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Honda Generator - pop noise when starting - then starts and runs

mikejlw's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1

08-09-17, 10:43 AM   #1  
Honda Generator - pop noise when starting - then starts and runs


I've been reading a few threads here re. small engine backfiring, and/or making popping noise while shutting the motor down. I haven't quite seen anything on making the popping noise while starting. So I'm not sure what to do in my situation.


I have a Honda generator, Model EM3000c (bought in 2000). It's been running perfectly well since then. I use it at the summer cottage occasionally (20-30hrs) to power my tools (saws, drills, etc). I also maintain it well - oil changes, clean air filter, spark plug, etc. At the end of the season - I add a fuel stabilizer into the gasoline.


I've been using it for the past 2 weeks this summer - everything fine. Then just yesterday, the generator made a LOUD pop at the exhaust when I tried to start it. It didn't start in the first pull. So - I pulled the cord again. There was no pop and it started and ran fine.

As a "quick fix" and without searching the web, I changed the spark plug. The old plug was dry (from any fuel) and not particularly "dirty".

I pulled the cord again - no problem- no pop and ran fine.

Then the second time starting the generator - the loud pop sound came back.

I pulled it once more - it started OK and ran fine.


What's causing the popping at the start of the engine? What do I need to do to fix it?

Curiously - why doesn't it happen "every time" I pull the rip-cord?

What can I check on the engine?


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marbobj's Avatar

Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,659

08-09-17, 02:36 PM   #2  
I would say a valve sticking open. You might try an oil flush or put some two stroke oil in gas 40:1 wouldn't hurt for a short time. Or put some Sea Foam in the gas.

cheese's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,571

08-10-17, 01:14 AM   #3  
Try a new plug. Champion or autolite recommended. If it continues, we can go further. Could be a sticking valve too like marbobj suggested.

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