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Honda Mower Hard Starting and Smoking


tperk100's Avatar
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03-19-18, 09:46 AM   #1  
Honda Mower Hard Starting and Smoking

2009 Honda HRX217VKA, Ser # MAGA-1531212
Engine Ser # HAA-1781839 HY9 (? not sure if last digit is a 9)

Has run with no problems until last year (Mar 17) when it became very difficult to start. Took it into local very reputable repair shop. They did major tune up, and cleaned carb and tank. Mower ran OK for summer. They advised me to start it up for few minutes once per month during the off season. I did that with no problems.

BUT, the first time (yesterday) that we tried to start it to cut the grass, my tenant a 35 yr old man, could not budge the starter cord. I pulled on it to find that it seemed like the engine was seized up. I am a big guy so I really put some pull into it, it "broke loose," and started up on this pull.

I noticed that it smokes (white) for a minute or two after starting up. Also, if I stop and restart it, It starts back up easily but it backfires every time. I checked the oil and it looked brand new and at the proper level. So we cut the grass.

Today, it started right up but it still puts out the white smoke and backfires on restart.

Any idea of what's going on here?
Thanks much.

 
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cheese's Avatar
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03-19-18, 10:04 AM   #2  
Does the oil in it smell like gas? Sounds like the carb needle is letting gas leak while it is shut off.


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03-19-18, 10:17 AM   #3  
"Seemed like the engine seized up"

Probably not the case here...Just my 2 cents:

We had a customer come in the shop once who thought his engine seized up. I tilted the mower on it's side and found a HUGE clump of grass between the blade and deck towards the rear. Easiest repair ever.

 
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03-19-18, 12:49 PM   #4  
Cheese,

The oil does smell like gas. You are the second person to say the same thing. Would this also explain the backfire?

What do you think it would take to fix the problem? New needle, seal, float, whole carb???


Last edited by tperk100; 03-19-18 at 02:01 PM.
 
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03-25-18, 01:32 PM   #5  
tperk100:

Wondering if you got to the bottom of your problem?

 
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03-25-18, 03:00 PM   #6  
After seeing on Youtube how easy it will be, I decided to replace Carb (new model Carb is improved with better choke control) and change oil. Carb was about $40. Got it yesterday. Will replace tomorrow. Will dismantle old carb to see if I can spot any problems. Will keep it for spare if I can fix it.

Forgot to say that dealer thinks carb is leaking gas into oil also.

 
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03-25-18, 11:42 PM   #7  
tperk100:

Just a tip in case you read this before you pull apart the old carb.

When you remove the float bowl, check for any tiny black specs in the bottom of the bowl or anywhere else in the carb. Depending on how old the mower is, there's a slight chance that the fuel line (or any other rubber parts that could be in the carb) might be deteriorating due to the ethanol in today's gas. Had this happen to me on many occasions and usually wind up replace fuel line(s). Doesn't take much for a minuscule piece of junk in the carb to hold the needle open.

I usually use an additive when filling up my gas cans that's designed to help. Star Tron, Briggs & Stratton 5-in-1, or even a Stabil product that states "Ethanol Treatment". Keeps the gas fresher longer as well.

Might not be a bad idea to drain the tank and run it dry for off-season storage as well.

(Good idea to change the oil too.)

Hope it works out for you!

 
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03-26-18, 04:18 AM   #8  
Steve,

Thanks....will check for the fuel line damage. FYI, as of 2 yrs ago I started using only ethanol free gas with Startron and Sea Foam. Have not drained for winter only because we only go about 2 months without cutting my fast growing fescue. Might do it from now on.

 
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