Drain the carburetor bowl on your mower

There is so much “stuff” in gasoline today that is not native to the crude oil from which it was distilled. There’s all kinds of additives to improve this, or stop that, prevent the other that over time they begin to settle out. It’s not a perfect mixture today’s gasoline, it’s more an emulsion of heptane,octane and nonane mixed with some less soluble and some more soluble things. And it’s those things that can get stuck in the carburetor’s microscopic fuel passages when you let it sit over the winter. Help yourself, and drain out all the fuel you can.

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Use a wrench to turn the bolt on the bottom of the fuel bowl

There is no easier or more complete way to keep your mower in good shape than to remove the metal carburetor bowl. Let all that gas drip out, take the bowl off and look inside. I once did this for the first time on our snowblower the first season I was running it. To my shock and horror there was a small pile of black fragments sitting in there! It appeared to be bits of vulcanized rubber or a similar substance. I freaked out knowing that any debris in that area can affect a motor adversely (especially a small 3.5hp one). I cleaned it out and it helped a little. But what I really needed was a good new accurately gapped spark plug. Ultimately it was that spark plug that made a bigger performance difference than any other. But it never hurts to remove that bowl and wipe it out. For good measure I will leave a little bit of carburetor choke cleaner in the bottom of the bowl when I reattach it. That way anything that might form there will stay in solution until the following season when I first prime and start the motor. Doing this, I usually get one big puff of grey smoke out the exhaust until it warms up. Then everything is free and clear and runs great.

Even if you’ve run your equipment dry as part of your usual end-of-season maintenance steps, some fuel can remain in the bowl of the carburetor. If you don’t drain the bowl, you might see some of the telltale white residue and related corrosion associated with ethanol blends. Four-cycle engines in particular seem prone to the buildup, although two-cycle engines can also suffer from the problem.

via Tip of the Day: Drain the carburetor bowl on your lawn mower to protect the engine: Consumer Reports Home & Garden Blog.

Author: carpetbomberz

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