4 Steps to Cleaning Your ATV Carburetor

The carburetor’s job on an ATV is one of the most important to the operation of the motor. A dirty carb can cause idle problems, sputtering throughout the entire throttle range, lean performance, and even keep your engine running all together. That is why it is extremely important to keep your carb clean.

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Products For Cleaning Your ATV Carb

You can’t just wash your carburetor with water, unless you want it to rust. To ensure you don’t do any damage to the internal compenents of your carb there are certain products you need to use. Here are those products:

A Good Carburetor Cleaner – you can buy this at most auto parts store or Walmart. (Or Chem-Dip)
Wire brush – depending on how dirty your carb is, specially if it has sat outside or not been run in over 6 months, you may need a soft wire bristle brush to break up any dirt in the carburetor.
Pipe cleaners or Paper Clip – there are a few small passages in the carb that make require a thin pipe cleaner to properly clean. The last carb I cleaned had a clogged idle jet and I needed a hot paper clip to clear out the dirt from the jet.

Parts to Clean on your Carb

Bowl
Jets
Float needle

Steps for Cleaning the Carburetor

Step 1 – Removing The Carburetor
Depending on your ATV, the process may be different. Most models will have a hose connection you will need to remove from the Airbox. Remove the hose camp from the carburetor end of the hose to release the carburetor. The opposite outlet of the carburetor typically has two bolts which are tightened into the motor mount. Remove the two nuts from the mount and slide the carburetor away from the motor to remove from the motor mount.
Step 2 – Removing and Cleaning The Bowl
To remove the bowl from the bottom of the carburetor unscrew the 4 small Phillips head or Allen wrench screws located on each corner, if you do not have any of these you can get it at homeguidehq.com. Once the screws are removed, the bowl should be loose enough to pull off. Inspect the rubber seal on the bowl to ensure it is not dried out or broken. If you haven’t rebuilt the carburetor before, I would suggest replacing the seal to ensure you don’t have any gas leaks down the road.
If you are soaking the carb in a bucket like Chem-Dip, jump to this article: How to Clean Your ATV Carb with Chem-Dip.
The bowl acts as the fuel reservoir for the carburetor, constantly filling up from the gas tank through the float needle valve and then being expelled through the idle or main jet. The bowl should be free of dirt to prevent any clogging of the jets or damage to the valves or piston. Use the carb cleaner and your brush if needed to remove any dirt from the bowl.
Step 3 – Cleaning The Jets and Valves
Now that your carb bowl is clean, ensuring the gas will be clean, it’s time to clean out the jets and valves which push and pull the gas from the bowl. Using your carb cleaner, place the nozzle into the hole in the main jet. Keep the carburetor away from your face and spray directly into the jet to remove any dirt. Check the inside of the carburetor body to ensure the carb cleaner is making it all the way through the main jet passage. Then do the same thing with the idle jet. Lastly, spray the float needle to clear any dirt from the gas intake.
Step 4 – Put the Carburetor Back Together
Start by checking the seal to ensure it isn’t cracked, broken or dried out. Then line up the bowl with the carb body and press together making sure all 4 sides of the body are touching the carb. Screw the four screws back into the bowl, tightening to finger tight, then use a screw driver to tighten to 5 lbs working opposite corners.

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