How Much Does a Motorcycle Carburetor Cleaning Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

The motorcycle carburetor is a delicate component that plays a central role in controlling the amount of air and fuel allowed into the cylinders.  When neglected, the carburetor can cause various kinds of trouble such as hard starts, rough idling, lost acceleration and worse, a very expensive professional carburetor overhaul.

IMG_8967 by Y.Hao, on Flickr
IMG_8967” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  Y.Hao

How much does a motorcycle carburetor cleaning cost?

Depending on the number of carbs that need to be cleaned, the costs of motorcycle carburetor cleaning can average about $100 per carb or upwards of $500 to $750 for all four.  If the shop charges by the hour, this job could easily take four hours to complete.  With the average shop charging close to $90 per hour, it can be in the $300 range easily.  The costs, in the end, will depend on your bike, how much work needs to be done, the mechanic you choose and where you live.

On this forum thread, a few members talked about the costs of a carburetor cleaning.  From most of the replies, the costs were in the $250 range.

This Reddit thread had a former shop manager talk about the costs, and he said you should be prepared to spend about $500 to $600 for the job due to the labor involved.

If you do not want to hire the professionals,, for example, offers carburetor cleaning solutions and carb cleaner kits with prices that range from $3 to $45.

Factors that affect the price

Cleaning procedure

A major driver in the price of carburetor cleaning services is the process used to clean the unit.  The u­­ltrasonic method of cleaning the carbs, for one, is a state-of-the-art technique that can thoroughly clean the carburetor and get rid it of accumulated dirt, even in hard-to-reach areas without damaging the seals, O-rings and plastic.  High-end ultrasonic machines have the ability to integrate a heating component that advances the efficiency of the process.  Depending on the service provider, ultrasonic cleaning services can cost up to $50 per carburetor.


Carburetor cleaning products are created to restore efficiency and minimize gasoline consumption through the elimination of deposits from the carburetor.  Some cleaners, however, can potentially damage the rubber components in the carburetor.  Industrial strength, higher quality carb cleaners that can significantly reduce the risk of such damage tend to be pricier than regular cleaning solutions.

Product efficiency

Some carburetor cleaners are specifically designed to help prevent accumulation of deposits and grime through high-quality ingredients.  They do not only keep carburetors clean of harmful dirt buildup, but also prevent loss of power, minimize engine friction, and maintain the optimum efficiency of the engine.

Motorcycle carburetor cleaning overview

Carburetor cleaning can be done using a specialized machine, which uses a method where the carburetor undergoes a washing and residue-removal process using high frequency, non-audible sound waves.  These waves create scrubbing brush movements that effectively remove accumulated dirt, stale fuel residue, grease, unleaded petrol deposit sediments and other substances.  Along with the sound waves, the cleaning procedure also uses heat and detergent to eliminate contaminants off the surface and the deepest recesses of carburetor parts with extremely elaborate moldings.  After the cleaning process, the carburetor is dried and sometimes coated with certain substances that protect the component.

Motorcycle carburetor cleaning can also be done manually.  There are many online resources that provide tutorials on cleaning carburetors.  Typically, you will need to take components apart.  When the carburetor is emptied of its bits and pieces, a motorcycle carburetor cleaning solution will be used to remove the dirt.  If there are clogged holes, you may need to soak the unit in the cleaning substance until the grime has broken down and is easier to wipe off.

During the process, regardless of the cleaning method being used, the bike will be disassembled enough to reach the carbs in order to pull each one out.  Once dissembled, they will be cleaned thoroughly and then reassembled.  Depending on the bike setup, this process could take four to six hours to complete.

What are the extra costs?

If some parts, while the bike is being disassembled are in poor shape, then they may need to be replaced.

Some mechanics may want to change the air filter and swap the plugs out while working, and if done, this can add to the estimates.

Tips to know:

Some carburetor cleaning service providers offer same and next day cleaning services, usually by sending the clean carburetors back to their owners overnight.  There are those who accept disassembled carburetors sent through the mail and dispatched back to the owner after it is thoroughly cleaned as well.  This may be something to look into if you want to save a few dollars.

There are carb cleaning solutions that may be too strong for carburetor components, especially when the parts are soaked in the liquid.  Be sure to check that the carburetor material can withstand the solution.

Ultrasonic cleaners are available in a range of sizes, from bench-top models to floor-mounted industrial units.  If you prefer a more efficient ultrasonic carb cleaner, consider getting one equipped with a heater as it greatly enhances the cleaning process.

How can I save money?

Consider doing the job on your own.  With the link mentioned above, you can perform the job for less than $100.  This YouTube video, for example, can show you how it’s done.

Register with AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) member sites, which offer members significant discounts on motorcycle parts and gear.

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