Honda Introduces More Powerful GC Series Engines. Honda gcv lawn mower

Honda Introduces Powerful GC Series Engines

Honda engines and pressure washers have been a winning combination for years. But now, Honda has announced the release of two new engines suitable for pressure washers and lawnmowers: the GCV170 and GCV200. These Honda Pressure Washer engines join the GC Series and are designed for high-end residential pressure washer applications.

Honda GC Series Engines

The Honda GCV170 replaces the GCV160 while the GCV200 replaces the GCV190. Both upgrades provide more torque and more power for—among other things—residential pressure washers and lawn mowers.

Both of the new Honda engines feature an improved combustion chamber shape and an advanced auto-choke design with an integrated Fuel Off position to make operation simpler. They also include bigger fuel tanks with easier fueling.

Both the GCV170 and GCV200 feature Honda’s CycloFlow design. This feature strengthens turbulence in the cylinder and provides more stable combustion. It results in greater resistance to low-quality fuel and easier startup with a smoother idle.

How To Rebuild a Lawn Mower Engine ( Honda GCV160, GCV170, GCV190, GCV200)

Even adding these improvements, the new Honda GC Series engines claim a more streamlined and compact design than other engines in the same class.

Honda GC Series Engine Specs

Engine ModelGCV170GCV200
Engine Type Air-cooled 4-stroke single cylinder gasoline engine (OHV) Air-cooled 4-stroke single cylinder gasoline engine (OHV)
Bore x Stroke (mm) 60 x 59 66 x 59
Total Displacement (cm 3 ) 166 201
Maximum Power Output (HP /rpm) 4.8 / 3,600 5.6 / 3,600
Maximum Torque (lb ft /rpm) 8.2/ 2,500 9.4 / 2,500
Compression Ratio 8.0:1 8.0:1
Carburetor Horizontal type butterfly valve Horizontal type butterfly valve
Ignition System Transistorized magneto Transistorized magneto
Starting System Recoil Recoil
Speed Control System Mechanical Mechanical
Choke Type Automatic Automatic
Lubrication System Forced spray Forced spray
Spark Plug NGK : BPR5ES NGK : BPR5ES
Governor System Centrifugal flyweight type Centrifugal flyweight type
Air Cleaner Dry (paper filter) Dry (paper filter)
Length x Width x Height (inches) 16.34 x 12.99 x 13.11 16.34 x 12.99 x 13.11
Engine Oil Reserve Capacity (qt) 0.42 0.42
Fuel Tank Capacity (gal) 0.24 0.24
Fuel Automotive grade unleaded gasoline Automotive grade unleaded gasoline
Dry Weight (lbs.) 22.3 22.3

Our Thoughts

Honda engines represent a sort of high-end solution for pressure washers, push lawnmowers, and more. With the company continuing to improve their designs, this can only result in better performance and efficiencies. It stands to help professional consumers get more performance for their landscaping, painting, and other businesses.

In particular, we like that the new GCV170 delivers 9% more power and 18% more torque than the Honda GCV160 engine. This helps tools like newer Honda HRN Series lawn mowers deliver more power and torque when cutting, mulching, and bagging.

For premium residential pressure washers, you get increased displacement for higher PSIs at greater efficiencies. On a pressure washer, the pump matters—but the engine provides the raw power. These models look to improve everything that matters.

The Best Honda Lawn Mower – Tested and Reviewed

As you move up to the commercial models you gain more features and pay more money.

There are 2 entry level, 4 homeowner, 5 prosumer and 3 commercial Honda lawn mower models to choose from.

Before recommending the best Honda lawn mower let’s talk about Honda mowers in general – are they the best brand?

honda, introduces, powerful, series, engines, lawn

Quick Look: 2 Best Honda Lawn Mowers For Most People

Why Buy A Honda Lawn Mower

Lawn mower rental companies and lawn care professionals depend on Honda lawn mowers to make their money.

Because they are the most reliable and durable:

  • A Honda can be trusted to start right away – even if you haven’t changed the oil in years
  • A Honda will continue to mow your lawn with a high quality cut – even if you lend it to your neighbors and they treat it like dirt
  • A Honda lawn mower is easy to service and repair – even if you’re not a mechanic.

This is why rental companies only buy Honda’s…

…Because the renters don’t care about what they are renting and beat it up day-in-day-out. The rental company doesn’t make money if the mower breaks down. They need the mower with the least breakdowns – Honda.

Landscape professionals can’t afford to have lawn mower downtime because they are depending on it to feed their family. When they purchase a push mower, they purchase Honda – every time.

Honda has proven over the years they know how to make the best lawn mower and so it’s up to you if you want to spend extra to buy it for life.

Did you know?

Honda is the 26th strongest brand in the world. People buy Honda products based on earned trust. We loved our Honda in the past and so choose Honda for the future. (By the way #1 is Apple.)

Today – in this article – we’ll take a look at:

  • The best Honda mower at each price point: entry level, homeowner, prosumer and commercial
  • Honda lawn mower features that matter
  • Where the best place to buy one is: online, local mower shop or big box store.

The Best Honda Lawn Mower in Each Category

As you move up in price Honda mower features and benefits are added.

  • The entry level ‘HRS’ series Honda lawn mowers have a GCV160 engine and no grass bagging option – only mulch and side discharge.
  • When you move up to the homeowner ‘HRN’ mowers the engine is upgraded to a GCV170 and you get grass bagging.
  • Moving up to prosumer ‘HRX’ mowers you get the GCV200 engine, leaf shredding, NeXite deck, more cutting height options and a longer warranty.
  • Once you get to the commercial ‘HRC’ mowers you get the GXV engine, hydrostatic drive and everything else mentioned above.

Entry Level – HRS Series – GCV160 Engine, Mulch/Discharge Only

There are 2 Honda mowers in the entry level category: The PKA (push) and VKA (velocity/self propelled) models.

We recommended the self propelled model (VKA) because it is more convenient and only 30 more.

Our Pick: Honda HRS216-VKA Self Propelled

The best entry level Honda lawn mower is the HRS216-VKA.

It is the most affordable Honda and best suited to new homeowners who don’t want to bag their grass clippings.

The Honda HRS216-VKA is side discharge and mulch only. If you want to bag your brag you will need to jump up the HRN series lawnmower below.

Honda offers 2 models of ‘HRS’ entry level mowers. The difference between them is push vs. self propelled.

We recommend the self propelled. It is an obvious choice for only 30 more. Self propelled allows you to mow quicker and with less effort.

The HRS216-VKA has everything you expect in a Honda mower (except bagging) and is an obvious choice if you are looking for a first mower.

Homeowner – HRN Series – GCV170 Engine, Bagging

There are 4 mowers in the homeowner category: PKA (push), VKA (self propelled), VLA (electric start), VYA (Roto stop blade safety system).

We recommend the VKA because it is the best value for money. It is over 100 cheaper than the electric start and Roto stop blade safety system mowers and only 20 more than the push-only model.

Our Pick: Honda HRN216-VKA Self Propelled

The best Honda mower for most homeowners is the HRN216-VKA you see pictured above in our garage.

It is a mower we have owned for 10 years and currently have 3 in the shed.

It is only 100 more than the ‘HRS’ side discharge mower and has the bagging option as well as the upgraded GCV170 engine and is self propelled.

In addition, you are getting the upgraded twin blade system and extra cutting heights from 1″ – 4″.

If you want an affordable workhouse for your lawn then this is a great option to look at.

Prosumer – HRX Series – GCV200 Engine, Leaf Shredding, NeXite Deck, Cutting Heights, Longer Warranty

There are 5 models within the prosumer HRX series.

Our pick – the HYA – is the 2nd most expensive within the prosumer category.

We believe the added cost is worth it long term.

Our Pick: Honda HRX217-HYA

All things considered the Honda HRX217-HYA is the best lawnmower on the market – even considering the price tag. It is that good.

If you want to invest in the most reliable and durable lawn mower then this is your best bet.

So what makes it worth the extra 500 over the HRN?

  • GCV200 engine. The HRX has a larger 200cc engine for more power and torque to get you through tough/wet/long grass.
  • Hydrostatic drive system. The self propelled mechanism on this mower is hydraulic instead of belt/pulley. This makes it much more versatile with infinite speed control and more precision.
  • Roto-Stop blade safety. You can now easily stop the blades to grab and move a ball or toy without having to shutoff the mower engine.
  • NeXite never rust deck. A never rust, never dent deck that is lighter and has a lifetime warranty is a huge upgrade.
  • 5 year warranty. The HRS and HRN mower models have a 3 year warranty. The HRXs have 5 years under warranty.
  • Larger grass bag. 30% more grass catching volume.
  • Larger, better wheels. 1″ more diameter in the HRX wheels for better control and they also have ball bearings for a smoother experience.
  • Easier storage with folding handle. Easily store your mower under your work bench with the quick release handle.
  • Mow lower (0.75″). You can mow down to 0.75″ (19mm) with the HRX. This is great for a nearly golf green lawn look.

All you have to decide is if all those extra features and benefits are worth the extra money.

Both are Honda and both will last 15 years with proper care and maintenance.

Commercial – HRC Series – GXV Engine

These are overkill for homeowners costing another 500 over HRX and 900 over HRN mower models.

Our Pick: Honda HRC216-HDA

The big upgrade on the commercial Honda mowers is the GXV commercial engine.

The GXV engine has a cast iron cylinder sleeve instead of aluminium. This allows daily professional use without greatly reducing the life of the engine.

The GX engine also has low oil protection to turn the engine off before any damage from low oil. Many components on the GC Honda engine will be plastic where on the GX they are steel for longer life and greater durability.

If you own a lawn care or landscape business and need a walk-behind mower then this is a great option.

If you have the money and want the best of the best for around your home then this is for you.

Honda Lawn Mower Features That Matter

Honda lawn mowers have a Honda small engine connected via vertical shaft to the mower blade. Turn the engine on and it spins the blade at a certain RPM. The blade is sharp and chops/cuts the grass as you move forward over your lawn.

Lawn mowers are pretty simple machines.

Here are the features to choose from to help decide if you want the entry level, prosumer or commercial model of Honda mower.

Engine Design, Type and Size

Honda designs their small engines to be reliable, durable and most important – repairable.

  • From the top of the engine you have easy access to remove and replace the engine crankshaft
  • The carburetor is easy to access and remove as it is attached via 2 stud bolts on the side of the engine
  • The engine itself is designed to have less number of parts than previous models to make stocking replacement parts easier and less complicated.

What types and sizes of small engine do we see on Honda lawn mowers?

  • GCV – All Honda mowers have vertical shaft engines.
  • GXV – The ‘x’ stands for commercial grade Honda engine. The ‘HRC’ mowers have this engine type.
  • 160, 170, 200 – These are the cc (cubic centimetres) of the engine or the volume of the combustion chamber. Bigger combustion chamber equals more power at the mower blade.
  • OHV vs. OHC – Overhead valve vs. overhead cam. The gist: For a portable machine like a lawn mower the more power you need the more compact you need the engine. OHV engines are more compact for the power you get so the larger more premium mowers use a OHV style to keep the engine size down without sacrificing power. The GCV160 with the OHC is the same size as the GCV200 with the OHV despite being less powerful.

Let’s look at some more specs of each engine.

  • GCV160. Peak 4.4 HP. Torque: 6.9 lb-ft (9.4 Nm) @ 2500 RPM. 0.93 liter fuel tank. 4-stroke OHC.
  • GCV170. Peak 4.8 HP. Torque: 8.2 lb-ft (11.1 Nm) @ 2500 RPM. 1 liter fuel tank. 4-stroke OHV.
  • GCV200. Peak 5.6 HP. Torque: 9.4 lb-ft (12.7 Nm) @ 2500 RPM. 1 liter fuel tank. 4-stroke OHV.

Mulch/Bag/Side Discharge/Leaf Shred

Most of you will want the option to bag your grass clippings. That means you need to get the prosumer or commercial mower. The entry level Honda mowers only side discharge and mulch the grass – no bagging. Commercial Honda mower have the added leaf shred feature.

  • Entry level ‘HRS’ models. 2-in-1 Mulch/Side discharge of grass.
  • Prosumer HRN models. 3-in-1 Mulch/Side discharge/Bagging of grass.
  • Commercial HRX models. 4-in-1 Mulch/Side discharge/Bagging/Leaf shred of grass and leaves.

Transmission Control

Most Honda mowers are self propelled. Of the 11 models on offer, 2 are push only. At the entry level getting self propelled costs an extra 50.

  • Push. You have to push the mower forward through thick grass and up hills.
  • Self Propelled. The mower has an adjustable drive system (pulley and belt or gear components) you can engage to propel the mower forward and you walk behind it.
  • Hydrostatic. A hydraulic system is used to propel the mower forward with infinite speed control and no external moving components.


  • 3 Years. Entry level HRS and prosumer HRN Honda mowers have a 3 year warranty. 3 months if you use in a commercial/rental setting.
  • 5 Years. Only the commercial HRX mowers have a 5 year warranty on the mower and engine. A lifetime warranty on the deck material. Warranty goes to 3 months if used in commercial/rental setting.


Most people expect their mower to have a recoil pull starter and so this feature is down the bottom.

Some of the Honda mowers do have an electric starter for convenience.

  • Recoil. Pull string starter like you’re used to.
  • Electric Starter. On board battery helps you start the mower like a car. Some people dislike this because now you have to worry about replacing the battery down the line.

Deck Material

With proper care the 16 gauge steel deck Honda mowers use will last a lifetime. However, if you leave moist grass clippings stuck to the underside all winter long while in storage it will rust over time. The NeXite deck material will never rust.

  • Steel. HRS and HRN mowers. Standard on most gas mowers. Tried and tested. Clean your mower decks before storing over winter and they will last a lifetime.
  • NeXite. Comes standard on HRX mowers. Honda patented material will never rust. Lifetime warranty.

How Much Do Honda Lawn Mowers Cost and Where Should You Buy?


Here are the ranges of the manufacturer suggested retail (MSRPs) of the different Honda series lawn mowers:

Honda distributors sell Honda mowers in bulk to dealers, big box stores and e-commerce mower websites for a set amount per unit. The sellers decide how much above or below MSRP they want to sell based on how much profit they need to generate. Online mower stores can often offer lower because they have less overhead (no storefront).

Where To Buy a Honda Mower

The best Honda mower deals are usually online at speciality tool and mower e-commerce stores.

But sometimes it is more convenient for you to buy at your local big box store or small local mower dealer.

Returning it and claiming warranty will certainly be less hassle if you buy from your local mower dealer as they are authorized to do the repair and make the warranty claim for you.

Big Box Stores

  • The Home Depot. There are 1,993 Home Depot locations in the USA. You should have no problem finding one close by to take a look at their Honda lawn mower selection. Home Depot has a great return policy should you need it.
  • Lowe’s. There are 1,738 Lowe’s locations in the USA. Lowe’s has a selection of Honda mowers to choose from.

Local Mower Dealers

There are 1,000s of Honda dealers across the USA. Most towns over 5,000 people will have at least 1 local Honda dealer.

This is a great option to buy your Honda mower because they will act as your warranty holder and repair shop.

They will also be able to offer comprehensive buying help if you can’t decide which Honda is best for you.


There are 100s of online e-commerce mower stores to choose from.

Warranty and Repair Considerations

If you buy online or from a big box store you will likely need to go to your local Honda dealer for warranty and repairs. They have all the parts and experts to do the repair and it will all be approved under the Honda warranty.


What is the best oil to put in a Honda mower?

Honda takes normal engine oil depending on your local climate.

Synthetic oil is better than traditional oil but also more expensive.

What is the best type of gas to use in a Honda mower?

Your Honda user manual will tell you what type of unleaded gasoline to use in your mower. Honda advises not to use gasoline with more than 10% ethanol.

What brands use Honda small engines in their lawn mowers?

Many lawn mower brands choose to buy Honda engines for use in their push and riding mowers.

Toro, Swisher, Bad Boy Mowers, Snapper and Ferris all choose Honda.

  • Best Global Brands.
  • Honda GCV200.
  • Honda GCV160/190.
  • Move Up with Honda Chart.
  • OHV vs. OHC Engines: What is The Difference and Which is Better?
  • Dealer Locator.

About your guide: Jamey Kramar is a certified Lawn Care Manager (NALP) and a Mechanical Engineer by trade. He has been writing about outdoor power equipment for 11 years and has been quoted in NYTimes, Popular Mechanics, HowStuffWorks, iFixit,, and more. He spends his spare time disassembling things and also building an off-grid cabin at his 200-acre property.

Lawnmower with Honda GCV engine will not start and is hard to pull

Lawn mover starting problem. Honda lawn mower won’t pull start? The lawnmower won’t start after winter? How do you repair a lawnmower that is difficult to recoil start? Is your Honda GCV engine hard to pull? What to do when the lawnmower does not get a spark on the spark-plug? Does your Klippo Excellent not start?

Why does your lawnmower not start?

This is how you fix Honda lawn movers like Klippo Excellent that won’t start. You will find two specific and common problems for this model and their relatively easy solutions in this article.

honda, introduces, powerful, series, engines, lawn

A lawn mover engine, or any other fuel engine for that matter, needs three things to run: AIR, FUEL, and a SPARK. If your lawnmower is hard to pull-start, you can struggle even to get a spark. The spark plug is often the first thing people try to replace when a lawnmower doesn’t start, and then they replace the air filter, and that’s it!

If it doesn’t start now, ordinary people usually give up and hand it into a repair shop or buy a new lawn mover. There are many cheap and easy things you can check and fix to get your lawn mover running again!

This guide FOCUS on lawn movers that has no spark, is hard to pull, don’t start, and describes in detail specific problems with the popular Klippo Excellent model with Honda GCV engine. But first, we should check common starting problems which will apply to all lawn movers regardless of brand or design.

Lawn mower with Honda engine won’t start

First, check this list of typical lawn mover starting problems and their solutions, then check the Klippo Excellent specific problem section further down. This will reveal a less common starting problem with modern Honda engine lawn movers. It can be quite hard to trace down this problem if you are not a repair guy or mechanic yourself.

Common starting problems with lawn mowers

These are the most common problems listed on many websites and explained in various YouTube videos. I used this guide myself when troubleshooting my Honda GCV engine. Here is another great resource on how to fix a lawnmower with Honda engine is also excellent. My list of common problems preventing lawnmowers to start is presented here:

Solution: Turn fuel on. I don’t know how many times I tried to pull-start something forgetting to turn on the fuel valve. That’s why it’s the No. 1 problem! Luckily it’s cheap and easy to fix

Solution: Refill tank. Yes, I know it’s lame to list this one, but this is one of the more common problems with lawn movers not starting.

Solution: Fuel become bad after some time. Petrol station gasoline with ethanol can go bad already after one month, and it will be hard on your carburetor if you leave fuel in the mover. This could be your problem after the winter when the lawn mover that ran smoothly the previous season suddenly does not start this season. Replace the fuel in the tank with new fresh fuel and clean the carburetor. The invention of alkylate fuel solves this problem and is much more friendly against your engine, your body, and the environment.

Problem: Recoil start is stuck.

Don’t DESTROY Your Honda GX Engine By Making This COMMON MISTAKE

Solution: Check if a branch or something has jammed the cutting knives or cutting table under the lawn mover. Remember to disconnect the spark plug before you put your hands under there!

Problem: Air filter dirty.

Solution: This is the problem that almost everyone knows – even my mother! The air filter gets dirty and sometimes oily when you turn the lawn mover on the side with the air filter at the bottom. When the filter gets greasy and dirty, it will not let enough air through, and your lawnmower won’t start. Replacing air filters is a quick and easy fix in many cases. You can check if this is the problem by just removing the air filter and give it a try without it.

Problem: Lawn mower will not start.

Solution: Sometimes spraying starting gas or even WD-40 or similar in the hole where the spark plug is will be enough to kickstart the engine.

Problem: No spark on the spark plug.

Solution: Replace the spark plug. This is also a problem most people know and try first. But sometimes it is the starting coils that need to be replaced. However, experienced mechanics know that the starting coil is rarely the problem on a lawn mover since it has no moving parts. Usually, the starting coils are one of the pieces on a lawn mover that survives the longest. The problem is likely somewhere else like in a lousy cable, which has become unshielded because a rat was there and had a meal on it during the winter. Sometimes the wire from the coil (ground cable) is glitchy and needs to be fixed or appropriately isolated. Sometimes the spark plug is just wet and needs to dry a little in the sun.

Problem: Carburator is dirty.

Solution: The carburetor needs to be very clean, and it contains very tiny channels that get clogged. See a YouTube video on how to clean the carburetor on Honda engines here:

Problem: Speed control broken.

Solution: Sometimes, the brake wires need replacing. This could also be caused by the little metal pin jumping off its seat on the carburetor. Check that all cables and wires are connected to the top of the carburetor.

Solution: This is actually the first thing you should check on any engine, and you know it! If the lawnmower does not start when you try to cold-start, it could be because you have no oil, and the piston is stuck. Refill oil SAE-30W or similar lawn more oil and gently turn the blade underneath, this should free the piston. Remember to disconnect the spark plug!

Problem: Flywheel key broken.

Solution: If you hit a stone or a thick stump, you can break the flywheel key, making it impossible to start. This is also called a timing problem. It can be a real pain to fix since you need to take the whole engine apart and reassemble it again. You also need special tools even to get the bolt out that covers the room where the flywheel key is located. If this is the problem, I recommend you hand the lawn mover into a repair shop. This video will give you a good idea about if you think you can do it yourself:

There is an easy way to check if this is the problem, and that is to simply remove the rubber that covers the spark plug cable and try it bare metal against metal without any cover. If it starts now, then you have solved the problem cheaply and easily!

Hard to pull-start

Any lawnmower can get so dirty inside garbled with grass, branches, and soil to the degree it becomes jammed or at least tough to pull-start. A full cleanup of all moving parts will usually solve this problem. But for the Klippo Excellent with the Honda GCV engine, there is a specific problem that is due to something of a design flaw.

The Klippo Excellent with, in my case, the Honda GCV 135 engine became harder and harder to pull-start. Eventually, after the winter, it did not start at all. What is the problem here?

I completely dismantled the whole lawn mover, cleaned everything, including carburetor and recoil starter pulley. But it was still hard to pull and didn’t start. I could not even get a spark when I unscrew the spark plug att put it against the metal of the engine (the common spark plug test you can see in many YouTube videos about lawn movers).

Finally, I realized the problem came from somewhere else. On the Klippo Excellent and other modern lawnmowers, there is a dead man’s control lever on the handle that you squeeze when starting and running:

If you let it go, the lawn mover stops completely. This is due to a small brake that resides close to the starting coil and which pushes against the flywheel with the aid of a spring. When the dead man’s control handle is squeezed, the brake is lifted from the flywheel, and the recoil starter can move freely and easily. If the springs are rusty and broken or, in my case, the actual wire to the handle is broken, this brake block will never lose contact with the flywheel!

Bypass dead man’s grip

If you don’t have a new spring or wire at hand, then there is a quick trick you can do to get the lawnmower to work anyway. But using a cable tie (ZIP-TIE, hose tie, tie-wrap, zap-strap) or whatever you like to call them, you can swiftly connect the brake against the location where the wire starts and simply turn the lawn mover into an “always-on” state. You will need to shut down the engine with the speed control lever instead, basically turning off the engine by strangling it from fuel.

This is the way the old movers worked before the dead man’s control levers (dead man’s switch) became standard design.

On the Klippo Excellent, the design makes rain go straight into the wirehouse and accumulate in the bend at the bottom of the wire, eventually making it rust and break.

This is a design problem on this model, which is shared with some other types of lawn movers too. The brake-block will then get stuck more and more firmly against the flywheel, and the lawn mover will gradually become very hard to pull. When the wheel turns slowly, you will not get a spark on the spark plug, and many people end up buying new spark plugs and starting coils in vane. You often need to get over 250 RPMs on the flywheel to get a spark. At this point, many people give up and buy a new lawn mover. But the Honda and Briggs Stratton engines are engineering marvels and usually never break during a lifetime. People inherit these machines for God’s sake, and they run forever!

The problem is almost always somewhere else. Not in the actual engine.

If you have a Klippo Excellent that is hard to recoil start, then there is a cheap and easy fix! You don’t need to buy a new lawnmower, this is very easy to repair and fix yourself. But the problem can be very hard to trace down if you’re a non-mechanic.

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