Lawn Mower Carburetor: Locating, Identifying, and Maintaining

Unleash your mower’s full potential – understand your carburetor!
Close-up image of a lawn mower carburetor.
Photo: Pexels

When it comes to performing maintenance tasks on your lawn mower, understanding the location and function of the carburetor is crucial. This critical component ensures the right mixture of air and fuel for optimal combustion, powering your mower’s engine. If you’re keen on troubleshooting or maintaining your lawn mower, this guide will walk you through locating the carburetor and some maintenance tips to keep your mower in top-notch condition.

Unveiling the Lawn Mower Carburetor

lawn mower carburetor and its functions.
Photo: Storyblocks

The carburetor plays a vital role in your lawn mower’s engine, ensuring the correct mix of air and fuel reaches the engine cylinder for combustion. When the spark plug ignites this mixture, it propels the engine piston downwards, rotating the crankshaft and setting the lawn mower blade in motion. For mowers like riding or self-propelled mowers, the wheels start rotating too.

Spotting Your Mower’s Carburetor

The location of the carburetor in a lawn mower engine.
Photo: iStock

The carburetor is a part of your mower’s engine, often bolted to the side or the top. It’s connected to the gas tank and typically located just below or behind the air filter. Lawn mower manufacturers design the air filter housing to be easily accessible for routine maintenance, such as replacing the air filter. So, spotting the air filter should lead you right to the carburetor.

Carburetors are usually metal and rectangular, often featuring black areas such as a circle and trim on the right and left. Here’s a simple guide to identifying your mower’s carburetor:

  • Turn off the mower’s ignition and engage the parking brake.
  • Release any retaining devices securing the hood and make the mower’s engine accessible.
  • Find the air intake and the filter. You should locate a filter housing (square or round-shaped) on the side or top of the engine. This housing connects to the carburetor and contains a filter made of foam or paper to prevent dust and dirt from entering the carburetor.
  • Trace the fuel line from the gas tank to locate the carburetor.

Maintaining Your Lawn Mower’s Carburetor

Comparative image of a dirty versus clean lawn mower carburetor.
Photo: Shutterstock

Like a car’s carburetor, your lawn mower’s carburetor needs to be kept clean and well-maintained for the machine to function optimally. If you observe issues like engine stalling, difficulty starting the mower, black smoke from the muffler, turbulent running, or increased fuel consumption, these are signs of a dirty carburetor needing cleaning.

How to Clean Your Lawn Mower’s Carburetor

Video: ehow

Cleaning your lawn mower’s carburetor is a relatively straightforward process, although the specifics may vary depending on your mower’s model. Here are general steps to guide you:

  1. Removing the Carburetor: Turn off the engine, remove the engine cover if necessary, and then the air filter cover, filter, and housing. Turn off the fuel valve, if applicable, or crimp the fuel line, and detach it from the carburetor. Be ready for a bit of fuel spillage. Next, disconnect the choke and throttle linkages from the carburetor throttle lever and slide the carburetor off the mounting bolts.
  2. Cleaning the Carburetor: Disassemble the carburetor by unthreading screws to release the primer bulb and base, then remove the metering plate, diaphragms, and gaskets. Use a carburetor cleaner spray or WD-40 to clean residue from the outlet ports and carburetor intake. Check for and remove any rust with sandpaper, then let the carburetor dry before reassembling.
  3. Reassembling and Reinstalling the Carburetor: Ensure all components, including gaskets and seals, are clean and dry before reassembling the carburetor. Refer to your mower’s user manual or search for a model-specific guide online if you’re unsure about reassembly. Once your carburetor is back together, reinstall it on the engine. Ensure the choke and throttle linkages are correctly connected and functioning smoothly, reconnect the fuel line, and open the fuel valve if your mower has one.
  4. Finishing up: Reinstall the air filter housing, a new air filter if necessary, and the air filter cover. Replace the engine cover if you had to remove it, then start the mower to ensure it runs smoothly. Keep an eye out for leaks or performance issues indicating that something may still be amiss.
Image showing essential safety gear  mower maintenance.
Photo: PixaBay


Understanding the function of your lawn mower’s carburetor and its maintenance is crucial to keep your mower in good working condition. With regular maintenance and cleaning, you can ensure your carburetor functions optimally, offering your mower longevity and smooth operation. Always remember to refer to your mower’s user manual or seek professional help if you encounter issues during maintenance or repair.

NOTE: When handling fuel and other potentially hazardous materials, always wear protective gear and work in a well-ventilated area. Remember to dispose of waste materials responsibly.

Image depicting responsible disposal of  waste materials.
Photo: Pinterest
Explore More