line of defense against wear-causing debris entering your engine and wearing the cylinder and piston rings.
An incorrectly gapped spark plug can prevent the engine from starting. Set the gap to the specification given in the owner’s manual.
Check the Spark Plug
A dirty or bad spark plug may also be to blame. Remove the plug and inspect condition. A spark plug in a properly running four-stroke engine should last for years and never appear oily or burned. If so, replace it.
Use a spark-plug tester to check for spark. If you don’t have one, clip the spark-plug boot onto the plug, hold the plug against the metal cylinder head and slowly pull the starter cord. You should see a strong, blue spark. It helps to test the plug in a darkened garage. Replace the plug if you don’t see a spark or it appears weak.
While you’re at it, check the spark-plug gap and set it to the factory specifications noted in the lawnmower owner’s manual.
If you know the plug is good, but you still don’t have spark, the coil likely has failed and requires replacement.
Did You Hit a Rock or Other Obstacle?
We’ve all killed a lawnmower engine after hitting a rock or big tree root.
If your lawnmower won’t start in this scenario, you probably sheared the flywheel key. It’s a tiny piece of metal that aligns the flywheel correctly to set the proper engine timing. Hitting an immovable obstacle can immediately stop the mower blade (and crankshaft) while the flywheel keeps spinning, shearing the key.
In this case, the engine timing is off and the mower won’t start until you pull the flywheel and replace the key. It’s an easy enough job IF you have a set of gear pullers lying around the garage. If not, rent a set from a parts store (or buy one…there’s never a bad reason to buy a new tool) or visit the dealer.
My Lawnmower Starts But Runs Poorly
If you finally get the lawnmower started, but it runs like a three-legged dog, try cleaning the carburetor with AMSOIL Power Foam. It’s a potent cleaning agent designed to remove performance-robbing carbon, varnish and other gunk from carburetors and engines.
Add Gasoline Stabilizer to Avoid Most of These Problems
Which sounds better? Completing all these steps each year when your lawnmower won’t start? Or pouring a little gasoline stabilizer into your fuel tank?
Simply using a good gasoline stabilizer can help avoid most of the problems with a lawnmower that won’t start.
AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer, for example, keeps fuel fresh up to 12 months. It helps prevent the lighter hydrocarbons from evaporating to reduce gum and varnish and keep the fuel flowing. It also contains corrosion inhibitors for additional protection.
I have a five-gallon gas can in my garage from which I fuel two lawnmowers, two chainsaws, two snowblowers, a string trimmer, an ATV and the occasional brush fire. I treat the fuel with Gasoline Stabilizer every time I fill it so I never have to worry about the gas going bad and causing problems.
You can also use AMSOIL Quickshot. It’s designed primarily to clean carburetors and combustion chambers while addressing problems with ethanol. But it also provides short-term gasoline stabilization of up to six months.
Use a Good Motor Oil for Your Lawnmower
Although motor oil has no bearing on whether your lawnmower starts or not (unless you don’t use oil at all and seize the engine), it pays to use a high-quality motor oil in your lawnmower.
This is especially true for professionals or homeowners running expensive zero-turn or riding mowers.
Lawnmower engines are tougher on oil than most people realize. They’re usually air-cooled, which means they run hotter than liquid-cooled automotive engines.
They often run for hours in hot, dirty, wet conditions. Many don’t have an oil filter, further stressing the oil.
In these conditions, motor oils formulated for standard service can break down, leading to harmful deposits and reduced wear protection.
For maximum performance and life, use a motor oil in your lawnmower designed to deliver commercial-grade protection, like AMSOIL Synthetic Small-Engine Oil.
Its long-life formulation has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to safely exceed original equipment manufacturer (OEM) drain intervals in the toughest conditions. It provides an extra measure of protection when equipment goes longer between oil changes than is recommended by the OEM.
Where is the carburetor on a lawn mower?
Learn where is the carburetor on a lawn mower so you can maintain the performance of your mowing machine.
Time for some mower maintenance? If your machine hasn’t been running reliably, you might need to figure out where is the carburetor on a lawn mower to see if it needs cleaning. A dirty carburetor can cause a variety of problems – like issues starting the mower or the engine stalling when in use. So, if cutting the grass has become even more of a chore thanks to a faulty lawn mower, checking the carburetor is a good place to start.
Learning how to maintain and repair your garden equipment is a great way to save money, as you won’t have to buy replacements as often. The best lawn mowers can last many years with regular maintenance, which also helps reduce the number of machines that go to waste when they could be repaired. Whether you use the best riding lawn mowers or a walk-behind mower to look after your lawn, this guide explains how to find, clean, and safely maintain the carburetor so your machine always runs like a dream.
Where is the carburetor on a lawn mower?
The carburetor is an essential component of a gas-powered lawn mower engine. In simple terms, it ensures that the correct balance of fuel and air enters the engine cylinder, where it will be ignited by the spark plug, combust, and make the engine work.
On a push or walk-behind mower, the carburetor is usually located on the side or top of the engine, just behind the air filter and above the base of the mower. You’re looking for a silver and black component, made mostly of metal. It’s likely it will be hidden by the air filter, which the carburetor is connected to. To find the air filter, look for a square or round plastic filter cover. This opens to allow access to the air filter, which sits in a plastic housing. You’ll need to remove the filter, then unbolt the housing to reveal the carburetor.
On a riding mower, the carburetor is generally found on the side or top of the engine. Like on a push mower, it will typically be behind the air filter, so you’ll have to remove the air filter and filter housing to access the carburetor, which is connected by a fuel line to the gas tank.
If in doubt, one of the best ways to find where is the carburetor on a lawn mower is to check the owner’s manual, as the location of the carburetor can vary depending on the model or manufacturer.
What is the importance of a carburetor on a lawn mower?
The carburetor is an essential component of any lawn mower engine, as Tom Monson, CEO of Monson Lawn Landscaping, explains: “The carburetor on a lawn mower mixes air and fuel in the proper ratio for the engine to run efficiently and effectively.” As you mow your lawn, the carburetor adjusts the combination of fuel and air depending on how long the engine has been running, your speed, and the type of terrain. This ensures that you get the best performance out of your mower.
A clean carburetor that’s in good condition will keep your lawn mower running reliably and efficiently, which is why carburetor maintenance is an essential part of taking care of your mower. The most important thing is to keep the carburetor clean, because even if the engine is running, a dirty carburetor can still cause problems.
Signs of an issue with the carburetor
Because the carburetor on a lawn mower is usually hidden behind the air filter, you might not notice if it’s dirty. However, if you experience any of the following when cutting your grass, it could be a sign that the carburetor needs a clean;
Problems starting the engine. You may have to pull the starter rope multiple times to get the engine running on your push mower, or turn the ignition more than once on your riding mower.
Engine stalling. Once the mower is running, you might find that the engine stalls, either immediately after starting or while you are mowing the lawn.
Spluttering and shaking. A dirty carburetor might cause the engine to sputter or shake while it’s running, making it more difficult to maneuver the machine.
Increased fuel consumption. Despite mowing the lawn as you usually do, you might notice that your mower is using more fuel. This is a common sign that the engine isn’t running as efficiently, which could indicate an issue with the carburetor.
How to clean and maintain the carburetor
To get the best out of your lawn mower, you should clean the carburetor once a year. Once you’ve figured out where is the carburetor on a lawn mower like the one you have, you can remove the carburetor ready for cleaning. Follow these steps to do it yourself at home, keeping the owner’s manual for your mower nearby for reference;
Clean the machine
Clean the outside of the engine first to remove any dirt that could contaminate your newly-cleaned carburetor. Make sure you have a clear, clean work area where you won’t lose any small parts.
Remove the air filter
Open or remove the air filter cover, then remove the air filter and the filter housing.
Turn off the fuel valve
Where possible, turn off the fuel valve. Alternatively, crimp the fuel line using a clamp or crimping tool to prevent fuel leaking while you work. Some fuel will still spill out, so keep a cloth or rag handy.
Unfasten the carburetor
Remove the carburetor by unfastening the bolts that hold it to the engine and disconnecting the throttle and choke linkage cables.
Pay attention to the details
Make a note of where cables and bolts are positioned so you can replace them later. Keep any fasteners or small parts safe.
Remove the careburetor
Remove the carburetor from the mounting studs, noting its position so you don’t reinstall it the wrong way up.
Start to disassemble
Carefully disassemble the carburetor, using a carburetor cleaner spray or WD-40 to clean as you go. Ryan Farley, CEO of LawnStarter, recommends using a cleaner designed for small engines. “These are formulated to remove dirt, debris, and built-up varnish and gum deposits from the carburetor without damaging any delicate parts”.
Get rid of rust
Remove any signs of rust using sandpaper.
Allow it to air dry
Allow the carburetor to dry, before putting it back together.
Reattach the carburetor
Replace the carburetor on the mounting studs, reconnect the linkage cables, and reinstall the air filter, cover, and housing.
Safety tips for maintaining the carburetor
Keep these tips in mind to safely maintain the carburetor on your lawn mower;
Although it’s possible to remove and clean a carburetor yourself, it’s a dirty, fiddly job that you might want to leave to the professionals. Your local small engine repair shop should be able to help.
If you do decide to clean your own carburetor, always wear gloves and cover your work area to protect it from damage or debris, including fuel spillages.
After cleaning your carburetor, you might find that your mower still doesn’t work reliably, which may mean that the carburetor or another part needs replacing. Again, it’s possible to fit a new carburetor yourself, but you may want to get some advice from a repair shop first.
If you’re up for trying a DIY lawn mower repair, replacing the entire carburetor is usually simpler and more cost-effective than replacing individual gaskets or small parts.