Check Your Choke
If you have trouble getting your car to start in the morning, the choke may not be working properly. If you want to see whether the choke in your vehicle is working, consider the following steps.
- Take the air cleaner off some morning, before you start your engine.
- Look down the carburetor barrel at the choke. Does the butterfly valve seem to be closed?
- If the butterfly isn't closed, step on the gas pedal a couple of times before you start the car; the valve should close. If your car has a manual choke (as opposed to an automatic choke), see whether the butterfly valve opens and closes when someone pushes the choke knob on the dashboard in and out.
- With the emergency brake on and the gearshift in Park or Neutral, start the engine and let it run for a few minutes. By the time the car has warmed up, the butterfly should open so that you can see past it, down the barrel of the carburetor.
- If the butterfly valve refuses to open or close, try wiggling it with your finger.
- The valve may simply be stuck because of dirt or poor lubrication. If wiggling it with your finger doesn't work, squirt a little carburetor cleaner or automatic choke cleaner on the moving auto parts. Then wipe them dry and put a drop of oil on them.
- Do not let anyone start or accelerate the car while you're looking down the carburetor. It could backfire.
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