PDA

View Full Version : carburator check


LawnMedic
03-04-2010, 12:56 AM
Does anyone clean their carburators regularly? Maintenance I pull is pretty much, oil change, air filter, spark plugs, batterys, fuel filters, oil filters, and blade changes. Curious if theres any other in depth maintenance people go about....

SuperiorPower
03-04-2010, 06:40 AM
Does anyone clean their carburators regularly? Maintenance I pull is pretty much, oil change, air filter, spark plugs, batterys, fuel filters, oil filters, and blade changes. Curious if theres any other in depth maintenance people go about....

As far as cleaning the carburetor, it should only be disassembled and cleaned under these conditions (**NOTE: If you are not completely comfortable with either of these steps, just take it to your favorite small engine shop and let them do it! It will probably be cheaper in the long run.**):

A. If the engine is not getting fuel. Basically, if your engine starts and runs correctly there is no need to clean the carburetor. In this case, just make sure you run a fuel stabilizer through your machine. I am not a big fan of using most of the carburetor cleaning products that you put in the gas. They are primarily concentrated alcohol which is typically the biggest problem with carburetors anyway so it makes no sense to pour more carburetor problem creator in your gasoline.....

First try to start the engine (make sure the mower has gas in it!!). If it will not start when choked briefly, your carburetor may need to be cleaned. Keep in mind that if your mower has set over winter it may start harder than it did last fall (if it starts at all) if it was not properly winterized. Try giving the engine a shot of starting fluid. If the engine still does not start there may be a deeper problem. If it starts but will not continue to run even with the choke "on", then your carburetor may need cleaned. Try starting it several more times before you decide to clean the carburetor. Only go to the next step if: 1. your engine will not start and continue to run after several attempts, 2. if you are comfortable doing so.

B. If you are comfortable disassembling small components! If you are not comfortable disassembling small components do yourself (and your mechanic) a big favor and DO NOT try to disassemble your carburetor!!!! Keep in mind that carburetors have multiple small parts that need to be installed in the correct sequence and properly adjusted. If you are not completely comfortable with this step, do not perform it! Just take it to your favorite small engine shop and let them do it! It will probably be cheaper in the long run.

If you intend to clean your carburetor yourself you need to: disassemble it, make sure you don't loose any parts, spray the inside of it with carburetor cleaner, wipe out what you can, and blow it out with compressed air. Now reassemble it and in stall it. If it still does not start take it to your favorite small engine repair shop. There may be a deeper problem than you can repair. And in some cases a brand new carburetor is only $30-50 so it is not worth messing with them. In other cases, carburetors are priced more in the $50-350 range so don't assume a carburetor will be cheap in the event you destroy your old one or lose parts from it!

LawnMedic
03-04-2010, 09:48 AM
thanks for the good info. How do you feel about carb/engine cleaners that you put in the fuel when your are running it?

lnbn1975
03-04-2010, 09:59 AM
A little SeaFoam in the fuel is a good insurance against carb contamination.

LawnMedic
03-04-2010, 10:03 AM
hmm seafoam? never heard of that

lnbn1975
03-04-2010, 10:12 AM
hmm seafoam? never heard of that

Walmart carries it, as do most auto stores such as Autozone, etc. It comes in a white and red container. Pretty expensive ($8) per can, but you only need about 2 oz per gallon as a preventative. If you have a motor acting up with a fuel problem, put about 2 oz per pint of gas. Believe me, it takes crud out and off. I put some in an older Lawnboy 4 cycle with the Tecumseh engine that I had already cleaned the carb on. Ran it a bit, then let it sit. When I took the carb apart again to check, you would be amazed at the junk in the bowl. Cleaned the jets and float up.

LawnMedic
03-04-2010, 11:26 PM
How about that Stab-bil fuel stabilizer. It says that you can use it on every fill up at a less of a rate. Has anyone tried this practice? My mower is up around 1000 hrs which isnt crazy I know but still, I dont want to be stuck with a carb problem in the middle of the year.

lnbn1975
03-05-2010, 07:30 AM
I don't know if Stabil will clean/prevent carb problems from a machine that is used regularly. It won't hurt, that's for sure. I thought it was more for equipment that didn't use a lot of fuel and would keep fuel fresh.

LawnMedic
03-05-2010, 08:37 AM
Well it says on the label that you can use at every fill up at a lesser rate, theres got to be some preventative with it right?....

LawnMedic
03-05-2010, 09:54 AM
was reading some more on the seafoam. You can use in in the oil too? Anyone added seafoam to their oil? They say to do it before you change it....

SuperiorPower
03-05-2010, 12:35 PM
Ok, I will try to answer several questions in one post.

Fuel additives while engine is running...

What specific additives are you asking about?


Sea Foam..... (Ugh, I hate addressing this.....)

First, I have NEVER used it and have heard and read mixed reviews on it. Let me tell you, as with anything else, if it isn't broke, don't fix it. Another words, if your engine runs fine without using Sea Foam, then don't Sea Foam it. If you do Sea Foam it, then run all the gas out relatively soon (preferably within a few weeks but definitely don't let it sit over winter, etc.).

I have (unsuccessfully) tried to find the thread on an oil forum where other members, far more qualified to discuss this than me, were having a Sea Foam discussion. As I recall they said that even Isopropyl alcohol will cause the same problems as ethanol. It happens that one of the active ingredients in Sea Foam is an alcohol product, Isopropyl alcohol, cleverly disguised as "IPA" on their MSDS (aka rubbing alcohol).

Like I said earlier, it may work if you are going to run it right away, I would strongly recommend:


If it isn't broke, don't fix it.
Do NOT using it if your engine will set for any amount of time.

Ethyl Alcohol (commonly referred to as ethanol) is the culprit that makes me a LOT of extra money each year because of the problems it causes for engines and carburetors.


Now, for the question about using Sta-Bil (or similar products) year around.

YES do that! You will potentially save yourself a lot of problems and money if your fuel ends up sitting for longer than you expected it to. Another option is doing what I do. I mix OPTI-2 mix oil (2 cycle mix oil) in all my gas, even my 4 cycle gas. Now in my 4 cycle gas I mix it at a lesser rate but I still mix it in. Opti-2 (http://www.opti2-4.com/) has Sta-Bil in it and would also help add a little extra upper cylinder lubrication. If mixed at about half the rate that you would mix it for 2-cycles, it will not smoke. It will NOT cause carbon buildup and will not cause any engine problems. Matter of fact, it may save you considerable engine problems with its Teflon additive (I have seen chain saws, that were scored, be healed to usable standards). However, do NOT try mixing other brands of 2 cycle oils with your 4 cycle engine gas!! Opti-2 is the only 2 cycle oil that I would recommend doing this with.

lnbn1975
03-06-2010, 05:42 AM
Very good info. I know a lot of folks that put Marvel Mystery Oil in their fuel and oil and experience good results. I, personally, would not put it in the oil unless I was aware of a buildup that I wanted cleaned out.

I don't know if referencing another website is against the rules or not, but here goes. I am a Senior Moderator on another website that just had a fantastic thread about SeaFoam and it's uses. Once again, you would have to twist my arm to put any in my oil, before an oil change or after, but they say you can. If you are using your equipment so regularly that you change oil at least 1 time a month I doubt you have enough buildup to worry about it.

LawnMedic
03-06-2010, 08:26 AM
Yea I'm hearing too many mixed results on the oil situation. But I did the gas and in the carbureator. They really didnt smoek too much so maybe they werent that dirty. But I know I left all the gas in them 2 years ago so I was worried they were a little inefficient. I think ill treat the gas for the first week of mowing this year. THat seems like good practice. I have one quesiton about carbs......It is possible looking at the carb attached to the mower if it can be gunked it....or you really never know until you take it apart?

XtreemGreen
03-06-2010, 11:36 AM
Sea Foam is rated #1 in my book... Although I have done the oil thing, Ive used it in my fuel for everything for years..Its a really good product..

Also in the 2 cycles, I run Amsoil in those and after 1 tank I noticed a difference in performance and idle...

SuperiorPower
03-06-2010, 01:22 PM
Yea I'm hearing too many mixed results on the oil situation. But I did the gas and in the carbureator. They really didnt smoek too much so maybe they werent that dirty. But I know I left all the gas in them 2 years ago so I was worried they were a little inefficient. I think ill treat the gas for the first week of mowing this year. THat seems like good practice. I have one quesiton about carbs......It is possible looking at the carb attached to the mower if it can be gunked it....or you really never know until you take it apart?

No, its not physically possible to tell because whats inside may not be indicative of what you see on the outside.

I suggest you look at this. This is obviously an extreme case but it shows what can happen to a carburetor. No amount of Sea Foam or Marvel Mystery Oil (MMO) would have prevented this (unless the carburetor was completely FILLED with it). Matter of fact, it is quite possible that ethanol based fuel is partially to blame for this since ethanol (ethyl alcohol) absorbs water.

I am always amused with the people who swear by Sea Foam. They say that they have never had a problem since using it. Heck most people never have a problem (or at least seldom have a problem) without using it!!!

XtremeGreen, I have never used Amsoil but I have no reason to. Sometime when I have more time I will tell you guys my experiences with Opti-2 oil but I am so convinced on its quality that as long as its available I have no need to try anything else. Improves compression, can repair damaged cylinders in some cases (if damage is not too serious), stops smoking, creates ZERO carbon, contains Sta-Bil, and before people started mixing it incorrectly they would DOUBLE the manufacturers warranty. They still double the manufacturers warranty on 4 cycle engines if you use nothing but Opti-4 oil in your engine from the time the engine is brand new. These are just some of the benefits of Opti-2 products.

But to end this, I would HIGHLY recommend NOT leaving Sea Foam in your gas over winter. I don't think I can stress that point enough. I see this potentially causing more problems than people think it would.

XtreemGreen
03-06-2010, 02:11 PM
Ill have to look into that opti-2 stuff..