How to Know if Your motorcycle Carburetor Needs Cleaning – 5 Signs!

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A common question we get asked is – How do you know if your carburetor needs cleaning?  Here signs to watch out for:

  • It won’t start no matter how hard you try.
  • It is running lean (fuel & air gets thrown off).
  • Its flooded.
  • It has excess fuel and not enough air.

Note: This guide is for all vehicles that ride on two wheels, not only dirt bikes, but ATV motorcycles, and more.

Excess Fuel

When you check and see that there is more fuel than air, or not enough fuel inside, then that’s a clear sign your carburetor needs some changing.

When that happens, you will see black smoke exiting the exhaust. This is dangerous to the health and poses threat to the carburetor.

Not Enough Fuel

Excess fuel problem occurs when there is not enough fuel getting to it, irrespective of the amount of fuel you have added.

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The cause of this is more air is in there than fuel. So, you need to clean the carburetor ASAP.

Once cleaned, fuel it as soon as possible and check to see if the air and fuel are equal on a balance.

Dirty and in Bad Shape

Dirt in the carburetor is an obvious sign. You need to clean it as soon as possible since dirt can cause blockage of the needle valve, and prevent it from closing well, or cause some other issue.

It does not turn Around

This is yet another common sign that shows that your unit needs some cleaning. Some blockage to the spinning can be from dirt.

ALSO SEE: Is Dirt Bike Riding Dangerous for Kids or Safe?

Other Reasons Why Carburetor Needs Cleaning

  • Idle drop at stops
  • Non-responsive throttle all through the gears
  • Having to adjust the idle much after setting it initially.
  • Hard to start when I know I have a good battery, spark, airflow

What Materials Should Be Used To Clean A Motorocycle Carburetor?

Cleaning your carburetor needn’t be a daunting task. It’s so simple that anyone can do it.

However, for better illustration, watch some videos on Youtube on cleaning a carburetor or hire a specialist to help you out.

Here are some carburetor cleaning materials:

  • Cleaners
  • Brush
  • Carb and choke cleaner
  • Screwdriver

How to Know if Your motorcycle Carburetor Needs Cleaning

How to clean a motorcycle carburetor in 5 steps:

First of all, the cleaning needs to be done in a clean environment. This prevents further dirt from accumulating and helps prevent any damage from occurring.

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Next, keep all the tools well arranged and in order too.

Now, let’s begin:

  • Remove the Carburetor from the Engine

Take away the carburetor from the engine.

An easy way to do this is to by turning off the has valve on the fuel tank to prevent falling it out of all the tubes. Next, get rid of the carbohydrates.

Now, it is crucial for you to do both of these steps with care so you don’t screw things up.

Grab a screwdriver and release all the screws that hold the carburetor from the engine. Now you are ready for the second step.

Open the 4 screws located at the bottom of the evaporator to get rid of the floating bowl. It is very crucial to do this step with care. Place all the screws somewhere safe then remove the nectar by pulling it.

Lastly, take out the jet planes. Have some opening boards.

Note: The screws that have a hole through the center after you have removed the air screw. In addition, if you can remove the choke from the carburetor, take it off.

  • Wear protective safety gloves

Safety’s first! Your safety should be top priority here so ensure you wear protective gloves and other safety shields.

The carburetor is toxic, and you should avoid it touching your skin directly. Have a friend help you out if need be.

I like to use gloves when cleaning. You can check on Amazon to buy some really good ones.

  • Wash Your Hands And Prepare Cleaners

Your palms sweat and washing them before slipping the gloves on is best!

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Once done, remember to wash your hands after.

Have all the non-important screws, tools, and to arrange the cleaning materials neatly arranged.

  • Clean the carburetor

Double-check the carburetor to confirm that there are no longer screws in there. Follow the cleaning instructions on the back of the cleaning agent of your choice and start.

  • Put it all back together and reinstall

Once the cleaning process is complete, install all the parts back in the reverse order removed.

Tighten the screws well.

How Long It Takes To Clean The Carburetor?

It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour to completely clean a carburetor.

Newbies might take up 3 hours to clean and fit all the screws back though. So, once again, experience matters.

Where Do You Need To Clean Carburetor?

You can clean the carburetor at home, outside, in the garage, or in the parking lot.

How Much Money Does It Cost To Clean A Carburetor?

Expect to spend anywhere from $10-$20 to clean a carburetor. That’s how much a good cleaner would cost.

In conclusion

We hope our guide on how to clean a motorcycle carburetor step-by-step has proven helpful.

Have any tips on how to clean your carburetor you would like to share? Use the comment section below. We’d be happy to hear them.


Author: Howard S. Baldwin

My name is Howard S. Baldwin. I am a work-at-home dad to three lovely girls, Jane + Hannah + Beauty. I have been blogging for the last 3 years. I worked for other Home and Lifetsyle blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to DIY life and homemaking.

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