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.

where is the carburetor on a lawn mower

Photo Credit A carburetor mixes the gas with air in a correct ratio to maximize fuel efficiency.

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?

What Is A Lawn Mower Carburetor?

Photo Credit Carburetor is a device that provides the correct air-fuel mixture for the mower’s engine.

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.

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What Does A Carburetor Do In A Lawn Mower?

What Does A Carburetor Do In A Lawn Mower?

Photo Credit Carburetor ensures that the engine of the mower runs smoothly.

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?

How Does A Lawn Mower Carburetor Work?

Photo Credit The design of a basic carburetor.

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?

What Does A Carburetor On A Lawn Mower Looks Like?

Photo Credit

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.

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Where Is The Carburetor Located On A Lawn Mower?

Where Is The Carburetor Located On A Lawn Mower?

Photo Credit The carburetor is typically bolted to the top or side of a mower’s engine.

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. Moreover, 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:

How To Locate The Carburetor On A Lawn Mower | Steps

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. 

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.

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Carburetors On Walk-Behind Mowers

Carburetors On Walk-Behind Mowers

Photo Credit A walk-behind mower can either be pushed or self-propelled.

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.

Types of Walk-Behind Mowers

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

Carburetors On Riding Mowers

Photo Credit The riding mower is also known as a ride-on mower, tractor mower or lawn tractor.

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:

Types of Riding Mowers

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?

Do I Need To Clean The Carburetor On My Lawn Mower?

Photo Credit Keep the carburetor clean to increase your mower’s efficiency and life.

Other than regular wear and tear, the carburetor of a lawn mower is also prone to damage from the lawn debris. 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?

How do you fix a lawn mower carburetor?

Photo Credit Fixing and replacing a faulty lawn mower carburetor is cheaper than you think.

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.

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