Does your lawn mower need some maintenance but you don’t know where to start? Maybe you have been told that it’s your carburetor, but you have no idea where it is?
Or perhaps you are curious and want to know more? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you!
We know how tricky it can be to maintain lawn mowers, especially if you have just upgraded to a newer model and you aren’t familiar with it yet.
Before you know it, you can find yourself overwhelmed, covered in dirt, frantically searching online for answers, and never finding out what you need to know.
Well, no more! Today we are here with the answers that you need. Keep reading to find out what a carburetor looks like, where it is on every type of lawn mower, and the best cleaning tips to keep it well maintained! Prepare to become a mower expert today!
The Lawn Mower Carburetor – What It Is and What It Connects To!
Before we get into finding out where the carburetor is on every mower, let’s have a quick recap for those in the room that need it! The carburetor is a vital part of your lawn mower’s engine.
Its job is to get the correct combination of fuel and air that goes into the engine cylinder. This needs to be exact for combustion to occur correctly.
So how does this happen? Well, when the spark plug ignites the fuel and air mixture, it combusts, pushing the engine piston downwards.
This then rotates the crankshaft and is how your lawn mower blade spins. Then, depending on the type of lawn mower you have, the wheels will also start to rotate.
The carburetor’s role is integral to keeping your lawn mower moving, which is why it is so important that we know where it is and how to keep it well maintained. After all, you don’t want to turn your lawn mower on and find that it’s not working again, do you?
Finding Your Mower’s Carburetor
Let’s get into it! As we mentioned earlier, the carburetor is part of your lawn mower’s engine. But where is it? It is usually bolted to the side or top of the engine.
You will find the carburetor also connected to the gas tank, which you can usually find below or behind your air filter.
These days, most lawn mower manufacturers will make the air filter housing easy to identify and access so that you can change the filter yourself.
Ideally, you should be doing this as part of your mower’s annual maintenance. Your carburetor should be right behind your mower’s air filter.
Now, it’s worth noting that the location of the carburetor can vary depending on the manufacturer, but you can usually find them near the components that we mentioned above, as they need to be near each other for the engine to run as it should.
Thankfully, there are also a few features that carburetors share that make them a little easier to identify. Carburetors are metal and usually a rectangle shape. They will often have black areas too, like a black circle and trim on the right and left.
If that sounds a little vague for you, don’t panic! We are here to walk you through locating and servicing your carburetor. We even have specific tips that will help you to find the carburetor on every type of lawn mower!
Finding the Carburetor on Different Types of Lawn Mowers
Below we have a list of the different types of lawnmowers and where the carburetor is usually found in each.
Typically, we have two main kinds of lawn mowers: walk-behind and riding mowers. Within these types, there are sub-sections of lawn mowers that we will also cover too. Let’s dive in and help you find the carburetor!
First up, we have walk-behind mowers! These are lawn mowers that you stand behind and move over your lawn for the grass to be cut. Within this category, there are four main types of lawn mowers. Check which type you have, and then use our list to correctly locate and identify your mower’s carburetor.
- Electric walk mower – these mowers are fantastic for smaller lawns and areas you wish to mow.
- Self-propelled mower – these mowers will propel themselves, meaning it’s a lot less work for you, especially when mowing hilly areas! These mowers come with a choice of front-wheel or rear-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive is ideal for level ground, whereas a rear-wheel-drive will suit you better when mowing side and uphill areas.
- Two-function mower – these mowers mulch and bag your cuttings while you cut the grass, making clean up a little easier.
- Three-function mower – these mowers go one step further, they cut the grass, bags, mulches it, and even discharges it out the sides!
Check your walk-behind mower to see what type you have. If you are ever unsure, you can find this information in your user manual. Once you have checked what type you have, keep reading to find out where the carburetor is located!
The other type of lawn mower is a riding mower, where you sit on the mower, and ride it as it cuts the grass! These tend to be larger than walk-behind mowers and come in three different designs. Let’s take a look at those to help you identify your mower and find out where the carburetor is located!
- Rear engine riding mower – these tend to be the smallest of riding mowers and come with the engine fitted to the rear of the mower.
- Lawn tractors – often called garden tractors, these mowers feature powerful engines that are ideal for large properties.
- Zero-turn radius mower – these mowers are also extremely powerful and tend to be easier to maneuver than lawn tractors.
Consider which type of riding lawn mower you have, before checking where your carburetor is located. Remember to consult your user manual if you aren’t sure which type of mower you have.
Where Carburetors Are on Walk-behind Mowers?
Now that we have established which type of lawn mower that you have, let’s take a look at where the carburetor is! On a walk behind the mower, your carburetor is located at the side of the mower, just above the base of the mower.
Like we said earlier, the carburetor is connected to the air intake and filter of the mover. Finding these components can make it easier to find the carburetor.
If you are struggling to find them, then look for a square-shaped or round-shaped filter housing. These are usually on the side of the mower’s engine, although sometimes they can be on top.
The air filter usually has a plastic casing and pops up easily, allowing you to clean the filter as part of your mower’s maintenance.
Once you have found the air filter, you will see that the carburetor is just behind the filter’s housing. Typically, there are 2-3 bolts that you can loosen to remove the filter housing. Doing this will reveal the carburetor for you.
Where Carburetors are on Riding Mowers?
When it comes to riding mowers, you will find the carburetor on the side of the mower’s engine. Like a walk-behind mower, the carburetor will be located below or behind the air filter. You will need to remove the filter and the air filter housing to access it.
Once the air filter housing has been removed, you can identify the carburetor by following the fuel line from the gas tank. This will lead you to the carburetor with ease!
When it comes to repairing or replacing the carburetor on a riding mower, there will be a different process depending on the model you have. Usually, it is more complicated than working with the carburetor on a walk-behind mower.
Often, it is easier to hire a professional to do the work for you. Pop into your local small engine repair shop to see if they can assist you.
You can, of course, repair the carburetor yourself, but be sure to check the user manual before you do! You will want to follow any in the manual for best results. It’s also worth noting down every set so you can remember how the carburetor was set up.
This will make it far easier to attach everything correctly when you put the carburetor back into the mower. If you do run into any difficulties there are plenty of tutorials online that you can take advantage of.
These are great guidance tools and can speed the process up considerably. Be sure to search for your mower’s exact model so that the information is correct.
How To Replace a Carburetor in a Riding Mower?
If your mower’s carburetor needs to be replaced, then you can take it to a repair shop, or do the work yourself. To help you, we have a list of the general steps you will need to follow to replace the carburetor on a riding mower.
Remember, these are just general steps! You should still consult the user manual of your mower to prevent any issues down the line.
Let’s take a look at these steps!
Uncovering the Carburetor
First, you will want to uncover the carburetor. To do this, follow the steps below.
- Turn off the ignition switch and take out the key.
- Lift the mower’s seat.
- Find the bolt that connects the negative cable and battery.
- Disconnect it and check that the battery cable won’t touch the post. It’s best to tuck it away to avoid this.
- Lift the mower’s hood and remove the air duct mounting screws.
- Pull off the air duct and find the air filter cover retaining knobs.
- Rotate each of these knobs counter-clockwise.
- Next, take off the air filter cover and remove the air filter.
- Remove the air glitter housing screw.
- Take out the bolts connecting the front blower housing mounting and repeat for the rear blower housing mounting.
- Lift the blower housing and set it aside.
- Remove the lower dash fastener and take off the lower dash.
- Clamp off the fuel line using a pair of hose pinch-off pliers.
Disconnecting the Carburetor
Now it is time to disconnect the carburetor. Use the steps listed below to do this. Remember, these are just general steps, you will still want to consult your user manual.
- Take a picture of the linkage connections for the carburetor. This will help you remember the location and come in handy when you have to reassemble it!
- Disconnect the clamp that connects the fuel line to the carburetor. Pull the fuel line from the carburetor and use a rag to mop up any drips.
- Take out the air intake mounting nuts.
- Disconnect the breather tube and take out the air intake.
- Remove the wire from the fuel solenoid.
- Remove the mounting studs from the carburetor.
- Take out the throttle rod and the throttle spring.
- Disconnect the choke rod and carburetor.
- Locate the intake gasket on the engine and remove it.
- Clean the surface of the gasket mounting using a rag.
Installing a New Carburetor
Now that the old carburetor has been removed, you can install your new one. You can follow the steps below, hire a professional to do this, or consult your mowers user manual for more information. Don’t forget to make the most of online tutorials that can help you through this process.
Let’s look at how you can install a new carburetor in your riding mower.
- Place the new carburetor near the engine to reconnect the choke rod.
- Connect the throttle and spring rod
- Install your new intake gasket on the mower’s engine.
- Take your mounting studs and use them to attach the carburetor to the engine.
- Tighten these mounting studs securely.
- Next, connect your fuel solenoid wire.
- Connect the breather tube to the air intake. Then, attach the air intake to the carburetor.
- Install the air intake mounting nuts.
- Connect the fuel line to the carburetor.
- Remove the hose pinch-off pliers from the fuel line.
- Use a fastener to put the lower dash back in and secure it.
- Position the blower housing back on the engine, taking care to align the air diverter correctly in the housing.
- Reattach the blower housing mounter bolts and the air filter housing screw.
- Install the air filter and fit the cover on the mower’s engine.
- Next, turn each retaining knob clockwise to secure it.
- Take mounting screws and use them to re-install and secure the air duct.
- Now you can reconnect the cable to the negative battery terminal.
- To finish, bring the seat back down.
Steps for Finding your Mower’s Carburetor
As we said every lawn mower is a little different, which means finding your mower’s carburetor can be a little challenging. But don’t worry, we have got some steps to help you locate your mower’s carburetor. So let’s take a look at how we can do this now.
Turn Off your Mower
Turn your mower’s ignition and place the parking brake on. Make sure that the mower is in gear to prevent any accidental rolling.
Make the Engine Accessible
You will want to make the mower’s engine accessible now to help you find the carburetor. To do this, release any restraining devices like hoot latches that are holding down the hood.
Find the Air Intake and Filter
Next, you will want to find the air intake and filter. You should find the filter housing on the side or top of the engine. The square or round-shaped housing will have slits or holes in the top. This housing is usually attached to the carburetor by screws or latches.
The housing will also feature a filter made of foam or paper. The filter works to prevent dust and dirt from getting into the mower’s carburetor.
Locate the Fuel Line
Next, locate the fuel line that comes from the gas tank. This will help you to find the gas tank, which is usually mounted in an easy-access place. You need a gas tank to be accessible so you can re-fuel the mower. The tank is often black.
Find the Fuel Line from the Tank
Finally, you will want to find the fuel line that comes from the tank which is located near the bottom of the tank. There is usually a small clamp attached to it too. Once you have found the fuel line you can trace it to where it connects to the carburetor.
Why Should you Clean your Lawn Mower’s Carburetor?
So why do you need to clean your lawn mower’s carburetor? Well, cleaning it helps the machine work as it should. It’s just like your car, it needs to be kept clean and properly maintained for it to run properly.
All engines are the same, whether it is your car engine or your lawn mower engine, it needs to be cleaned for its best performance.
If you are having some issues with your mower, then often it can be because you need to clean the carburetor. We have some signs listed below that your carburetor is dirty and in need of a clean. Let’s take a look at them now.
- There is an increase in your mower’s fuel consumption, even though it’s being used the same way as before.
- There is black smoke coming from the muffler.
- The engine is sputtering or running differently when mowing.
- The engine is stalling when you are trying to cut the lawn.
- You are having issues starting the mower.
Do you have any of these issues? Then your carburetor probably needs a clean! Don’t worry, we’ve got some tips coming up to help you clean the carburetor.
How To Clean your Mower’s Carburetor?
Let’s take a look at how to clean your mower’s carburetor. Use our steps below to help you clean it and hopefully see an improvement in its performance. Don’t forget to also consult your user manual as there can often be tips in here for your specific model.
To clean your lawn mower’s carburetor, follow the steps below.
Remove the Carburetor
To start you will want to remove the carburetor from the lawn mower. This is the best way to clean the carburetor. You will want to remove the engine cover, the air filter cover, the filter itself, and the housing of the air filter.
If you can, turn off the fuel valve. If you can’t, make a crimp in the fuel before taking it off the carburetor. Some fuel can spill out here so have a rag ready to wipe this mess up.
Next, get the choke and throttle linkages and detach them from the carburetor throttle lever. Then use a sliding motion to remove the carburetor from the mounting bolts.
You might also need to release the carburetor bowl by unthreading the screw. This is not necessary for every model though. To finish removing the carburetor, release the float pin which releases the float and needle.
Cleaning the Carburetor
Now that the carburetor has been removed, it’s time for us to clean it! Be sure to consult your user manual for guidance on how to do this and use the steps below as general guidance rather than steps to religiously follow.
- You might need to unthread screws to take apart the carburetor which will release the primer bulb and base.
- After that, you can take out the metering plate, diaphragms, and gaskets.
- You should see that the outlet ports and carburetor intake are now exposed. Use a carburetor cleaning spray or WD-40 to clean any residue from the ports.
- If your carburetor has a bowl, then clean this out.
- You will now want to check for any signs of rust in the carburetor. If there are, remove them with some sandpaper.
- Allow the carburetor time to dry.
- Once it is fully dried you can put it back together. You will want to check that the diaphragms, metering plate, gaskets, and primer base are positioned correctly. You will want to do the same with the float and float needle.
- Ensure you put the bowl gasket back correctly. You might need to reinstall it if necessary. Take your time here to ensure that this is completed correctly.
- Using a sliding motion you can reinstall the carburetor onto its mounting bolts. Next, reattach the throttle linkages to the throttle lever.
- You can then reattach the carburetor to the fuel line, the air filter, filter cover, and air filter housing.
- If necessary, you can also reinstall the engine cover.
There might be some discrepancies depending on the mower that you have, but this guide should help you remove, clean the carburetor, and reattach it. If you run into any issues it is best to consult your user manual or a professional who can offer you tailored advice to your situation.
What if the Carburetor Needs Repairs?
In some cases, cleaning the carburetor won’t solve all your problems and you will need to have the carburetor repaired. Now you can do this yourself with a carburetor repair kit. These will help you replace some of the major components like the gaskets, float, float needles, and diaphragms.
These kits can be found online or you can visit a repair shop and purchase one. These kits don’t tend to be too expensive either, allowing you to grab one no matter your budget!
If your carburetor is still having issues then you might need to replace the carburetor. Thankfully, these aren’t too expensive to replace. Again, you can make the purchase yourself or contact a repair shop that can do this for you.
You can find genuine replacements from manufacturers online too, so you won’t need to worry about fitting your lawn mower with any dodgy carburetors.
If you aren’t sure what your lawn mower’s issues are, then often it can be easier to replace the whole carburetor than trying to repair a few parts or some gaskets.
The cost of a new carburetor isn’t that much more than a repair kit, so why not save yourself the trouble of fiddling with gaskets and wires and get a whole replacement instead?
If you aren’t the most DIY-savvy, then it is worth taking your mower to a small engine repair shop and having them complete the work for you. This isn’t as expensive as you would think and saves you the stress of trying to complete the repairs yourself!
To keep your lawn mower working as it should we recommend cleaning the carburetor every year. As you saw earlier, this isn’t a difficult process and ensures that you have problem-free use of your lawn mower. You can use our tips or the ones in your user manual to properly clean your carburetor and keep your lawn mower running smoothly.
And just like that, we have come to the end of our lawn mower journey today! As you can see, the carburetor isn’t too difficult to find and there are many ways you can locate it depending on the lawn mower that you have.
The secret to caring for your mower is regular cleaning to ensure that it functions as it should. Taking some time to read your manual and understand the components will go a long way and keep your mower in tip-top condition!