The engine should start up and perform normally after cleaning the carburetor. If it does not, the carburetor may need to be removed from the engine for more extensive cleaning. If you must remove and clean the entire carburetor, consult the manufacturer’s service manual.
As you begin to take the air filter assembly and carburetor off, take photos of the linkage to remind yourself of how it looks fully assembled.
NOTE: The limit cap for the idle mixture screw is on the top of the carburetor. It’s part of the tamper-proof system required by the EPA and it is a non-serviceable part. If it breaks, you must replace the entire carburetor.
Determine how long will the engine be stagnant. A high-quality fuel stabilizer will work for any engine that will sit idle from 30 days to a year. In these cases, mix the proper ratio recommended by the fuel stabilizer manufacturer. Fill the tank as full as possible, since air increases the potential for condensation and corrosion. Once you’ve added fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, run the engine about 15 minutes, long enough for the fuel to cycle into the carburetor bowl.
Manufacturers recommend completely draining the gas if the engine will not be used for longer than a year. Rather than letting a generator sit with a half tank of fuel until the next time it’s needed, twist the carburetor drain screw and drain the fuel. Pull the spark plug and spray some fogging oil on it. Pull the rope a few times, then place the spark plug back in and store the engine.
You may opt for a combination of these approaches: Leave the fuel with stabilizer in the main fuel tank, then turn off the fuel valve and drain the fuel from the carburetor or run it until it’s completely dry and the engine shuts off. That way the carburetor bowl has no fuel in it, but you still have fuel in the tank.
Prevent no-starts and engine hunts by taking care of your carburetor issues before more serious problems arise.
Dale Gabrielse handles OEM sales and marketing support for Subaru Industrial Power Equipment. Visit http://robinamerica.com.