Simple Steps to Clean Briggs and Stratton Crankcase Breather

For the best speed and longest life, a Briggs and Stratton engine needs to be well taken care of. The crankcase breather is an important part that is often ignored. As an expert do-it-yourselfer, I know how important it is to keep this important part clean.

The crankcase breather lets gas out and stops pressure from building up inside the engine, making sure it runs smoothly. Over time, dirt, dust, and oil residue can build up and cause clogs that stop air from flowing properly. This can cause a lot of problems, like a less powerful engine or even damage.

In this blog post, I’ll show you step-by-step how to clean the crankcase breather on a Briggs and Stratton engine. By using my expert tips and tricks, you’ll be able to get your engine working well again and make sure it stays healthy for a long time. Let’s get started!

How to Clean Crankcase Breather on a Briggs and Stratton Engine

The crankcase breather is easy to clean, and you can do it at home with just a few tools. In this guide, we will show you step-by-step how to clean the crankcase breather on a Briggs and Stratton engine.

Cleaning Briggs and Stratton Crankcase Breather

Step 1: Get ready

Before you start cleaning the crankcase breather on a Briggs and Stratton engine, you need to make sure you have all the right tools and are safe. Put on some protective gloves and glasses to keep your hands and eyes safe. For this job, you will need a wrench or socket set to loosen fasteners, a clean cloth or rag for wiping, a small brush or toothbrush for scrubbing, a can of compressed air to blow out debris, a small container to catch any oil, and if necessary, a replacement breather. Before you start cleaning, make sure the engine is off and has cooled down.

Step 2: Find the cylinder head breather

You need to know where on the engine the crankcase filter is to get to it. Most Briggs and Stratton engines have the breather on the valve cover or close to it. Check the engine’s manual for the exact location, or look for a small tube or hose that connects the valve cover or engine block and the breather.

Step 3: Take the breather tube apart

Once you’ve found the breather, use a wrench or socket set to carefully loosen the clamp or bolt that holds the breather tube to the engine. During this process, be careful not to damage the breather or the tube. Once the clamp is loose, slide the tube off the connection point for the breather. Be careful, because the tube might still have some oil or dirt in it.

Step 4: Take out the breathing tube

After taking the breather tube off, you need to take the breather off the engine. Some types may have screws or bolts to hold the breather in place. Use the right tools to carefully remove any screws. Write down where they are so you can put them back together later. Once there are no more screws holding the breather in place, carefully lift it off the engine. Make sure you don’t drop any loose pieces or mess up the seal, if there is one.

Step 5: Check the breathing tube

When you take out the breather, look at it carefully for signs of dirt, oil, or other debris. Pay close attention to the internal parts of the breather, like the filter or valves, and check for damage or jams. If the breather is highly clogged or broken, it is best to get a new one to make sure the engine works at its best.

Step 6: Clean the breather

Use a clean rag or cloth to wipe away any dirt or oil that you can see on the breather. Start by wiping the outside areas gently, then move on to the inside parts. Use a small brush or toothbrush to gently scrub surfaces with stains that won’t come off. Don’t use too much force or strong chemicals because they could hurt the breather. Make sure that all the parts on the inside, like the filter or valves, are clean and free of any blockages. Take your time to carefully clean each part, making sure no dirt is left behind.

Step 7: Clean the mouthpiece

While you clean the breather, you should also check the air tube to make sure it is not blocked. If you can see dirt or other debris, you can blow it out with a can of compressed air. Put the tip of the compressed air can into one end of the tube and make sure there is nothing in the other end. Use short bursts of air to clear out any dirt or dust that may have gotten stuck inside the tube. If you need to, repeat the process until the tube is clean.

Step 8: Put back together and test

After the breather and tube have been cleaned and checked, they can be put back on the engine. Align the breather with where it was before, making sure that any screws or bolts are tight but not too tight. Be careful not to tighten the screws too much, because that could cause damage. Slide the air tube back onto the point where it connects to the engine. Use the clamp or clip to hold the tube in place, making sure it is tight enough to hold the tube in place. Before you start the engine, check all of the links and fasteners again.

After you are done putting the Briggs and Stratton engine back together, turn it on and let it run for a few minutes. Keep an eye on how the engine is running and listen for any strange sounds. If everything looks fine, you have cleaned the crankcase breather correctly. Make sure to check the breather regularly and clean it as needed to make sure the engine is running at its best.

Cleaning the crankcase breather is just one part of keeping your Briggs and Stratton engine in good shape. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for oil changes, replacing the air filter, and taking care of the engine as a whole. By keeping your engine clean and well-maintained, you can keep your Briggs and Stratton tools running well and make it last longer.

Also Read: Easy to Clean Turbo Vanes in Duramax Engines without Removal

Alternative Ways to Clean a Briggs and Stratton Crankcase Breather

Even though the steps above show you how to clean a Briggs and Stratton crankcase breather in general, there may be other ways to do it depending on the model of your engine or your own tastes. Here are some other options you could think about:

Method of Soaking

You can soak the breather in a cleaning solution instead of scrubbing it by hand. Mix warm water and a light detergent or degreaser in a bowl. Put the breather into the solution and let it soak for a while, usually between 30 minutes and an hour. This method can help ease hard-to-remove deposits and make it easier to clean. After soaking, wash the breather well with clean water and let it dry before putting it back together.

Cleaning with Ultrasound

If you have an ultrasonic cleaner, you can use it to clean the breather better. Ultrasonic cleaners use high-frequency sound waves to make tiny bubbles in a cleaning solution. These bubbles gently move dirt and other particles around and remove them. Follow the directions that came with the ultrasonic cleaner for how to use it, and put the breather inside the cleaning chamber. After the cleaning cycle is done, run water through the breather and let it dry completely before putting it back in.

Instead of cleaning, you should replace

In some cases, the breather may be badly broken or clogged up too much, making it hard to clean well. If this is the case, it might be better to get a new break. Talk to a Briggs and Stratton dealer or look in the engine’s manual to find the right new breather for your model. Installing a new breather makes sure that it works well and saves time compared to cleaning it over and over again.

It’s important to remember that even though other methods can work, the best way to clean and keep your Briggs and Stratton engine is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and suggestions. The above options might not work for all engine types or might void warranties if they aren’t done right. If you’re not sure what the best way is to clean the crankcase breather on your engine, look at the engine’s manual or talk to a trained technician.

Also Read: Easy to Clean Brake Calipers Without Taking Them Apart


Can the crankcase breather be cleaned without having to take it out of the engine?

Even though you can clean the breather without taking it off, it is usually best to take it off for a better clean. When the breather is removed, it’s easier to get to the parts inside, making it easier to clean and get rid of dirt.

How often should I clean the breather in the engine’s crankcase?

How often the engine needs to be cleaned will rely on a number of things, such as how often it is used and how it is being run. As a rule of thumb, the breather should be checked and cleaned at least once a season or every 25 to 50 hours of use.

What if, when I check the breather, I see damage or wear?

If you see a lot of damage or wear on the breather, you should probably get a new one. If the breathers are broken or old, they might not work right, which could hurt the engine’s performance and cause problems in the future.

Can I use something other than a light detergent or degreaser to clean?

It’s important to clean engine parts with a light detergent or degreaser made for that purpose. Harsh chemicals or rough cleaning products can hurt the breather or the parts inside it. Use only the recommended cleaning products to make sure they are safe and work well.

Can I clean the filter and use it again?

Depending on the type of breather, the filter may or may not be able to be used more than once. Some filters are made to be thrown away, while others can be cleaned and used again and again. Check the manufacturer’s instructions or the engine’s guidebook to find out if the filter can be used again or if it needs to be replaced.

Should I grease the breather before putting it back together?

When putting the breather back together, it usually doesn’t need to be greased. The breather works by letting air in and out, so putting grease on it could stop it from working right. Most of the time, putting something back together is enough.

What if the tube that lets air in is broken or cracked?

If you see cracks or other damage on the breather tube, it’s best to get a new one. Damaged tubes can let air leak out, which can slow down the engine and possibly cause other problems.

Can I clean the breather itself with compressed air?

You shouldn’t put compressed air directly on the breather. When there is too much air pressure inside the breather, it can hurt the valves or diaphragms that are inside. Instead of cleaning the breather tube with water, use compressed air.

What are the signs that a breather is clogged?

If the breather is plugged in, the engine will run less well, use more oil than usual, leak oil, and blow more oil. If you see these signs, you should check and clean the breather to make sure the engine works well again.

Can the engine be going while I clean the breather?

No, cleaning the breather while the engine is running is neither safe nor advised. Before you do any maintenance on the engine, you should always make sure it’s turned off, cooled down, and all safety measures are taken.

Final Words

To make sure the Briggs and Stratton engine runs well and lasts as long as possible, it is important to clean the crankcase breather. By following the step-by-step instructions, you can clean the breather and get rid of any dirt, oil waste, or other debris that might be stopping it from working. By checking and cleaning the breather on a regular basis, you can keep the engine running smoothly and avoid problems. Remember to put safety first by wearing the right gear and following the manufacturer’s instructions. With regular care, your Briggs and Stratton engine will keep running well for years to come.


Hi, I'm Asim! I love giving you cleaning guides, tips and tricks that will make your place sparkle and shine. Through years of practice, I've learned effective ways to clean and can't wait to help you. From tough spots to general cleaning, I can help you. Come along with me on this cleaning adventure, where I'll give you tips and tricks to make your cleaning process easier. Let's work together to make clean haven.

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