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Honda Lawnmower starting then cutting out!


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05-01-11, 08:30 AM   #81  
Hi, I've owned a Honda HR173 lawnmower for 20 years and all that time, until now, the mower has started and run reliably. Prior to winterizing the mower last year, the idle was hunting. I brought the mower out this weekend for the season. I replaced spark plug, emptied the tank and carb bowl of stale gas (used a stabilizer before winterizing) and replace the oil. I cleaned the engine with degreaser and lubed linkages with WD40.

The engine starts on the first pull with choke on. When I remove the choke, the engine hunts badly for a steady RPM in all throttle positions. I can observe that the governer linkage is oscillating, which is push-pulling the butterfly valve on the carb. When warm, the engine just manages to run in idle. I hear the engine rev for 2-3 seconds under power then it just freewheels as if the spark is gone or gas turned off. Then the cycle repeats. I think it might be carb gunk and I need to remove the carb for cleaning. However, is it also possible that the spark wire or magneto is acting up based on these symptoms?

TIA
Robert.

 
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05-01-11, 07:01 PM   #82  
Doesn't sound ignition related. Sounds like carb problems.


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05-07-11, 12:02 AM   #83  
spark plug fixed problem

Purchased Honda 5.5 hp OHV in 2002 - ran great until one spring a few years ago. Same symptoms as have been described over and again in this and other forums. Starts up, runs for 15-30 seconds, then cuts out and dies. I hobbled along with it until this year would not start - period. Main jet clogged - easy to access by removing carb fuel bowl, unscrewing jet, and using compressed air to dislodge junk from main jet. This put it back to original problem - starting but cutting out - even backfiring so loud it sounded like a shotgun firing. Ready to give it to Salvation Army but luckily read another thread regarding spark plug. For less than $4 replaced plug - fired up - waited for cutout that never occurred. Mowed entire lawn today running as it did in its early years. Hope this helps someone else. By the way - my old NGK sparkplug looked perfectly ok, but apparently it has some manufacturing defects.

 
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05-08-11, 05:14 PM   #84  
Posted By: cheese Doesn't sound ignition related. Sounds like carb problems.
Update: My mower is working like new again. Thanks for the advice. I bought some carb cleaner today and stripped the carburetor down. Cleaned the main jet and pilot jet, choke, any air ways that I could find. Took a needle and reamed the holes in the main jet to make sure they were free of gunk. I put everything back together and started it up. Started first pull and went into a beautiful, quiet idle once the choke was taken off. No more hunting idle. I'm happy again.

I have some FI cleaner that I use in my motorcycle. Would that stuff be recommended to be added to the occasional tank of gas to keep the carb clean?

 
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05-08-11, 07:42 PM   #85  
It won't hurt, but I don't think it will do much either. I don't really know what helps with this new fuel that's out today.


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05-28-11, 04:02 PM   #86  
Okay, I have the same model, Harmony II HRT 216 that has started to sputter out of control after almost 9 years in service. (bought it in 2002).

I have tried everything, including oil replacement, but no luck. However, the spark plug, I have not tried before.

However, I have never adjusted my lawn mower at all, other than usual oil change, and fuel refill, which is fairly straight forward.

How do I replace the spark plug? Where is the spark plug exactly? (could anyone post picture of the location of the spark plug)

I know I sound like a noob, but really, I am a noob at this.

 
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05-28-11, 10:05 PM   #87  
Look for a black wire plugged onto something at the front. That something is the spark plug. It takes a 13/16" socket to remove it.


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05-29-11, 07:55 AM   #88  
Referer to this diagram. HRT216 Cylinder Exploded View Part number 9 is the spark plug.

Replacing the plug is usually straight-forward; like replacing the oil. Remove the spark plug wire, use a wrench of the correct size to loosen the plug from the cylinder; lubricate the threads of the new plug with a little oil and screw in by hand to finger tight (this prevents crossthreading). Tighten with the plug wrench and replace the plug wire.

Posted By: alchemistmuffin How do I replace the spark plug? Where is the spark plug exactly? (could anyone post picture of the location of the spark plug)

I know I sound like a noob, but really, I am a noob at this.

 
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08-01-11, 03:47 PM   #89  
Honda surging then cutting out and backfire

My 5 year old Honda HHR216 started to surge and run very unevenly. I cleaned the carb, no help. I used the mower that way a few weeks until it started to backfire and die. Then I read on this site where someone said it was the spark plug. Bingo that fixed it. I replaced the NKGBPR6ES spark plug with a Champion 8902 from WalMart for $3.15. The mower runs fine.

 
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10-15-11, 08:42 PM   #90  
Thanks!

Just a note of thanks: replacing the spark plug did the trick for me as well.

As soon as my 6 yr old HRU195 got warm, she started surging then stalling, with the odd misfire. Changed the fuel, double-checked the air filter - no improvement....landed here to check the how-to's on carburettor cleaning and read about folks' success with the plug. $3.50 later and she's as good as new, so thanks again.

 
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12-09-11, 09:50 PM   #91  
2 Stroke Lawmmower

My 2 stroke Morrison Mower starts then dies won't run have pull carb apart and cleaned it new spark plug new fuel still know go any ideas

 
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03-20-12, 11:50 AM   #92  
Cant beleive it works! Honda mower miracle

I worked as a vehicle mechanic many years ago, so going by the symptoms I automatically was all set to remove carb and check all fuel supply, then perhaps HT side etc. thankfully looked on the net first and ended up here.
1 new spark plug and ten minutes later it was running like a new machine!!
thanks to everyone who posted.

 
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03-31-12, 10:05 AM   #93  
Still going strong...

And the replacement spark plug installed in 2006 it is still working fine at the start of my 2012 mowing season. Just goes to show the original spark plug installed by Honda was of a particularly poor quality. Other than that the mower has been excellent.


Last edited by saskwoch; 03-31-12 at 10:12 AM. Reason: add some context
 
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03-31-12, 10:10 AM   #94  
Yeah, they come with NGK plugs. I don't like them at all, in any engine. Too many strange problems.


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04-18-12, 04:37 AM   #95  
Thanks

By reading your threads I have finally resolved the issue of my Honda engine cutting out. Having stripped the carbtwice, replaced all fuel etc I was just about to resort to a main dealer & fortunately, bacause of the rain decided to have a look on the web. Brilliant. Has saved me pounds.
All the best

 
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05-10-12, 04:43 PM   #96  
same problem with my Honda mower

I bought my Honda mower 3 years ago to replace my no-name mower that had worked fine for 20 years. From the beginning of ownership, I've had problems with the mower. The first summer it would surge constantly, and it got worse as the temperature cooled off in the fall. I took it in to the local Honda service place twice the next year. Each time they blamed water in the fuel. I even bought their fancy sealed plastic gas can. It would run OK, but then it would start to degrade. I took it in last summer, and they again said there was water in the fuel and said that the carb needed to be completely cleaned. I had to pay for that, even though it was under warranty. When I got it back, it still wouldn't idle, but since it ran OK otherwise, I just lived with it. Over the winter, I was careful to store it with no gas in the tank, and to use fresh gas this spring. I also changed the plug, oil, and filter, but this spring it is running terrible. It sounds like it is backfiring. The only way to start it is to choke it. I have to be real careful when I engage to blade, otherwise it will stall. No way will it idle. I went ahead and bought a new carb and replaced it myself tonight, and it has the exact same problem. I think there is something defective with my mower. If I take it back to the local Honda service center, they will blame it on me by saying there's water in my fuel. I tried calling the Honda corporation in GA, but I couldn't get a live person and had to leave a message. Doubt that they will call me back. I'm reasonably handy and can fix things, but I'm running out of ideas (other than trashing it an buying a Toro).

 
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05-10-12, 05:43 PM   #97  
You still didn't mention...(unless I missed it) if you have tried replacing the spark plug as the others in this thread seemed to have done to solve the issue...


Just needs a bigger hammer
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05-10-12, 05:47 PM   #98  
yes, I tried a new plug

It's buried in my post, but yes - I replaced the plug at the beginning of spring. I also replaced the air filter, changed the oil, and I even replaced the blades (cheaper than getting them sharpened).

 
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05-10-12, 06:04 PM   #99  
Ok I do see now where you mentioned changing the plug....

When you replaced the carb did you also replace all the gaskets?

Are you certain you re assembled all the pieces correctly?

Also need the model number of your mower.

You can try starting it and spray some carb cleaner or such on the gaskets...(maybe heat shield, isolator,carb,,,,and see if rpm changes?)


Just needs a bigger hammer
Peace

 
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05-10-12, 06:19 PM   #100  
I replaced all gaskets except for one that I failed to order. However, it's the gasket from the air filter to a metal plate, and I think (maybe) it's the least critical gasket. I re-used that gasket, and it was in pretty good shape. But it's always a possibility that that's causing the problem.

I'm pretty certain I re-assembled the carb correctly. I was pretty careful to re-assemble it exactly as it was, and I double-checked with a parts drawing I found on-line. The fact that it sounds exactly the same after I R&R'd the carb would also tell me that I re-assembled it correctly. But of course I could have goofed. It wouldn't be the first time.

Model number is HRR216VXA. Actually, on the mower, it says HRR216K5 VXAA, which I think is the 216VXA with the K5 model engine. I don't know what the extra A means.

I'm grasping at straws, but here's what I think potential problems could be: A hole in the gas tank (maybe letting moisture in?). An electrical problem (I don't know anything about the electrical system on a lawnmower - is there even a coil?). Another possibility is in the system that regulates the throttle, since it doesn't seem to want to settle into a smooth idle, but this again is something I don't know anything about. Maybe I got a defective spark plug, but that would be two in a row -- the original one, and the one I replaced. I dunno.

 
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05-10-12, 06:27 PM   #101  
If it is a gasket, or assembly, it should only be between the carb and block causing the problem. Even possible you resembled it as you took it apart, but was initially wrong.
Try spraying some carb cleaner WD or such while it is running...that should determine if you have an intake leak somewhere or assembly issues.


Just needs a bigger hammer
Peace

 
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05-22-12, 03:25 AM   #102  
New power washer

Hi All,

I read all the pages and appear to have the same problem. I was using my power washer then it stopped. Afterwards it would only run with the choke on. As soon as you shut off the choke it stopped. Tried the new plug and same thing. My machine was new with only 2 tanks of gas through it. I just took it back and got my money back. It was a Simpson 3024 3000psi with a GCV190 Honda motor. I might have just lost faith in Honda motors. I thought they were invincable.

Tim

 
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05-22-12, 10:25 AM   #103  
Honda engines are among the most reliable made, if not THE most reliable. I think the GX series engines just may be the best ever. That's why all these chinese copy engines copy that particular engine design. What you're describing is a carburetor problem. Carb problems are caused by fuel issues... either water or trash in the gas, or bad gas. That's beyond Honda's control. If I had to put my life on the reliability of a 5-6hp normal production engine, it would be a honda gx160.


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05-27-12, 02:45 AM   #104  
I've got same prob with honda mower and been right through carb to no avail. Will try a new plug sounds like that will fix it will let you know

 
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08-17-12, 05:24 PM   #105  
Honda 2008 self propelled mower cutting out after 30 seconds

We checked the fuel line - getting fuel. We took the cap off the gas tank and that allowed the mower to run (chugging and almost dead and then back to life and then almost steady for 5 minutes). Died again - went and got new plug - put that in and it still - after about 10 minutes of running 'okay' when I try to mow it eventually dies and we get the 30 second start and die pattern again.

I would think if it started and ran 10 minutes or so it would 'clear out the carb?"

Please - no money left to spend $70 for someone to come pick it up just to look at it.

 
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08-17-12, 05:44 PM   #106  
Sounds like your carb needs cleaning.


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God bless!

 
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08-22-12, 03:02 AM   #107  
mine was the coil

Hrm215 1998 model

Mine would start and die after about 10 seconds. No spart when dead, changed the coil and all is well! ( did try the plug 1st ). Now I am good for another 15 years!


Last edited by ro22tol; 08-22-12 at 03:32 AM. Reason: added stuff spelling
 
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08-22-12, 08:31 PM   #108  
honda problem or any small engine.

not all gas problems are because of a dirty carb. Old gas lines can suck close, some become real soft with age, sometimes they might even be kinked or piched. gas shut off valves can also plug up just as fuel filters do. before buying all kinds of parts, engines need spark , fuel and air to fun.

 
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09-09-12, 04:50 PM   #109  
No way

Ok Ok I believe. I Was in auto repair in a former life & this was not a spark plug problem.
I pulled out my 12 y/o HRT-216 yesterday to mow the lawn & it died after a couple of minutes. It
Would not stay running for more than 10 or 15 feet.
No question in my mind it was fuel. The float valve must be sticking.
But plenty of gas in the bowl. Didn't want to do the lawn anyway so I put it back in the shed.
I Went on line for ideas. "spark plug?" no way. Never seen it, couldn't happen.
Long story short, 2 bucks & 2 miles later, I put a new sp in today & finished mowing the lawn.
It still surges a little & runs a little slow but I've lived with that for 10+ yrs.
The bald tires are a bigger problem.
Anyway, I would have bet big bucks it wouldn't work, glad I don't have to pay.

 
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02-18-13, 01:56 PM   #110  
5.5 Honda

Thanks guys,
My 5.5 hp.Honda would start but would stop after about 5 seconds. Took off the carburettor,cleaned it, put it back on but same problem. Checked out this site and tried changing spark plug. Bingo. Now runs nice.
While I am on the subject, had a similar problem with my 9 hp Honda power washer motor. It would run for a few seconds,then stop but I would not be able to turn over engine. I would take out spark plug,pull cord,fuel would blow out plug hole. I would replace plug and the same thing would happen. For some reason I opened the oil fill cap and a mixture of fuel and oil poured out. A lot.
Turns out fuel leaked in through carb. over winter and filled oil sump. I changed oil, and it starts as it always did, first pull. Now I always switch off fuel and let engine run dry.
Once again Thanks.

 
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02-18-13, 02:22 PM   #111  
As an automatic winterization step..... you should turn the fuel valve off and run the engine until it stalls. This will run all the gas out of the carburetor leaving nothing behind to gum up.

 
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03-08-13, 11:09 AM   #112  
Problem fixed

I have a 2002 Honda Harmaony II. It had the same problem. It would run about 30 seconds and shut off like it was fuel starved. It ran fine before I put it away last season so I thought it was the fuel. I changed the spark plug like others have said and it fixed the problem.

thanks

 
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06-10-13, 09:03 PM   #113  
Honda HHR216

I have been searching the internet for weeks now looking for some kind of an answer for the lawnmower starting then just stopping. I bought a new plug from Home depot along with oil and air filter. It just kept doing it. I have had the carb off now tonight makes it the 3rd time, it is out in the garage soaking. Tomorrow I will stop at Walmart and buy a different plug- put it back together and pray what has worked for you all will work for me. My only question is what did you do about the gaskets for the carb? Mine are not in that great of shape. Where did you get new ones? If putting this back together works with a spark plug from walmart - I still have the sales slip for the 2 plugs from home depo- I am going to get my money back! Thank you all for the info. Just still wondering about the gaskets?

 
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06-10-13, 09:08 PM   #114  
Wow you found a drawing of the carb for assembly. any way you could post where to find that please? I have the same model I am working on.

 
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06-11-13, 12:10 AM   #115  
Any honda dealer can get you the gasket. There are also some good online places too for honda parts. Mine was an 98 model and I just re-used the carb gasket. A new spark plug did not solve my issue either. I figured it was the coil so I cleaned the metal area that spins around next to coil and that helped but still did not solve my issue. So I replaced the coil and all is well a year later.

 
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07-09-13, 09:24 AM   #116  
Same problem on Honda GCV160A lawn mower engine (5.5HP) Troy Bilt mower.

Cleaned carb (found a little dirt), ordered/replaced all gaskets, adjusted valves (exhaust way out), checked air cleaner. Its slightly better but it still starts cold first time and runs for about 30 sec to 1 minute. After two to 4 restarts, it runs almost normal. The longer it runs, the better it gets.
Will try the plug and report back.
Thanks!

(neighbor has exactly the same thing on his riding lawn mower! )

 
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07-09-13, 12:33 PM   #117  
RE: Honda GCV160 engine on lawnmower won't stay running. Changed Plug. FIXED!!!

 
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10-07-13, 10:34 AM   #118  
The Answer

The Answer was given to me by my neighbor. The current gas has about 15% ethanol and the government is considering raising the ethanol level in fuel. My neighbor said that he strictly uses non-ethanol gas in his mower (there are a few stations here that carry it). As soon as I started using non-ethanol fuel my Honda mower has not cut off since. I also found that I use 50% less fuel when I mow now. The ethanol gas runs hotter in the engine than non-ethanol. Try it. Non-ethanol gas costs a bit more, but in the long run it is cheaper because I use less fuel to mow and no more aggravation of my mower dying.


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10-17-13, 04:35 PM   #119  
It's the SPARK PLUG

This may be a little long, but I wanted to return the favor of other posters steering me towards the right solution and saving me time and frustration with fixing these small Honda engines.

I purchased a nice Craigslist pressure washer for cheap because the PO was frustrated with hard starting and unreliable running. The washer has the Honda GCV160 engine. I figured since I had a fair amount of experience with gas engines it was worth the risk of buying this for little money.

The first thing I did was to spray carb cleaner into the carb and pulled the start cord. The engine sputtered so I figured the problem was maybe bad gas and/or a gummed up carb - and not an ignition problem. So I sprayed some more carb cleaner into the float vent hole and into the throat of the carb and let it sit overnight. The next day I put in some fresh gas and I was delighted when the engine started and ran for about 30 seconds and then died. After multiple start attempts I got it started again and used the washer until it ran out of gas about 20 minutes later.

So long story short I went online to research and read this forum thread. I bought and installed a new Champion spark the next day and the now the engine starts easily on the 1st pull. Had it not been for the information I read here I would have, like others, spent a lot of time taking apart and cleaning the carb. Thanks everyone!

 
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06-30-14, 07:49 AM   #120  
Change the Spark Plug....go on....try it!

Hi there
i just wanted to add a thank you to all before me on this topic. I too have a Honda mower. It worked fine for a few years, then did the "starting for a minute or so, then cut out" (as if the ignition had been cut off). Tried fuel, carb all seemed fine. Found this forum and the magic spark plug trick. Thought it wasnt that likely, but would try it. bought a new NGK BPR6ES for around 2. fitted it yesterday and it worked!! so, thank you again as i was running out of ideas. was heading down the governor route (from another website)....so glad i found this.
Simon

 
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