Ultimate Guide to Maintaining and Preventing Surges on Cummins Onan RV QG 4000 Generator

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Ultimate Guide to Maintaining and Preventing Surges on Cummins Onan RV QG 4000 Generator

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding Carburetor Maintenance 2.1 Why is Carburetor Maintenance Important? 2.2 Signs of Carburetor Issues
  3. Materials Needed for Carburetor Cleaning 3.1 Fuel Line Disconnect 3.2 Extra Fuel Line and Gas Container 3.3 Sea Foam
  4. Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning the Carburetor 4.1 Disconnecting the Fuel Line 4.2 Adding Sea Foam to the Gas Mixture 4.3 Starting the Generator and Letting it Run 4.4 Hot Soaking the Generator 4.5 Running the Generator Again 4.6 Reattaching the Fuel Line
  5. Tips for Effective Carburetor Maintenance 5.1 Exercising the Carburetor Regularly 5.2 Using the Correct Fuel Mixture 5.3 Using Corrosion Inhibitors
  6. Conclusion

Cleaning Out the Carburetor: A Step-by-Step Guide to Effective Maintenance


Carburetors play a crucial role in the functioning of engines, ensuring that the right amount of fuel mixes with air for optimal combustion. Over time, however, carburetors can accumulate varnish and gum, leading to performance issues. Proper carburetor maintenance is essential to keep engines running smoothly and prevent potential problems. In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning out a carburetor, ensuring that your generator or vehicle continues to operate efficiently.

Understanding Carburetor Maintenance

Why is Carburetor Maintenance Important?

Carburetor maintenance is vital to ensure the efficient functioning of engines. Over time, varnish and gum can build up inside the carburetor, obstructing fuel flow and disrupting the air-fuel mixture. This buildup can lead to poor engine performance, fuel inefficiency, and even engine stalling. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the carburetor help prevent these issues, ensuring smooth engine operation.

Signs of Carburetor Issues

It is important to be aware of the signs that indicate carburetor problems. Some common signs include engine surging, rough idling, decreased fuel efficiency, difficulty starting the engine, and black smoke emitting from the exhaust. If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to clean the carburetor.

Materials Needed for Carburetor Cleaning

Before you begin cleaning the carburetor, gather the necessary materials:

Fuel Line Disconnect

To start the cleaning process, you will need to disconnect the fuel line that goes into the fuel filter and fuel pump from your vehicle or generator. This will ensure that no fuel enters the carburetor during the cleaning process.

Extra Fuel Line and Gas Container

You will also need an additional fuel line, about a foot or two in length, and a separate gas container. This container should contain about a gallon of gas, along with one-third of a can of sea foam. This mixture will help in cleaning out the carburetor effectively.

Sea Foam

Sea Foam is a reputable and effective fuel additive that aids in carburetor cleaning. It helps dissolve varnish and gum that may have accumulated inside the carburetor. Make sure to use a high-quality sea foam product for optimal results.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning the Carburetor

Now let's dive into the step-by-step process of cleaning the carburetor:

Disconnecting the Fuel Line

Begin by clamping off the fuel line with a pair of vise grips and two pieces of wood to prevent fuel from entering the carburetor. Use a screwdriver to loosen the clamp and pull the fuel hose off the generator or vehicle. Take extra care while handling the fuel line and make sure to perform this step in a well-ventilated area.

Adding Sea Foam to the Gas Mixture

Mix four to five ounces of sea foam into the gallon of gas in the separate gas container. Stir the mixture well to ensure proper blending. This gas mixture, combined with sea foam, will act as a cleaning agent for the carburetor.

Starting the Generator and Letting it Run

Connect the extra fuel line to the gas can containing the sea foam mixture. Prime the generator and start it up. It is normal to see some white smoke from the exhaust due to the oils in the sea foam mixture. Let the generator run for about fifteen to twenty minutes under a load to thoroughly clean the carburetor.

Hot Soaking the Generator

After running the generator, turn it off and let it hot soak for fifteen minutes. This allows the sea foam mixture to penetrate and dissolve any remaining varnish or gum in the carburetor. The hot soak process is crucial for effective cleaning.

Running the Generator Again

After the hot soak, start the generator again and let it run for another five minutes. This step further ensures that any loosened debris is expelled from the carburetor. This extra running time helps clean the carburetor thoroughly.

Reattaching the Fuel Line

Once the running is complete, go back underneath and remove the temporary fuel line and gas can. Reattach the fuel line to the generator, making sure to secure it with the necessary clamps. Double-check all connections to ensure there are no leaks.

Tips for Effective Carburetor Maintenance

Exercising the Carburetor Regularly

To maintain a clean carburetor, it is essential to exercise the generator or vehicle regularly. Running the engine at least once a month, especially during periods of inactivity, helps prevent fuel from gumming up in the carburetor.

Using the Correct Fuel Mixture

Always use the recommended fuel mixture for your generator or vehicle. Using an incorrect fuel-to-oil ratio can lead to carburetor issues. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid any fuel-related problems.

Using Corrosion Inhibitors

Corrosion inhibitors, such as corrosion ex, can be used to prevent rust and corrosion on various components, including the carburetor. Apply these inhibitors to the necessary parts to protect them from deterioration over time.


Proper carburetor maintenance is essential for the efficient functioning of engines. Regular cleaning and maintenance help prevent varnish and gum buildup, which can lead to poor performance and fuel inefficiency. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article and incorporating the tips mentioned, you can ensure a clean and problem-free carburetor, keeping your generator or vehicle running smoothly. Remember to exercise the carburetor regularly and use the correct fuel mixture to maximize efficiency and longevity.


  • Cleaning the carburetor is crucial for maintaining engine performance and fuel efficiency.
  • Signs of carburetor issues include engine surging, rough idling, and decreased fuel efficiency.
  • Materials needed for carburetor cleaning include a fuel line disconnect, extra fuel line and gas container, and sea foam.
  • Step-by-step guide: Disconnect the fuel line, add sea foam to the gas mixture, start the generator and let it run, perform a hot soak, run the generator again, and reattach the fuel line.
  • Tips for effective carburetor maintenance: Regularly exercise the carburetor, use the correct fuel mixture, and apply corrosion inhibitors.


Q: How often should I clean the carburetor? A: Carburetor cleaning should be performed as part of regular maintenance or when signs of issues arise. It is recommended to clean the carburetor at least once a year or more frequently for vehicles or generators with heavy usage.

Q: Can I use any fuel additive for cleaning the carburetor? A: It is advisable to use a high-quality fuel additive specifically designed for carburetor cleaning. Sea Foam is a popular and effective choice.

Q: What if my carburetor issues persist even after cleaning? A: If cleaning the carburetor does not resolve the issues, it may be necessary to seek professional assistance or consider replacing the carburetor. Some carburetors are not rebuildable and may require replacement.

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