What Is a Carburetor Dashpot?

by Katina Blue
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A dashpot is a device that creates friction to control movement. It can allow quick or slow movements, depending on the direction of an object. For instance, it is used on doors to regulate how they open and close. A carburetor dashpot works in a similar manner by controlling how a vehicle's throttle lever opens and closes.


A dashpot is usually located on the left-front corner of a vehicle's carburetor. It is cylinder-shaped and made of metal. A long screw, with metal coils wrapped around it, runs through the middle of the cylinder.


A carburetor dashpot prevents the engine from decelerating too quickly. It is composed of a cylinder, spring and a shaft that is attached to the throttle. When a driver depresses the gas pedal, the spring applies pressure to the shaft, causing it to close the throttle lever slowly. This movement allows the vehicle to return to idle smoothly and prevents the emission of high levels of carbon monoxide. Without the dashpot, the throttle lever would close abruptly, possibly causing the engine to stall due to an abrupt decrease in speed.


According to John Enyeart, president of Pony Carburetors, the primary purpose of dashpots on vehicles with automatic transmissions is to regulate emissions and not control engine smoothness. Accordingly, they are not always necessary for a vehicle to run properly.

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