If you own a motor vehicle you’ve probably heard the word, “carburetor” before. This mysterious mechanical component uses air and fuel to power your engine. The piece is small, but mighty – in other words, it may not look like much, but without it your engine won’t run.
Carburetors are made up of numerous parts, including a fuel inlet, float bowl, throttle lever, air-horn, choke plate, throttle body, mounting base, and more. Each tiny piece needs to sit together perfectly to make the carburetor work properly. If just one part is out of place, damaged, dirty, or broken, your engine is in for big problems.
At AA Auto Kirkland, we specialize in carburetor repair and understand the intricacies which go into such a finicky vehicular component. Our team of certified mechanics can help clean and repair carburetor issues quickly and efficiently, prolonging the life of your engine.
Carburetors should be cleaned once every six months as dirt and debris build up quickly with use. Even with regular maintenance there may be indications that a visit to the garage is in order. Smells, sounds, and abnormal driving difficulties all point to a dirty carb. Some of the signs your carburetor isn’t working properly include:
Hesitation During Acceleration: If you press the gas and your vehicle stutters or is slow to start, it could be the carburetor. Your carburetor monitors the mix of air and fuel taken in by the engine. If the ratio is off, your engine doesn’t function properly. Over time a carburetor builds up dirt and grime, which hinders its functionality. A hesitant start usually means your carb needs to be cleaned.
Poor Fuel Economy: Gas is expensive, so we understand how frustrating it can be to realize your fuel economy is suddenly getting bad. Even the most economical vehicles suffer from fuel waste when the carburetor isn’t functioning properly. If you notice you need to fill the tank more often than you used to, it could be time for a carb checkup.
Flooding: When the ratio of air to fuel isn’t right, your engine floods. No, your engine doesn’t suddenly take on water, but rather a rich unbalanced fuel and air mixture. This makes it impossible to ignite and get your vehicle running. A mechanic must clear the engine before it will run properly again. Cleaning your carburetor helps reduce engine flooding and maintains the correct ratio of air to fuel.
Black Smoke: Your exhaust pipe sends out carbon monoxide which is created when your engine combusts fuel and air. This should run light or clear upon emission. If you notice your tailpipe producing dark black smoke – your carburetor is likely to blame. Again, this has to do with the imbalance of fuel and air intake.
Backfiring: If your engine overheats or backfires, the fuel to air ratio is too lean. It means your engine isn’t receiving enough fuel and instead is getting mostly air. This is the opposite of flooding and can cause serious damage if not looked after quickly. You may also find that your car jerks, stalls, or won’t start properly – these are all related to an overly lean fuel to air ratio.
If you notice any of these problems, it’s a good idea to see a mechanic as soon as possible. The longer you wait to address a carburetor issue, the more likely it is that the carburetor will need to be replaced, rather than just cleaned. Regular cleaning and maintenance increase the life of a carburetor and lowers the cost of parts and repair for your vehicle. It also helps maintain your engine life.
AA Auto Kirkland is proud to be part of the Kirkland, Washington community. As a family owned and operated business, we consider this town home and our client’s family and friends. When we work on a vehicle, you can rest assured our mechanics do everything possible to fix the root of the problem. No hidden costs, extra work or unforeseen parts. Before we start on a job, we diagnose the problem and let you know exactly what your vehicle needs.
All our mechanics are certified and experienced with everything from carburetors and engines to brakes and tires. No matter what your vehicle needs, our team can help.
Interested in learning more about carburetors and other services offered at AA Auto Kirkland? Contact us today and speak to a friendly member of our staff. We’re always happy to hear from new and returning clients.