woman checking her car's engine

If your car runs on a gas engine, then detecting carburetor issues is still an important proficiency to have.

The first thing you can do is make sure all its moving parts are functional. If you need custom springs for your carburetor, such as return springs and throttle springs, count on custom spring engineering experts in Texas. If parts aren’t the problem, be on the lookout for other signs of carburetor issues:

There’s a sneezing sound in the intake

That popping sounds that seem like short sneezes may indicate your engine is running lean. It’s also possible there’s an imbalance in the mixture of fuel and air in your carburetor. There’s probably not enough fuel going to your carburetor, or there’s too much air.

A possible cause of a lean-running engine is that your carburetor is dirty or has obstructions, like ethanol gel, oil, or varnish, clogging the jets in the carburetor bowl. That clog produces the sneezing or sputtering sound in the intake and is usually followed by overheating and backfiring.

There’s black smoke emitted by the exhaust

When your engine does the opposite and runs on a fuel-rich condition, it’s probably running on an excess of fuel and a lack of air, causing your exhaust system to blow out black smoke during acceleration. In a float-type carburetor, rich fuel is usually caused by a faulty engine control unit, blocked injectors or fuel filters, or a leaky foam float inside the fuel bowl.

To fix this, check your vacuum lines and hoses for leaks, and inspect if your air duct’s flap in your carburetor isn’t opening or choking right.

It takes too long to start the engine

Another indication of rich fuel is when your car experiences a cold start, or when the car wouldn’t start right away amidst cold weather.

This usually points to the same problem of a stuck choking mechanism within the carburetor. Coiled to a heat-sensing spring, the choke contracts when it gets cold and unwinds when it gets hot. Check the spring further. A broken or jammed spring due to rust or an obstructed choke because of dirt causes the choke to stay closed even as the engine starts, leading to a cold start.

It’s becoming harder to accelerate

If you’re noticing a need for extra power when accelerating, that’s probably another indication of a lean fuel mixture in your carburetor. Other related signs are when your engine is sputtering or shaking during deceleration or when idle, or when driving uphill or downhill is becoming harder to control.

Apart from a dirty carburetor, other possible reasons your engine is lacking in power are worn-out throttle shafts or a weak accelerator pump.

There’s a stinky smell of burnt gasoline

car's engine

One way to tell if the smell of burning gasoline is due to a faulty carburetor is when its fuel bowl churns out an overflow of fuel into a hot engine and onto other car components that are likewise running red-hot.

Such an overflow is usually caused by dirt entering the needle valve and preventing it from fully closing. It can also be due to excessive fuel pressure, which forces fuel past the needle valve. Check the fuel pump for faults and always clean your carburetor of excess oil.

Spare parts are often available through after-market carburetor kits, so replacement should be a breeze. However, if you’re still in the dark as to what the problem is, it’s always best to consult a car professional.

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