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How do you clean a Kohler carburetor?

You can clean a dirty Kohler carburetor using a carb cleaner, a wire brush, and a Phillips screwdriver in some easy steps. As auxiliaries, a flat screwdriver, a needle nose plier, and a wrench come in great help. 

While cleaning you may adopt a couple of alternative strategies. You can clean it after detaching it, without detaching it, or while the engine is running. Let’s scope more into it and find some exciting ways regarding how do you clean a Kohler carburetor.

Steps to Clean a Kohler Carburetor

When a carburetor fails to operate properly, it should be cleaned. The first step of the cleaning process is to remove the carburetor from the engine. Afterward, the carburetor can be cleaned easily by hand. The steps to clean a Kohler Carburetor are listed below. Make sure it is cool to touch before cleaning.

1. Remove Carburetor from a Kohler Engine

First of all, you have to unscrew the ground wire. Then the wire for the fuel solenoid should be pulled out. There should be a fuel line under the carburetor, you have to remove it as well. Lastly, you have to remove the thin rod spring linkage at the side of the carburetor. Now, sliding the carburetor off of the studs will finish this step.

Remove Carburetor from a Kohler Engine

2. Remove Other Removable Components

Before removing the components, you can wash off the junks of the carburetor by using a carb cleaner. I.e. ‘Gunk carburetor parts cleaner’. Then you have to take off the bowl by unscrewing the four screws at the corners. After that, you should take the float off.

After opening the float chamber, the main jet can be unscrewed. Then you have to pull the main fuel needle out of the carburetor. In the same way, the side jet can be pulled out. You do not have to detach the plate if not necessary as the plates can be cleaned without being unscrewed.

Remove Other Removable Components

3. Unclog the Carburetor

Unclogging may ask for a healthy hassle, but in terms of cleaning carburetor, it’s certainly a headstart.

Clean the Carburetor bowl

If the contents of the bowl are liquid, simply wipe them clean with a dry cloth. If the carburetor bowl is sticky, use carburetor cleaner to saturate it and then wipe it clean.

Clean the Carburetor bowl

Unclog the Carburetor Jet

If the main jet path is clogged, use a carburetor cleaner and a wire brush to remove any dirt or gummed fuel. But you have to be careful that the passage should not be enlarged or damaged. To clean the idle jet, you can follow the same process as the main jet.

Clean the Carburetor Needle

Use a wire brush to clean the main fuel needle. Also, you can sharpen the bottom of the needle with sandpaper. The needle must not be overtightened. Because overtightening the needle can make the airflow difficult. 

After cleaning the bowl, jets, and needle, you should check for any more dirt on the other parts of the carburetor. If there is any more junk, you can use carb cleaner, cloth, wire brush, or simply air pressure to clean them off.

Clean the Carburetor Needle

4. Reassemble the Carburetor

To reassemble the carburetor, place the needle and the jets back to their places. Then set the float back in. Make sure that you set the float pin and inlet needle carefully. Finally, put the bowl back above the float and batten the screws on the four corners.

Cleaning the Carburetor Without Removing It

Remove the lower bowls of a motorbike carburetor to clean it without taking it apart. Spray some carburetor cleaning within the bowls after they’ve been removed, wait a few minutes, and then reapply to make sure it’s covered. After that, replace the bowl.

Symptoms of a Dirty Carburetor

Carburetors play an important role in mixing air into fuel and supplying it to the engine. As a result, a dirty carburetor can cause a lot of problems when the engine is running. There are some noticeable symptoms that can give you a hint that your carburetor needs cleaning.

Engine Running Lean

Usually, there is a 12:1 or 15:1 ratio of air to fuel in the engine. When the engine can not get enough fuel, it makes a sneezing sound or popping in the intake. This happens because of too much air and an insufficient amount of fuel in the carburetor. 

Engine Running Rich

Running ‘rich’ is the opposite of running lean. When the engine burns more fuel in the air-fuel mixture than the usual amount, black smoke comes out of exhaust pipes. This indicates that the carburetor may need a cleaning.

Starting Difficulty

If your engine does not start but cranks or turns over, it could be a symptom of a dirty carburetor. When a carburetor has too much dirt in it, a sufficient amount of air and fuel can not pass through it. Consequently, the engine turns over but does not start. 

Flooded Engine 

When there is dirt in the fuel bowl, it can block the needle valve. And thus the needle valve can not close. As a result, fuel overflows into the carburetor. So, fuel leaks through the bowl vents, causing the air-to-fuel ratio to be thrown off and soaking the spark plugs.

A Good Substitute for Carburetor Cleaner

An alternative for carburetor cleaner is brake cleaner. It is carburetor friendly and is developed to dissolve grease and grime. Most importantly, it is built in the same way that carburetor cleaners do.

Spray Carb Cleaner While the Kohler Engine is Running

You can clean your Kohler engine carburetor while the engine is still running. In that case, spray carburetor cleaner down the throat and around the outside after starting the engine. As the vehicle burns the carburetor cleaner, the engine will rev up a little. After a few minutes, turn off the engine.

Things You Should Not Use to Clean A Carburetor

Carb cleaner should be non-corrosive and not affect or deteriorate any of the carburetor’s plastic or rubber components. Vinegar should be avoided to clean because it contains acetic acid, which causes metal to rust. Furthermore, you should never use bleach as it will corrode metals, and destroy rubberized seals.


Can you use WD-40 to clean the carburetor?

Yes, but to clean a carburetor, you have to use a WD-40 specialist. WD-40 Specialist Fast-Acting Carb/Throttle Body & Parts Cleaner cleans your carburetor, throttle body, and unpainted metal parts.

What Does Kohler Solenoid Do?

Fuel shutoff solenoids prevent backfiring, which are found in Kohler engines. Excess fuel cannot enter the combustion chamber when the ignition key is switched to the “Off” position, effectively restricting fuel flow to the carburetor and removing the potential for that unpleasant noise. You should fix the governor on your Kohler engine to get good performance.

What Causes the Carburetor to Get Dirty?

Dirt can enter the carburetor through the engine’s fuel line. The dirt comes from the gas tank or the gas can that was used to transfer the fuel to the tank. Again, excess engine oil can also make the carburetor dirty. Additionally, internal problems also can clog the carburetor.


You should clean and maintain your Kohler carburetor at least once every six months to get 100% engine efficiency. Besides, using the right tool and cleaner will make your cleaning process easier. Although the process is the same, following the user manual of your machine to see if it offers additionals on how do you clean a Kohler carburetor.

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