clean a carburetor on a lawn mower

How to clean a carburetor on a lawn mower

Cleaning a carburetor on a lawnmower? This should be part of your regular maintenance programme, but whether you are looking to clean a carburetor on a lawnmower as part of your regular maintenance, or whether there are running issues that lead to your carburetor as a problem, if you are at the point where you are looking to learn how to clean a carburetor on a lawn mower it then follow the comprehensive guide below.

TOP TIP: Always read the manuals provided with your make and model of machine.  If you have specific issues or unanswered questions then contact your manufacturer or supplier.

clean a carburetorProblems starting a lawnmower?   If your mower is only running with the choke open, splutters and dies when you are trying to mow on a slope, dies away as you work, surges, or runs roughly then the major culprit is usually the carburetor.  It doesn’t matter if you are cleaning a carburetor on a lawnmower as maintenance or to problem solve the process is the same.

All engine-driven lawnmowers have a carburetor fitted, even the push ones.  The carburetor regulates the flow of air and therefore the fuel in response to the throttle.  The consequence of a claggy or poorly maintained carburetor is an engine which does not run smoothly.  This is often a problem if it has sat with fuel in it over the winter period.

How long will it take?

Give yourself a couple of hours, this isn’t too demanding, and as long as you are methodical, you will have no problem doing this job yourself.  Do take a photograph though before you start dismantling, then you know what you are aiming for when you put it back together.

What tools do I need?

You should be able to go start to finish with some spray carburetor cleaner, a couple of wrenches 3/8” and ½”, a set of mole grips, some tissue to pad them out when you put them onto the fuel line and Philips head screwdriver.

If you have a ride on mower then remove the deck first and have the mower on a level surface.

lawn mowerRemove the carburetor.  Undo the bolts holding the carburetor to the engine and detach it from the throttle linkage.  If you clamp the fuel line with the mole grips, using the tissue for padding to prevent damage, then you don’t have to worry about leaking fuel.

You may need to remove the air filter to access the carburetor on your model, if you do have to remove it then replacing the filter whilst you are working on the mower is probably not a bad idea.

If there is no corrosion visible in the unit then using spray carburetor cleaner thoroughly clean all inside surfaces of the carburetor making sure to get into all the crevices.

If there is corrosion present in the carburetor then you have neglected the mower for too long and I’m sorry to say that the only recourse is a new carburetor.  They are easy to order online and not too expensive.  You may like to consider ordering a complete tune up kit whilst you are about it and replace all of the recommended parts for your model.

If your carburetor has plastic components then an air compressor will be the best way to tackle those areas, the cleaner is chemically fairly mighty, so you won’t want to be getting that on the plastic.

Gently using a rag wipe out the carburetor leaving your surfaces nice and clean.  If you need to re-apply the spray cleaner then, by all means, repeat the process again.

Replace the carburetor exactly as you removed it, along with your new air filter if you have had to remove that as well.  If it is a ride-on then replace the decks and you are good to go.


  • Work outside, when it isn’t windy, to avoid fumes.
  • Wear appropriate safety gear – goggles as a minimum, this is nasty stuff.
  • Do not have any open flames near where you are working.

Cleaning a carburetor on a lawnmower is not a difficult job, hopefully following our how to clean a carburetor on a lawnmower guide has given you the confidence to try it for yourself.  What’s the worst thing that can happen?  You can always put it back together and get a professional in if it doesn’t solve the problem.  Cleaning a carburetor is a basic maintenance job that all mowers will benefit from annually.  Go on, have a go.




Author: Kyle Baxter

Kyle Baxter is married with one young son. A very short career in investigative journalism, and a particularly unfortunate experience over the purchase of a major household appliance that took many months to resolve when he could ill-afford the costs led Kyle to his current position as a consumer champion. When not seeking out guidance on the best-on-the-market Kyle enjoys watching baseball and tries to get away from the house long enough to do some off-road cycling.

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