Less than one year old Honda push mower won't start this season

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Jul 7, 2015
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This mower started with the first crank each time last Summer. At the end of the season we ran it until it was emptied of fuel and stored it in our shed. Filled it with fuel this week and now it won't start. What should we try?
 

AshleyQuick

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There's no primer or manual choke on that engine, correct? I'd try a few dozen more pulls after you filled it with fuel, just in case, and then pick up a can of starting fluid to spray in the air intake (a couple bursts should do it).

Neither, that is correct.

I'll try the fluid (which I have somewhere) but is it a good idea to empty the fuel at the end of the season or do you guys recommend a different method to store?
 

AshleyQuick

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New spark plug. I have a Craftsman pull start that sat in storage for 2 years. Wouldn't start when I got it out and I tried cleaning carb, etc....finally after 4 hours of messing with it, I went and got a new spark plug, started the first pull.
Interesting. Worth a try since they're cheap
 
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Neither, that is correct.

I'll try the fluid (which I have somewhere) but is it a good idea to empty the fuel at the end of the season or do you guys recommend a different method to store?

You've done more than most.......I only ever ran Sta-bil in the gas and things always started up no worries.
I would replace the plug, make sure the bowl on the carb is full, etc. Honda's fire up on the first pull even after sitting (and the gas isn't old/stale).
 

JTK

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If all the above doesn't work, I'd look into what you filled it with as @BMW Dom suggested. I've seen it time and time again, where folks think the fuel is "fresh" in their storage can, when it's very old or has sat open to the atmosphere for a long period of time.
 
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If all the above doesn't work, I'd look into what you filled it with as @BMW Dom suggested. I've seen it time and time again, where folks think the fuel is "fresh" in their storage can, when it's very old or has sat open to the atmosphere for a long period of time.

Gasoline should be treated like baked goods; things go stale over time. Use Sta-Bil and sleep easy.
 
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1. Make sure fuel valve is in the open position.

2. Remove air filter and look in towards the carburetor and see if the choke butterfly is closed. If it isn't, a spray of starting fluid will get it to start, but it means the auto choke mechanism has failed, which is common on these newer Hondas. The part is a couple bucks and easy to replace.
 
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Since I started using TCW3 in my fuel, I have never had a storage issue with my lawn and garden stuff, or motorcycles.
My guess based on experience with these engines is the auto-choke wax thermostat mechanism. TCW3 or any additive won't prevent this issue, it's a common failure on the newer auto-choke Hondas.

2-stroke oil also won't prevent storage problems. It will help, but I've had plenty of customers with 2-strokes that had varnished nasty fuel in them.
 

pbm

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I find my Husqvarna mower with the Honda engine very fussy about storing it. I've turned the fuel line off and ran it until it died and still had starting issues the following year. I replaced the carb twice for this reason. My previous B&S powered mowers were nowhere near as touchy. OTOH the Honda engine does use less fuel to mow my property.
 
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My guess based on experience with these engines is the auto-choke wax thermostat mechanism. TCW3 or any additive won't prevent this issue, it's a common failure on the newer auto-choke Hondas.

2-stroke oil also won't prevent storage problems. It will help, but I've had plenty of customers with 2-strokes that had varnished nasty fuel in them.

It seems to work great in my 4-stroke engines. I think there is too much oil when mixed at 2-stroke strength, and that causes issues with storing 2 stroke engines. I only use the pre-canned, pre-mixed stuff in my 2 strokes. I know it is more expensive, but I use so little fuel it solved all my storage and starting issues.
 
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What's worked for me more than once is removing the air filter and as soon as it's started and running for 10+ seconds, snap it back in place.
 
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What's worked for me more than once is removing the air filter and as soon as it's started and running for 10+ seconds, snap it back in place.
It's worked for me too. But I don't understand why.

You'd think it would need some choke to start (ie less air). So why does taking out the air filter (which should increase the air flow) work? Beats me.

My old Honda lawn mower motor has a manual choke. In the spring I have to manually hold the choke on for a while, but not later in the summer. I've had this idea that the flow of fuel is cleaning up gum in the carburetor but that's just a wild guess. It could be that the block starts off warmer later in the season too.
 
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