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What Are the Signs of a Failing Carburetor

Your carburetor is a car component in charge of mixing the appropriate amount of fuel and air to run your vehicle. As you may know, all gas-powered vehicles have to have a precise ratio of both air and fuel. The carburetor is a part of the process that helps manage this balance. In addition, the carburetor is also capable of regulating your engine speed. 


There are three common types of carburetors used in vehicles today. They are the same but vary in the number of barrels: 1-barrel carburetor, 2-barrel carburetor, and 4-barrel carburetor. The type of carburetor you have depends on the kind of engine you have. High-performance cars will typically require a higher number of barrel carburetors to provide the necessary amount of fuel.


To stay on top of your vehicle's condition, you need to be able to identify the warning symptoms of a bad carburetor.

  • Black Exhaust Smoke:  If your car is burning more gas than it should, some of it can leak into your cylinders. If this happens, it will have to be ejected from out of your exhaust pipe. You may see a thick and dark cloud of smoke as a result. This symptom should be taken seriously and treated ASAP as it can harm your spark plugs, waste your gas, and pollute the air.
  • Rough Idling: Your engine could idle and become shaky or sputter when you take pressure off the gas pedal. This problem is a common sign that your motor is getting an unsatisfactory air-fuel mixture.
  • Hard Starts: If your vehicle is hesitant to start when the engine is cold, it could be that the air-fuel ratio is wrong. If you have difficulty starting your car in brisk temperatures, then it's probably due to an error with your carburetor. 
  • Reduced Fuel Efficiency: If you're getting poor gas mileage, it could indicate that your carburetor is taking in more fuel than it needs. If you notice this coupled with any of the above symptoms, please seek professional help as soon as possible.

Unless you are a certified mechanic, dealing with a declining carburetor may be beyond your capacities. Fortunately, a carburetor problem is quick and reasonably inexpensive to fix. At Jeff's Automotive, we can get down to the bottom of your mechanical problems and take care of your carburetor.