Where is the Carburetor on a Lawn Mower? (Every Mower)
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I’ve always enjoyed using my cordless walk-behind push mower – no pesky cord to haul around and no gas to fill in the tank. But when I need a surge of power to complete larger jobs with ease, my go-to choice undoubtedly is my robust 140cc Briggs Stratton gas push lawn mower.
The downside however of using a gas-powered lawn mower is maintaining the many different parts like the air filter, spark plugs, hoses, and several other parts under the hood including the lawn mower carburetor.
Of all these aforementioned parts, the lawnmower carburetor is often the most overlooked but is in fact one of the most important parts of a mower just like a lawn mower engine that requires a fair bit of maintenance including annual maintenance.
What is a LawnMower Carburetor?
All gasoline-powered lawnmower engines are fitted with a carburetor. Similar to your car or truck engine, a carburetor helps run the small engine of a push lawn mower, self-propelled lawnmower, or riding lawnmower.
What Does a Lawnmower Carburetor Do?
The only goal of a lawnmower carburetor is to ensure that the right mixture of fuel and air enters the engine cylinder to trigger combustion.
This component of a lawnmower adjusts the balance of air and fuel based on myriad different factors including the amount of time the engine has been running, your speed, and the type of terrain you’re mowing.
Unlike automobile systems, a carburetor of a lawnmower doesn’t contain any throttle butterflies (a pivoting flat valve controlled by the gas pedal) but contains a rubber-type push bulb, through which fuel is primed when the bulb is depressed several times on a push-type lawnmower.
The fuel from the fuel tank flows through the bulb via a hose into the carburetor, which typically allows gas to drip into the carburetor bowl.
The engine creates a suction on the carburetor which mixes the gasoline with air at a specific ratio. After the carburetor has been primed, you can use the pull rope to start the engine.
What Does a Lawnmower Carburetor Look Like?
Most lawnmower carburetors look similar, with a small metal component complete with levers and springs and a distinct bowl shape under the carburetor body.
The carburetor float bowl accommodates the fuel and provides a continuous supply of fuel to the carburetor mixture as required.
The float bowl of a lawnmower carburetor can be drained with either the onsite drain bolt or screw without dismantling the whole system.
Where is the Carburetor on a Lawnmower?
This depends on the type of lawnmower you’re using, whether push, self-propelled, or riding lawnmower.
Where is the Carburetor on a Push Lawnmower?
Just as the name suggests, a push mower is any type of mower that you walk behind and push. The carburetor of a push mower is tucked away neatly behind the air filter at the side of the machine.
If you can locate the air intake filter or air filter of a push lawn mower, you’re one step closer to finding its carburetor. Depending on the machine, the air filter of a push mower is typically encased within a metal or plastic shroud and secured by a screw or with snap fittings.
Where is the Carburetor on a Riding Lawnmower?
The carburetor of a riding lawnmower is located just beneath the hood under the engine blower assembly so you’ll have to undo the hood latches of the engine hood to access it.
Similar to walk-behind mowers, the carburetor of a riding lawnmower is located behind or below the air filter, so once you remove the filter, you can spot it easily.
Signs a Lawnmower Carburetor is Dirty or Damaged
Old gasoline is the biggest enemy of a lawnmower carburetor regardless of the type of engine whether Briggs Stratton or brands including John Deere.
Your lawnmower will still run on old gasoline but it won’t offer the same top-notch performance that you’re used to.
This is why it’s highly important to empty the lawnmower gas tank when storing the machine for the off-season because old gasoline creates what is known as shellac in the fuel system.
This shellac blocks the inner workings and the air and fuel jets in the carburetor, which further prevents the fuel and air from passing through it.
A clogged gas line can be detrimental to the entire fuel system including the fuel filter, and mower air filter, and may even emit black smoke, which indicates that the machine is “running rich,” or burning too much gasoline.
The only solution for a gummed-up carburetor is a thorough cleaning, which involves removing the carburetor – a task you can do at home rather than visiting a lawn mower engine repair shop.
How to Get Rid of Old Gas in Lawnmower?
Before getting rid of the old gasoline from the lawnmower, check to see if it’s contaminated by pouring some in a glass container, pouring some fresh gasoline in another container, and then comparing them alongside.
If the old gasoline is darker or has a sour smell than the fresh gas, it is probably losing or has lost its efficacy.
Ideally, it’s best to get rid of the old gasoline from the lawnmower completely, but you can try diluting it with fresh gasoline to see if the performance improves.
You can transfer the old gasoline from the machine with a funnel into a jerry can or plastic can jug.
Engine Won’t Start
There could be several reasons why your lawnmower engine won’t start, most notably a dirty air filter, loose, dirty, or disconnected spark plug, and/or fuel not reaching the engine, which may be caused by a faulty carburetor or fuel filter.
If you’ve cleaned the air filter and checked that the spark plug and spark plug cable are connected securely, and you’re still facing the issue, making a few adjustments to the carburetor may help.
There may be many issues with the carburetor such as it’s dirty, the diaphragm is cracked or distorted, and/or it’s simply not getting the proper mixture of air and gasoline.
Your lawnmower’s carburetor and engine are protected against debris, dirt, and grass clippings by air filter guards. It is always a good idea to ensure they are clean and in perfect working condition:
How to Perform Lawn Mower Maintenance?
Maintaining your lawn mower will improve both its performance and service life. Lawnmower maintenance can be carried out at any time of year but the two best times are before the first mow of the season and at the end of the season when it’s time to retire the mower.
Many people choose to take their mower to a professional repair shop for maintenance but these simple checks and fixes can be performed in the comfort of your home.
Since every lawnmower model is different than the other, it’s best to refer to your owner’s manual for maintenance instructions but here are some common tips to keep your mower in tip-top shape.
Replace the spark plug
Removing the spark plug ensures that the mower doesn’t accidentally start. A lawnmower spark plug should be changed every mowing season, after 25 hours of use, or if the mower won’t start.
How to Clean a Lawn Mower Carburetor Without Removing It? (Step By Step)
Now that you have seen how to clean a lawn mower carburetor without removing it let’s take a more detailed look at the steps you’ll need to follow.
Step By Step Carburetor Chemical Spray Cleaning
The first step is to remove the cover from the air filter to gain access to the inside of the carburetor. You may find that your cover is secured with a screw, so you’ll need to grab a screwdriver to remove the fastener.
Next, remove the air filter from within the filter housing and set it to one side. If your lawn mower has two filters, you’ll need to remove both of them, including the air filter and pre-filter.
Now, grab your carburetor cleaner and give the outside of the carburetor a good spray. Try to get the cleaner into all the nooks and crannies so that it really gets to work on all the dirt.
Next, use a small nylon brush and start working off all the dirt and grime. I like to use an old toothbrush for this part of the cleaning. Also, don’t be tempted to use any type of metal brush as the carburetor is made of a soft alloy that is pretty delicate. A toothbrush should work just fine.
Once you are happy with the outside of the carb, you can go ahead and start the lawn mower’s engine and set the throttle to a fast idle.
With the engine running, use the same cleaner and give the inside of the carburetor a good spray. A couple of seconds should be enough. Just make sure that you don’t stall the engine. Once the engine has burned off all the cleaner, give the carburetor another spray inside. I like to repeat this a couple of times to make sure it’s getting a good thorough clean.
Next, allow the lawn mower to run for a few minutes after you believe the engine has burned off all the cleaner. This allows any of the cleaner sticking around to burn off completely.
The last job is to reinstall the air filter and replace the air filter cover. If you had to remove a screw for the cover, remember to screw it back in. Also, this is the perfect time to inspect the air filter and make sure it’s not soaking in oil or worn out. You could even clean the air filter before putting them back in.
Finally, switch off the lawn mower or head out and tackle your lawn.
Tools Parts to Spray Clean Your Carburetor
Step By Step Carburetor Jet Cleaning
The first job is to switch off the lawn mower’s fuel if you have a cut-off valve. This will save any unnecessary fuel spillage.
So, start by removing the bolt on the bottom of the carburetor located at the center of the fuel cup. You’ll need a small wrench for this. Now, for some of you guys, this bolt is the actual jet. This means you can skip the next steps until we get to the cleaning part. For you guys that don’t have this type of carburetor, keep following along.
Next, once you have removed the bolt, you should be able to pull the fuel cup off the carburetor. Just be a bit careful, as the cup will probably be full of gasoline.
Now, located where the fuel cup bolt would connect to the inside of the carburetor, you’ll find a screw. Take a screwdriver and remove this retaining screw. Once you take this screw out, the jet should fall out. Some lawn mowers incorporate the jet into the screw, so just take a close look.
Next, it’s cleaning time. So, if you take a look at the jet, you should see a clear hole all the way through it. I find holding it up to the light helps. What you are going to need to do is remove any dirt that is clogging the hole. I find that a thin wire works well enough. Once you have it cleaned out, you can give it a spray of your carb cleaner and wipe off any grime.
Finally, it’s time to put the few bits back on the mower. So the order is the jet, screw, fuel cup, and finally, the bolt. For you guys with just the bolt/jet, pop it back into the mower and tighten it up with your small wrench.
That’s all there is to it. It’s pretty straightforward and takes no time at all. Just don’t forget to turn the fuel back on.
Tools Parts for Carburetor Jet Cleaning
Cleaning a Mower’s Carb: To Remove or To Not Remove
So, we have discussed how to clean a lawn mower carburetor without removing it, but will this solve all your carburetor issues? Well, it depends. You’re going to find that spraying the cleaner directly into the carburetor is going to cure problems from fuel impurities, fuel gum, and bad fuel in your mower. However, a clog in the carburetor jet needs a bit more work, like my jet cleaning method. Also, you’re going to find that some lawn mowers don’t offer enough room to remove the carburetor jet. This means the carb is going to have to come off.
So, if you have a lawn mower like a Yard Machine with a Briggs Statton engine, you’ll probably have to remove the carb, but give the chemical spray a try first.
About Tom Greene
I’ve always had a keen interest in lawn care as long as I can remember. Friends used to call me the “lawn mower guru” (hence the site name), but I’m anything but. I just enjoy cutting my lawn and spending time outdoors. I also love the well-deserved doughnuts and coffee afterward!
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How to clean and maintain your Briggs and Stratton 675 Series Carburetor
This guide takes a little more work than some of the other lawn mower replacements. You first remove the air filter, and then go behind it to remove and clean the carburetor tank. You will use a socket wrench with a 5/16″ and ½” hex bit and a prying tool. Before you get started, you may want to purchase an O-ring if your lawn mower is old, as the O-ring in the carburetor tank may be worn. Cleaning the carburetor may get messy, so do not attempt it inside.
Make sure the the engine is off and the spark plug wire is removed and away from the spark plug before beginning.
Inspect the O-ring inside the carburetor tank. If it is dry and worn out, you may need to replace the O-ring before you reassemble your device.
To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.
To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.
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I just performed a carb tank cleaning based on your DIY and it took less than 30 minutes! The best part of the cleaning was an immediate start of my mower on the first pull. Thanks
Nice guide. My mower was only running on choke, any other throttle setting and it would die. A quick online search indicated dirty carburetor and subsequently I found your guide. Gave everything a good clean and voila! Good as new.
Slide clamp on fuel line back and pull fuel line off carb. plug line with old pen/pencil
Remove two nuts holding carb onto engine. Remove nut holding engine choke arm on top of carb. Then remove two springs and one carb adjust metal arm. Note places of attachment
spray cleaner in all brass jets, use fine wire to clean out all orifices, clean bowl attachment nut. Spray cleaner in to choke area and tip upside down and spray under the bowl needle.
drain old gas out of tank and alternatively add a in line fuel filter as well a new air filter.
What Causes a Lawn Mower Carburetor to Go Dirty?
Carburetor problems are a common troubleshooting issue with lawnmowers. If your mower is hard to start, emits black smoke from the exhaust, and won’t run at all, these are signs that it may be time for a carburetor cleaning or replacement. Check the engine oil to figure out if this is causing your problem.
If it is dirty and has not been changed for a while, this can indicate that dirt and debris have clogged up your carburetor. Another possible source of carburetor issues is old gasoline. If these problems seem to be related more to the fuel system than your mower’s ignition or electrical components, it’s time to try a carb cleaning. If this doesn’t work, it may be time to replace your carburetor entirely.
The carburetor has been cleaned! Now it’s time to put the mower back together. But first, make sure you secure any loose parts that may have come off during your cleaning process. If there are still some stubborn clogs in the fuel line,
try using a little more gasoline and then gently tapping on the side of the canister with a hammer or rubber mallet for 10-15 seconds before trying again. As always, be careful not to overfill anything as this could cause engine damage.
At this point, you should clearly understand how to clean the lawn mower carburetor without removing it. If not, we recommend checking out our guide for more information on the process. We hope these tips help get your engine back up and running smoothly!
Louis has always been fascinated by cars. He loves the way they look, the sound of the engine, and how they make him feel when he’s driving. He is always keen to learn more about different mechanics of cars and how the engine contributes to other aspects of the car. As an automotive technician with over 10 years of experience, he knew how they worked and loved taking them apart to see how they went back together. He was especially interested in the mechanics of combustion engines and loved finding ways to make them more efficient. He loves to work on cars and help people keep their vehicles running smoothly. As a senior editor, he enjoys contributing to DIY quickly because it allows him to share his knowledge and expertise with others.
How to Clean Lawn Mower Carburetor?
Truth be told, there are a few home maintenance equipment that serve us faithfully than a lawn mower. Sadly, despite their rough life, lawnmowers rarely get the attention they deserve.
This is very evident when it comes to a mower’s carburetor which is a very key component for functionality. A lawnmower’s carburetor determines the period that your lawn mower will serve you.
Also, in addition to dirty spark plug, old fuel and unclean air filters, a dirty carburetor is one of the key reasons why a lawn mower may stop running propeller fail to start. As such, the need to clean lawn mower carburetor can’t be overlooked.
Lawn mower carburetors aren’t hard to unfix and clean. Unfortunately, many mowers fear taking the carburetor apart, opting to take it to a repair shop. Undoubtedly, by doing so you ought to cough out some cash regardless of the fact that a dirty carburetor is something that you can easily fix.
If you’re an enthusiastic DIYer or just a normal mower who who wish to save him/herself some cash, learning how to clean lawn mower carburetor will come in handy. Additionally, it’s a vital maintenance routine.
How Often To Clean Lawn Mower Carb
As expected, this varies. A regular user will undoubtedly have the lawnmower’s carburetor covered with lawn debris faster compared to a non-regular user. The logic here is simple: with continued use, the grass, debris and twigs find their way into the carburetor and eventually clog the fuel and air passages. Needless to say, this makes the mower’s engine inefficient
We recommend an annual lawn mower carburetor maintenance schedule to increase the lifespan of the machine and improve its fuel efficiency.
For heavy users, it’s advisable that you clean your lawn mower carburetor more than once annually. Here is all you need to know on matters cleaning a lawn mower carburetor.
Detailed Guide on How to Clean Lawn Mower Carburetor
If this is the first time you’re cleaning the carburetor and you’re not sure about how to reassemble it afterwards, you can take a video/photo every stage you unfix something. This will serve as a guide when reassembling it to ensure everything goes back to its place.
They say that ‘safety is better than first aid.’ As such, it’s very important that every time you carry out repair or maintenance work of any kind, let safety be a key concern. For instance, when taking apart a carburetor, the old oil can be highly toxic, ensure you’re working in a well-ventilated area. In case you’re in your home garage, ensure that all the Windows and doors are open. You can also use a garage fan, if you have one. If your shed does not have any ventilation areas, consider working elsewhere.
Remove the Outer Casing and Air Filter
The procedure on this depends on the type of your lawn mower. Ideally, it involves un-tightening of a few screws and removal of the covering panel to reveal the mower’s innards. Once your remove the air filters, you’ll see the carburetor. Check your Air Filters to ensure they’re clean and free of debris. Dirty air filters can create black smoke that spills from the exhaust thus making it hard for the carburetor to get the air it needs to function properly.
Removing the Carburetor
The carburetor is normally firmly bolted in place but it comes off easily. Using a nut driver, unbolt it and then drain the fuel line while holding it to the engine.Detach the throttle cables and be ready with a rag or any piece of cloth to wipe any spillage of fuel on the carburetor and the fuel line.
Detach the carburetor from the engine and inspect all connections that run to and from the carburetor’s choke plates and throttle. If you find out that the carburetor is corroded, it’s toast, replace it with a new one. If not, proceed as below
Unbolt the carburetor’s bowl and clean the nut
Use a carburetor cleaner to clean around it.Unscrew the nut to remove the bowl. This nut is usually a jetted hole. Poke a paper clip inside to ensure that the hole is free of any dirt.
Presence of simple debris inside this hole will readily make the carburetor stop working properly; cleaning it may fix the problem.
After removing the bowl, you’ll see a pin attaching the float attached to the carburetor. Remove it and replace the needle-normally found in a small gasket inside the carburetor.
Consider replacing it and be keen to fit it the right way to avoid future malfunctions.
Use a carburetor cleaner to get rid of dirt deposits within the carburetor
Dirt within the carburetor can block both fuel and air passages thus interrupting its performance.
The commercial lawnmower carburetor cleaner comes in a spray can that can easily clean the inside and outside parts of the carburetor.
Having removed all parts of the carburetor, clean them by applying a spray of the carburetor cleaner.Using a paperclip, remove any dirt inside the holes of the carburetor. Ensure they are clear of any debris.
Replace the gasket
After taking apart the carburetor, we advise that you replace the main gasket.
This is normally found between the bowl and the carburetor itself. What’s more, these gaskets are inexpensive. Simply get a new one and fit it in its place.
Check its settings
After the cleanup, check the carburetor’s settings and find out if there’s anything that should be updated or adjusted.
For those mower users who don’t buy this idea, here’s the truth: carb cleaning is incomplete without this step, why? Simply because while you were busy cleaning, you could have opened up some wires that are very essential for your carburetor’s engine to function. It beats logic, right?
To do this, use a flashlight to inspect if everything is fixed rightly. After ascertaining that all this is done, start the engine. Ideally, it should have a smoother start and shouldn’t produce any shaking sound after cleaning the carburetor.
Reassemble and reattach
If you had taken some photos during the process, let them guide you in putting back the carburetor and reattaching it to the engine. After this, add fuel and start the engine. If your lawn mower had start up problems because of dirt, it should now start up very easily.
As you can now affirm, cleaning a lawn mower carburetor is that easy and can save you money, even if you aren’t experienced in working with machines and engines. After understanding how to clean lawn mower carburetor, your lawnmower will stay in good shape and will serve you for years to come, regardless of how hard you use it.Best of luck in your next carb cleaning project.
You can Read Our Various Mower’s Reviews:
All About the Lawn Mower Carburetor
What it Looks Like, What Parts of the Mower it Connects to, and
The carburetor is an essential part of your lawn mower’s engine. It makes sure that the correct combination of fuel and air will go into the engine cylinder. This is essential for combustion to occur.
When the spark plug ignites the fuel and air mixture, it combusts and pushes the engine piston in a downward direction. This, in turn, rotates the crankshaft. This makes the lawn mower blade spin.
Depending on the type of lawn mower you have, the wheels of your mower (for example, a riding mower or self-propelled mower) will also start to rotate.
How to Find and Identify Your Mower’s Carburetor
The carburetor is part of the mower’s engine. Typically, it is bolted to the side or top of the engine. It is also connected to the gas tank, and will typically be located just below or behind your air filter. Most lawn mower manufacturers make the air filter housing easily accessible and easy to identify so that owners can change out the filter as part of their annual maintenance. Find the air filter and your mower’s carburetor will be the next part of your mower’s engine, right behind it.
While the location will vary by manufacturer, there are a few qualities most carbs share to make them easier to identify.
Carburetors are metal and rectangular in shape. Your mower’s carb will often have black areas, such as a black circle and trim on the right and left.
In this article I’ll walk you step-by-step through locating and servicing your mower’s carburetor, with specific tips for locating the carburetor on every type of lawn mower.
Different Kinds of Lawnmower
In this section, we will go over the different kinds of lawnmower and where you can usually find the carburetor in each. The two main kinds of lawnmower are walk-behind and riding.
There are four main types of walk-behind mowers, which I list below – if you own a walk-behind mower make sure you know which type it is so that you can refer to the correct part of this article to locate your mower’s carburetor:
Carburetor Location in Walk-Behind Mowers
For walk-behind mowers, you will find the carburetor at the side of the mower, in the area above the base of the mower. As we mention later, the carburetor is connected to the air intake and air filter of the mower. Therefore, finding these components makes it easy to find the carburetor.
If you’re having trouble finding them, search for square-shaped or round-shaped filter housing. This will generally be on the side of the mower’s engine, though it’s sometimes on the top.
The air filter case is usually plastic and pops open easily to provide easy access to the filter for maintenance. The mower’s carburetor is just behind the air filter’s housing, and there are typically 2-3 bolts that can be loosened to remove the filter housing and reveal the carb.
This video does a nice job demonstrating the removal and cleaning of the carburetor on a walk-behind mower:
The exact process for repairing or replacing a carburetor in a riding mower will depend on your exact model, and it tends to be more complicated than working with the carburetor of a walk-behind mower, so you may choose to hire a professional at a small engine repair shop to do this for you.
If you are going to do a carb repair or replacement yourself, my advice is to consult the manual that came with your machine, and document every step of the process so that you can remember how the carb was set up and have an easier time re-attaching everything properly.
Here’s a video from Sears that walks you through replacing the carburetor on a Craftsman Mower. It provides a good sense of what’s involved in this project, what your riding mower’s carburetor looks like, and where the carb is located on some riding mowers:
Why is it Important to Clean Your Lawn Mower’s Carburetor?
The carburetor of your lawn mower needs to be kept clean in order for the machine to work as it should.
Think of the carburetor in a car. If it isn’t kept clean and properly maintained, your vehicle will not run properly.
This is the same with a small engine such the kind you have in a lawn mower.
If you are having certain problems with your mower, there is a good chance that you need to clean the carburetor. Below are some signs of a dirty carburetor:
How to Clean a Mower Carburetor Once You Locate It
Let’s take a look at how to clean a lawn mower carburetor.
Please note that these are general instructions and you should consult with the instructions that come with your particular mower before you proceed.
Removing the Carburetor
What if the Carburetor Needs Repairs?
It is possible that your carburetor will need repair as well as cleaning. If that is the case, you can consider buying a carburetor repair kit. This will help you with replacing some of the major components of the carburetor, such as the diaphragms, gaskets, float, and float needles. You can probably find a kit that matches your mower on Amazon for less than 20.
If you find that the carburetor continues to have poor performance, it’s possible that you will have to get a new carburetor and replace the old one. The price of a replacement carburetor will typically be about 50, and you can find genuine manufacturer’s carb replacements on Amazon (like this one for a Honda self-propelled mower).
If you’re sure your lawn mower issues are the result of carburetor problems, it’s generally easier to buy a new carb and replacing the whole thing vs attempting to repair a few gaskets or parts.
In my experience a repair kit works better in theory than in practice, and your average weekend warrior is better off replacing the whole thing if determined to DIY a fix. For 30 more, why not install a brand new carb?
The other option (recommended for most people) is to take your mower to a small engine repair shop and let them do the work for you. This is less expensive than you’d think, and will save you some time and headaches.
For optimal lawn mower maintenance, you should clean the carburetor every year.
This will help your mower always perform at the optimal level and help to hold off problems that will require parts replacement or full replacement of the carburetor.
And you don’t have to take your carb out to keep it running like new – I give my mower a shot of Gumout Carb and Choke Cleaner (Amazon link) before every mow to keep it running like new. It’s like 5 a can and lasts a whole season.
Maintain Your Lawn Mower So It Lasts!
Understanding how your lawn mower works and how to maintain it is key to making it last.
Purchasing a new lawn mower is an investment, so it’s well worth taking the time to read the manual and understand all the components and their functions.