Honda Lawnmower starting then cutting out!

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  #1  
Old 04-24-06, 05:26 AM
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Honda Lawnmower starting then cutting out!

My 5.5hp honda lawn mower is starting first pull but after a few seconds is cutting out. If i try to start it again it won't turn over unless you leave it for a minute or two and then it starts again, no problems, However it still cuts out after a few seconds.

I'm starting to ! Anybody have any ideas as to what may be doing it? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-24-06, 10:16 AM
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One possibility might be that you need to disasemble the carb and do a good cleaning of all the parts with a spray carb cleaner.does'nt seem as your getting enough fuel. you should always post your mod# & ser#. has this been in storage? any other info thats related that can shed some light would help in getting a more educated response. you my want to check the archives for similar issue's also. Just trying to help.
 
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Old 04-24-06, 12:07 PM
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I believe jarhead is right but I'm confused as to your diagnosis. You say it won't turn over. Do you mean it won't start? In other words, it will spin over but won't start? Another thing that is odd is that you cannot immediately start it back up. When you do try, are you choking it? In other words, as if you were attempting a cold-start. As jarhead indicated, a bit more history would be helpful.
 
  #4  
Old 04-30-06, 08:39 AM
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Honda Lawnmower starting then cutting out!

Hi All,

I believe I have the same problem with my Honda HRB 425c QDE (MZ CF 8101110 2001-C1). Bought new in late 2002.

It has been stored as usual for the winter (fuel switched off and used up last thing).

Got it out last week for the first cut and it started OK (although not first time as usual). Ran for a couple of minutes and then cut out. Started it on choke and ran for a couple of minutes again. I was able to complete the cut (20 minutes) with the cutting out varying from a few minutes to less than a minute, no obvious pattern. The air filter looks very clean.

Tried it again today and it cuts out everytime in less than 30 seconds with similar symptoms as given by x68000. After cutting out it won't start straight away (but it will 'turn over' fine), have to leave it 30 seconds or more and then start on choke. I've tried running it with the choke on a bit but that doesn't help, only leads to a backfire on the next attempt to start thanks to excess fuel.

I drained the fuel (which was probably stale) and put fresh in, no change. I checked and cleaned the spark plug, no change. I dismounted the carb and had a good look around, it looks as clean as a whistle. I can see the fuel pouring into the float chamber OK (I left the fuel line attached). The only thought is I can't verify whether the feed pipe running from the float chamber upwards is fully clear, it is such a tiny aperture.

There's no damage anywhere and it was working fine last year, as it has always done until now.

Looks like I'll have to take it in to a professional put it is so frustrating to have to do that! Not too mention expensive

I guess I need to take the carb off again and put compressed air into that pipe, but its a 30 mile round trip to reach a compressor

The only other thought is whether the spark plug block / safety cut-out wiring can fail in this way. The assembly still looks brand new so unlikely I guess.

Any thoughts or advice gratefully received!

Cheers
Saskwoch
 
  #5  
Old 05-01-06, 12:46 AM
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It does sound like a carburetor restriction. Try blowing through the passages with carburetor cleaner. You may have to soak the carb in a bath type carb cleaner.
 
  #6  
Old 05-01-06, 02:24 AM
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Honda Lawnmower starting then cutting out!

Thanks cheese ... I've not heard of carb cleaner before, I'll look into them.
 
  #7  
Old 05-02-06, 08:43 AM
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Honda Lawnmower starting then cutting out!

It was the sparkplug! :-)

I thought sparkplugs either worked or not (save for having the gap spaced correctly). Evidently as soon as the temperature rose slightly the sparkplug failed and cut the engine.

Thinking about is this explains why the cutting out was so clean & tidy ... had it been fuel related I would have expected some spluttering or something.

Saved myself an expensive bill, had the lawnmover place not been so busy and my grass so long I wouldn't have persevered with it. Mind you, I did dismantle the carb again and later bought carb cleaner which I've not needed to use.

I wonder if a new sparkplug would solve x68000's problem - let us know!
 
  #8  
Old 05-03-06, 12:27 AM
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Believe it or not, I just ran into this today. I worked on a honda that would start and run normally for about 30 seconds, then shut off. It kind of puffed a bit out the carb and shut down, but would start back up. I could even prolong the run time by putting the choke on. Sure sign of carb problems. I popped the carb open and it was clean as a pin. I blew it out, and reassembled with the same results. Shut off in about 30 seconds. I started to look harder at the carb, but decided to put a plug in it since it had a japanese plug in it (I've had strange problems associated with these plugs). That fixed it. The old plug looked brand new...still shiny and not even dirty, but it was bad.

I was going to come here and tell you to try the plug, but you found out anyway! Glad you got it fixed!
 
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Old 08-18-06, 03:32 PM
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Talking Honda Lawnmower starting then cutting out!

Greetings,
Just wanted to thank you folks for the information. I have a Harmony II HRR 216 that was experiencing the same symptoms. I was preparing to take the carburetor off and clean it when I did a little web search and found your forum. Changed the plug and runs like new. Thank you for saving me a lot of time and needless frustration. - Cheers!
 
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Old 08-18-06, 11:50 PM
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Hello broman, and welcome to DIY! Glad you found some useful info here!
 
  #11  
Old 11-11-06, 05:44 PM
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I have a 4 year old Honda HRR2162SDA mower that has started cutting out after running for a short time. I have replaced the carb, fuel lines and gas cap, but it still cuts out. Since it looks like the spark plug might be the culprit, I'll try replacing it tomorrow and report back.
 
  #12  
Old 11-12-06, 10:02 PM
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It worked!

Replaced the plug and the mower is back to normal. Too bad I had to go through the exercise of replacing the carb and other pieces. I wouldn't have thought to check the spark plug!

Thanks to this forum for the help!
 
  #13  
Old 11-13-06, 07:26 AM
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Glad you got it and thx to you for helping this forum by reporting back with your solution.
 
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Old 11-13-06, 11:39 PM
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Ditto! Don't feel bad about doing the carb...that was my initial reaction too! (Although I didn't replace it...just took it apart to see if there was a fuel issue).
 
  #15  
Old 05-11-07, 12:09 PM
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Smile Spark Plug Problem

Thanks to all who commented on the problem with the spark plug. I removed the NGK spark plug (funny I used these in my MG Roadster back in the 80's and never had a problem) that came origional with the mower and replaced it with a new one I got from the Lawn Mower Shop. It started up on the first pull and never a problem till I shut the mower down when the lawn was cut.

Thanks again, saved me the time and cost to fix something that wasn't broken.
 
  #16  
Old 06-09-07, 03:23 PM
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Smile The plug's the key

You guys rock! My Honda Harmony HRB 216 worked perfectly from Dec 2001 purchase to Oct 2006, then suddenly started surging, running badly and cutting out or barely running with no power.

I removed and cleaned the plug, changed the fuel, inspected the fuel line, but nothing helped.

I took it to an authorized Honda repair facility, who kept it for three weeks before I yelled at them. I'm sure they didn't touch it until that last day, because they hadn't fixed the clearly listed maintenance items I had requested. When I pointed that out, they sprayed WD-40 on it and pronounced it "fixed." Still ran awful, though. Obviously, they didn't change the plug. For all this, they charged me $75!

Now you guys say "change the plug" which the repair shop did not do, and for $2.00 for a new NKG BPR6ES plug I got at Kragen Auto Parts, my Honda runs perfectly.

Congrats on the fix! Funny how you can go to the web and find stuff in three minutes that so-called professional "experts" don't know or don't care about.
 
  #17  
Old 06-10-07, 10:52 PM
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Glad you found some useful info here! I'd be pretty upset about the $75 if they didn't fix anything. Heck, at my shop, $75 would have gotten you a new plug, oil change, blade sharpened, air filter, cleanup, and some $$ back.
 
  #18  
Old 06-13-07, 08:26 AM
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I guess many of us are in the same boat...

same thing -- mower runs fine for most the job, then starts to sputter a bit, then cuts out. The longer I wait between restarts, the longer it will run. I did the obvious -- filter, oil, spark plug. I bought the OEM NGK plug and gapped it right. Mover seemed to have new life for a bit, but quickly back to the same. The plug and exhaust trails are very sooty. Seems to be consuming gas quicker than normal. Made sure choke is not on/partially on during run. The mower seems to be running rich all the sudden, when it was not before. I read a section in the manual about running the mower leaning at elevation -- I'm at 4500 feet, but it says after 5,000. And since I never had problems until the last two mows (after 3 years), I can't see what the problem would be.

I have the HARMONY with the special deck, so I have a 5 year warranty -- not sure if that include carb tune-up -- anybody know? For those that replaced their spark plug, have you had no problems since?

Got the exact same plug at Checker for $2.00 (Home Depot had it for $8 -- LOL!). Gap recommendation is .028 to .031. I set it to .030. Funny, same plugs that are used in my '71 240z (except for the 'r' designation). Guess like Chuck's MG
 
  #19  
Old 07-26-07, 02:41 PM
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Unhappy Hard to pull

Help...
I bought a used Honda Harmony HBR 215 and it ran great... Once..
The first time I cut my lawn, it was a little smokey at first, but it ended up doing a great job on my lawn. Today, I pulled 3 times and it started. Smoked a little, but after a minute or so of rough running, it stalled out. I went through the usual steps and upon the suggestions of this website, I replaced the plug... First pull it started and was ready to go.... "was"
Halfway through cutting my lawn, the power and RPMs started to drop. I assumed that this was a fuel related issue, so I cut the power and opened the gas cap and to my surprise, it was not empty. I checked the oil and it appeared fine. A little on the black side, but nothing out of the norm. I immediatly tried to pull the cord, but it was very difficult to pull and did not start.
I pulled the plug again and it looked fried. Not fouled, more like it had been exposed to extreme heat. With the plug removed, I tried pulling it again, but still with a lot of resistance. I removed the cover and tried to manually turn the fly wheel, but again, this was very difficult. I was able to verify that the cylinder is infact moving, but not freely.
Help... Please tell me that I did not just get burned..
Thank you,
Dan
 
  #20  
Old 07-26-07, 06:05 PM
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Sounds like the engine is locking down. Check to be sure there is nothing under the mower keeping it from turning freely. When you check the oil, are you screwing the dipstick in to check it? You should not. The dipstick should just sit on top of the fill tube to check the oil level. If you set the oil level to full while screwing the dipstick in, the oil level will be too low. then with the smoking you described, it sounds like it's burning oil, and that would bring the level down farther. When it quit smoking, that was probably becasue it burned so much oil that the oil level went low enough that it wasn't getting int he cylinder anymore. Problem with that is the cylinder lubrication gets lost, and it seizes.

That's my first guess based on your description of the engines behavior. Sounds like you got one that was burning more oil than it should. There's not much oil in a small engine like that so it can't afford to lose much.
 
  #21  
Old 09-22-07, 04:48 PM
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my dad's honda harmony 215 has similar problem, but not quite the same...

First my dad said it won't start even after 10+ attemps...so he went ahead to drain the old gas, changed the oil, clean the air filter, put new NGK plug. However, it still does the same thing. We went over the owner's manual today and there's some info about adjusting the choke and found out the choke is not fully closed so we adjusted it according to the instruction on the manual. After that the mower starts right up after first pull with choke on. The engine runs rich but smooth.

However, it dies when we shift it out from choke, no matter to fast or slow. It dies just like running out of gas. Should I first to spray some carb cleaner on the carb while it's on the engine? I also notice that when I shift between fast and slow, the movement of the linkage on the carb is rather "small", I mean it only rotate maybe less than 5 degree.

Please help

Jason
 
  #22  
Old 09-22-07, 06:25 PM
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The small amount of movement of the carb between fast and slow is normal until the engine is actually running and the governor takes control.

It sounds like you need to disassemble and clean the carburetor. Spraying it while it's running won't clean anything but the outside and throat of the carb, which isn't where it counts.
 
  #23  
Old 12-28-07, 03:42 AM
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Smile I guess many of us are in the same boat...

I'm impressed how this thread has grown and been of use

As a belated reply to thumper300zx I can confirm I've not had any further problems with my Honda lawnmower since changing the sparkplug.

At the time it made me appreciate that an annual service would prevent this sort of thing (assuming they really replaced components!) on the other hand the cost of those would quickly exceed the value of the lawnmover. I can see why some people mark sparkplugs etc before a service to check they really have been replaced.

Very recently I inherited a Stihl brushcutter that hadn't been started in 7 years and all I had to do was fill it with the right fuel mixture and - you guessed it - change the sparkplug for it to start after only a few pulls.

I started my late father's vintage tractor yesterday (a 1946 Field Marshall) after being dormant for a time. It has a single cyclinder two-stroke diesel engine which thinking about it now is really an overgrown lawnmover/brushcutter engine except it is more reliable without a pesky sparkplug I wonder if there are small diesel lawnmovers? I guess the smell etc of the fuel wouldn't be acceptable in people's gardens but I'd imagine they'd be very reliable with lots of torque...
 
  #24  
Old 03-11-08, 01:28 PM
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Honday Lawnmower Cutting Out?

The yellow - PLASTIC - lever has been recalled. Honda put in a PLASTIC piece where they should have put a good ol' piece of metal. This is the source of the engine cutting out. Take it to where you purchased the mower and they will know all about the issue.
 
  #25  
Old 07-02-08, 04:23 AM
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I have a similar problem with a new GCV160E honda engine. Cut the grass one time, put it away, this time won't go. Turn on fuel tap, push up throttle to choke position (yes, the linkages all move). Give it a pull, it starts, runs for 5 seconds with a little hunting up and down...then dies. If I try again immediately it won't start, or runs for a shorter time. If I leave it for a minute or so before trying again it lasts a little longer, but never longer than the first time. Pushing the throttle back quickly so it comes off choke makes no difference, nor does doing this for a while so the engine has warmed a bit. My immediate thought was no fuel getting into the carb, so it stops as soon as it uses up whats there. Float chamber is full (or at least fuel runs happily out the drain if I open it). I don't believe it is bad fuel, because its relatively new, and anyway it starts.
I notice some people seem to have a similar problem fixed by changing the plug. What does the yellow lever have to do with this? (I don't see one)
 
  #26  
Old 07-21-08, 01:23 PM
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Harmony HRTII 216SDA not starting

I installed a brand new carb because old one was all cruddy and gummed up because mower didnt run for a while.
I get good fuel flow to the carb and there is spark at the plug but the mower still doesnt start. Please help. Thanks
 
  #27  
Old 08-02-08, 05:33 PM
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My understanding is that you need three things to start an internal combustion engine:
1. fuel
2. ignition (spark in this case)
3. compression
Sounds like you have the first two, what are the chances of it having poor compression? What does it feel like to pull? Are there any fumes or smoke coming out which would show the spark is igniting the fuel but without compression there'll be no explosion?
Cheers
 
  #28  
Old 08-10-08, 09:45 AM
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Similar problem with HarmonyII HRZ216

Was cutting some heavy brush when it started to cut out and would only run with choke on then finally died and would not restart. Cleaned air filter and replaced plug. After replacing plug will fire up and run for a few seconds before dying out. I know nothing about cleaning carb. I put in new gas (with ethanol additive) just prior to the problems. Looking for some help/advise fast as the grass needs cutting soon.....thx
 
  #29  
Old 08-10-08, 11:57 PM
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Remove the air filter housing to get to the carb, then remove, disassemble, and clean the carburetor and reassemble.
 
  #30  
Old 08-14-08, 05:21 AM
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Still not running

Thanks Cheese!! I took off the carb and cleaned it out...it needed it...but still having same problem. Manually put some gas in the carb and it fired up but died right afterward. Is there a fuel filter on it that could be cleaned/replaced??? Maybe a restriction in the gas line??
 
  #31  
Old 08-14-08, 10:47 PM
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Does gas flow into the carburetor bowl? If so, then the carb is still clogged. How did you clean it?

If the bowl does not fill with gas, then check fuel flow from the tank and work your way to the carb to see where the restricition is (filter, hose, or fuel shutoff).
 
  #32  
Old 08-26-08, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by HarmonyIIhelp View Post
Thanks Cheese!! I took off the carb and cleaned it out...it needed it...but still having same problem. Manually put some gas in the carb and it fired up but died right afterward. Is there a fuel filter on it that could be cleaned/replaced??? Maybe a restriction in the gas line??
I just did this carb cleaning on my 215. Unfortunately it wasn't just the spark plug. After removing the carb and removing the float housing, I sprayed Gumout in the center orifice. I then cleared it with compressed air. If you don't have a compressor, I'm sure one of those compressed air in a can will work. Shining a flashlight in the carburetor opening you should be able to see a clear hole through the center orifice. I sprayed Gumout in all the other orifices too but I think the center one is the culprit. If the float chamber was full of gas when you started you can assume the float orifice is OK but I cleaned that one too, just make sure not to lose the small parts when you remove the hinge pin. One last thing to check (actually maybe should be the first) is to verify the auto fuel shut-off valve is working. When you remove the fuel line to the carburetor, there should be no gas leaking with the throttle in the off position. The gas should flow freely in the on/choke position. BTW, after removing the air filter, there's only 2 nuts, 1 bolt, 3 linkages and a fuel line to disconnect to remove the carburetor.
 
  #33  
Old 08-30-08, 08:50 AM
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Talking Ditto Sparkplug

Had same start problem. As soon as the auto choke stopped engine would die. Changed fuel out with frsh, checked oil level, removed carb tore down cleaned, cleaned and gapped plug with no change.

Mower 4 yrs old with no problems. Had not been setting up.
Read this thread bought new plug and everything back to normal. Go figure.
Thanks a bunch guys.
Ron
 
  #34  
Old 09-08-08, 06:41 PM
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Auto fuel shut off valve is the culprit

Originally Posted by puttereng View Post
I just did this carb cleaning on my 215. Unfortunately it wasn't just the spark plug. After removing the carb and removing the float housing, I sprayed Gumout in the center orifice. I then cleared it with compressed air. If you don't have a compressor, I'm sure one of those compressed air in a can will work. Shining a flashlight in the carburetor opening you should be able to see a clear hole through the center orifice. I sprayed Gumout in all the other orifices too but I think the center one is the culprit. If the float chamber was full of gas when you started you can assume the float orifice is OK but I cleaned that one too, just make sure not to lose the small parts when you remove the hinge pin. One last thing to check (actually maybe should be the first) is to verify the auto fuel shut-off valve is working. When you remove the fuel line to the carburetor, there should be no gas leaking with the throttle in the off position. The gas should flow freely in the on/choke position. BTW, after removing the air filter, there's only 2 nuts, 1 bolt, 3 linkages and a fuel line to disconnect to remove the carburetor.
Well IT WAS THE AUTO FUEL SHUT-OFF VALVE after all. I got about 5 minutes and again died. Cleaned the carb again, this time no improvement. After watching the linkage of the throttle I noticed the auto fuel shut-off valve was sometimes not returning to home (which would mean it was open) but no gas was getting to carb. The valve would stick sometimes and not feel smooth so I replaced it and now running continuous. It is a rubber piston that seals off against a hole. When I initially checked it, it seemed fine. Stopped fuel when it was in off position and fuel flowed freely in the on/choke position. But something during the vibration of the engine would allow the rubber seal to close even though the linkage showed it was in open position. So if your problem is fuel starvation after a few minutes (basically after emptying float chamber), check the fuel shut-off valve.
 
  #35  
Old 09-09-08, 06:58 AM
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WOW thanks for all the relpies! A new plug is my next thing to try. I have to also see if I can find the auto fule shut off.
 
  #36  
Old 09-12-08, 10:49 AM
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OK, the new plug did it! The mower runs and does not quit. Thanks again for all the input.
 
  #37  
Old 09-14-08, 11:54 AM
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Thumbs up Gcv160

As my lawn mower would warm up it would gradually lose power and finally die. Pulling it back to idle would make it run longer but it would still quit after a few minutes, worse on a hot day. It got so bad I could not finish the lawn without letting it cool down for a while. The plug looked like new but I cleaned it anyway. Changed the coil pack and cleaned the carb also, all no help. Looked at the timing belt and checked compression. All was OK. Finally I REPLACED the plug and this fixed it. I learned a good lesson on this one, don't judge a plug by it's looks.

 
  #38  
Old 09-16-08, 12:53 PM
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Thumbs up Sparkplug looking like new

I concur with skylar998, my old plug looked perfect so I ruled that out at first. It produced a spark when grounded against the engine and anyways the engine was starting fine but cutting out when the temperature increased.

The replacement plug is still going strong after another 2 plus years
 

Last edited by saskwoch; 09-16-08 at 12:56 PM. Reason: mixed up username with subject
  #39  
Old 09-21-08, 11:13 AM
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my story

Same thing My Honda Harmony would run but backfire thru carb and bog when cutting thru thick grass and when shut down with throttle it would pop on shutdown.
After reading posts I also put in a new Honda brand BPR6ES plug as old one was pretty black from running poor for so long.
Today it was like a new machine grass was thick because of rain a week ago but not a single problem.
Plug was kinda high at 4 bucks from Home Depot but well worth the furstration of a poor running lawn mower.
 
  #40  
Old 09-28-08, 11:35 AM
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Exclamation spark plugs

changeing sparkplug sure make diffrence , had a problem with , keep cuting off after few min , after changeing spark plug seems fine !
 
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