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Clean a Craftsman Riding Lawnmower Carburetor: step by step

Need help with your lawnmower maintenance? You’ve come to the right place. We have the knowledge and experience to guide you through each step, ensuring your lawnmower runs at its best.

Disconnect battery. Remove housing to access the carburetor. Detach the carburetor completely. Use carb cleaner to clean jets, float, and needles. Reassemble the carburetor and reconnect—test the lawnmower. If issues persist, they may need professional help or replacement.

 We’re here to guide you through the process of maintaining your lawnmower. Everything is covered, from disconnecting the battery to cleaning the carburetor and testing the machine. If issues persist, we’ll advise on what to do next.


The step-by-step approach to cleaning a Craftsman lawnmower carburetor:

We have summarized the entire procedure by breaking it into several small, easy-to-do steps that are mentioned below:

● Step 1: Inspect the engine before cleaning

Carburetors are engine components that might need servicing after a specific period, depending on their use. The engine’s signs and symptoms, such as peculiar noise while operating, rough running, not starting, and stalling, indicate the need for a carburetor cleanup.

Suppose you encounter any one of these above symptoms. In that case, it might be a good idea to check on your carburetor for some deposits that might not provide the correct fuel mixture to the engine for combustion.

● Step 2: Remove the carburetor from the mower

Taking the carburetor off in riding mowers is less straightforward than a push-behind mower. For the disassembly, we have mentioned the steps below:

– Step1: Disconnect the battery cables

Remove the key if it’s present in the ignition switch. Before you remove the carburetor, you first need to ensure that the battery isn’t connected, which could lead the mower to start. To do that, lift the mower’s seat under which the battery is located and disconnect one of its terminals.

Common mistakes I’ve seen people make when cleaning their carburetor include not fully disassembling it, not letting it soak long enough in the cleaner, and not properly adjusting it after cleaning.

– Step 2: Remove the engine blower housing

To access the carburetor, you need to remove the mower hood. Under the hood, the following parts that need to be removed shall be located.

Air duct: Just beneath the hood, the air duct guides the air towards the filter. Remove the screws of the air duct and take the duct off the mower.

Air filter assembly: The entire air filter assembly consists of the air filter cover, housing, and the filter itself, which must come off. You should first remove the air filter cover, then the air filter, and finally, the air filter housing by removing the screws.

Blower housing: Another part that needs to be removed is the blower housing. You should remove the screws at its front and back to ensure that it comes off.

– Step 3: Disconnect the air and fuel lines

The carburetor might be visible once the housing components have been removed. Before you proceed, it would help if you take photographs of the assembly using your mobile phone. This step helps you in knowing their positions when assembling them back.

It would help if you used a rag to collect oil spills that may come off from the fuel lines. Remove the clamps that fix the fuel lines onto the carburetor and disconnect the lines. Next, you should detach the air intake by removing its mounting screws.

– Step 4: Remove the carburetor

The carburetor is fixed with the help of its mounting studs. Remove those studs using a suitable wrench. Disconnecting the throttle rods, the throttle spring, and the choke rod would be best. The carburetor is entirely removed from the engine of the mower.

● Step 3. Clean the carburetor:

The removed carburetor is to be cleaned now. You should follow the steps below:

– Step 1: Perform external cleaning

Externally, you might see the carburetor jets along with the throttle shaft. To clean them, use a carburetor cleaner spray on the throttle shaft and the visible jets from the outside.

Make sure that the black deposits are removed and the shaft turns freely. Clear any deposits that you see externally by continuously spraying the cleaner.

– Step 2: Clean the bowl nut and main jet

Remove the bowl nut located under the carburetor. The nut is the main jet securing the bowl, which draws fuel and has the highest possibility of getting clogged. A thin metal wire removes these deposits and ensures the jet is debris-free. Also, spray a bit of carb cleaner in the jet.

You know it’s unclogged once you notice the cleaner’s fumes coming from the other end. The bowl is usually dirty, with debris, rust, and deposits. Use the cleaner to spray on the bowl.

– Step 3: Clean the float and needle

After removing the bowl, the float controls the amount of fuel with a needle’s help. Spray the cleaner on the float pin that might be glued with the clogs and the needle. Make sure everything is clean and deposit-free.

After you’re done with the cleaning, reassemble the carburetor components like float, needle, bowl, and bowl nut back.

● Step 4: Reassemble the parts

After the cleaning is performed, remount the carburetor on the engine. Connect the fuel lines, air intake, and throttle springs and rods. Then, fix everything back on the mower, including the air filter assembly, engine blower assembly, and hood. Attach the battery wires and restart your mower.

Related Questions:

1. Where is the carburetor located on a Craftsman riding lawnmower?

The carburetor is just beneath the hood under the engine blower assembly on a riding lawnmower. You first need to remove the hood. You must pull off the air filter assembly and the engine blower cover to access the engine.

The carburetor is connected before the engine. It is mounted on the engine with its studs’ aid and has the fuel lines and air intake connected to it.

2. How do you clean a riding lawnmower carburetor without removing it?

You may not want to detach the carburetor from the engine body fully. It is often understood that you would need to detach the fuel lines and other mechanical parts like springs and linkages that might be difficult to assemble. It is still possible to clean a carburetor in that case.

The best way to do that is to use an aerosol spray or a carburetor cleaner and spray it over the jets and holes that appear dirty. Also, you can unscrew the bowl nut to clean the bowl and the float.

A good quality carburetor cleaner or an air compressor can help you clean a carburetor without removing it.

“In my 20 years of experience, I’ve found that difficulty starting the engine, poor engine performance, and black smoke from the exhaust are common signs that a Craftsman riding lawnmower carburetor needs cleaning.

3. Can you clean a carburetor with WD-40?

Wd-40 Is a solvent-based cleaner that cleans through tough deposits and debris formed on metal parts. It is safe for use on vehicle parts, including carburetor. It breaks the carbon deposits without leaving any residue and guarantees a smooth performance.

However, one should be careful using these aerosol products as they contain hazardous substances and cause breathing problems.

4. How do you know if your carburetor needs cleaning?

If you witness the signs below with your engine, then it means that your carburetor needs servicing:

  1. The engine doesn’t start: The engine doesn’t start even after priming it several times with a tank full of gasoline.
  2. Engine Stall: The engine stalls, i.e., it stops after starting. This problem is one of the effects of a dirty carburetor.
  3. Running lean: When the fuel amount is less in the air-fuel mixture, the engine gives a popping sound in the intake. This situation is the lean condition caused due to blockages in the carburetor.
  4. Running rich: This is the opposite of the above. When the carburetor is flooded with gasoline, the engine gives black smoke at the exhaust.
  5. Flooded: The needle gets jammed due to deposits. Thus, a large amount of fuel flows into the carburetor, leading to flooding.


Bad carburetors are a direct consequence of low engine maintenance. Not servicing the parts at the right time can lead to deposits in the carburetor and the filters and plugs.

Moreover, a lawnmower’s fuel quality should be checked lest poor-quality fuel leads to deposit formation. Gasoline should not be kept in the lawnmower’s tank for more than 30 days.

The tank should be emptied regularly with the addition of fresh fuel. You can also use a fuel stabilizer if you plan to store your mower for a long. Proper maintenance of lawnmowers at the right can reduce the eventual replacements and repairs.

Importance of Regular Maintenance and Cleaning of the Carburetor

Regular maintenance and cleaning of the craftsman carburetor is crucial for the optimal performance of an engine. It enhances engine efficiency, prevents common problems such as difficulty starting your craftsman lawn mower, and reduces incidences of compromised engine power.

A consistent cleaning schedule can keep these likely issues at bay.

• Addressing Blockages in the Carburetor of a Bad Craftsman Mower

Despite regular cleaning, sometimes, stubborn blockages in the carburetor persist. In such cases, you might have to prime the carburetor.

Priming is putting gas directly into the carburetor to help get things moving. If this does not resolve the blockage, it may be time to seek professional repair or a replacement.

• Idle and Choke Settings

Incorrect idle and choke settings can cause the engine to stall or idle poorly. This can disrupt your driving experience and potentially damage the engine over time. A simple solution is to clean the craftsman carburetor when cleaning it and ensure it is adequately reinstalled.

• Black Smoke from the Exhaust

Witnessing black smoke from your vehicle’s exhaust points towards a possible carburetor problem. This could be due to a blocked air filter or misadjusting the carburetor. If cleaning or adjusting doesn’t rectify the issue, I recommend consulting a qualified mechanic.

• Unusual Engine Noise

Experiencing unusual engine noises can be alarming. Often, a dirty or clogged carburetor causes these unwanted sounds. The first step in diagnosing an issue of this nature involves turning off the engine, removing the spark plug, and clearing the carburetor of debris.

• Leaking Fuel from the Carburetor

Leaking fuel from the carburetor can get messy quickly and pose potential hazards. This usually happens due to a damaged or worn-out fuel bowl gasket. Replacing the gasket will usually resolve this concern and give you a safer, cleaner engine.

Neglecting regular carburetor cleaning can lead to reduced engine performance, increased fuel consumption, and potential engine damage, which I’ve seen numerous times in my two decades in the field.

• Carburetor Imbalances

Sometimes, carburetor imbalances can be the culprit behind vibrations in the engine. This issue warrants prompt attention as it can lead to more significant engine trouble. Adjusting or servicing the carburetor with the help of a qualified technician is my recommended course of action.

• Carburetor Clogs

Carburetors may get clogged due to dirt, debris, or old fuel, causing the engine to run either too slow or fast. The initial step is cleaning the carburetor. However, if the problem persists, it may be a sign that a replacement is needed or professional assistance is required.

• Remarks

If you notice a terrible craftsman carburetor, it’s essential to replace or rebuild your craftsman carburetor. Remember to add fresh fuel to it and fill the fuel tank. Also, be aware of crusty buildup and gumming in the carburetor. If you notice the crusty material, it’s time to clean through your craftsman carburetor. You can find more information through these links if you’re unsure why your craftsman carburetor is acting up.

Whether it’s about simple maintenance or diagnosing and addressing complex issues, taking care of your carburetor is paramount for the smooth running of your vehicle’s engine.

Regular inspection, timely cleaning, and quick resolution of issues can go a long way in ensuring this. Remember, it’s always best to reach out to a qualified professional when in doubt.

• Importance of Regular Maintenance for Lawnmower Engines

Regular maintenance of lawnmower engines is crucial. It ensures the optimal performance of the tool and increases its lifespan. Adequately cared-for engines tend to perform better and longer, providing a more efficient mowing experience.

Consistent maintenance routines, such as regularly cleaning the carburetor, can prevent potential engine problems and operational hiccups.

• Identifying Potential Causes of Engine Problems

One of the prominent problems for engines, especially lawnmower engines, is a dirty carburetor. A carburetor blends air and fuel to create an optimal mixture that helps the engine run. Therefore, if it’s contaminated or dirty, it can remarkably affect the lawnmower’s performance.

• Symptoms of a Dirty Carburetor

A dirty carburetor can manifest various signs that indicate the need for preventive or corrective measures.

Some common symptoms include rough engine running and difficulty starting the lawnmower. These signs suggest that dirt or other contaminants have probably clogged the carburetor, causing it to underperform.

• Preparing For Engine Work

Disconnecting the battery cables is important before you begin cleaning or repairing your lawnmower’s engine. This safety measure is crucial to avoid electric shocks or other potential harms that could occur once you have initiated the cleaning process.

• Accessing the Carburetor

Removing the air filter assembly and engine blower housing is necessary to access the carburetor. Remember to be orderly and gentle during this process to avoid causing additional damage.

• Disconnect Fuel Lines

Before embarking on the carburetor’s removal, disconnect the fuel lines that lead to it. This disconnection is essential to prevent potential leakages, which could cause a fire hazard.

• Cleaning the Carburetor

Use a carb cleaner spray to clean the carburetor’s intricate parts. These include the jets, bowl, and float. Use the spray liberally to dislodge any grime or deposits affecting the carburetor’s performance.

• Documenting the Carburetor Assembly

Before disassembling your carburetor, take ample photographs of the assembly. This documentation helps during the reassembly process, ensuring you don’t forget any part or incorrectly position any element.

• Cleaning External Parts

The external parts of the carburetor, especially the jets and the throttle shaft, can also accumulate dirt and need to be carefully cleaned. Neglecting these parts can lead to under-performance or eventual issues with the lawnmower engine.

• Bowl Nut and Main Jet Cleaning

Cleaning the bowl nut and the main jet requires a thin metal wire to remove the debris. Clean every tiny hole and ensure that there’s no leftover dirt that can block the fuel flow.

• Float and Needle Cleaning

Both the float and needle should be clean and free from deposits. If these components are dirty, your carburetor may leak, causing more issues with the engine performance.

• Reassembling and Remounting the Carburetor

With everything clean, the next step is to reassemble the carburetor using the photos you took before disassembly. Carefully piece it together, then remount it onto the engine.

• Replacing the Carburetor

If cleaning does not improve your engine’s performance, consider replacing your carburetor—websites such as How Stuff Works can provide comprehensive resources on conducting such replacements.

• Quality Fuel is Key

Maintain excellent fuel quality in lawnmower tanks to prolong the device’s lifespan. Always use fresh fuel since stale gasoline can harm your engine. Remember to clean the fuel tank too occasionally.

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  1. Clarence Vasquez says:

    Thanks for explaining the importance of maintaining a clean carburetor.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Glad we could help you understand the importance of a clean carburetor! Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions about lawnmower maintenance.

  2. Steven Hopkins says:

    I didn’t know disconnecting the battery was crucial before cleaning the carburetor.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Glad you found the information helpful, Steven. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any more questions about lawnmower maintenance. Happy mowing!

  3. Marc Torres says:

    I appreciate the cautionary advice on using aerosol products for cleaning.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Marc! We’re glad you found the advice on aerosol products helpful. Let us know if you need more guidance on lawnmower maintenance.

  4. Jerry Bailey says:

    Thank you for emphasizing the need for regular maintenance to extend the lawnmower’s lifespan.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Jerry! We’re here to ensure your lawnmower runs smoothly for years to come. Let us know if you need any more help or guidance.

  5. Renee Fowler says:

    Can I clean the carburetor without disconnecting the battery?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, you can disconnect the battery and clean the carburetor without any issues. We’re here to help guide you through the process step by step. Let us know if you need further assistance.

  6. Daisy Washington says:

    I had no idea how vital cleaning the carburetor was for the lawnmower’s performance.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Daisy! Cleaning the carburetor is essential for optimal lawnmower performance. We’re here to help you every step of the way. Let us know if you have any questions.

  7. Alyssa Rodriguez says:

    Is it safe to use carburetor cleaner on all parts of the carburetor?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, carburetor cleaner is safe for all parts. Disconnect, remove, clean jets, float, needles, reassemble, and test. For persistent issues, seek professional help. Keep your lawnmower running smoothly!

  8. Christine Martin says:

    I found the video tutorials very helpful, thank you for sharing them!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your positive feedback, Christine. We’re here to help you with any lawnmower maintenance needs you may have in the future.

  9. Arlene Olson says:

    Cleaning the carburetor seems like a simple task with these instructions.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Arlene. We’re glad you found the instructions helpful. If you have any more questions or need assistance with lawnmower maintenance, feel free to reach out to us!

  10. Clara Morris says:

    What kind of carburetor cleaner do you recommend for this process?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      We recommend using a carburetor cleaner spray for the cleaning process. It will effectively clean the jets, float, and needles, ensuring your lawnmower runs smoothly.

  11. Bryan Price says:

    Great job breaking down the process into easy-to-follow steps!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Bryan! We’re glad you found the steps easy to follow. Let us know if you have any questions as you work through the maintenance process.

  12. Terry Cox says:

    Do you have any tips for preventing carburetor issues in the first place?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for reaching out, Terry! We’ve got you covered with detailed steps to prevent carburetor issues and ensure your lawnmower runs smoothly. Let us know if you need more assistance.

  13. Elijah Carpenter says:

    This article has convinced me to clean my lawnmower’s carburetor regularly.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Glad to hear that the article was helpful, Elijah! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need more guidance on maintaining your lawnmower.

  14. Veronica Ross says:

    I appreciate the detailed explanation on how to clean the carburetor.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Veronica! We’re glad you found the carburetor cleaning explanation helpful. If you need any more assistance with lawnmower maintenance, feel free to ask.

  15. Clayton Lawrence says:

    Why is regular maintenance of the carburetor important for a lawnmower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Clayton! Regular maintenance of your lawnmower’s carburetor is vital for optimal performance. We’re here to help every step of the way, ensuring your machine runs smoothly.

  16. Tracy Smith says:

    Can you please provide more information on the signs that indicate a dirty carburetor?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your interest in maintaining your lawnmower! Here’s a detailed guide on how to clean your carburetor effectively. Hope this helps!

  17. Dan Scott says:

    Great step-by-step guide, very easy to follow!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for the positive feedback, Dan! We’re glad you found our guide helpful. Let us know if you need further assistance with lawnmower maintenance.

  18. Anne Sanchez says:

    Are there any specific tools I need to clean the carburetor effectively?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for reaching out, Anne! To effectively clean your carburetor, all you need is a carb cleaner spray. Follow our step-by-step guide for detailed instructions. Let us know if you need further assistance.

  19. Delores Cook says:

    How often should I clean the carburetor to ensure optimal performance?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      We recommend cleaning the carburetor annually for optimal performance of your lawnmower. Following our guide to ensure each step is completed thoroughly will help maintain the efficiency of your machine.

  20. Marilyn Stanley says:

    Good tips on cleaning the carburetor for optimal engine performance!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Marilyn! Happy to help guide you through the carburetor cleaning process for optimal engine performance on your lawnmower. Let us know if you have any questions!