One way to boost your lawn mower's efficiency and increase its lifespan is to periodically service the engine. Part of this periodic maintenance should include cleaning the carburetor, which provides fuel to the engine. A dirty carburetor reduces the amount of fuel delivered to the combustion chamber, while introducing harmful dirt and grime that will cause premature wear. You can clean your carburetor within an hour and keep harmful dirt from destroying the engine. Carburetor cleaner and cans of compressed air are available at auto parts stores for cleaning the carburetor.
Place the lawn mower on a level surface. Remove the air filter housing that sits over the carburetor. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the single screw that secures the housing if your filter is on top. For models that have the air filter on the side, use a socket wrench to remove the bolts securing the housing.
Turn the fuel supply off by turning the shut-off valve below the fuel tank counterclockwise. With a pair of pliers, pull off the two rubber hoses connected to the carburetor. If your model uses compression clamps, squeeze them together with the pliers to pull the hoses off the carburetor.
Use a socket wrench to remove the bolt that secures the carburetor to the lawn mower. Pull the carburetor off of the throttle linkage and away from the mower.
Hold the carburetor with one hand and spray it with carburetor cleaner, keeping the spray nozzle away from you while spraying.
Spray compressed air over the carburetor to remove the cleaner and the dissolving dirt and grime. Wipe the outside of the carburetor with a clean shop rag to remove residual cleaner and dirt.
Remove the nut that secures the bowl to the bottom of the carburetor. Pull the bowl off and spray carburetor cleaner inside the bowl. Wipe the cleaner and dirt out of the bowl with a clean shop rag. Reassemble the bowl to the bottom of the carburetor with the retaining nut.
Reinstall the front of the carburetor on the throttle linkage. Position the body of the carburetor over the attaching hole, and secure the carburetor to the lawn mower with the retaining bolt.
Push the two rubber hoses back over the ports on each side of the carburetor. Maneuver the compression clamps over the hose ends and carburetor ports to secure the hoses.
Reconnect the air filter housing back over the carburetor using the securing screw or bolt. Turn the fuel supply back on to the mower by turning the shut-off valve below the fuel tank clockwise. Push the primer bulb a couple of times until the bulb fills with fuel. Pull the starter string and start your mower.