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End of the road for carb

Question : I OWN an 18-year-old Peugeot 305 that has done just 85,000km. Of late, the fuel consumption has been steadily rising and I am finding it difficult to start the engine in the morning.

My mechanic reckons that the carburetor is worn beyond repair and has to be replaced at a cost of approximately RM1,800 or more. I would appreciate a second opinion from you if a new carburetor is necessary or, could a service or overhaul suffice?

Answer : A CARBURETOR contains a number of moving parts that wear as they move relative to each other. In addition to the moving parts, it contains a number of flexible rubber components such as diaphragms and seals that will harden over time and leak.

Hence, you are faced with not just worn major components but failed rubber parts as well.

The rubber components of a carburetor are fairly easy and cheap to replace. Most vehicle manufacturers supply a complete set of replacement rubber components (known as an overhaul kit) for the carburetor. These kits are not expensive.

Replacement of rubber components from the kit is on a one-to-one basis but the carburetor needs to be adjusted (set up) by a knowledgeable mechanic.

The main metal parts on a carburetor that are susceptible to wear are the spindles and the carburetor housing at the points where the spindles pass through the housing.

When there is excessive clearance between a spindle and its bore, there will be air leaks and the resulting air fuel mixture is upset. Unfortunately, when this happens, the carburetor is destined for the scrap heap.

It is often not economical to fit oversize spindles even if these are available since other crucial components will also be well past their prime if the spindle-bore is badly worn. 


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