What is a Carburetor

New Carburetors

New Carburetors

Carburetors are a mechanical part or device that blends air and fuel together. It goes inside of internal combustion engines. It controls mixtures of gasoline and oxygen, enabling the fuel to combust and supplying the engine with power to run itself.

If too much fuel is created in the combination, the automobile will use more gasoline than it requires, which may result in the engine stalling out. If too little fuel is created from the mixture, the engine may have difficulty maintaining its power and stutter. It needs to be adjusted manually by a professional mechanic after the proper amount of mixture and fuel for the specific engine for the automobile has been determined.

How a Carburetor Operates

You can think of carburetors like a tube system where two separate things go in together and mix to create fuel for an engine. Oxygen goes in one tube, while gasoline goes into another. The throttle controls the air intake. This so-called tube shrinks down to an area known as the venture, creating a vacuum. In this shrinking, or narrowing, a hole called the jet is created. This, combined with the vacuum, draws the fuel in after the air and gas have combined. From there, it is injected into the engine, where combustion happens, and the engine is powered.

Carburetor History

Carburetors were patented by Karl Benz around the early 1800s. He spent much of his days building the first-known internal combustion engines, as well as an assortment of components for them. Up until the late 1980s, carburetors were the method chosen for most United States engines that were fueled with gasoline, the best fuel delivery system at the time. Various models had been developed though.

In 1896, Frederick William Lanchester tested out wick carburetors in automobiles, building the first one of its kind around that time in Birmingham, England.

In the year 1885, as the atomizer nozzle was developed and gained popularity, Wilhelm Maybach and Gottlieb Daimler designed one utilizing it. Siegfried Marcus pioneered carburetors using rotating brushes.

Modern Use of the Carburetor

As more preferred delivery methods were made available to automobiles – such as direct fuel injection lines that were said to conserve fuel better – they have dwindled in popularity and general usage.

There are exceptions, such as the lawn mower carburetor and motorcycle carburetor models. Smaller engines still use these, since they are more readily available. They all have components that you can find out more about from the carburetor parts section. Most automobiles dating back twenty years or more still employ them, so if you own one, carburetor cleaning is good to add to your maintenance schedule so that fuel efficiency does not create future problems.

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