Although most of today's vehicles use fuel injection and no longer include a carburetor, many older vehicles as well as the machines around our home and garage still use carbureted engines. It's not unusual for a carb to go bad or need maintenance, upkeep or repair.
What Does the Carburetor Do?
The carburetor controls the amount of fuel and air going into the engine's cylinders. It does this by combining the air intake (which is usually right on top of or directly connected to it) with the throttle control (attached to the throttle or gas pedal) for fuel. By combining control of these two elements, it allows only a set amount of fuel and air into the chamber to mix, giving the engine (hopefully) optimum burning ability.
Carburetor Repair and Gas Leaks
These are a common issue in carburetors as the gaskets on the carb and fuel line insert can become worn with time. Simple replacement is the fix. Sometimes, the leak is because of a worse problem, such as a cracked gas connection or warped carburetor seating.
Carburetor Repair and Fuel Delivery Problems
A poor mixture of fuel-air that is too rich or not rich enough can be attributed to the carburetor if there is not a problem in the fuel lines or delivery system itself. Most often, this is due to either a clogged inlet at the carb or a mis-adjustment of the mixture on the throttle.
Carburetor Repair and Air Flow
If there is too much or not enough air, which often gives symptoms similar to fuel problems, the culprit is likely the carb not opening enough due to a bad adjustment or debris causing things not to turn correctly.
Carburetor Repair and Maintenance
Most problems with carburetors can be avoided if they are properly maintained. Clean them with every oil change by either spraying cleaner into the carb while the engine is running or by using fuel additives. This simple addition to your maintenance routine can go a long way towards preventing future issues.
It is not recommended that you tune or adjust the carburetor unless you have the proper tools and knowledge to do so correctly. Tuning it incorrectly will mean bad economy and the distinct possibility of early wear and deterioration of many engine and carburetor parts.