carburetor (kärˈbyərāˈtər, –bə–) [key], part of a gasoline engine in which liquid fuel is converted into a vapor and mixed with a regulated amount of air for combustion in the cylinders. Land vehicles, boats, and light aircraft have a float carburetor, in which a float regulates the fuel level in a reservoir from which the fuel is sucked into the intake manifold at a restriction called a venturi. This venturi metering system controls the flow of a continuous pumped spray into the intake manifold downstream from the carburetor. When there is an individual spray for each cylinder and the injection is an intermittent, timed spurt, or is metered differently, the device is usually called a fuel injector, not a carburetor (see fuel injection).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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