How Jets Get Clogged and How to Clean Them

There are less and less contaminants in modern fuel that would seal a jet in the carburetor but the problem still exists, particularly on older cars. That is because the jets in the carburetor are very fine and they can easily become plugged with rust coming up from the bottom of the fuel tank. Modern cars have a magnet in the tank to prevent any metal filings from reaching the carburetors but they use a more complex, injector system. That means you will only have to deal with a sealed jet if you have a relatively old car.

The Function of the Jets on a Car

The jets in a carburetor serve to pull in tiny amounts of fuel into the piston where it is lit by the spark plug and detonates, pushing the piston down. These tiny jets are small metal pieces with very thin holes in them through which the fuel is sucked in. The bigger the hole is, the richer the fuel and air mixture will be, and up to a certain point, the stronger the engine will be. Of course, if the hole is too big, then there will be too much fuel entering the carburetor and not enough air; therefore, the fuel will not detonate. So, depending on the engine type, the size of the jets needs to be very carefully calculated.

Understanding What Seals a Jet

Gasoline does not explode unless it is vaporized. The jet is small so that the fuel passing through it is vaporized when entering the piston. You can only imagine how small the jet is and how easily it can become sealed. Today’s gasoline is very pure and there are several filters in the car that keep it pure. However, sometimes tiny shards of metal or rust can detach from the side of the fuel tank or from the fuel lines, flow past the filter, and seal up a jet. As a result, there will not be any fuel getting to a particular piston and your car will stall or even stop.

Cleaning a Sealed Jet

Cleaning a sealed jet can be a challenge because you will be working with very small pieces. The simplest thing you can do is to remove the jet from the carburetor use the thinnest guitar string you can find to clean it thoroughly. You should make sure not to scratch the metal because when dealing with such precise holes, even the tiniest scratch can widen them to a point where too much fuel may be atomized in the carburetor.

Preventing a Jet from Clogging Up

There are a number of things that you can do to stop dirty gasoline from seal a jet in your car. The first is to make sure that your gas pump filter is clean and that you change it every 50,000 miles. Also, you should periodically have a mechanic inspect your tank and fuel lines for signs of rust. Of course, you should only buy gasoline from authorized, mainstream pumps. They have a reputation to uphold and it stands to reason that they will have the cleanest gasoline.

There are very few things in a car’s fuel system that could seal a jet in the carburetor in today’s world. Still, sometimes that does happen, and you need to know how to repair it yourself. The carburetor is a relatively simple piece of engineering and you can find it close to the air filters. By taking it apart and cleaning the jet, you may save yourself a very expensive mechanical bill and you will learn how your car works.