Should I Clean, Rebuild or Replace My Carburetor?

Owning an older motorcycle or ATV will eventually lead you to having to decide whether you should clean, rebuild or replace a carburetor.

That’s because no matter how well you look after your bike or quad, over time the carb develops a buildup of gunk left behind by evaporated gasoline and impurities that found their way into the fuel system. Let’s take a look at your options when it comes to carburetor maintenance or repair. 

Clean the Carburetor

Provided the buildup within the carb isn’t too bad, you should be able to clean it. 

Carburetor cleaner dip

Cleaning is by far the most economical method, and for a handful of dollars you can pick up an eco-friendly carburetor cleaner. After dismantling the carburetor, soaking it in carb cleaner should remove much of the buildup that’s been affecting the carb’s performance. The carburetor jets are particularly prone to getting clogged, and you may have to buy a new one or two, but otherwise carburetor cleaner should restore an old carb back to its former glory.

Rebuild the Carburetor

Once caked-on crud inside the carburetor reaches a certain point, it’s difficult to get the smaller parts such as the needles and jets thoroughly clean again. 

Dirty carburetor rebuild

However, carb rebuild kits include all the precision parts needed to refurbish it. Once again, you’ll need to dismantle and clean the carb, but you can discard the old jets and needles and install the new ones from the kit. Carburetor rebuild kits also include the O-rings and gaskets to restore a carb to like-new condition.

Carburetor rebuild components

Install a New Carburetor

If the buildup inside the carb resembles baked-on molasses, the whole unit is probably a goner. 

New carburetor

The best solution is to buy a brand new carburetor. It’s a more expensive route, but costs about the same as paying to have the old carb ultrasonically cleaned. Besides, there’s no guarantee an ultrasonic cleaning will be effective, in which case you’ll have wasted your money. 

In fact, a new carburetor may cost less than you think, because many of them were designed for mass production and use across different models. The process of removing the old carburetor and installing a new one typically takes under 15 minutes, which is a lot easier than dismantling and cleaning a carburetor.

Whether you need to clean, rebuild or replace your powersports vehicle’s carburetor, don’t forget that Partzilla has all the fuel and air parts and supplies you need, including carburetors, kits and components to get the job done!

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