If you have an older car with a carburetor, you know the importance of it working smoothly all the time. Engine carburetor is the lifeblood of the vehicle, supplying the fuel and air mix that makes the heart of the car tick properly. The carburetor should be maintained and cleaned on a regular basis to ensure that it is working properly. The process of cleaning it inside and out is quite simple and shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes or so!

Step 1

Remove your air filter housing with the engine off so that the carburetor is accessible. Get your rags together, along with the lubricant spray and carburetor and choke cleaner. Also find the throttle control attached to the carb, which allows you to manually operate and run the engine faster while doing the carburetor cleaning.

Step 2

Place some rags around the base of the carburetor, because the chemicals can harm any nearby painted surfaces, and the rags will stop it from any runoff.

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Step 3

Put on your safety goggles and spray the “outside” of the carb with your lubricant spray, or the carb and choke cleaner. Make sure to spray the connections and attached moving parts thoroughly, such as the throttle area linkage. Let the fluid to set for a moment or two and wipe up. If you have a heavy buildup of sludge and oils, clean it with a small wire brush before the spray dries.

Step 4

Before you start the car, directly spray a small amount of carb cleaner into the carb. Then remove your rags and any other tools from the engine area and start the engine. Never spray the lubricant into the carb. Start the engine and use the throttle control, if you want to be able to run the motor at a higher rpm while you spray in more carb cleaner fluid. This will help you push the cleaner through and will also avoid stalling out the engine.

Spray in short sprits, run the engine faster and then slow it down to normal idle and spray again. Do this a few times. Then turn off the engine and reinstall the housing and air filter. Now drive the car for almost 10 to 15 minutes or until hot allowing the carb cleaner to completely run through the system.

Even if you don’t feel any increase in performance, you can rest assured that you are doing all you can to care for and preserve the carburetor in good condition. In some cases, if the carb was dirty with carbon buildups, you can feel the increased power and save fuel at the same time.

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  • You can also add fuel additives into the tank, to help keep your fuel system clean and carburetor flowing at its best.
  • Regular cleaning of the carb after routine intervals is suggested. The time between cleanings depends on your driving habits, but every 3,000 miles or with an oil change is a good benchmark.
  • If the engine stalls out during cleaning, just wait a couple of minutes and start it again.
  • Make sure to change your fuel filter on a regular basis to help eliminate any detritus from entering the carburetor.


  • Always wear your safety goggles while spraying the cleaners, especially when the engine is on, as the drafts may throw the chemicals into your eyes.
  • Make sure to remove any loose jewelry, such as chains, bracelets, and necklaces, while working under the hood with the motor running. Always be aware of the location of moving parts like the belts and fan blade.
  • Never spray the lubricant into the carb only use it on the outside connection areas for lubrication and cleaning