How To Clean ATV Carburettor Without Taking It Off

Taking the carb out of the ATV is a troublesome task to a large extent. But sometimes taking out becomes necessary to identify the problems much quicker. But the carburetor is a delicate piece of machinery when talking about its working system. 

When someone takes off the carb out of the atv for cleaning or to fix issues then a lot of small parts can fall off and finding them and putting them back in the right order is very critical. 

How To Clean ATV Carb Without Taking It Off

Without much fuss, carb can be cleaned with Spray without it being taken off. However , you will still need some cleaning tools , if dirt needs to be cleaned in more efficient way.


Cleaning Carburetor

Cleaning the carburetor is very important, otherwise, it often shows problems. The carburetor is the part of the vehicle system where the fuel gets mixed with the air to get burnt so it is an essential portion of the vehicle. 

If your ATV hasn’t been used for a long time the fuel will need replacement along with cleaning of the carburetor. If you don’t replace the fuel but clean the carburetor the vehicle will still show problems.

Often a lot of vehicle issues arise from an unclean carburetor but are not easily traced by the rider. The common problems of the carburetor can be identified if symptoms like overheating and backfiring take place.  The overheating of the engine or the backfiring issues arise from the carburetor not being able to pass a proper mixture of fuel.

Most people might not know this but the carb of a motorcycle and ATV is much the same. Sometimes they might not exactly look like the reciprocal but you will be able to clean it easily if you follow the simple process each step.

There are a few cleaning supplies that will be required for proper carb cleaning without removing it. You will need a carb and choke cleaner of a good brand and a parts cleaner. You might want to grab a carb rebuilding kit as well for making the whole process much smoother and simpler.

Image Of A Carburetor Part Being Taken Out For Repair
Image of a carburetor part being taken out for repair

Tools and first steps for carb cleaner

The question you are having is how to clean atv carb without taking it off is very obvious to ask because taking the carburetor off the vehicle every time cleaning is required can be very frustrating. So keeping some basic tools and knowing the process of how you can actually clean without taking off the carburetor is crucial. The simple tools which can help a lot for cleaning the carb yourself are as follows:

  • Needle nose pliers.
  • Phillips screwdriver.
  • Wire brushes.
  • Socket set.
  • Flat screwdriver.

If someone tries to clean the carb by taking it off the vehicle then the person has to take care of the throttle cable and also the intake boots which is a complicated job. For cleaning the carburetor without removing it first you need to put aside the pod filters and air box present. Be worry-free because these parts can be easily fitted by you later on again in the appropriate spots. 

Removing a few more parts of the carburetor is essential to have proper access to the main parts so that you can clean them thoroughly.

If you were thinking about how to clean atv carb without taking it off and guessing you can do it without removing any part at all then it’s not much possible. Removing the parts mentioned before will let you reach the butterfly valves that need to be removed as well.

Then taking off the bowl which you will find at the bottom is needed. A bolt in the center and a few screws towards the side of the bowl can be removed using a screwdriver that is going to let the bowl be free. Pull up the bowl carefully to have better access to the carburetor.

Checking and cleaning

After checking the petcock which makes the gas run in the vehicle and turn it off it’s going to be time to move on for cleaning. But before you step into the actual part of atv carb cleaning without removing it, you should keep some paper towels which should come useful. When you take the last part of the bowl off the base some amount of gas might leak. 

Take your branded cleaner and spray it inside the region where the bowl was present. After the first spray, you can then take a break, the parts removal steps were not very easy so you deserve a break. 

Have some patience and put in a few sprays in a gap of five minutes so that the dirt and old grime become worn. Use a piece of cloth or towel to clean off the dirt of every kind which would have become in a much softer state that would get off by itself or just a wipe of the towel will do.

Readjustments for carb and choke cleaner which is often needed

After a few sprays in a period and wiping you should put the bowl back and put in the screws and bolts as well in the prior position. Then after putting back the airbox and other parts it will be time to check the ATV and start the engine. 

Going for a spin with it will be the right move to understand the functioning and condition of the ATV. If the problems which you were having before cleaning are removed and the performance also improves then you should be feeling very lucky. This is because only by a simple procedure your ATV got like new by cleaning the carb without taking it off. If that doesn’t happen don’t worry at all it would just mean a little more hard work is required from you.

So get started by removing the airbox and other parts again followed by the bowl. Follow each step again to reach the main area of the carb. But after you take off the bowl you might notice some float-ups. These float-ups arise when there is gas present in the bowl and is present in a large quantity. 

The vehicle system of ATVs is designed in a way that this kind of bowl state will automatically make the fuel valve close down. This kind of system is made so that the fuel valve doesn’t overflow. So the next task will be to remove the float-ups as well. A wrist pin you will be able to find that when pushed will totally make the float detach.

After you have successfully removed the float you will find a cylindrical type shaped object that will be connected to the floats by a tip of rubber. Remove the float and the cylindrical kind of object together, the rubber tip is an essential part for preventing overflow in the fuel valve.

Then clean the area again if you notice slight overflows. As long as the floats are out it is a smart decision to run a check on them. The right kind of test will be to make them float in the water, if they float then they are in fine condition to be used. Otherwise, you will have to get new ones.

A Picture Of An Atv Carb Cleaner
A picture of an ATV carb cleaner

Cleaning the jets of the carb

After you have taken the floats off, looking inside the carb you will find the jets and when you find them with sufficient lights it will be time to unscrew the jets. You will need to take them out so that you can check inside and clean them. There will be two jets present, one will be the prime jet and the other one will be a secondary jet. Now after the jets have come out of the carb it is important to check the inside.

 If you can’t properly see through it that would mean they are clogged up.When comparing reasons for the carburetor to not function right, the most probable reason is found to be jet that is clogged up. Clogged jets also occur due to the use of the wrong gas which is not suitable for the type of ATV.

Ethanol gas is often the reason for clogged-up jets but there might be other reasons too. Make use of the carb cleaner in the same way in a gap of four minutes to make the jets clean. Experts recommend using branded carb cleaner, you can find the right product by checking if it contains chlorine or not. 

This time spray the carb cleaner all over the place because the ATV carb is very much exposed this time. By spraying properly not only the inside but the outside parts of carb will make the carb function much better. After you have completed the cleaning let the carb be open in the previous state and not install all the parts. Letting the carb cleaner do its work by reacting with the accumulated dirt is very important. 

In the end, wipe with a clean cloth all over inside the carb. Then slowly one by one reinstall all the parts starting from the float to the bowl and also the air box and other parts left. But you can also keep the air filters unattached for the time being for testing the ATV. If everything seems fine after you take the atv for a ride you can put the air filters back again.

Picture Of A Carburetor System 
Picture of a carburetor system


If cleaning didn’t fix the problems totally 

 Although cleaning the carburetor without removing the vehicle is not an extremely simple task, it isn’t as much as removing the carb kind of labor either. But even after cleaning the carb thoroughly if the carb shows signs of having problems then there might be some serious issues. 

This would also mean that taking the carb out of the vehicle might be the only option left. Taking the carb out of the vehicle might seem like a scary task because of all the small and delicate parts that fall off. Losing such a tiny part like this can stop the functioning of your vehicle and that seems like a big risk to take. 

But you will find a lot of resources from atv communities and mechanic forums to do it yourself. Some experts do recommend using an ultrasonic cleaner by repeating the same steps of taking off the parts starting from the airbox to the bowl and then placing the ultrasonic cleaner inside.

 The ultrasonic cleaner has a heater present that heats up the solution and provides an excellent cleaning of the carb of your ATV. But all of the ATV carbs would not have the same size and therefore you might need to clean some parts separately. A carb rebuilding kit will be very useful if you are planning on cleaning the carb every time yourself. You can easily repair the gasket of the vehicle if you have the kit.

A Type Of Carburetor Being Fixed For Future Use
A type of carburetor being fixed for future use

The commons signs when a carburetor needs to be cleaned

There will be some common signs in the carb that you will be able to recognize while riding the ATV. These signs would tell you that the carb is in need of a thorough clean. The common signs would often be generated by the jets present in the carb and the results would be as follows:

  • Sputtering
  • Poor idle
  • Backfiring
  • Poor performance


If you have these kinds of issues then most of the time the unclean carb would be responsible for causing such problems in the ATV. 

Sometimes the carb will also show difficulty in starting the engine of your ATV. If your ATV is running very lean due to the combination of fuel and air not properly happening then it might also be due to the presence of a lot of dirt in the carb. If there are fuel spills and overheating in the engine. Then it can be also considered as a sign of carb cleaning to be done properly.


Taking off the carb can be very difficult for some riders themselves as it involves several issues which cannot be easily handled. Many would prefer cleaning the carb themselves by not taking the carb completely out of the vehicle. If you prefer to do it yourself from the start then following the steps already mentioned will help you in cleaning the carb yourself without taking it off.

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