How to Prime a Carburetor

by Contributor

After thoroughly cleaning the fuel lines and carburetor of your vehicle you may find that you have cleaned it so well that there is no gas getting to the cylinders to let the car start. Prime the carburetor easily with just a few squirts of carburetor cleaner or a bit of gas poured directly into the carburetor before attempting to start the vehicle.

Spray some carburetor cleaner into the intake of the carburetor while the engine is running. This will clean the intakes and other parts of the carburetor without having to prime it. The flammable nature of carburetor cleaner will, in small amounts, substitute gas as the fuel for the engine.

Pour a small amount of gasoline directly on the diaphragm if the car won't start. This serves to pump gas through the carburetor and mixes it with air before entering the cylinder. Now try to start the car. If the car doesn't start immediately, continue to add gasoline by eyedropper into the carburetor until the engine turns over. Once the engine starts, the pump in the carburetor will take over and pump the fuel.

Spray the whole carburetor with carburetor cleaner to clean the lines and valves further and to make sure the fuel is flowing well.

Tip

  • check Carburetor cleaner and gasoline are both highly flammable liquids. Use extreme caution when working with these chemicals around ignition sources. Definitely don't smoke when using these, and keep your head and face away from the carburetor and engine when in use.

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