Over time, car carburetors can collect a lot of dust, dirt, debris, grime, and grease. This can cause blockages or clogs that prevent the needed combo of fuel and air from reaching the engine, which, in turn, halts the car.
Less severe symptoms are sluggish performance and acceleration, reduced mileage, as well as overheating. If you drive with diesel, you may also encounter black smoke from the exhaust pipe.
All of these are situations that you want to avoid as a car owner, and to do that, it is necessary to know how to clean a carburetor without removing it. Even though seeking professional service is an option, it is not necessarily the most cost-effective and time-saving solution.
So, it is best if you can learn to clean the carburetor without removing it on your own at home. Understanding this, we have put together an article with all the necessary materials and steps that you have to be aware of.
Briefly, the procedure to clean carb without removing it is as follows:
- Put on protective gear, switch off the engine, and remove the air filter’s housing along with any hoses and linkages and the bottom bowl
- Vacuum away any loose dirt, dust, debris, grime, and great on the surface with a handheld and cordless vacuum
- Lay out rags or cloths at the base of the carburetor to catch runoffs and protect the surfaces
- Apply the carburetor and choke cleaner in thin, even coats. Then, wait for it to settle and work its magic
- Wipe the filth away along with the cleaning solution applied using a microfiber towel and extra help from a stiff-bristle brush or a wire brush
- Wipe the carburetor down with a fresh, dry towel and double-check that it is dried completely
- Remove the rags or cloths at the base of the carburetor and other tools to run a performance test on the engine
- Return the air filter housing, bottom bowl, as well as hoses and linkages to their original setup
Keep reading for the details!
Table of Contents
What You Will Need to Have Ready
Before you begin to clean a car carburetor without removing it, you need to gather the following materials:
- A pair of safety gloves and goggles
- Basic hand tools to loosen bolts and nuts
- Some napkins or paper towels
- A handheld and cordless vacuum
- Some slightly thick rags or cloths
- A carburetor cleaner
- Two microfiber towels
- A stiff-bristle brush or wire brush
Although most of the materials on this list are not tricky to choose, you must be extra attentive when purchasing the carburetor cleaner. This is sometimes also referred to as a carburetor and choke cleaner. It is best to weigh in many factors before you decide to buy a particular product, including but not limited to: formula, compatibility, ease of use, brand, and price. Your product of choice should excellently converge all these criteria.
Reliable ones that you can consider if you are not yet sure where to start: Gumout 800002231 Carb and Choke Cleaner, CRC Carb and Choke Cleaner, Johnsen’s 4641NC Non-VOC Compliant Carburetor Cleaner Spray, and B-12 CHEMTOOL Carburetor/Choke Cleaner.
Once you have everything and are good to go, dive straight into the next section, listing and elaborating the necessary steps.
The Best Way to Clean a Carburetor (8 Simple Steps)
Step 1: Put on protective gear, switch off the engine, and remove the air filter’s housing along with any hoses and linkages and the bottom bowl
First things first, put on a pair of safety gloves and goggles. Wear a face mask, then switch off the engine. Check that the spark plug is safely disconnected. Next, locate the air filter and its housing. Remove it to gain access into the carburetor.
You may have to remove all the surrounding hoses and linkages as well. Use hand tools if you need to loosen any bolts and nuts. There is a bowl at the bottom of the carburetor; take it off too.
Top Tip: At this point, it is very important to ensure that the petcock is closed. Otherwise, gas will leak.
Lay out a few napkins or paper towels around the base of the carburetor to collect any gas drips. Wipe any excess. You can move onto the next step after getting a clear passageway to the dirty car carburetor.
Step 2: Vacuum away any loose dirt, dust, debris, grime, and great on the surface with a handheld and cordless vacuum
Use a small, handheld and cordless vacuum to get rid of any surface-level filth. Set the vacuum to a low or moderate setting and run it across the compartment carefully. Take your time and do a thorough job. The better you complete this step, the less work you have later.
Step 3: Lay out rags or cloths at the base of the carburetor to catch runoffs and protect the surfaces
Replace the layer of napkins with a layer of slightly thicker rags or cloths. This will catch any runoffs and prevent them from hurting surfaces, especially ones coated with paint.
Step 4: Apply the carburetor and choke cleaner in thin, even coats. Then, wait for it to settle and work its magic
Then, prepare your carburetor and choke cleaner. Grip it properly and hold it at about half a palm’s length from the outershield to clean the outboard carburetor without removing it. Give it a good shake, and position your finger on the nozzle, ready to press down to spritz.
Make a thin and even coat; do not miss the secondary moving points and connections, particularly the linkage of the throttle area. Now, wait for the cleaning solution to work its magic. Be patient! It will take at least a few minutes.
Step 5: Wipe the filth away along with the cleaning solution applied using a microfiber towel and extra help from a stiff-bristle brush or a wire brush
Use a fresh microfiber towel to wipe the filth away along with the cleaning solution. If there are solid buildups or sludges, use a stiff-bristle brush to work it out. Alternatively, you can use a wire brush. Apply more of the carburetor cleaner as needed.
Note: It is completely normal to repeat steps three and four several times. Continue to do so until the carburetor is clearly clean. Be attentive and check all of the openings closely.
Step 6: Wipe the carburetor down with a fresh, dry towel and double-check that it is dried completely
Now, give the carburetor another wipe-down with another dry towel. Make sure that there is no excess moisture left. Leave it for an hour or two to dry completely. To verify, the criterion is that it is not damp-to-touch.
Step 7: Remove the rags or cloths at the base of the carburetor and other tools to run a performance test on the engine
Remove the rags and cloths you have laid out at the base of the carburetor, as well as any other hand tools you were using. Then, start the engine to test its performance. If the results are better compared to before you started to clean, you are good to go!
Otherwise, you can repeat the procedure. In case your engine is still not as you wanted, consider cleaning the carburetor by actually removing it. It is quite a tedious task, especially when you have to rebuild it in the end, but unfortunately, it may be your only solution.
Check out this site to learn how to clean a car carburetor without removing it.
Step 8: Return the air filter housing, bottom bowl, as well as hoses and linkages to their original setup
To complete, put the air filter housing back in and return everything that you have disconnected temporarily on the first step.
Bravo! You now know everything there is to know to clean a carburetor without taking it apart. Remember, it is important to clean your carburetor once in a while. You do not have to wait until it is showing symptoms to actually go ahead and clean it. It is always better to be proactive when it comes to car care and maintenance!
Learning how to clean a carburetor without removing it is difficult but not impossible as long as you prepare the appropriate materials and take the right steps.
Now that you have read through everything you need to know about cleaning carburetors, just apply accordingly and say goodbye to costly professional services!
Afterward, please do not forget to return and share your experience with us as well as other readers in the comments. This is especially important if you have gotten insights that can further our article’s content. You are welcome to share the article with anyone you think will benefit from or appreciate the content as well!