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

JTK

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Aug 14, 2003
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Buffalo, NY
I've been lucky with my 1999 model year Honda with the OHC GC160 engine. This one sill has a throttle lever w/ choke. I've never touched the carburetor on it in all these years, neglect the heck out of it and it still starts in a few pulls.

Would be cool if you could retrofit the newer auto choke with the older carb.
 
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Montague, NJ
Every time my gas cans get filled; they get dosed with fuel stabilizer. I prefer the marine grade stuff; I buy it by the gallon as I've got a ton of engines to treat. Cans being stabilized year-round idiot proofs me also. I use EO now but when I used to use E10 I still had no issues. I never drain tanks or carbs of fuel, so internals don't dry out. I also toss a touch of 2 stroke oil in the tanks pre storage.
 
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Aug 20, 2003
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NE,Ohio
prob clogged get in the carb. if your gas wasnt fresh definitely try that.
Autochoke can be relentless problem.. or work perfectly.

neighbors Husqvarna had constant issues with it. I showed him how to jimmy it with a second person to get it started... he just had his teenager help him start it once and boom he was good to go..

of course there was the day the wife tried to mow.. I used starting fluid even easier.

not sure why everything is autochoke now.. my new clearance 179$ sams club mower has it.. been ok so far.. only trim mow with it.. didnt want to spent a ton on something I run 10min at a time.

You can put me in the store "wet" category with fuel stabilizer.. except my echo backpack blower If I'm not going to run it for 30days+ I dump it and run it dry.
 

teh60

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I run shell premium v-power with stabil in my GCV 160 and GCV 200. I’ve never really had any no start problems. I just perform general maintenance at the beginning of the season.
 
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Connecticut
Never run this mower dry!

You have 2 options, number 1 being at the end of the season fill it up with truefuel and run it for a minute or so.

Option number 2. go out every 2 weeks or at the least once a month and start it up and run it for a few minutes.

I do option number 2 on all of my small engine equipment.
You can run them dry. The problem with this (and all carbs) is they have to be dry. Some of the engines I work on the engine can run out of fuel and stall, but there will be fuel in the bowl still. You have to crack the drain screw on the bowl for it to be completely dry. Never had an issue.
 
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You can run them dry. The problem with this (and all carbs) is they have to be dry. Some of the engines I work on the engine can run out of fuel and stall, but there will be fuel in the bowl still. You have to crack the drain screw on the bowl for it to be completely dry. Never had an issue.
That's why I just started running Stabil Marine. Is that a good solution?
 
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Central US
I've had trouble with my GCV for almost a decade. Started fine the first year, but every year after, it seems like it isn't (auto) choking. I replaced the wax pellet last year, and it didn't help at all.

The funny thing was that every time I removed and disassembled the carb, that first start after would work! But 10 minutes later-no go.

I think the float level is too low, but it's a one-piece plastic float, and no way to adjust the float level. I considered melting a hole in the top of the float, and adding solder inside, but don't know how to reseal the hole to ensure the float doesn't fill up with gas when running the engine.

Now I tilt the mower up on left side wheels at 45 degrees, until gas just dribbles out the carb. Then tilting at 45 degrees right, the engine will start.
I probable should drill a hole in the air filter housing, so I can just squirt gas into the carb mouth... :)
 
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I've had trouble with my GCV for almost a decade. Started fine the first year, but every year after, it seems like it isn't (auto) choking. I replaced the wax pellet last year, and it didn't help at all.

The funny thing was that every time I removed and disassembled the carb, that first start after would work! But 10 minutes later-no go.

I think the float level is too low, but it's a one-piece plastic float, and no way to adjust the float level. I considered melting a hole in the top of the float, and adding solder inside, but don't know how to reseal the hole to ensure the float doesn't fill up with gas when running the engine.

Now I tilt the mower up on left side wheels at 45 degrees, until gas just dribbles out the carb. Then tilting at 45 degrees right, the engine will start.
I probable should drill a hole in the air filter housing, so I can just squirt gas into the carb mouth... :)
If the push rod from the temperature sensor (wax pellet) across the top of the head to the choke is not in the proper shape and position, it can hang up on the plastic trim cover, then no choke action.

When the engine is cold you can remove the air filter and look into the intake you should see that the choke plate is closed.
 
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That's why I just started running Stabil Marine. Is that a good solution?
Stabil Marine is definitely the most effective (maybe the only effective) Stabil product for protection against ethanol issues, because the main problem with ethanol in fuel is it attracts moisture which then corrodes the fuel system parts. I use Stabil Marine in my fuel (a double dose), but it won't guarantee that you won't have any issues. A dry carb is the best case scenario, but I believe the Marine Stabil and running the machine every so often to be second best.
 
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Nov 13, 2020
Messages
272
I've had trouble with my GCV for almost a decade. Started fine the first year, but every year after, it seems like it isn't (auto) choking. I replaced the wax pellet last year, and it didn't help at all.

The funny thing was that every time I removed and disassembled the carb, that first start after would work! But 10 minutes later-no go.

I think the float level is too low, but it's a one-piece plastic float, and no way to adjust the float level. I considered melting a hole in the top of the float, and adding solder inside, but don't know how to reseal the hole to ensure the float doesn't fill up with gas when running the engine.

Now I tilt the mower up on left side wheels at 45 degrees, until gas just dribbles out the carb. Then tilting at 45 degrees right, the engine will start.
I probable should drill a hole in the air filter housing, so I can just squirt gas into the carb mouth... :)
That’s crazy. I’ve had my GCV160 for coming up on 9 years and it’s always been a 1-2 pull starting push mower. Never had a single problem out of it except one time it was surging after starting. Put a little sea foam in the gas and halfway through the back yard it cleared up instantly. I guess it got rid of whatever crap was in the carb.
 
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Everyone should have a can of starting fluid. It helps get rid of the BS every spring.

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Stabil Marine is definitely the most effective (maybe the only effective) Stabil product for protection against ethanol issues, because the main problem with ethanol in fuel is it attracts moisture which then corrodes the fuel system parts. I use Stabil Marine in my fuel (a double dose), but it won't guarantee that you won't have any issues. A dry carb is the best case scenario, but I believe the Marine Stabil and running the machine every so often to be second best.
This is why I also add some TCW-3 2-cycle oil to the gas (1oz per 5 gal). When I run the carb dry, it leaves a thin oil film in the carb to prevent corrosion.
It was also mentioned above about stuck valves (most commonly the intake valve). The oil helps lubricate the intake valve stem.
 
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If the push rod from the temperature sensor (wax pellet) across the top of the head to the choke is not in the proper shape and position, it can hang up on the plastic trim cover, then no choke action.

When the engine is cold you can remove the air filter and look into the intake you should see that the choke plate is closed.

Man, I was really hoping this was it, but no, the plate is fully closed. My choke plate only covers maybe 60% of the width of the throttle bore, with 3/8" or so open on both left and right sides. Is that normal, or did I get an incorrect plate from the factory? :)
 
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That’s crazy. I’ve had my GCV160 for coming up on 9 years and it’s always been a 1-2 pull starting push mower. Never had a single problem out of it except one time it was surging after starting. Put a little sea foam in the gas and halfway through the back yard it cleared up instantly. I guess it got rid of whatever crap was in the carb.

The carb is clean. I use non-alky fuel, and put stabil in it.

I got my boat out of storage after sitting in the back yard for 10 years. Rebuilt the carb, and it was *literally* as clean as it came out of the factory. Shiny bright aluminum on the inside. The *outside*, however, was a greasy mess!
 

FZ1

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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).
This^^^^^^^^^. but, I wouldn't tinker with it. You drained all the fuel out so now you gotta get fuel back in the carb by pulling the rope. My Honda activates the choke when the throttle lever is pushed all the way forward so you better double check that. Further, I fill my lawn tools with gas before winter. Just buy a gallon at a time and use some stabilizer. Hope this helps.
 
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I find one simple trick is to use a small gas can. At the end of season, pour the gas into your car and start in the spring with fresh gas. Gasoline kept from one season to another is prone to cause problems if then left in the lawnmower over the winter.
 
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now you gotta get fuel back in the carb by pulling the rope.
That's not how it works. These engines have no fuel pump. The fuel feed is simply gravity drop from the tank to the carb which does not require the engine to be turning.
 
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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?

I only run 91 octane no ethanol fuel in my small engines, including boat and snowmobile. As soon as I fill up the gas can for small engines I put in Seafoam and Startron (you could also use Stabil), even in the beginning and middle of the season when I know the fuel will be used before going stale. I never run any of my small engines out of fuel at the end of the season. And unless stored outdoors all winter there is no reason to take out the spark plug and put an ounce of oil in there (and pull the cord slow a few times) like most manuals say.

If you treat the fuel all the time then you don't need to worry about the carb not having fuel to be able to start, and you also don't need to worry about stale fuel. The Seafoam and/or Startron also help to coat the carb similarly to putting oil in the spark plug hole to protect it (so I was told by a small engine guy) over winter. A big mistake people make is just putting Stabil or Startron in the gas tank at the end of the season and not running the equipment to get the treated fuel into the carb.

For your current problem it is likely just there isn't much/enough fuel in the carb after running it dry. Pull the rope a few dozen more times and try some starting fluid.
 
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I put my mower away last October. Just pulled it out of the shed two weeks ago for the first cut of the season.
It took three pulls to get it started.
I run treated gas all year. When I put it away in the fall, I turn off the gas, run the carb dry, top off the tank, then pour the rest of the gallon jug into the car.
 
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