Riding mower carburetor cleaning. How to Clean a Carburetor 101

How to Clean a Carburetor 101

Up on Lemmy Mountain, favored fall activities include drinking beer and hunting. Unfortunately, fall also usually heralds the end of riding season, so before I pop a top or sight in the rifle, I make sure my bikes are winterized and put up in true Lemmy fashion.

I’m diligent about winterization because I got sick and tired of wrenching on all my bikes on the first nice day of ridin’ season. I’m not the only one to make that mistake, either. I still do lots and lots of carburetor clean-outs for friends. So if you parked your carbureted bike in the garage last fall, intending to winterize it later, and spent all winter watching football or playing Call of Duty instead, here’s what you need to know to get your neglected bike running again for spring.

  • Turn off the petcock
  • Drain the fuel bowl(s)
  • Remove the bowl(s)
  • Clean the bowl(s)
  • Remove the jets
  • Clean the jets
  • Reassemble with fresh gaskets

Why do it yourself

I was inspired to write this article by a friend and customer who needed to get his bike up and running for this season but was a little light on loot. I’m going to let you in on a shop mechanic’s secret: If a mechanic is going to charge you a few hours of labor to remove your carbs and clean them, you will be paying for a stem-to-stern overhaul. Why? Because he doesn’t want to do the job twice. You won’t want to pay for his labor twice, so he’s going to make sure to clean everything in there the first time.

A complete carburetor rebuild is a topic for a more involved article or a visit to the mechanic mentioned above. On the other hand, if the only problem standing between you and getting on the road on the first warm day of spring is some old gas gumming up the works, a light-duty cleanout very well may be all you need to get rolling. As with all free advice, this is worth what you’re payin’ for it, but it could help you get on the road with an afternoon’s effort and limited expense.

Opening considerations

Let’s begin with some theory. First, you don’t need to know everything about how a carb works, but some background would help. Fuel enters the carb (usually) from the bottom, into the fuel bowl. The engine vacuum then sucks the fuel in a fine mist through metered holes called jets to deliver a precise ratio of air and fuel to the engine.

Particularly when working on an older bike, you need to be extra-mindful of your bike’s normal starting routine. It differs from bike to bike and carb to carb, and what works on one bike may be way off for the exact same setup on a different bike. If you don’t know by heart how many prime kicks, prime wicks, and how much throttle (if any) your bike requires to start, you’re going to beat up your battery, if you have one, or your leg. Invest in a full rebuild if you aren’t sure what your bike usually “likes.”

If you didn’t treat your fuel or empty your carb before storing the bike for the winter, I am betting you left your poor battery sitting out in the freezing cold all winter, too. Plus, you probably already tried to start the bike 600 times, praying all the while that she’d fire up, and that’s how you found out the carbs are gummed up. As a result, the battery is shot, at least temporarily. Charge it, test it, and replace it if necessary. Do not skip this step.

Next, if the fuel in the tank is bad, drain it and refill it. Oh, you can’t tell? It’s only a few gallons. Drain it, pitch it in your car, truck or lawn mower or discard it and refuel with fresh gas.

Is all this stuff a pain? Yes, but so is hauling your bike to a mechanic and paying him a bunch of money, right?

Here’s one more piece of advice before we dig in. The steps in this article will work for any carb, but if you’re riding a bike with hard-to-remove carbs, like a Japanese inline four-cylinder, or worse, a V-4, pull the carbs and do a full breakdown on them. The pain of removing them is so terrible, you’ll pull your hair out if you have to do it several times. I’m approaching this from a Harley, single-carb standpoint. I can have one of these off a bike in six minutes if I have tools in front of me and I can usually do it with a beer in one hand.

Clean up, you slob

Now, it’s carb cleanin’ time. Let me tell you another mechanic’s secret: 90 percent of all carbs that won’t feed fuel well enough to run just have crud in the jets. Air passages and such usually don’t clog over something as simple as a two- or three-month winter break.

First things first, you technically need gaskets. Technically. Usually paper and rubber alike can be reused, if you are careful. Really careful. So, for the record, I encourage you to use new gaskets. I have slapped together enough roadside fixes, however, that I can tell you they are not always 100 percent necessary. Be careful when removing them if you want them to work when you reuse them.

You can leave your carb on your bike if you’ve got room, but everything’s easier to do on the bench. This carburetor we’re about to tear down for pics here is an old Super B. They’re easy-peasy to clean while on the bike because they hang approximately 60 feet off the side of an old Harley. It’s hard to take photos of carb guts from that angle, however, so I removed it for your viewing pleasure. If you are attempting this on, say, a Hinckley Triumph, do yourself a favor and yank the carbs off the bike. If you are uncertain whether you should pull the carb, pull the carb. Don’t booger up expensive internal carb parts (or the body itself) just to save yourself the pain of removing a carburetor.

Begin with your trusty petcock turned to “off.” (You did empty that gas tank like I mentioned earlier, right?) Loosen the push and pull cables on the throttle and disconnect them from the carb. Unbolt the carburetor from the manifold and bring it over to the bench.

Drain the bowl. The bowl is the bottom of the carb and it usually is shaped the way its name implies. All the bowl does is hold fuel.- and gunk. On the very bottom of the bowl, you will see a drain screw. Loosen it! Fuel may or may not come out. If you have a hose on the bowl, the fuel will exit from there. If you don’t have a drain hose, I recommend putting one on.

riding, mower, carburetor, cleaning

This carb you are looking at belongs to Crash Strader, one of our Gear Geeks. He’s got an adjustable main jet stuffed into his bowl, but the concept is the same. Loosen the large nut (top right), and fuel will come out. After emptying the fuel in the bowl, retighten the drain screw and flip the carb over. Loosen the four screws that hold the bowl on. In this photo (lower right) they are the four flathead screws. A few pointers.- if you are breaking apart a Japanese carb, most use JIS fasteners, not Phillips-head. If you don’t know the difference, it’s OK, but use a JIS screwdriver (you’ll have to buy one from a specialty tool shop), or be prepared to replace those pieces of hardware after you strip them with a Phillips screwdriver. Hex-head cap screws make excellent replacements if they do indeed strip. (They seem to strip often. The metal is usually quite soft.)

Next tip: For some carbs, like the SS we are working on here, extended bowl screws are available. They are comically large, unbelievably expensive for what they are, and so damn convenient you won’t mind the size or cost. They’re knurled so you can just spin them off by hand. I can do a jet swap on a bike equipped with these in about five minutes when tuning a bike, and that’s a good indicator of how awesome they are.

Here is my final tip for this section: Once you get the screws out, you will be tempted to separate the bowl from the carb body by yanking. Don’t! Remember those gaskets you were too cheap to buy? Tugging aggressively at the bowl is the perfect way to rip and ruin them. If the bowl doesn’t slip off easily, take a little rubber mallet and tap it gently. It will come off. If you didn’t go caveman-style on it, your gasket should look something like this (right) after you slide it off the body. (I’m referring to the level of non-destruction, not the shape. Japanese carbs often have bowl gaskets that are open in the center.) In the photo below, you can see the gasket still in place.

You now should be staring down into your bowl (above). The float (the black round thing here) may be on the carb body or in the bowl, depending on what type of carb you’re working on, but leave it alone. Work around it, and be gentle with it. If you make one little pinhole, your float won’t float and your bike will not be a happy camper. If the bowl has crud in it, get it out. Clean it with some carburetor cleaner or kerosene and wipe it clean. That gunk is what’s plugging up your carb’s jets. You want to get out all the scummy stuff like you can see in the photo above.

You now will want to remove the jets, as indicated here (above). Be careful! Most jets I see pass through the shop are mangled because our favorite caveman couldn’t be bothered to find the correct hollow-ground screwdriver or, better yet, the fancy SS tool to remove jets. The main on a Super B comes out with a screwdriver or SS jet tool and the pilot jet comes out with either a flathead screwdriver, the SS jet tool or, very carefully, with pliers wrapped with a rag. Be careful, remember? You can also remove the discharge tube, too. That’s the brass piece the main jet screws into. Here (above right) you can see the jets out, un-mangled.

Now we need to clean the jets. Some people use solvent. Some people like compressed air. Some use mechanical methods. The safest is solvent, if you have the time and chemicals. But, if you’re readin’ this, you don’t. There is a backyard way to do this, but like all the others, it requires being careful! (Have I stressed that point? When you’re doing things the wrong way, you have little margin for error.)

I play guitar and I’ve found a good use for an assortment of all my old strings: jet cleaners. You could also use a torch tip cleaner or very fine mechanic’s wire to clear the orifice. The “careful” part means no scratching, sawing, poking or drilling. The jet is a super-precise piece of equipment. If you foul it up, your bike will run like doody-poop, for lack of a better term. Just so you get an idea how tiny these passages are (and why they clog so darn easily), here (above right) is a picture of an assortment of domestic and Japanese jets.

Because Japanese bikes typically have multiple, small carburetors and smaller displacements relative to a Harley, they tend to be easier to clog and more difficult to clean. Just take your time, be delicate, and make sure, when you think you’re done, that you can see a nice, round, open orifice. If the passage does not appear round or you cannot see light through it, it’s likely not clean. Clean the holes that sometimes run across the jet, too.

Now, reassemble your carb. I know I just reversed the directions on you in one word, but if you made it this far, reassembly is a breeze. Reinstall the discharge tube, put in both jets, set the bowl gasket in place, put the bowl on, and reinstall the carb.

At this point, fill the tank with the fresh gas I told you to get. Hook the motorcycle battery up to a car or truck battery so you don’t beat it to death. Turn the petcock on and wait a moment for the fuel bowl to fill. If you have an accelerator pump on your carburetor (Keihin CV and SS Super E come to mind), give the bike a prime wick or two. At this point, start kickin’ or spinning the electric foot. Magic should happen. (Unhook the donor vehicle’s battery quickly after your bike pops to life.) A best-case scenario is that the bike fires right up and you go ride. If that happens, stop reading. Go putt with your bros. You’re welcome. Don’t forget to winterize next year.

If you can get it to fire up, but it’s not running quite right once it warms, that’s OK. Pour a good fuel solvent into the tank. I make up my own brew, but there are some great in-tank cleaners for sale commercially, such as SeaFoam or Marvel Mystery Oil. You’re going to do an Italian tuneup once the fuel treatment is in the tank. However, instead of de-coking the bike (the main goal of the Italian tuneup), you want to create a high vacuum situation in the manifold to pull gas through the carb. High vacuum is best created by running the engine fast under load. Because carburetors operate by drawing fuel in under vacuum, the act of riding uses the carb to pull all that solvent through the tiny openings, clearing away the hidden crud your guitar string missed and getting it acceptably clean. This does work, and after a few minutes of hot, hard riding, bikes often run fantastically.

There you have it. If you don’t mind a little work and a few funny smells, you can usually get your sled rolling again on the cheap and have a few nickels left to rub together for beers.

Now, those of you observant and wise enough to have learned your lesson are wondering how you can avoid this fate next year. It’s all in the prep before you tuck your bike away for a long winter’s nap.

A Lemmy-style winterizing involves topping off the tanks and putting stabilizer in the fuel, turning off the petcocks, changing all fluids, spraying a shot of fogging oil down each jug, hooking up a battery maintenance charger and, finally, gently laying a nice soft blanket over the bike. This effort on a day of lousy weather at the beginning of winter will spare you at least as much time wrenching on that first nice day of good riding weather in the spring, when you’d really, really rather be out on the bike.

How To Clean Carburetor On Craftsman Riding Lawn Mower? (Step-By-Step Guide)

Last summer, I tried to start my craftsman riding lawn mower. But I couldn’t. Do you guess what was the reason behind it? Yes, you are right. It’s the jammed carburetor.

After that, I was looking for a guideline to clean the carburetor but it totally disappointed me. I guess you face the same issue. But, I don’t want to disappoint you.

Actually you know a carburetor controls the flow of the air and gas towards the engine of the mower. If it is jammed or damaged, it creates trouble in starting the lawnmower as well as controlling the speed of the mower.

In this article, I will try to give you a perfect guideline on how to clean a carburetor on a craftsman riding lawn mower. I believe this guideline will really help you.

So, let’s find out how to clean it.

In this content you’ll learn:

The Process To Clean A Carburetor On The Craftsman Riding Lawnmower

Basically, cleaning a carburetor is really a simple task. You just need to disconnect some connection and merely a few tools to clean a carburetor. It approximately takes 15-20 minutes to complete the task.

Before starting the cleaning process, let’s see what you will need to clean the carburetor.

  • Screwdriver
  • Socket wrench
  • A needle nose pliers
  • Carburetor cleaning spray
  • Paper towel/ rag

Now, it’s time to clean. Follow the steps stated below to clean the carburetor conveniently.

Steps to follow:

Step #1: Preparation For Cleaning

Place your lawnmower into an even surface and unplug the spark plug of the mower.

Step #2: Vacant Gas Tank

Pull the gas tank upwards. You will see a fuel hole at the bottom of the gas tank. Take a plier and squeeze out the fuel hole connection.

How to Clean Carburetor on John Deere Mower | Remove, Clean and Install Carburetor

Step #3: Remove And Clean The Mower Air Filter

Turn the air filter anticlockwise to take it off. If the air filter is dirty, clean it, or replace it.

Step #4: Uninstall and Clean The Carburetor Fuel Bowl

Use a socket wrench to remove the screw attached to the fuel bowl. The fuel bowl is attached to the bottom of the carburetor. Rotate the socket wrench counter-clockwise and the screw will come out quickly.

Clean the screw and keep it in a safe place. Pull the bowl downward and you will see the float attach to the carburetor. If you find any liquid inside the bowl, just pour it out and clean the bowl. Use a paper towel or rag to wipe the bowl.

Step #5: Clean The Float

Check the float and make sure that the float is free to move. The float actually controls the flow of the fuel from the fuel tank to the carburetor. If you see the float is jammed or stuck, you need to clean it properly.

Step #6: Remove The Primer Bulb

Now, use a screwdriver to remove the primer bulb attached to the carburetor. It will help you to clean the carburetor properly.

Step #7: Clean The Mower Carburetor

Now, it’s time to clean the carburetor. Take a carburetor cleaner spray and spray it all around the carburetor. Clean the gas line, fuel bowl area, float, and primer bulb area. Use a paper towel to wipe the whole cleaning area properly. Apply some oil/ grease at the primer bulb area.

Step #8: Reassemble The Components Of Carburetor

Now you are ready for reassembly. Reassemble the primer bulb at first. Replace the fuel bowl in its previous position and tighten the bottom screw of the fuel bowl by using the socket wrench. Note that, put the deepest part of the fuel bowl under the deepest part of the float. Otherwise, the float will be stuck with the fuel bowl.

Replace the air filter. Now connect the fuel hole connection with the fuel tank by using a plier. Lock the fuel tank back with the mower. At last, reconnect the spark plug again.

Final verdict

I think now cleaning a riding mower carburetor is a piece of cake for you. You know if you do this at home, it really saves your bucks for the maintenance of the mower.

You even don’t need to call any technician for this simple task. Just follow the process mentioned above and do it yourself.

I hope this article has helped you to know how to clean a carburetor on a Craftsman riding lawn mower.

Give us your feedback and have fun!

I started Landscape and Lawns Care to provide clients with lawn care with better service, better products and, most importantly, better ethics. My promise to every customer is to give the greenest grass possible while controlling weeds, insects, and diseases! The most important thing is that I strive to always do the right thing for you, your lawn and your wallet!


I have had several Toro products before and have had neighbors who recommended Toro products. BUT NO MORE. I purchased an electric Flex Force Power System- 60 V Max 22in Recycler Lawn Mower after having looked at videos and reviews on YouTube and talking to several dealers about purchasing an electric mower. Having just purchased a home on a small city lot, I felt I did not need the Poulan riding mower that I used for my quarter acre lot. So I purchased the Toro. What a mistake – WHAT A PIECE OF CRAP! It cuts poorly and mulches even worse. I have to cover the same ground two and three times in order to get the leaves picked up that blow in from my neighbor’s trees. We have no trees on our lot. And it is not even fall here in Minnesota. Worse yet, in the middle of cutting and mulching the light leaf cover on my lawn, the damn battery goes dead. So now I am sitting and waiting for two or three hours while the battery recharges.I know – I should have known better. There’s an old saying, “Stick with what you know.” I didn’t do that and I bought this electric Toro machine thinking it would be better for the environment and still have near the same capabilities as my old Poulan. It doesn’t and all I can say is Toro has lost my trust. I’ll be selling this thing and buying a good gas powered walk behind that has the power to finish a lawn the size of a postage stamp city lot. And no – it won’t be a Toro!!

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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.

How To Clean a Honda Style Carburetor (Step-by-Step)

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.

Self-Propelled Mower

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.

Lawn Tractor

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.

riding, mower, carburetor, cleaning

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 Lawn Mower Carburetor Cleaner

Wondering how to use lawn mower carburetor cleaner? You’re in the right place.

Give your mower the care it needs to help extend its useful life. We’ll show you the steps to take in our complete guide below.

The Quick Answer

If you’re in a hurry, the following steps are the basics you need to know to use lawn mower carburetor cleaner:

  • Get your lawnmower ready
  • Remove its air filter
  • Access the carburetor’s interior
  • Spray the cleaner
  • Remove extra buildup
  • Put the mower back together

It might seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but using a carburetor cleaner on your lawnmower is a relatively simple process. Keep reading for a complete walkthrough.

Using Lawn Mower Carburetor Cleaner

Let’s take a deeper dive into using lawn mower carburetor cleaner. But first, a carburetor often gets clogged over time.

It’s critical that you clean it from time to time to prevent it from creating sludge which it then puts into the engine. That said, only a few quick steps are standing between you and a cleaner machine.

Get Your Lawn Mower Ready

When getting ready to use a carburetor cleaner, the first thing you need to do is prepare your lawnmower. It’s easy.

All this it entails is ensuring the mower’s engine is off. If you operated the mower recently, you also have to wait for it to cool down. After making sure the engine is off and cool, you can safely perform the following steps.

Remove the Mower’s Air Filter

When the engine is cool, it’s time to remove the mower’s air filter. The air filter is usually toward the top of the engine and located within a plastic casing. Sometimes the case lid snaps into place, while on other models, you’ll need a screwdriver to remove it.

Dust off the area around the air filter before removing it. The air filter helps keep dust and dirt from getting into the engine. You don’t want to accidentally create more of a mess while trying to clean the carburetor.

Access the Carburetor’s Interior

With the air filter and its casing out of the way, you should be able to see the connections and links running from the carburetor to other parts of the engine. You need to disconnect and remove these connections to access the carburetor’s interior.

Make a careful note of where and how these connections were attached. You’ll have to reattach them when you finish cleaning the carburetor. If you’re not confident in your ability to remember where everything went, it can help to take a picture with your cellphone.

Spray the Cleaner

Now that you have access to the carburetor, you can clean it properly. To do so, you’re going to want to start the lawnmower engine. When the mower is operating, spray the carburetor cleaner directly into the center of the carburetor.

A high-quality commercial lawn mower carburetor cleaner works best for this step. It might seem counterintuitive, but spraying the cleaner while the engine runs allows it to penetrate deeply and remove more debris. Exercise care to avoid spraying other parts of the mower’s engine while you work.

Remove Extra Buildup

As you’ve been spraying the cleaner, dirt might fall and stick to the lower throttle of the carburetor. If you see debris, remove it. Ensure the cleaner is reaching the carburetor’s throat. With that done, you can again turn the mower off.

It should still be relatively cool because it hasn’t been running long, but exercise caution just in case. Keep spraying the carburetor to remove any extra buildup.

Put the Mower Back Together

All that remains is to put the mower back together. First, reattach and replace any connections you undid to access the carburetor’s internal parts. If you took a picture before disassembling the pieces, take a look at it now. Make sure the links are securely attached to the correct areas.

Now, you can replace the mower’s air filter. Take a moment to knock some of the dust and debris off the filter, then put it back where it was. Reattach the air filter’s casing cover by snapping it into place or putting in the necessary screw.

Things to Consider

When you follow the above steps, the result should be a clean carburetor. Other things to consider include:

riding, mower, carburetor, cleaning
  • Has it been a few years since the last time you cleaned the carburetor? Typically, it’s best to clean it once every season. If it’s been a while, expect more dirt.
  • Do you have the proper protective gear? Gloves will help keep you safer and clean while you work.
  • Do you disconnect the spark plug? If you don’t, you’re at risk for an electric shock.

Keep these considerations in mind while you work.

Frequently Asked Questions

You might still have questions after reading about how to use lawn mower carburetor cleaner. Read further to discover answers to some of the more common inquiries.

Is the Cleaning Process Different for Riding and Push Lawn Mowers?

The carburetor cleaning process should be similar between riding and push mowers. The location of the carburetor itself will vary slightly but not considerably.

You might need assistance if you’re working on a riding lawn mower, as some models have a dead man’s switch built in to stop the engine if there isn’t enough weight in the seat.

How Can You Tell the Cleaning Helped?

If cleaning the carburetor helped, your lawnmower should start up much more smoothly than it did previously.

What if the Lawn Mower Still Isn’t Working Well After Cleaning?

Sometimes, cleaning a lawn mower’s carburetor won’t noticeably improve its performance. If you’re still having issues, it’s best to contact someone specializing in small engine repair. An expert can diagnose and solve more complex problems.

Should You Use Lawn Mower Carburetor Cleaner?

Using lawn mower carburetor cleaner isn’t difficult. With the proper precautions, you can do it safely and efficiently. Doing so is an important maintenance activity, and it will help keep your lawn mower functioning at its highest level.

If you found this guide useful, consider taking a moment to look at more of our how-to guides for homeowners.

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