Modern science and nutritional information stress that the right carbs are an important part of a well-balanced diet. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains get the nutritional thumbs up, while white breads and processed carbs are suggested to be avoided. I am thankful to live in an era where science-based nutritional information is readily available but I am extremely alarmed by the lack of awareness being brought to the one carb responsible for claiming numerous victims every year, and I pray that none of you fall victim to a clogged carb (carburetor) this spring.
Today is March 11, 2018, and spring is rapidly approaching. If you are living in the southern part of the United States chances are like me, you have already had to cut your grass. Few things are more frustrating than dusting off the old mower after a long winter only to find out that it will not start, it is dead. If this has happened to you chances are one of two culprits were to blame, a dead battery, or a clogged carburetor. If your issue is the former your options are charge the battery and hope it is still good, or make a trip to the nearest battery dealer and buy a new one. The latter issue leaves you with a few more options, clean the carb yourself, rebuild the carb yourself, replace the carb yourself, pay a lawn mower repair shop to clean, rebuild, or replace the carb, or buy a new mower. Some of these options may be a little extreme, but I have seen people put a mower to the road simply because the carburetor was clogged. Better yet, numerous people have given me lawn mowers and bought themselves new ones simply because the carburetor was clogged and they thought it was broken beyond repair.
Thankfully both of the aforementioned issues are fairly easy to avoid and cleaning or rebuilding a carburetor yourself can usually be done for under $20 and learned on YouTube. To avoid a dead battery at the beginning of the lawn season simply use a float charger. A float charger will maintain the charge of the battery without the threat of overcharging. To avoid a clogged carburetor simply make sure to run the engine until it is out of gas before storing the mower for the winter. To avoid wasting fuel just to run your engine out of gas, install a fuel shut-off valve which will prevent fuel from advancing to the carburetor when closed.
I hope that none of you encounter either one of these issues when you pull out the lawn equipment this spring, but if you do, I have attached a few links to resources that can not only guide you through the process of fixing the issues yourself, but also save you big bucks in avoiding the small engine repair shop costs. Good luck, and thanks for reading.
How to clean a carburetor video.
Small Engine Repair Book
Riding Mower Maintenance Guide
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