Tuesday,December 01,2020 12:33 PM

Dirt lowers engine performance

By Umar Nsubuga

Added 24th August 2020 01:50 PM

Dirt lowers engine performance

Mechanics examining the engine of a vehicles. Photo by Umar Nsubuga


Old generation cars have an important component called a carburetor. When it is clogged or dirty, it can adversely affect the performance of a car.

According to Daniel Katumba a mechanic in Rubaga, a carburetor serves one purpose, to mix air and petrol into a fine spray in the right amounts.

Katumba says if it is too much or too little, it may lead to either high fuel consumption or engine fuel starvation. This he says may cause the car to lose power.

He says it is the function of the carburetor to determine how much fuel to avail depending on the load.

The speed and power of an engine is determined by its cubic capacity. The greater the fuel air mixture drawn in the cylinders of the engine, the higher the power output, he says.

The capacity to fill the cylinders is determined by how one steps on the accelerator pedal to activate the throttle value on the carburetor. This charges the cylinder with a mixture of petrol and air.

However, because of the dusty roads in Uganda, the engine is bound to draw in a lot of dirt too. When the air filter is old, it cannot have the capacity to keep out the dirt. The dirt eventually ends up in the carburetor.

With time, the carburetor uses very fine jets to mix the fuel and air. If these get blocked, the vehicle may fail to start or idle.

He says another way you may know that the vehicle fails to maintain a smooth run despite the depression of the accelerator. The engine tends to die down. If running on the road, it will jerk now and then.

"However, the above symptoms could also be caused by leaking spark plug cables. The only way you can find out the problems is by going to a mechanic," Katumba advises. 

He says if the carburetor is dirty, take the vehicle to the garage and have it removed and cleaned. The carburetor may develop other faults such as flooding, cracking, and spitting back.

Spitting back is when the carburetor makes a fire in the engine. This could be caused by incorrect ignition timing. Whatever the carburetor fault, your mechanic will advise you on what to do.

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