Dirty carburetor? It probably is if it has never been cleaned!
Itching to know what the best carburetor cleaner is on the market?
In this ProperMechanic.com guide, you will learn the following:
- The best carburetor cleaner for cleaning engine parts
- Which auto parts to clean with carb cleaner
- Tips for getting the best results on your engine repair
- And much more!
Below is a quick list of all our top products.
Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use an amazing carburetor cleaner!
Berryman 0996 Chem Dip
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CRC Carb Cleaner
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Berkebile Oil Instant Gum Cutter
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Gumout Carb And Choke Cleaner
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Gunk CC3K Carburetor & Parts Cleaner With Drip Basket
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
We like Berryman because it covers all ranges of parts cleaning. Need to soak a part in a solution that will make carbon deposits super easy to remove? Purchase the Berryman 0996 Chem Dip.
Need a quick spray can that works hard to get small metal parts looking and functioning like new again? Purchase Berryman B-12 Chemtool Carburetor.
Why purchase or use a carburetor cleaner?
Sometimes you need something a little bit more elbow grease to clean off engine parts.
Yes, carburetor cleaner is very useful for cleaning engine parts even if your engine doesn't have a carburetor.
With a clean carburetor, the engine starts reliably and throttles down the right way.
Top 5 Best Carburetor Cleaning Kits
What Are Carburetor Cleaners For Engine Repair?
This product is made especially for cleaning the engine's carburetor but is also capable of cleaning other metal engine parts.
Now, although new cars are fuel injected either by port injection or direct injection, the typical small engine still has a carburetor. Why would you need a carb cleaner?
Well, if you own a lawnmower, weed wacker, motorcycle/ATV, or anything else that has a small engine like a motorized bicycle then you will be dealing with carburetor problems sooner or later.
Wait! Did you read the label?
An important thing to note is that each carburetor cleaner brand has its ingredients, and reading the label of each specific product is key to avoid undesired damage to an engine part.
What Is A Carburetor?
The carburetor is the apparatus in some modern engines that correctly mix the air and fuel before it enters the combustion chamber of the engine.
Now, let's take note that the newest vehicles on the market are fuel injected and do not have carburetors.
Carb cleaner contains super strong cleaning solvents that will leave engine parts like new. How new? It depends on how patient you are at cleaning them.
For example, you can spray carb cleaner on parts gummed up engine parts and use a metal brush to scrub them down.
And carb cleaner is a good product to have in the garage even if all your vehicles have fuel injection systems.
You never know when you are going to need to spritz off a small metal part to leave it sparkling clean.
It's always important to read the label on the carburetor cleaner for warnings and recommendations.
Another important thing to note that carb cleaner is extremely flammable and should be handled with extreme care.
Note: Always use eye protection when working with harmful chemicals. Nitrile gloves are also recommended to avoid skin damage and irritation.
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What Are The Different Types of Carburetor Cleaners For Engine Repair?
Some carb cleaner comes in a pressurized container that allows the user to spray onto vehicle parts when cleaning.
Parts cleaner bucket
Other carb cleaner products like the Berryman 0996 Chem Dip come in a small bucket where you can dip the carburetor parts inside or let them sit inside for a while to loosen up tough carbon deposits.
These come in handy in the garage when doing jobs like head gaskets, for example where you might want to soak oil-covered bolts and other small parts.
Carb cleaner + fuel system cleaner (pour in fuel tank)
There are products like STP 00515 Fuel Injector and Carb Cleaner that you can pour into the gas tank designed to keep all parts of the fuel system clean and lubricated.
What's The Difference Between Brake Cleaner, Carb Cleaner, and Fuel Injector Cleaner?
Brake cleaner is another good product for cleaning engine parts.
Other than the most obvious notion that brake cleaner is used for cleaning brakes, and carb cleaner are for cleaning carburetors, is there much difference?
Not really, they are both parts cleaners. The only arguable difference is that brake cleaner is less likely to leave behind an oily residue.
Nonetheless, the basic ingredients are about the same.
There are also other part-specific cleaning products like a MAF(mass air flow) sensor cleaner, throttle body cleaner, and others that will aid you in your car repair adventures.
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How Does Carburetor Cleaner For Engine Repair Work?
Using carb cleaner doesn't always mean you are cleaning the carburetor.
Here are some examples of parts you could potentially clean up with carb cleaner:
There are a few different 'magic potions' in automobile maintenance that help to make things easier.
Brake cleaner is also another product that cleans off carbon deposits and aids when pulling engines apart and cleaning them.
Removing And Disassembling Your Carburetor
Sometimes using carburetor cleaner to spray inside the carb isn't enough. For example, if you have a stuck float or excess carbon buildup you may have to remove and disassemble the carb for proper inspection and cleaning.
Keep in mind with all of your small engines that if you let them sit for longer them a few weeks, then you are at risk of the carburetor jetting clogging up.
Most carburetors have a drain screw on them for that very reason, so you can drain the fuel out of them for storage purposes.
Here are some good tips for removing the carburetor from the engine you are working on:
- Turn the gas valve to the 'off position'
- Watch carefully for gaskets falling into unknown places
- Inspect thoroughly upon removal
The float(s) is what controls the entry of fuel into the carburetor along with a needle valve that opens and closes. Fuel enters the carburetor through the needle valve, causing the float to rise and close the needle and stopping the entry of fuel into the carburetor.
Sometimes the float develops a leak and fills up with fuel making it lose its buoyancy.
The float is generally held into place by a pin and can be easily removed and inspected by pushing on the retaining pin.
You should also inspect the needle valve for signs of carbon buildup blocking it from closing all the way.
Common carburetor Issues
- Stuck float(engine flooded)
- Clogged jetting
- Excess carbon buildup
- Throttle issues(throttle stuck due to carbon buildup)
- Vacuum leak
Perhaps the most common problem with a carburetor is a clogged pilot jet: the pilot jet is used for letting the right about of fuel and air into the engine at idle.
When the engine is idling, the throttle(which lets in the air) is closed to the point where the carburetor only sucks fuel from the smaller pilot jet(
Another common issue is a vacuum leak causing unmetered air to enter into the carburetor.
This can happen if the seal from the air intake to the carburetor is broken or not mounted properly.
All air going into the carburetor must go through the air filter first.
Inspect the carburetor casing for signs of carbon buildup and clean any existing residue that could potentially soak into the fuel and cause future clogging.
The main jet that draws in higher amounts of fuel when the throttle is open can also clog with carbon deposits, however, it is much less likely because it has a larger hole than the pilot jet.
When cleaning the jets, soak them in carb cleaner first, and then use compressed air to blow air through the holes.
You can clean jets with a jet cleaner set that consists of tiny pins that you can stick through the jetting to unclog and restore fuel flow.
Don't forget to replace/reinstall all gaskets when reassembling the carburetor
Ethanol that is sometimes used in gas reduces the shelf life of the fuel.
So how can you avoid carbon buildup? By using the highest quality of fuel possible.
It is possible to mount more than one carburetor on an engine. For example, older carbureted V8 engines typically have 2 four-barrel carburetors.
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What To Look For In The Best Carburetor Cleaner For Engine Repair?
Any carburetor cleaner will do the trick; the important part is that you read the label carefully before purchasing so you know which parts you should and shouldn't clean with that specific product.
Because you don't want to unintentionally destroy vehicle parts with strong chemicals.
Carb cleaner product ingredients vary from product to product, but here are some main ingredients that you will see:
- Methyl Ethyl Ketone
- etc. varies by product
Our Reviews Of The Best Carburetor Cleaner For Engine Repair
Pick #1: Berryman 0996 Chem Dip
Looking to clean carbon off of metal car parts? Chem Dip is the perfect solution.
Purchase these two Berryman carb cleaner products to help make your garage a more friendly environment for vehicle and maintenance repair.
The Berryman Chem dip product is a great option because sometimes you need to give small metal parts a soak in something that will rid them of their corrosion/carbon deposits.
And the Berryman Chemtool Carburetor cleaner is a great solution for giving vehicle parts a run
Pick #2: CRC Carb Cleaner
Spray some CRC on, and clean with a rag or brush to keep your engine performing at its max potential.
You will get the best price on this product ff you purchase in packs of 12.
Pick #3: Berkebile Oil Instant Gum Cutter
Berkebile's Instant Gum Cutter is a potent option for removing carbon from metal engine parts, and it is also safe for use on oxygen sensors.
Although the price of Berkebile is a little bit higher than usual, it will likely hang around in the garage for longer because you have to use less to get the same results as other products.
Stick this 13-ounce bottle into your virtual cart to be prepared the next time you clean a carburetor or rebuild engine parts.
Pick #4: Gumout Carb And Choke Cleaner
This Gumout Carb cleaner is a great option if for cleaning parts on basically anything that has an engine.
Efficiently clean carbon deposits off of carburetor parts and other engine parts at a cost that isn't going to put you out very much cash.
Pick up Gumout carb off of Amazon in 16-ounce spray can bottle in packs of either one or twelve bottles.
Gunk is an environmentally friendly non-chlorinated and non-corrosive that still gets the job done when cleaning engine parts.
It also doesn't have ozone-depleting chemicals.
Gunk is a parts dip bucket that even comes with a dripping basket that allows for a place for parts to sit after being dipped in the cleaner.
Don't forget to consider Gunk carb and parts cleaner the next time you are ordering parts for your garage product; it's a good tool to have around.
Our Top Pick: Berryman 0996 Chem Dip
Berryman is our top pick because you are left with options between the aerosol spray bottle and the parts dip that allows you to soak parts for an extended period for the best cleaning results.
Berryman products are produced in compliance with VOC(volatile organic compounds) standards in all 50 states, so it isn't completely harmful to the environment.
Berryman is made with high energy solvent technology for the most advanced results.
Plus, they're an excellent value for the money! Check the low price now on Amazon.
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Final Thoughts On Carburetor Cleaners For Engine Repair
Have you heard of a parts cleaner machine?
Some automotive shops have an industrial cleaner that cleans parts. Think of it as a dishwasher for larger car parts.
This is a great alternative to purchasing a carb cleaner bucket when cleaning large parts like engine heads, intakes, etc. that won't fit inside the small bucket.
Will Carburetor Cleaner Cleaner a Catalytic Converter?
Your catalytic converter is a metal box hooked into an exhaust system that turns the emission gases from carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide.
There are plenty of ways to clean a catalytic converter when the engine doesn't pass its readiness test for emissions.
But is carburetor cleaner one of them?
Well, typically the catalytic converter needs to be replaced when it clogs up with carbon buildup.
But buying a new catalytic converter is an expensive part, that's why some technicians give cleaning and vehicle owners like to try to clean it first to see if it will pass the emissions test to avoid a costly part.
Here are some things you can try for cleaning the catalytic converter:
Your cat probably isn't going to fit into any of these parts cleaner buckets listed in this article.
You could unscrew the upstream O2 sensor and spray some carb cleaner into the exhaust to try and get rid of bad carbon deposits in the cat.
Pour a cleaner in with the fuel
Some mechanics say that you can pour lacquer thinner in with the fuel, and that cleans the catalytic converter.
This isn't recommended because it can damage fuel system components, however, there are products on the market like Cataclean that are made especially for cleaning the catalytic converter, and all you have to do is pour it in with the gas upon refueling.
Remove and clean
Some technicians will physically remove the catalytic converter and immerse it in a solution for cleaning.
Sometimes there is no other option but to replace the catalytic converter, so giving a shot at cleaning it is sometimes worth a go; if you are going to remove the catalytic converter you may want to be a new set of exhaust gaskets to avoid an exhaust leak after reassembling.
Did you replace the gaskets?
Cleaned the carburetor? Did you inspect and reinstall the gaskets on each side? Air leaks are one of the most common misfire problems.
Here on our Proper Mechanic blog, we like to talk about all things cars and engine maintenance.
Be sure to check out our other blogs to gain important knowledge concerning your engine or vehicle.