GARAGE & TOOLS
JANITORIAL & SANITATION
HOW TO CLEAN A SMALL ENGINE CARBURETOR
Lawnmower carburetors, snowblower carburetors and other small engine carburetors share a common functionality; this is where gasoline and air mix before gas continues through the engine. Keeping a clean carburetor helps your machine work properly, prevents corrosion and saves the need for costly replacements.
The air intake can dry out the gas in your carburetor, resulting in a sticky substance that adheres to the walls of the carburetor and builds up over time. Infrequent use of an engine can also cause the gasoline to thicken, reducing the ability of the carburetor's small parts to move properly. Connections attached to the carburetor's throttle and choke plates can also become stuck when dirty. Lastly, if the carburetor gives off a smell of turpentine or a chemical odor different from the smell of gasoline, it's likely overdue for a cleaning.
However, it's important to use a non-corrosive cleaner which doesn't harm or degrade any plastic or rubber pieces on the carburetor. You should avoid using vinegar, because the acetic acid makes metal susceptible to rust. Additionally, bleach should never be used, because sodium hypochlorite (bleach) will corrode metals such as steel and aluminum, and degrade rubberized seals.
A safer option to harsh chemicals, Simple Green Pro HD Heavy-Duty Cleaner is biodegradable* and non-corrosive, safe for cleaning aluminum, stainless steel and other metals. The professional-grade, engine-safe formula breaks down tough grease, oil, road grime and other automotive fluids, making it ideal for cleaning your small engine carburetor.
Check your Owner's Manual before cleaning the carburetor. Always follow manufacturer's complete instructions for cleaning and maintenance. Make sure the carburetor is cool to the touch before cleaning.
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