Honda snowblower backfiring on idle

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  #1  
Old 12-19-08, 07:52 PM
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Honda snowblower backfiring on idle

My Honda HS928 snowblower, now entering its sixth winter, backfires when idling, and surges a little at full throttle.

I run it dry when storing it for the summer and I've been using Seafoam to help keep the system clean.

I told my dealer and he said it needs a $400 service, not including parts.

Apparently, there are no fuel/air mixture adjustments, according to the dealer.

I tried draining the fuel bowl and emptying the bowl trap, and I just replaced the spark plug and gapped it to the recommended gap. I also ran it dry and added new fuel and a little seafoam, yet it's still backfiring.

I'm mystified and so far not too impressed with Honda.
I never had this problem with any Briggs engine I've owned. My Honda dealer tried to convince me the problem with my Honda was caused by the ethanol in today's gas that didn't exist five years ago.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-20-08, 05:53 AM
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400.00 service ? man. i'd go out on a limb and say your carb needs a good cleaning. even though you drain every year there is still residual fuel in the system. you should use stabilizer for the second half of your season and leave the unit full of fuel, running the bowl dry with the fuel shutoff valve over the rest of the year. also, park the motor in the top dead center position for storage.
 
  #3  
Old 12-20-08, 06:10 AM
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The link below is for a Honda Carburetor Check Sheet. Follow it to clean your carburetor and clean every passage thoroughly. You can use strands of copper wire to clean passages.

http://www.honda-engines-eu.com/en/images/59138.pdf

To clean carburetors I use “Valucraft Carb Cleaner” Part Number: AZ-4. This is sold by Auto Zone parts store for around $2.50 per can. I have been very successful in cleaning carburetors with this cleaner. I have not had many carburetors I could not clean. Sometimes I use the entire can. At the price it sells for, so what.

WARNING - Do not get “Valucraft Carb Cleaner” in your eyes or on your skin. Use a full-face shield for eye and face protection. Wear protective gloves. The cleaner will damage rubber so remove rubber carburetor parts to prevent damage.

Valucraft Carb Cleaner will melt and wash away varnish. Spray as much cleaner as possible into the fuel passages. Follow up by blowing out with compressed air. Be sure to blow passages and everything else out after cleaning.

I personally think Seafoam receives too much hype and is overrated. I have had limited success with it as a stabilizer.

Good luck,
Airman
 
  #4  
Old 12-20-08, 11:10 AM
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I think I'm lost

Geez this is good stuff, but I think you overestimate my small engine repair skills.
Are you saying I must take the carb off? The last time I tried something like that on a tech engine all these little parts fell out, like a wire thing, a ball bearing, etc.

I'm really worried about taking anything apart on this engine...
 
  #5  
Old 12-20-08, 11:44 AM
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To properly clean the carburetor it must be removed and disassembled.

From your first post it sounds as though the engine runs but just doesn’t run well.

This is your opportunity to put Sea Foam to the test. Treat the fuel with Sea Foam at two ounces per gallon as recommended for small engines.

I would like to know if the Sea Foam corrects the problem. Please post back with results after burning a couple tanks of gas.
 
  #6  
Old 12-20-08, 02:21 PM
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I think I would look at a couple of other things as well as the carburetor. If you have been using Sea Foam as regular maintenance, I would be surprised if it is a varnished up carburetor.

The surging is characteristic of a carburetor problem, but for the backfiring at idle I would at least check out the possibility of a valve issue - either sticking, leaking or possibly a cam problem.

Since we're talking about trying something before going to the dealer with a $400.00 price tag, first try using the choke while idling to see if that changes the backfiring any. If not, use a motor flush and change the oil, adding the Sea Foam to the oil. Also a compression check would help point toward a valve issue, if that is the problem.

It would help to know how this started. Was it gradual or did it just start this winter? Is the backfiring through the carburetor or the exhaust? Except for the surging, does the engine perform satisfactorily or is there a loss of power throughout the throttle range?

As far as Sea Foam, I've used it frequently and rely on it for cleaning on engine carburetors, fuel injected cars, and injectors on diesel engines. Personally I think it's a fine product.

I can't say, however, I use it specifically for a stabilizer and would withhold comments to that effect.
 
  #7  
Old 12-20-08, 02:59 PM
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"Apparently, there are no fuel/air mixture adjustments, according to the dealer."
He is correct. EPA mandated "fixed" jet in the mid 90's to have better control of emmissions.
However, the fixed jets still get clogged.
Your dealer is somewhat correct about Ethonal. The biggest problem is that ethanol actually ATTRACTS water. Drain the gas into a clear container and let it set for an hour. Then, hold it up and see if there are any "bubbles" on the bottom. That is water.
80% of the equipment that comes in my shop has some water in the gas. Seems more so with snowblowers.
Add Isoprople dry gas to you gas at the rate of 2oz. per gallon.
Water in your gas can cause some of the problems you are having.

I told my dealer and he said it needs a $400 service, not including parts.
OK. I am closing my shop and going to work for your dealer.
I get $45 plus parts (about $12 for American made engines) to remove, clean, and re-install a snowblower carb.
 
  #8  
Old 12-21-08, 09:58 AM
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How it all began

It started running a little rough last winter, then a little sputtering on idle, then toward the end of winter some backfiring and surging at all speeds, but most noticeably on idle. Now the backfiring at idle is much worse. Flames shoot out of the muffler and loud pops are heard. On full speed, there is no backfiring, but there is a slight amount of surging. When blowing snow at full speed it seems to run ok.

I'll try adding a bit more seafoam and running it some more but the seafoam I poured into the last tank of gas and this recent fill doesn't seem to do anything. I can't imagine what seafoam would do if I added it to the oil? Does it act like Marvel Mystery Oil?

My dealer also sells quarts of 5w-30 "specially formulated" Honda approved and personally inspected oil for $6 a quart, as opposed to a brand name oil at a department store for $2.50 - which of course didn't get inspected by a team of Honda lubrication engineers. I think my dealer wants to use a little lubrication on his customers.

And his spark plugs are two to three times the cost of NGK plugs I can buy at a local auto parts store.

Oh, and my dealer just charged me $36 for a small bag of Honda approved and personally inspected by a team of Honda engineers "Shear Pins." Since a snowstorm was approaching I didn't have time to buy any for half the price on eBay.

My dealer also said I need a $400 maintenance service every four years. I told him I could buy a TroyBuilt or some other generic brand for the cost of two maintenance services then in five or six years throw it away and still it will cost me less than owning this Honda.
 
  #9  
Old 12-21-08, 12:27 PM
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If this machine were brought to my shop and I heard it run as you describe. First, I would isolate the oil level sensor and ESS sensor unit, if equipped, since it can cause similar problems as you are experiencing. If the engine ran normally with oil sensors isolated I would replace the defective parts as needed.

If it continued to run poorly, I would perform a cylinder leakdown test (hot). If the leakdown test were in specifications, I would adjust valves to specifications and thoroughly and properly clean the carburetor.

Since I am sitting in the comfort of my home I can only offer you my best guess based on information you give and don‘t give. I may be wrong this time and I am wrong more than I would like to be on this forum. In 40 plus years of doing this work, I am rarely wrong in my shop. It is hard to analyze a problem from an armchair but my money is on the carburetor.

You never listed the engine model, type, variation and serial number so there is no way of me knowing if your engine is so equipped an oil level sensor and ESS sensor unit. I believe you engine to be a GX200 and some have an oil level sensor.

If you feel your mechanical skills are not up to par it is time to face the situation and get it to the shop. The $400.00 cost for labor seems high to me.
 
  #10  
Old 12-21-08, 05:00 PM
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My backfiring Honda

According to my manual, My Honda HS928 has the HondaGX270 engine with special backfiring option. At least I got this option for free.... If I have to, I'll bring it to a generic repair shop. I want absolutely nothing to do with the Honda dealer I purchased this from.

ml
 
  #11  
Old 01-11-09, 07:32 PM
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backfiring Honda HS1132TAS

Yeah, my snowblower is backfiring as well. I ripped apart the carb, took out the pilot screw and main jet. Both looked fine no residue on either. But the darn thing is running rough, and is only a few years old. Seems to be running lean, because choking it makes it run better smoother. I am looking into getting different optional main jets to see if re-jetting it will make it run better. I have a feeling that it won't. The throttle control doesn't go directly to the butterfly in the carb, it goes to some control arm that sits above the crank case and with a bunch of linkages that eventually go to the butterfly on the carb. Not sure what governs the speed that would be controlled through the crank case? Sure wished they used the same engine/carb design as my '86 3 wheeler, which still purrs like a kitten... and no issues.
 
  #12  
Old 01-11-09, 08:59 PM
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do a search on surging honda blower, or surging hs1132.
I've had this problem from the get-go - brand new, friends of mine with honda blowers have too and apparently many others.

A buddy of mine has had two new carbs put on his hs1132 - one the first season, and the second the third season.

My dealer doesn't seem to have a clue but when I told him that I searched the problem and found that honda had made a de-icing kit for the problem he discovered that they had posted a bulletin on the problem and were offering the kit. I just got mine and it basically directs heat off the muffler to the carb to prevent icing.

If yours just started doing this after 6 years it may not be icing since everyone I know or have heard of with this problem had it very early on. They were also all hs1132's.

A cracked carb or loose seal at the manifold will cause this exact problem. I'd heard that honda had some issues with carbs that had failed by cracking but I don't know what models.

$400. is pretty pricey. A new carb on the hs1132 runs around 60.
 
  #13  
Old 01-12-09, 08:14 AM
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backfiring

I have had the carb off inside the house looking it over to make sure that the entire carb is clean of varnish or other debris. The inside looks very clean. I took off the main jet blew compressed air through it without any issues. Everything looks good. But when it gets torqued down onto the intake, the engine runs rough, and doesn't want to throttle down and when it revs up it oscillates and backfires with flames coming out the exhaust...UNTIL I choke it. I tried a new gasket on the intake, but that didn't work either. It's a strong engine, when it is running with 1/8 choke.
 
  #14  
Old 01-13-09, 04:28 AM
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Iamthenra...I have the same problem with my HS1132. Did you take out the 'Pilot Jet' out and clean in there? I took the carb off mine last night and cleaned it. I didn't realize that the pilot jet could come out. It is under the idle screw on the outside of the carb.
Mine is only two years old and it has the ICING KIT installed(i think anyways!). I have to take it apart again to clean the jet.
 
  #15  
Old 01-13-09, 12:22 PM
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backfiring HS1132

CBCAPER:

Are you referring to the throttle stop as the idle screw? You mean that big black thing directly under that "idle screw"? Looks more like a cup of some sort.... that's the pilot jet? This thing is frustrating the heck out of me.... I have had the carb torn apart more than my sled carb, tweaking it for riding out in the mountains and then riding out here in the flat land... I wonder if Honda realizes how much trouble that their loyal customers are having with these machines???
 
  #16  
Old 01-13-09, 12:38 PM
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Yes that is it! I just noticed it today after looking at the drawing in one of the original posts....honda-engines-eu.com. Remove the idle screw and gently pry up the plastic. I haven't done it yet because i am at work but will be trying it in the next few days. I am frustrated as well! Honda is supposed to be the best!
Cheers
 
  #17  
Old 01-13-09, 04:05 PM
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Well i couldnt wait til my days off. So i took it apart tonight in the back of the ridgeline.
Unscrew the plastic idle screw...use needle nose to pull off the top part of the jet...use the same needle nose and pull out the main part of the jet....there is supposed to be a very small hole in the bottom of the pilot jet. I used the smallest(smaller then a needle) welding tip cleaner and pushed it through the hole in the bottom of the PLASTIC pilot jet. A very small piece of dirt popped out in to the center of the air/fuel passage way, blew it out and reinstalled everything. Crossed my fingers and....nothing...forgot to turn the gas on! Turned it on and she fired up right away like always....puttered a little with choke on....pushed the choke in and....it purrrrred like a kitten! Unreal actually.Beer 4U2
Let me know if you need any help....cheers
 
  #18  
Old 01-13-09, 05:47 PM
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Hs1132

CBCAPER,

AWESOME! I am so glad to hear that you got 'er running! Yeah, that is why I bought my HS1132 because Honda is supposed to be the best. After all, I am still riding a 1986 Honda ATC250SX three wheeler, and by all rights... it shouldn't be running at all with all the abuse I have put it through.

I will tear apart the carb when it warms up here in Minnesota. The temp here is -20 F. I'm getting old, can't take the cold like I used to.

Thanks for the help!

Cheers! Beer 4U2
 
  #19  
Old 02-13-09, 06:29 PM
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Try this

Did you try a new spark plug?
If you did, the magneto magnet must have rusted causing your problem. Remove the flywheel with a puller and sand it with 600 grit sandpaper.
 
  #20  
Old 03-28-09, 06:45 AM
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Exclamation Honda HS928

HI,
I'm new to this forum, but I have had a HS928 for 8 years, it has taken a beating (and keeps on ticking). I thought I would try some ethanol gas in it to clean out the Carb. It started to run differently, so I'll give it a new plug BPR5ES and some fresh SHELL PREMIUM GAS (No Ethanol in our Premium). The local honda dealer recommend that. If you get snow like we do, (and we get lots) The Honda is the only snowblower I would recommend. The weight of it and the adjusment by the foot lever to cut through the snow (and we get lots of it) is awesome !!!

Sorry to hear about dealer's trying to gouge you.
Beer 4U2
 
  #21  
Old 11-11-09, 08:33 AM
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Backfiring and Surging Snowblower

I am glad I found this form. I love my HS1132 snowblower but I just couldn't get to run right. You guys solved a problem that has bugged me for two winters. Last year, I removed the carb and attempting to spray it out with carb cleaner and blowing it out. No luck, it still did the same thing.

After reading your post and seeing the carb breakdown, I was able to easily remove the plastic idel screw and pull out the cap and the jet. I didn't even have to completely remove the carb from the engine. It was accessible after removing a few shields. I had to search for a wire small enough and found it using one strand of a stranded picture frame wire. It took a few tries but I finally was able to get it though the little hole at the bootom of the jet. I didn't see anything come out but it was certainly now open after being blocked. It took only a minute to get it all reassembled. One crank and it started and ran like a top. No more backfiring at idel and no more surging or needing to pull the choke out slightly to make it run right. Thanks for your help guys!!!!
 
  #22  
Old 12-31-09, 03:07 PM
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Honda HS928 Backfires but will not start

Hi
My 4 yr old Honda HS928 worked great until it ran out of gas - chugged a bit when it ran dry. After I added gas (from same jug used previously) it would not run properly - quit 3 or 4 times during next 5 minutes and would not rev out properly. It worked progressively worse for the 5 min until it quit and would not restart.
I added gas line antifreeze, tried 2 new spark plugs, removed flywheel to check key, removed and cleaned carb (it was pristine). Spark plug has good spark. Now the machine will not start, loud backfire through muffler after 2 or 3 pulls of the starter cord.
Spark plug is wet after 3 or 4 pulls of starter when engine is choked.
Engine has compression, I tried adding a bit of motor oil to cyl to build up compression in case the walls had washed down with gas while I was attempting to start the engine.
Removal of needle valve shows good gas flow to carb.
I suspected that it had jumped its time when it chugged as it spark knocked during the 5 min it ran after I added gas. Also backfire through muffler might suggest a timing prob?
I am considering removal of front cover to see if valve timing may have somehow jumped when it chugged after running out of gas.

Suggestions?? We have a BIG storm coming.

Snowblowerhs928
 
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