How to Clean a Car Carburetor? – The Easiest Way

Written by Howell Crist / Fact checked by Sam Howard

how to clean a car carburetor

Your car carburetor plays a vital role in the performance of your automobile. It does not only control the ratio of gasoline and air to produce the correct combustible combination, but it also regulates engine speed.

A clean carburetor means a properly-working engine that assists the car in retaining its fuel economy and engine power.

So, the best way to preserve its functionality is to schedule maintenance cleaning. Yes, we will give you cleaning tips to make it easier and less expensive.

There are two ways to do carburetor cleaning. Let us start with a method on how to clean a car carburetor preferred by those who want to do it fast and easily.

Tips on Cleaning a Carburetor Without Removing It


It is easy to clean a car carburetor without removing it. But the question is, “What can I use to clean it?”

What You Need:

  • Protective Gear: Dust Mask, Glasses, and Gloves – Take precautions to protect your hands, eyes, and nose.
  • Choke and Carburetor Cleaner
  • Lubricant Cleaning Spray
  • Small Wire Brush
  • Clean Rags

Step 1: Preparation

Put on your safety mask and gloves before the task. Then, make sure your engine is off and cool for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Locate Your Carburetor after Cooling Off Engine


The air filter and housing must then be removed as you locate the dirty carburetor. This is done to provide access to the carburetor within.

Gather some of your rags and tie them together. Determine the location of the throttle control on the carburetor. This allows you to run the engine manually at a quicker rate while cleaning.

Step 3: Tie the Rags Around the Carburetors Base

Spray cleaning solution on the rags you’ve tied in your hand and position them around the base of the carburetor.

Be cautious upon setting the rags to avoid damaging painted surfaces.

Step 4: Cleaning the Outer Area


  • Spray the outer body of the carburetor with lubrication spray or choke cleaning spray. It is important that you spray onto all the connection or linked moving parts where grime and dirt are built up, including the throttle area.
  • After spraying the cleaner, use the small wire brush to remove the hardened grimes or smudges right away.
  • After the grimes are removed completely, leave the cleaner there for 10 minutes. Then, wipe the dirt off with a clean rag.

Step 5: Once Done, Rev Up the Engine

  • For deeper cleaning, spray some more cleaner on the carburetor.
  • Clear the cleaning area, including all the tools. And take the rags with the cleaning solvent off the car part.
  • Start your car’s engine after the area has been cleaned and use the throttle to run the motor at a high RPM.
  • While running the motor, reapply the carburetor cleaner for a few seconds. By doing so, the cleaning agent will be forced through, and the engine won’t stall. Continue doing the step, and afterward, let the engine run at normal speed for some time.

Step 6: Reattach the Detached Parts

Turn off the car engine and reattach the air filter and the housing. Then, drive your car for 15 mintues to make sure the carburetor cleaner flows through the system.

That’s the easy way to clean a car carburetor without removing it. This method is also best for small engines such as carburetor motorcycles. Another one on the list is an inboard boat carburetor.

Removing the Car Carburetor for Cleaning


Here is another way to clean out a carburetor.

What You Need:

  • Protective Gear: Dust Mask, Glasses, and Gloves
  • Cross-head Screwdriver
  • Flat Screwdriver
  • Wire Brush
  • Wrench or Socket Set
  • Carb and Choke Cleaner
  • Catch Pan
  • Basin
  • Needle Nose Pliers

Step 1: Gear up

Be safe always, so put on your face mask, glasses, and gloves.

Step 2: Empty the Gas Tank

Tilt the carburetor to empty any remaining gasoline into a catch pan and set it aside safely.

Step 3: Detach the Gasoline Line


Disconnect the gasoline line by closing the fuel valve on the fuel tank. Unscrew the screws and clamps to remove the carburetor from its place.

Step 4: Take the Carburetor out

Take a video or photos as you detach everything to know exactly where to replace them after cleaning.

  • Remove the four screws and use the needle nose pliers to remove the float pin to completely detach the float.
  • Use a cross-head screwdriver to detach the main jet and use the flat screwdriver to take off the pilot jet.
  • Detach the idle screw and the air screw with a flathead screwdriver. Take out the components that are visible from the exterior to examine the internal O-rings and gaskets.
  • Place all the detached parts in a safe, visible area to avoid missing parts.

Step 5: Bathe The Carburetor Parts


Choose a well-ventilated area to avoid chemical intoxication.

Clean carburetor jets and other parts for 30 minutes by submerging them into a big basin with the cleaning agent for carburetor and choke.

Clean the tiller carburetor and other parts by making sure each is properly covered with the solution.

Step 6: Brush and Clean

Start brushing the inside carburetor and the small parts with a metal brush while the bigger parts are still submerged with the cleaning solution.

Take out the bigger parts to avoid overexposure to the solution causing fragility. Brush the dirt and grime carefully.

Step 7: Carburetor Reattachment

You may now begin reassembling your carburetor using your prior images or videos as a reference once everything has been air-dried.

Using compressed air can also be an option.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do you unclog a car carburetor?

  • To clean or unclog a carburetor, spray the carb and choke cleaner on a group of tied rags.
  • Place the clothes on the base of the carburetor.
  • Spray choke cleaner with lubricant on the exterior of the carburetor, including linked parts.
  • Spray carb cleaner on the carburetor. Remove the cloths stuck on there and other tools.
  • Turning up the engine at high speed. Repeat the process a few times.
  • Turn off the engine and reattach the air filter and housing. Ride your car for 1o minutes for the cleaner to penetrate the system.

What can you use to clean a carburetor if you don’t have a carburetor cleaner?

One homemade solution you can use to replace a carburetor cleaner is premium diesel or gasoline mixed with acetone or methylene chloride. Instead of submerging carburetor parts into choke cleaner, you can soak the carburetor in gasoline mixed with acetone.

What is the carburetor cleaning price?

It will cost you about $300 for a professional service to clean your car carburetor. The cost can be higher if there are additional parts to clean.


You can apply these ways of cleaning a carburetor on a lawn mower or even bigger carburetors for cars and trucks. These helpful tips can spare you from an expensive cleaning from professionals.

Not only that, you can do carburetor maintenance at home. Congratulations on learning how to clean a car carburetor. Now, spread the news!

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Our chief editor is Sam Howard. The vast market of car care necessitates extensive research. He entered the market, experienced the service, and reported customer feedback in order to provide the best advice and content to car owners. We have faith in him to turn our website into a reliable resource for all car owners.

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