As a biker, you know that keeping your motorcycle in top condition is essential for both safety and performance. One of the most critical parts of your bike’s engine is the carburetor. As you probably know, the carburetor is responsible for mixing fuel and air in the correct ratio to provide the power needed for your bike to run. However, it’s not always easy to know when your carburetor needs cleaning. In this post, we’ll give you some tips on how to identify the signs of a dirty carburetor.
How Do You Know If Your Carburetor Needs Cleaning?
1. Poor fuel economy:
One of the first signs of a dirty carburetor is poor fuel economy. When your carburetor is dirty, it can’t regulate the fuel-air mixture appropriately, causing your motorcycle to use more fuel than necessary. If you notice that you’re getting fewer miles per gallon than usual, it’s time to check your carburetor.
2. Engine misfires and stalling:
A dirty carburetor can cause your engine to misfire or stall altogether. This is because a dirty carburetor can’t provide the necessary fuel and air mixture efficiently. If your bike is sputtering when you accelerate or stalls frequently, it might be time to clean your carburetor.
3. Reduced power and acceleration:
A dirty carburetor can significantly affect your bike’s performance. If you notice that your motorcycle is not accelerating as it used to, or you’re having a hard time getting up to speed, your carburetor could be the culprit. In some cases, a dirty carburetor can even cause your bike to lose power altogether.
4. Rough idling:
The carburetor also affects how smoothly your motorcycle idles. If your motorcycle’s idle is rough or uneven, it’s likely that your carburetor needs cleaning. In some cases, you may even hear strange noises coming from the engine when it’s idling.
5. Black smoke from exhaust:
A dirty carburetor can cause your motorcycle to emit black smoke from the exhaust. This means that the fuel-air mixture is not being burned completely, causing an over-rich mixture. Black smoke is a clear indication that your carburetor needs cleaning.
Why Do I Need To Clean The Carb?
Over time, debris and contaminants can build up inside the carburetor, causing it to malfunction and potentially damage your motorcycle. In this article, we’ll explain why you need to clean your motorcycle carburetor and how to do it.
1. Better Performance
Cleaning your motorcycle carburetor is crucial to keep your bike running smoothly. A dirty carburetor can cause erratic idling, poor acceleration, and decreased fuel efficiency. If you don’t clean your carburetor regularly, you may need to replace it, which can be costly. By cleaning your carburetor, you’ll be able to improve the bike’s performance and avoid any future problems.
2. Avoid Damages
Leaving your carburetor dirty for too long can lead to permanent damages to its function. Debris and contaminants like dust or dirt can create blockages inside the carburetor, impacting the bike’s fuel flow, air fuel ratio, idle speed and lead to a permanent malfunction that requires expensive repair costs. Regular maintenance can prevent this from happening.
3. Increase Your Bike’s Lifespan
Maintenance, including cleaning the carburetor, can increase the lifespan of your motorcycle. Conducting routine maintenance helps guarantee your bike remains in optimum condition. Regular cleaning will prevent a buildup of rust, debris and damage to the carburetor components.
4. It is not hard to clean a carburetor
Contrary to popular belief, cleaning your carburetor isn’t as difficult as it seems. You can complete the task on your own, even if you don’t have extensive mechanical knowledge. You can find many instructional videos online on how to clean your carburetor with carburetor cleaner, canned air cans and soap and water. Just make sure to follow instructions carefully and protect yourself from the cleaning agents.
5. Save Money
Lastly, cleaning your carburetor can save you money. When your bike is not running as efficiently as it should, it can be using more fuel to do the same amount of work, causing more costs at the pump. Once your carburetor is running properly, you’ll notice a difference in fuel consumption and potentially save hundreds of dollars a year.
How Much Does It Cost To Clean A Dirt Bike Carb?
The cost of cleaning a dirt bike carburetor can vary depending upon the make and model of your bike, as well as the complexity of the job. Additionally, the cost may also vary based on where you bring your bike and the experience level of the mechanic.
If you want to do it yourself, you will incur only the cost of the carburetor cleaner and a new gasket, which will set you back anywhere between $15 to $50. However, attempting to do it yourself may not be advisable if you are inexperienced or not comfortable working on your bike. This is because trying to clean the carburetor without knowledge may end up causing even more damage to your bike engine.
If you take it to a mechanic, the cost of cleaning your dirt bike carburetor will depend on the hourly rate of the garage and the complexity of your bike’s carburetor. If the carburetor is heavily damaged, the mechanic may need to replace some parts, pushing the cost higher. On average, the cost of cleaning a dirt bike carburetor at a garage may range from $100 to $400, including parts and labor.
Can You Use WD40 To Clean A Carb?
WD40 is a miracle spray that can be used on almost everything. Its moisture-displacing properties make it an ideal lubricant, rust cleaner, and so on. However, using WD40 to clean a carb is not a good idea. Carburetors are delicate pieces of equipment that need a thorough cleaning with proper solvent. WD40 is not a carb cleaner and is not designed to remove dirt, grime, or varnish from carburetors, hence not appropriate for cleaning carburetors. It is mainly meant for lubrication and rust protection; thus, using it to clean a carb would be like using a hammer to drive a nail.
How About Carb Cleaner Spray?
On the other hand, carburetor cleaner spray is specifically designed for cleaning carburetors. It is made up of solvents like acetone, toluene, or xylene, among other compounds that easily dissolve the dirt, grime, and varnish from the carbs. Carb cleaner spray has special additives that ensure that it doesn’t harm the delicate parts of carburetors. Carb cleaner spray is much better than diesel, petrol, or any other solvent because it is specifically designed to clean carbs and nothing else.
Why solvent will DESTROY your dirt bike carb
Using solvents like diesel, petrol, or any other household products to clean your carburetor is a bad choice. These solvents tend to strip away the natural lubrication present in the carburetor, making its parts dry and susceptible to damage. Furthermore, using these solvents also means you have to rinse the carburetor with water, which promotes rusting, another problem you don’t want. So, using the right solvent is crucial to the maintenance of your dirt bike carburetor.
How Do You Properly Clean A Dirt Bike Carburetor?
How to easily remove the carb from your dirt bike
Before you begin the carb cleaning process, you must remove it from your bike. To remove the carburetor, follow these steps:
• Turn off the fuel valve
• Remove the air filter box and air filter
• Disconnect the throttle cables
• Remove the carburetor clamp bolts
• Gently slide the carburetor out of the intake manifold.
Tear Down The Carb
• Remove the float bowl and clean it
• Remove the main jet, idle jet, and other jets
• Remove the needle and jet needle tube
• Remove the carburetor slide, and throttle valve
• Use an air compressor to blow air through each jet and passageway to dislodge any debris stuck inside.
The Magical Carb Cleaning Solution
After disassembling the carburetor, you need to clean its components. There are different carburetor cleaning solutions available in the market. However, we recommend using a carburetor cleaner that is designed explicitly for motorbikes.
• Soak the carburetor components in the cleaning solution for 1-2 hours
• Use a soft brush to clean the carburetor components thoroughly
• After cleaning, rinse the components with water, and air dry them.
• Reassemble the components in reverse order, and reinstall your carburetor back into the bike
Also check out, How to clean a Dirt Bike Air Filter
Why The Ultrasonic Cleaner Works So Well
The next step in properly cleaning your dirt bike carburetor is to invest in an ultrasonic cleaner. An ultrasonic cleaner uses high-frequency sound waves to create tiny bubbles in a cleaning solution. These tiny bubbles penetrate every nook and cranny of your carburetor, removing dirt and grime that might otherwise be missed. Unlike other cleaning methods, an ultrasonic cleaner is gentle on your carburetor and won’t cause any damage to the delicate parts. Consider investing in an ultrasonic cleaner and make your cleaning process a breeze.
Now Comes The Air Gun
Once your carburetor has been thoroughly cleaned in the ultrasonic cleaner, the next step is to dry it out using an air gun. An air gun uses compressed air to blow out any remaining cleaning solution or water. Make sure to blow out all of the nooks and crannies to ensure that your carburetor is completely dry. Leaving any moisture behind can cause corrosion or rust, which can cause serious damage to your bike.
Is It Ready To Go?
Now that your carburetor has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, it’s time to put it back together and give it a test run. Make sure all the parts are properly lubricated and secured before reinstalling it in your bike. Once it’s back in place, start up your bike and let it run for a few minutes. Check to make sure everything is running smoothly and test your bike out on a ride. If all goes well, give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!
How Do I Keep The Carb Clean Long-term?
1. Keep Your Fuel Clean
One of the leading causes of carburetor problems is using dirty fuel. When fuel is contaminated, it clogs the carburetor, which causes performance issues in your motorcycle. To avoid this, it’s essential to make sure that you’re using clean fuel all the time. Always check your fuel before you refill your tank, and if it looks murky or has debris in it, don’t use it. Always purchase fuel from a reliable source.
2. Use a Fuel Additive
Using a fuel additive is a great way to keep your carburetor clean. Fuel additives help to eliminate gum and varnish buildup in the carburetor, which extends the life of your carburetor. The additive helps to clean the carburetor and fuel lines by removing deposits and preventing new ones from forming. Always ensure that you buy a fuel additive compatible with motorcycles.
3. Keep Your Dirt Bike Covered When Not In Use
Another way to keep your carburetor clean long-term is by keeping your bike covered when not in use. Leaving your bike outdoors exposes it to the elements, which causes wear and tear on the carburetor over time. UV rays, water, and dust will all damage your carburetor. Always park your bike in a covered area or invest in a motorcycle cover to protect it.
4. Keep the Air Filters Clean
The carburetor needs good airflow to run correctly. Clogged air filters will prevent the carburetor from getting enough air, which causes it to lean out and run poorly. A clogged air filter will increase the pressure drop across the filter element, negatively impacting fuel delivery. Always check your air filters regularly and clean them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
5. Regular Carburetor Maintenance
Regular carburetor maintenance is key to keeping your carburetor clean and running smoothly. You should clean the carburetor at least once a year, depending on how often you use your bike. Look out for signs of carburetor problems like difficulty starting, poor fuel economy, and lower power output. Bring your bike to a professional mechanic to have your carburetor cleaned and inspected.
Keeping your carburetor clean is essential for your motorcycle’s performance and longevity. If you notice any of the above signs, it’s essential to act quickly and clean your carburetor. A dirty carburetor can cause significant damage to your bike’s engine, leading to costly repairs. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your carburetor can prevent countless issues and keep your bike in top condition. Remember, prevention is always better than cure!