Many homeowners suddenly come to know that their lawn mower doesn’t start at the beginning of a new mowing season while they put it in a perfectly working condition at the end of the last mowing season.
The reason behind this glitch could be the dirty spark plug, old fuel, and many others. One of the most obvious reasons for your lawn mower to stop working properly is the corrosion or blockage of the carburetor.
A machine requires many fast-moving parts that work together to perform the function properly. Similar to a car, a lawn mower has an important part i.e. a carburetor that enables its blade to cut the grass.
A carburetor is a part of a lawn mower that is responsible for the injection of air into the fuel to start the internal combustion. This combustion will power the blades.
In this article, we are going to discuss how to clean lawn mower carburetor without removing it.
It would be a great option if you don’t have the proper tools and right technical knowledge to do a thorough cleaning that needs taking out the carburetor from the lawn mower.
A carburetor is not very difficult to clean as many people think but a lot of people do not feel much confident taking an engine apart and prefer to take it to a professional repair shop.
Cleaning a dirty carburetor is something that many people can do it easily. So if you want to save your money when the lawn mower is not running, here is how to clean a lawn mower carburetor.
When Should You Clean a Lawnmower Carburetor?
When you should clean your lawn mower carburetor varies from household to household but in general, many experts say that you should inspect and clean carburetor of your lawn mower at least a few times a year.
The reason behind this is very simple. When you continue to use your lawn mower, the blade kicks up the debris, grass, and twigs making their way up to the small engine.
Some parts of the grass or debris may eventually move up inside the carburetor hence clogging air and fuel passages and reducing its performance.
Why You Should Not Remove the Carburetor When You Clean It?
Before you start to do anything with a machine, you should have technical knowledge with such machines.
If you are a professional mechanic and used to deal with such problems regularly, then extracting out the carburetor and fixing it back after cleaning is not a big deal.
In contrast, if you are a homeowner with not much technical know-how, it is better to keep it intact and do the cleaning process from there.
You can easily remove the carburetor from the machine and successfully clean it but you may find it difficult to put it back. A clean carburetor is of no use if you can’t use it anymore.
You can also clean your lawn mower carburetor by removing it from the machine. You can also follow that procedure here if you have enough technical knowledge and the ability to manage it.
Procedure to Clean Carburetor of a Lawn Mower
Read our step to step procedure to clean the carburetor of a lawn mower without removing it.
To clean the carburetor, follow the below-mentioned steps and do it yourself without the help of any professional.
Step 1: Safety first
To be on the safe side and avoid any accident, turn off your lawn mower and give some time to the engine to cool down before making an attempt to clean the carburetor.
Step 2: Remove the outer casing
First of all, you have to remove the outer casing of your lawn mower. It largely depends on the model of your lawn mower.
However, in general, you can simply remove it by unscrewing a couple of screws and taking away the outer panel to get access to the inside of a lawn mower.
Step 3: Make photos of the carburetor for reference
Before you do anything with your lawn mower, take photos of it with a good camera.
The reason for photos is that you will have a reference for later meaning that you will know what your lawn mower engine should like when you fix it back in case you doubt in putting back its parts together.
Step 4: Remove the air filter and clean it
All the air required for ignition is sucked inside and moves through the air filter. The filter of your lawn mower will definitely have a lot of sediments and dirt on it unless you are running it on an empty and clean room.
You can simply use moist cloth if the dirt is not too much but you can also use blow property of your vacuum machine to get rid of dirt.
Remove the air filter if it is removable from your lawn mower. It is a good option to remove it and clean it separately.
In this way, you can easily clean both sides of the air filter and leave it to dry. When you remove the air filter you will see the carburetor.
Step 5: Take a look at the connecting wires within the carburetor
Connecting wires are extremely important, but are delicate and need you to be careful. Any minor jerk or pull of wire could break it and make the machine useless until you patch it up or get its replacement.
It can also be dangerous when a bare wire get in touch with other or dried grass (flammable) and lead to serious injuries.
Step 6: Use an air-compressor gun to remove all junk
You will see a lot of gunk, dirt, and sediments have been build-up inside and outside the carburetor of your lawn mower over the days or months of usage.
Most of the dirt and debris is retained in the hard to reach areas and tight spaces where you can’t reach your hands, so you can make use of an air compressor gun.
An air compressor gun can easily remove any dirt and debris from tight spaces. Make sure you must not use it on the highest setting and also avoid industrial grade air compressor gun that is meant for heavier cleaning.
Step 7: Use carburetor cleaner to remove deposits, dirt, and debris
Do not use water for the cleaning of the carburetor. Keep in mind the water will ruin your lawn mower.
A proper carburetor aerosol cleaner is the right solution for the machine that sticks to its surface for a long time and provides longer protection.
In this step, you are required to turn on the lawn mower. The reason behind is that you want the aerosol cleaner to move through the whole machine so that all the internal parts also get cleaned.
Now place the tip of the aerosol cleaner can into the midpoint of the carburetor and spray it directly into the carburetor.
When you spray it in the running carburetor, it enables the solution to penetrate deep inside the engine and clean the carburetor’s throat and take away deposits that are found in the lower throttle plate.
Spray in pulse on the center of the carburetor of your lawn mower when the machine is running. You can spray 10 to 15 times and let it running for a minute to make sure maximum coverage.
When you are done with the above process, turn off the machine and spray the throat of carburetor thoroughly. The dirt must have covered the lower plate, so spray it well.
Step 8: Manually remove all the dirt and deposits
When you have cleaned the carburetor with the aerosol cleaner, the next step is to remove the leftover dirt and debris manually by using your hands.
If you are using a rag, make sure that it is damp and not wet so that you can easily wipe off all the solid debris and dirt.
Also, ensure that after you wipe any major part of the dirt, rinse your cloth and squeeze out the excess water to prevent the spreading of dirt further on the carburetor of your lawn mower.
Step 9: Inspect Everything before Finishing
When you are satisfied that you are done with everything, make sure that you check all the things and important parts with a flashlight.
Now it is time to take reference from the photos you have captured earlier to check if everything is alright.
Now start your lawnmower and run it for approximately 5 to 10 minutes and test it if anything has gone wrong in the process of cleaning.
Typically, you will see a smooth start with no shaking or no chugging sound.
Keeping Your Lawn Mower Carburetor Clean
An important device of your engine’s performance, the carburetor helps keep your lawn mower run well and function properly.
When you know how to clean lawn mower carburetor, you can keep your lawn mower in excellent condition for years to come.
How to Adjust Lawn Mower Valves [8 Simple Steps]
The valves of a lawn mower’s engine control the flow of air and fuel into the engine and exhaust them out of the engine.
If the valves are not adjusted properly, it can give rise to many problems such as stalling, loss of power, backfiring, and excessive fuel consumption.
So it is important to adjust the valves of the lawn mower. Follow the below-mentioned steps to adjust the valves of the lawn mower.
Step 1: Remove the valve cover
Take out the bolts that hold the valve cover over the engine and keep it aside.
Step 2: Take out the spark plug
The next step is to take out the spark plug wire from the plug and then remove it from the engine along with the spark plug ratchet and socket.
Step 3: TDC or Top dead center
Put a screwdriver in the hole of a spark plug. When you do this you will feel that the screwdriver’s tip is touching the top of the piston.
Now rotate the flywheel or shaft protruding from the engine’s bottom. The blade of a lawn mower is attached to this shaft.
When you rotate the shaft, you can feel that the piston is pushing up the screwdriver.
When you feel the shift in direction and the screwdriver begins to go down again, rotate the shaft in the reverse track until you feel the screwdriver goes back up again. This is called a top dead center or TDC.
Step 4: Look for the rocker arm
Now look for the rocker arm located over the exhaust valve. It is positioned in the direction of the muffler on the mower’s engine.
Step 5: Check the rocker arm for adjustment
Put a feeler gauge with 0.005 inches between the top of the valve and the end of the rocker arm.
When it is adjusted properly you must feel a minor drag when you move the gauge among two parts. If there is excessive play or gauge that will not go in, you need to adjust the rocker arm.
Step 6: Adjustment
Put a screwdriver with a flathead in the slot on the setscrew that projects from the above portion of the rocker arm and starts loosening the jam nut with the help of a wrench.
Now move the screwdriver to decrease or increase the clearance between the top of the valve and the setscrew.
Tight the nut and text the clearance with the help of a feeler gauge. Repeat the process until you get a slight drag with the feeler gauge.
Step 7: Repeat step six with a 0.003 feeler gauge
Now repeat step 6 while the intake valve is close to the carburetor. Also, replace the 0.005 feller gauge with thinner one ie. a 0.003-inch feeler gauge.
Step 8: Put on the valve cover on the engine
Now put a new valve gasket cover on the engine if equipped originally with the gasket. After that secure the cover of the valve on the top of the engine.
I hope you get enough information about how to clean lawn mower carburetor and how to adjust lawn mower valves. Check some awesome content regarding riding lawn mower for hills: Top 8 Best Riding Lawn Mower for Hills 2021 – Buyer’s Guide