2 Common Problems Associated With An Automobile's Carburetor

Carburetors were the principal means of automotive fuel delivery up until the late 1980s. Thus, it is not uncommon to still own a car with a carburetor--nor is it uncommon for those older carburetors to develop problems. If you own an automobile that utilizes a carburetor, read on. This article will introduce two common problems related to a carburetor in need of repair or replacement.

Hard Start When Engine Is Cold

If your car is experiencing difficulty starting up when the engine is cold, chances are that the problem is related to a component of the carburetor known as the choke. The choke is a special valve whose purpose is to regulate the amount of air that can flow into the carburetor. It is opened and closed by means of a special heat-sensing spring. The cooler the spring, the more closed the choke will be. Likewise, as the spring heats up, the choke valve will gradually open.

A hard cold start generally indicates that the choke valve is not closing as much as it should. This allows too much air into the carburetor, resulting in a so-called lean fuel. The problem can often be addressed by making a simple adjustment to the choke mechanism. Rust and corrosion can also prevent the proper opening and closing of the choke; cleaning the various choke components is often enough to eliminate the problem.

Increased Fuel Consumption

If the miles per gallon you are getting from your car seems to have been steadily dropping, the cause may be a misadjusted carburetor float. This float is responsible for determining the amount of fuel that is allowed to enter the float-feed chamber. If the float is set too high, an excessive amount of fuel will be permitted. The result, once this fuel has passed into the carburetor and been mixed with the air, is a fuel that is too rich.

Rich fuel is that which is skewed too heavily toward the fuel side of the air/fuel mixture. This naturally leads to an increase in fuel consumption, since it is not possible for the engine to combust all of that fuel. Thus an odor of raw fuel often accompanies this problem. Likewise, you may notice that your exhaust smoke is thicker and blacker than usual--especially when stepping on the gas.

This problem can often be solved by having a mechanic adjust the float setting. In some cases, the problem may actually be that the float itself has become saturated with fuel. This affects its ability to cut off the fuel by preventing it from rising up in the fuel chamber. Replacing it with a new float will likely correct the issue. 

For more information, contact AutoMedics or a similar company.