The carburetor, or carb, is mixes air and fuel together to supply your vehicle’s engine with the optimal air fuel ratio for performance. Unlike the fuel injectors on direct injection engines, carbs are purely mechanical, meaning they can mix air and fuel without help from computers like ECUs or PCUs. We carry everything you need to get your carbureted engine back to peak performance.
Carbureted engines are internal combustion engines that use a mechanical carburetor for air and fuel mixing rather than using computerized fuel injector systems. The carburetor uses floats, inlets, and valves to direct the right amount of fuel and the right amount of air—a ratio of 14.7 parts air to 1-part fuel in most cars.
While most cars have moved to digital fuel systems, carburetors are still appreciated for their simplicity. A computerized fuel injection system requires knowledge of how the computers work for repairs. Carb repair, on the other hand, requires a screw driver, some other basic tools, and a willingness to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
The last mass market vehicles to use carburetors were the 1991 models of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer and one version of the Ford Crown Victoria. Today, carburetors are typically only found on race cars, but even NASCAR has used fuel injection systems since 2012.
The carburetor consists of a float and venturi (or barrel). Most carbureted vehicles have between 1 and 8 barrels, and the number of barrels generally increases along with the engine displacement size.
Fuel enters the carburetor through an inlet in the float bowl. The carburetor float regulates the amount of fuel that enters the engine. It’s called a float because there is a needle that floats on the fuel in the bowl. After the accelerator pump has put enough fuel into the carburetor the needle floats upwards to seal the fuel inlet. As air enters the choke, a vacuum sucks fuel from the float bowl through the main discharge tube into the secondary venturi before it is mixed with air in the primary venturi, just before the throttle valve.
The air fuel mixture leaves the carburetor to enter the engine cylinders. This is how the car accelerates when the throttle is open. It’s a little like breathing on a small match or a campfire to flare it up—except here, the air is mixed with fuel for more powerful combustion.
Signs that you may need a replacement carburetor include weak acceleration, low fuel economy, overheating, backfiring, starting trouble, and dark exhaust smoke. If your carb is failing, get top-notch replacement parts from trusted carburetor brands like Autoline and Edelbrock.
We have all the parts you need, and we make finding the right parts easy. If you need say, a Holley carb for a Corvette, just enter your vehicle’s year, make, model, and engine up above, and we’ll show you the parts that fit. It works the same no matter what you drive.
Buy a new carburetor online and get free shipping with next day delivery or pick up your purchase today at an AutoZone near you.