How to adjust your car carburettor and use little fuel for your journey

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Finding the right mixture of air and fuel extends the life of the engine. If the engine turns too abruptly, it is important to adjust the mixture and find the correct idle speed to reduce engine load and prevent things from working too fast or too slow. The carburettor can be adjusted in a few simple steps and without special tools.


 1 Position and remove the air filter

Find the air filter and remove it. Most cars require you to remove the air filter to expose and adjust the carburettor. Open the hood and ensure that the engine is turned off before installing the air filter and removing the assembly. Loosen the wing nut and all other connections and remove the air filter completely.

depending on the brand, model and engine type in the vehicle, the air filter can be located at any number of different locations on the engine. Consult the operating instructions or the shop guide for your vehicle.

Most carburettor vehicles have the air filter housing attached directly to the carburettor.


2) Find the adjustment screws on the front of the carburettor.

Two screws should be attached to the front of the carburettor to regulate the air and fuel mixture.

They often look like pan-head screws, and you can turn them with a screwdriver to adjust the amount of fuel and air that mix in the carburettor.

Some carburettors, such as the Quadrajet found in most GM vehicles, have a special screw and require a special adjustment tool. Quadrajet uses a double “D” carburettor adjustment tool.

Other carburettors may have a 4-angle idle mixture setting (4 idle mixture screws).


3) Start the engine and let it warm up to normal operating temperature.

Check the temperature gauge to find out when it is at the correct operating temperature and listen to the engine noise to get an idea of the required settings

A lean engine pings at higher revs when the throttle is open as if it were flooding a gear. You need to add more gas to the mixture.

A motor that runs rich doesn't necessarily change the sound, but you can smell it. Lower the gas a little. An engine that runs too rich when idling causes the fuel filler caps to become dirty and the vehicle to be cold to start with more difficulty.


4) Adjust both screws in the same way and find the right mix. Adjusting the carburettor is similar to tuning a guitar or other stringed instrument. You want to turn the screws evenly, evenly, and slowly until you find the right place. Regardless of whether the engine is running too rich or too lean, bring it to a very lean mixture by turning both screws counter-clockwise a quarter of a turn and then slowly bringing them back to an equal and regular mixture level

Adjusting the mix is an inaccurate art that requires you to know the engine well and listen carefully. Slowly raise both screws and listen until the motor purrs gently. Fraying or ringing is a sign of a mixture that is too lean. Keep turning until you find the weak point.

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