Carburettors were once the only fuel/air regulator system available for combustion engines. Today most engines run with fuel injectors of varying types, but in the world of lawnmowers and other simple gasoline-powered equipment, the carburettor remains king.
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Combustion engines operate by the controlled explosion of fuel and air inside a compression chamber ignited by a spark. This fuel and air mixture comes from the carburettor which performs the process of combining the right amount of air with the right amount of fuel (typically a 14:1 ratio) to make just the right reaction.
The top-mounted carburettor on most lawnmowers sticks out of the engine casing so it can breathe and suck in the air necessary to blend the fuel/air mixture. Inside the carburettor, a small vacuum chamber pulls gasoline into the engine using the suction created by the air intake. This same air is passed through a filter which prevents gunk and dirt from getting into the mixture and the engine, thus affecting performance.
Carburettors are a time-tested and effective fuel supply method and are less complicated and expensive than modern fuel-injection systems. Although they are less fuel-efficient than an injector system, they are also far easier to repair and adjust as needed.
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