How to Clean a Carburetor

Keeping a carburetor clean is absolutely vital to keeping your car engine running smoothly. The carburetor regulates the amount of air and fuel that goes to the engine. If the carburetor becomes dirty, it can affect the timing of the car and throw the entire engine out of whack.

Things You'll Need

  • Allen Wrench
  • Compressed Air
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Cleaning Solvent

Find the carburetor in your engine and remove it. The carburetor is connected to five different lines on your engine: the PCV hose, cold choke tube, vacuum line, gas line and throttle. Remove all five lines from the carburetor. The carburetor will then be bolted down to the engine manifold. Use an Allen wrench to unscrew these four bolts and remove the carburetor from the engine.

The carburetor is usually soaked in an industrial solven that needs to be cleaned. Again, any auto part supply store will have many options for cleaners. Most repairmen prefer the most caustic cleaners to get their carburetors as clean as possible. Remove any plastic parts from the carburetor before soaking it as these will erode in the cleaner. If you can move or agitate the cleaner or carburetor in any way, this will make the cleaning process go faster.

Once the carburetor has soaked over night, remove it from the solvent and wipe it off. Make sure you wear rubber gloves while handling the carburetor after it has soaked in the cleaner.To finish off cleaning the carburetor, use compressed air to blow through some of the inside parts. A small can of compressed air should provide sufficient pressure, while not risking hurting the carburetor with too much pressure.

After this process, the carburetor should be clean, and it is time to put it back into the engine. Follow the same steps for removal in reverse. Use the bolts to reattach the carburetor to the manifold, then hook up each of the five lines to the carburetor. The carburetor should run more smoothly and efficiently after this cleaning process.


  • Make sure to label all of the lines as you take them off of the carburetor. This will make it easier to reinstall the carburetor after cleaning. Be careful to make sure no small parts fall out of the carburetor while cleaning.


  • Any time you are dealing with industrial solvents,there is the possibility of danger. Handle these products with great care.