How to Unclog a Carburetor Jet

by Chris Gilliland

A common problem that plagues carbureted motorcycles is the tendency to develop a clog during extended periods of inactivity. Clogs are caused by the slow degradation of fuel, which turns into a greenish sludge that clogs the carburetor's fuel jets and passageways. This effectively strangles the carburetor and prevents the motorcycle from being fueled properly. Cleaning a clogged carburetor can be a tedious job, especially when it comes to clearing the tiny jets. Fortunately, the job can be made easier with the right tools.


Pour an equal amount of water and cleaning solvent into a metal pot or container. Place the container over a hot plate or similar heat source and bring the solution almost to a boil.


Disassemble the carburetor and carefully remove the clogged jet from the carburetor.


Remove any rubber O-rings that may be attached to the jet and submerge the jet into the warmed carburetor cleaning solution. Allow the jet to soak for 10 minutes.


Remove the jet from the cleaning solution and rinse it thoroughly with clean water. Allow the jet to dry naturally.


Check that the jet has been cleared by blasting compressed air through the jet. If the jet is still clogged, pass a small, stiff wire through the jet and soak the jet for another 10 minutes.


Reinstall the jet into the carburetor and repeat as necessary.


  • Carburetor cleaning solutions can damage rubber components. Be sure that any O-rings, seals, or bushings are removed before placing the carburetor and jets into the cleaning solution.
  • Jets can be damaged very easily, so take your time when removing the jets from the carburetor.

Items you will need

About the Author

An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.

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