The carburetor was invented by an Italian, Luigi De Cristoforis, in 1876. A carburetor was developed by Enrico Bernardi at the University of Padua in 1882, for his “Motrice Pia”, the first petrol combustion engine (one cylinder, 121.6 cc) prototyped on 5 August 1882.
A carburetor was among the early[when?] patents by Karl Benz as he developed internal combustion engines and their components.
Early carburetors were the surface carburetor type, in which air is charged with fuel by being passed over the surface of gasoline.
The world’s first carburetor for the stationary engine was invented by the Hungarian engineers János Csonka and Donát Bánki in 1893. Parallel to this, the Austrian automobile pioneer Siegfried Marcus invented the rotating brush carburetor.
Frederick William Lanchester of Birmingham, England, experimented with the wick carburetor in cars. In 1896, Frederick and his brother built the first gasoline-driven car in England: a single cylinder 5 hp (3.7 kW) internal combustion engine with chain drive. Unhappy with the performance and power, they re-built the engine the next year into a two-cylinder horizontally opposed version using his new wick carburetor design.
In 1885, Wilhelm Maybach and Gottlieb Daimler developed a float carburetor for their engine based on the atomizer nozzle.
Carburetors were the usual method of fuel delivery for most US-made gasoline-fueled engines up until the late 1980s, when fuel injection became the preferred method. This change was dictated more by the requirements of catalytic converters than by any inherent inefficiency of carburation; a catalytic converter requires much more precise control over the fuel / air mixture, to closely control the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gases. In the U.S. market, the last carbureted cars were:
1990 (General public) : Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, Buick Estate Wagon, Cadillac Brougham, Honda Prelude (Base Model), Subaru Justy
1991 (Police) : Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor with the 5.8 L (351 cu in) V8 engine.
1991 (SUV) : Jeep Grand Wagoneer with the AMC 360 cu in (5.9 L) V8 engine.
1993 Mazda B2200 (Light Truck)
1994 (Light truck) : Isuzu
In Australia, some cars continued to use carburetors well into the 1990s; these included the Honda Civic (1993), the Ford Laser (1994), the Mazda 323 and Mitsubishi Magna sedans (1996), the Daihatsu Charade (1997), and the Suzuki Swift (1999). Low-cost commercial vans and 4WDs in Australia continued with carburetors even into the 2000s, the last being the Mitsubishi Express van in 2003. Elsewhere, certain Lada cars used carburetors until 2006. Many motorcycles still use carburetors for simplicity’s sake, since a carburetor does not require an electrical system to function. Carburetors are also still found in small engines and in older or specialized automobiles, such as those designed for stock car racing, though NASCAR’s 2011 Sprint Cup season was the last one with carbureted engines; electronic fuel injection was used beginning with the 2012 race season in Cup.
In Europe, carburetor-engined cars were being gradually phased out by the end of the 1980s in favour of fuel injection, which was already the established type of engine on more expensive vehicles including luxury and sports models. EEC legislation required all vehicles sold and produced in member countries to have a catalytic converter after December 1992; among the last carburetor-engined models produced in these countries were most of the Ford Fiesta MK2 range (1989) as well as cheaper versions of the Nissan Primera (1990) and Peugeot’s 106 and 405 range – the French built 106 went into production just over a year before carburetor engines were outlawed in the EEC.
Because of the method of air/fuel mixture in carburetor engines, it has a low fuel economy compared to fuel injector engines, so if you are driving a car fitted with carburetor engine, and you think your car is fuel consuming, then you should consider saving to get a fuel injector fitted car.