Carbuerator Blues


I have a 90 Toyota Tercel with a bad carbuerator. I have replaced it once and now it’s going bad again. Does anyone have an idea of another carbuerator that would work for this car and would last longer? Please help


Some information is needed first. Did you replace it with a new/rebuilt carb or another used one?
Exactly what is the vehicle doing? The exact symptoms are critical in determining the problem.

I do not know if you have emissions testing in your area but another carburetor may not pass you through the program.


I agree, lots more info is needed, especially exactly what the symptoms are.

Carburators do not “go bad”. Jets get gummed up, mechanical parts like linkages get sticky, bimetallic springs that drive the choke can get weak (after years of use), occasionally a float will hang up, and even more rarely a float will stop floating, a fiting or seal may develop a leak, and somewhat more commonly a diaphragmmatic accelerator pump will rupture, but all of these things are repairable.

Tell me more about what the car is or is not doing. And under what conditions.


This was one of the last cars you could buy with a carburetor and they had to put a lot of emissions gizmos to get them to run right and pass a smog test. That, combined with the fact that carburetors generally do need a lot of periodic adjustment made these late-model carbed cars really difficult to keep running right. Replacing the carburetor is probably not the solution-- you need to find a good old-timer mechanic who still remembers how to work on a carburetor and have him tune it up and/or rebuild it.

Weber does make a very reliable and easy-to-tune replacement carburetor for Japanese cars that would be an excellent fit for this car, but if you’re still subject to the Washington emissions tests, it probably won’t pass.


I had a shop teacher tell me that “most carbuerator problems lie in the ignition system” My experiences proved him right IMHO


Weber 32/36 DGV or DGEV carburetors work good on these. Redline makes an adapter kit with the carburetor for around $300. Go to


You clearly have not looked under the hood at this model, but you did remind me of something, the biggest problem with this carburetor is the yards of vacuum tubing used. The best bet for the poster to do is to go to a parts store and get about 15-20 feet of 7/64" vacuum tubing and a foot or two if 9/64" or 3/8" vacuum hose and replace every bit of the old stuff under the hood.

The carburetor itself is pretty reliable, but there are a couple of vacuum diaphragms on it that if they go bad, its cheaper to go with the Weber. The Weber gets rid of a lot of the vacuum hoses too, but it will not be authorized in areas that do smog checks, because it doesn’t have a feedback circuit.

Oh yeah, one more thing. The O2 sensor can mess up the carburetor too, so make sure that it is working. Its a lot cheaper that a new carburetor, Weber or stock.


My son had a 1988 Nova (Corolla by GM) and the carburetor went bad. He went all over town trying to get someone to rebuild it, and they snarled at him to buy a good rebuilt, which cost $300. He did, and it had a 12 month guarantee.

Fifteen months later, it also failed. He tried again to get someone to rebuild it, and they snarled at him again to buy a good rebuilt one. He tried to rebuild it himself, and could not get it to run.

This went on for quite a while, every 15 months, and $300. So, if you can find someone to actually rebuild one, good for you; he couldn’t.

Finally, at 248,000 miles, we helped him get a good used car from the Hertz outlet in Chicago, and junked that one.


I had a carb go bad on my 89 Accord at about 250,000 (can’t recall now . . . its’ been a while). Anyway, I tried EVERYTHING . . . hoses, rebuild, new choke . . . finally got a Weber for about $250 . . . working now perfectly for over 200,000. I suggest you go through the vacuum hoses and ignition, and look for a Weber on the web . . . install it yourself, they’re set at the factory (mine was, anyway). How many miles on this car anyway? Rocketman