Honda mower fuel tank. 5 Reasons Your Honda Lawn Mower Isn’t Getting Gas

Reasons Your Honda Lawn Mower Isn’t Getting Gas

Your Honda lawn mower barely chugs along while mowing the lawn. It is acting like it is not getting gas and it’s ready to stall out. It may have already died because of a lack of fuel. There are many reasons that can cause your mower to not get the gas it requires to run.

A Honda lawn mower isn’t getting gas due to a fuel restriction caused by old gasoline in your mower. Old gasoline will clog components including the fuel filter, fuel lines, and carburetor. A fuel restriction may also be caused by a bad gas cap.

I explain all the items that can cause your Honda mower fuel problem along with steps to resolve it.

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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.

Reasons Your Honda Mower Isn’t Getting Gas

Bad or Old Gas

Your Honda mower requires unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 87 and a maximum ethanol content of 10 percent. Ethanol is a corn-based fuel added to gasoline to make it more environmentally friendly.

Ethanol can have negative effects on your Honda mower’s small engine. Gasoline can begin breaking down as soon as 30 days after purchase.

Ethanol and the moisture it attracts cause gumming in the fuel system and begins to degrade fuel system components. It’s important to use fresh gasoline in your Honda mower.

honda, mower, fuel, tank

Use it within 30 days of purchase. If you are unable to use gasoline this quickly, make sure you add a fuel additive to your gasoline to stabilize the fuel.

Because I know the damage running old gasoline can cause to my fuel system, I always treat every tank of gas, plus any extra I have stored, with the fuel additive Sea Foam Motor Treatment.

I use this because it not only stabilizes the gasoline, it also reduces moisture and cleans the fuel system. Read more about the advantages of using Sea Foam in your lawn mower.

Solution: Drain old fuel from your gas tank using a siphon. Fill with fresh gasoline treated with Sea Foam Motor Treatment.

Plugged Fuel Filter

The fuel filter’s purpose is to strain dirt and contaminants from the fuel so they don’t enter the fuel system and the engine. This dirt can cause your fuel filter to become plugged and prevent fuel from passing through the filter.

Solution: Replace a plugged fuel filter. When installing the new fuel filter, make sure the arrow on the side of the fuel filter housing is pointed in the direction of your fuel flow. This means the arrow should be pointed toward the carburetor and away from the fuel tank.

Clogged Fuel Lines

Running old fuel through your mower can leave gummy deposits that can clog your fuel lines. To find a clog, start and stop fuel flow by using the fuel shut-off valve located at the bottom of your fuel tank or crimp the fuel line.

Remove the end, furthest from the fuel tank, of a section of the fuel hose and place it in a container.

Make sure the container is placed lower than the tank because the fuel will not run uphill. Turn your fuel supply on. You should be getting fuel in the container. If you are not seeing a stream of fuel, shut off the fuel supply and remove the section of the hose from your mower.

Solution: With the section of the fuel line, that contains the clog, removed from your Honda mower, spray carburetor cleaner into the line. This should help loosen the blockage. Next, blow compressed air through the line to clear it.

Honda Small Engine Fuel Tank Replacement #17511-Z8B-800

Repeat with the carburetor cleaner and compressed air until the line is free of any obstruction. Reinstall the fuel line. If you are unable to remove the blockage, replace the fuel line with a new line.

Dirty Carburetor

The carburetor regulates the right amount of fuel and air needed to form combustion in the cylinder. When it becomes dirty from running old fuel, it can fail to provide fuel to the engine when components in the carburetor become plugged.

After you have checked to make sure you are getting fuel to the carburetor, remove the air filter from the air filter housing. Spray carburetor cleaner into the air intake port and start your Honda mower.

If it starts, runs, and then dies, chances are your carburetor is restricting fuel and it must be cleaned.

Solution: If you don’t mind working with small parts and are a little mechanical, you can disassemble your carburetor to clean it. Follow my step-by-step directions to clean your carburetor in this article.

Honda Lawn Mower Not Getting Gas? Small Engine #16100-Z0L-023

If you choose not to clean the carburetor yourself, your local small engine mechanic can do this for you. You can also just replace the carburetor assembly.

Clogged Gas Cap

The gas cap on your Honda lawn mower is designed to vent so air can pass through the cap. When the vent is plugged, the gas tank forms a vacuum restricting fuel flow to the engine so your mower will no longer get the fuel it requires to run.

Solution: You can attempt to clean your gas cap to remove the clog or just replace it with a new Honda gas cap.

Keep Your Honda Mower Fuel System Clean

The key to minimizing your fuel system problems is to keep your fuel system clean. This is done by treating fresh fuel with a fuel additive to stabilize the gas. Don’t use an ethanol content higher than 10 percent.

The lower the ethanol content, the better. You may even want to use an ethanol-free fuel sold as recreation fuel (REC-90) at some fuel stations and in 4-cycle fuel cans at your local hardware store.

Replace your fuel filter once a year, typically when performing your annual Honda mower service. A fuel filter is a relatively inexpensive part of your Honda mower that can prevent fuel system and engine problems.

Having Honda Mower Starting Problems?

Checked your fuel system and still have starting problems? There are many items that can cause a starting problem.

Some may even mimic a fuel problem. To read more about all the items that can cause your Honda mower to fail to start, read my article “Solved! Your Honda Lawn Mower Won’t Start”.

Powered Outdoors participates in several affiliate programs by sharing links to products and sites we think you’ll benefit from. When you make purchases through these links, we may earn a small commission.

There are a number of reasons, mechanical and otherwise, why a mower won’t run. The good news is that fixing most all of the issues is easy enough for a DIYer to handle.

By Tony Carrick and Manasa Reddigari | Updated Aug 8, 2022 4:03 PM

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Lawn care can be tedious, but once the grass starts growing in the spring, mowing becomes a fact of life in most neighborhoods. When you finally muster the strength to tackle that first cut of the season, there are few sounds as disheartening as that of a lawn mower engine that turns over but doesn’t start.

Before you drag the mower in for repairs or invest in costly replacement parts, first make sure that a clogged air filter, soiled spark plug, damaged safety cable, clogged mowing deck, or contaminated gas isn’t to blame. Work through the following steps, and you may be able to get your puttering grass guzzler up and running again in no time.

A lawn mower repair professional can help. Get free, no-commitment repair estimates from pros near you.

Change the lawn mower carburetor filter.

Your lawn mower’s air filter guards the carburetor and engine from debris like grass clippings and dirt. When the air filter becomes clogged or too dirty, it can prevent the engine from starting. To keep this from happening, replace paper filters—or clean or replace foam filters—after every 25 hours of engine use.

The process for removing the filter depends on whether you are operating a riding or walk-behind lawn mower. For a riding mower, turn off the engine and engage the parking brake; for a walk-behind mower, pull the spark plug wire from the plug. Then, lift the filter from its housing.

The only choice for paper filters is replacement. If you’re cleaning a foam filter, wash it in a solution of hot water and detergent to loosen grime. Allow it to dry completely, and then wipe fresh motor oil over the filter, replace it in its housing, and power up the mower—this time to the pleasant whirring of an engine in tip-top condition.

Check the spark plug.

Is your lawn mower still being stubborn? The culprit may be the spark plug, which is responsible for creating the spark that ignites the fuel in the engine. If it’s loosened, disconnected, or coated in water or carbon residue, the spark plug may be the cause of your machine’s malfunction.

Locate the spark plug, often found on the front of the mower, and disconnect the spark plug wire, revealing the plug beneath. Use a socket wrench to unscrew the spark plug and remove it.

Check the electrode and insulator. If you see buildup, spray brake cleaner onto the plug, and let it soak for several minutes before wiping it with a clean cloth. Reinstall the spark plug, first by hand, and then with a socket wrench for a final tightening. If the problem persists, consider changing the spark plug.

Clear the mower deck of debris.

The mower’s deck prevents grass clippings from showering into the air like confetti, but it also creates a place for them to collect. Grass clippings can clog the mower deck, especially while mowing a wet lawn, preventing the blade from turning.

If the starter rope seems stuck or is difficult to pull, then it’s probably due to a clogged deck. With the mower safely turned off, tip it over onto its side and examine the underbelly. If there are large clumps of cut grass caught between the blade and deck, use a trowel to scrape these clippings free. When the deck is clean again, set the mower back on its feet and start it up.

Clear the vent in the lawn mower fuel cap.

The mower started just fine, you’ve made the first few passes, then all of a sudden the mower quits. You pull the cord a few times, but the engine just sputters and dies. What’s happening? It could have something to do with the fuel cap. Most mowers have a vented fuel cap. This vent is intended to release pressure, allowing fuel to flow from the tank to the carburetor. Without the vent, the gas fumes inside the tank begin to build up, creating a vacuum that eventually becomes so strong that it stops the flow of fuel.

To find out if this is the problem, remove the gas cap to break the vacuum, then reattach it. The mower should start right up. But if the lawn mower won’t stay running and cuts off again after 10 minutes or so, you’ll need to get a new gas cap.

Clean and refill the lawn mower fuel tank.

An obvious—and often overlooked—reason your mower may not be starting is that the tank is empty or contains gas that is either old or contaminated with excess moisture and dirt. If your gas is more than a month old, use an oil siphon pump to drain it from the tank.

(It’s important to be careful as spilled oil can cause smoking, but there are other reasons this might happen. Read more about what to do when your lawn mower is smoking.)

Add fuel stabilizer to the tank.

Fill the tank with fresh fuel and a fuel stabilizer to extend the life of the gas and prevent future buildup. A clogged fuel filter is another possible reason for a lawn mower not to start. When the filter is clogged, the engine can’t access the gas that makes the system go. If your mower has a fuel filter (not all do), check to make sure it’s functioning properly.

First, remove the fuel line at the carburetor. Gas should flow out. If it doesn’t, confirm that the fuel shutoff valve isn’t accidentally closed. Then remove the fuel line that’s ahead of the fuel filter inlet. If gas runs out freely, there’s a problem with the fuel filter. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on replacing the filter and reassembling the mower.

Inspect the safety release mechanism cable.

Your lawn mower’s reluctance to start may have nothing to do with the engine at all but rather with one of the mower’s safety features: the dead man’s control. This colorfully named safety bar must be held in place by the operator for the engine to start or run. When the bar is released, the engine stops. While this mechanism cuts down on the likelihood of horrific lawn mower accidents, it also can be the reason the mower won’t start.

The safety bar of a dead man’s control is attached to a metal cable that connects to the engine’s ignition coil, which is responsible for sending current to the spark plug. If your lawn mower’s engine won’t start, check to see if that cable is damaged or broken. If it is, you’ll need to replace it before the mower will start.

Fortunately, replacing a broken control cable is an easy job. You may, however, have to wait a few days to get the part. Jot down the serial number of your lawn mower, then head to the manufacturer’s website to order a new cable.

Check to see if the flywheel brake is fully engaged.

The flywheel helps to make the engine work smoothly through inertia. When it isn’t working properly, it will prevent the mower’s engine from working.

If it is fully engaged, it can make a mower’s pull cord hard to pull. Check the brake pad to see if it makes full contact with the flywheel and that there isn’t anything jamming the blade so the control lever can move freely.

If the flywheel brake’s key sheared, the mower may have run over something that got tangled in the blade. It is possible to replace a flywheel key, but it does require taking apart the mower.

Look out for signs that the mower needs professional repairs.

While repairing lawn mowers can be a DIY job, there are times when it can be best to ask a professional to help repair a lawn mower. If you’ve done all of the proper mower maintenance that is recommended by the manufacturer, and gone through all of the possible ways to fix the mower from the steps above, then it may be best to call a pro. Here are a few signs that indicate when a pro’s help is a good idea.

  • You see black smoke. The engine will benefit from a technician’s evaluation, as it could be cracked or something else might be worn out.
  • Excessive oil or gas usage. If you’ve changed the spark plugs, and done all of the other maintenance tasks, and the mower is consuming more than its usual amount of oil or gas, consult a professional for an evaluation.
  • The lawn mower is making a knocking sound. When a lawn mower starts making a knocking sound, something could be bent or out of alignment. It may be tough to figure this out on your own, so a pro could help.
  • A vibrating or shaking lawn mower can be a sign of a problem beyond a DIY fix. Usually something is loose or not aligning properly.

There are a number of reasons, mechanical and otherwise, why a mower won’t run. The good news is that fixing most all of the issues is easy enough for a DIYer to handle.

By Tony Carrick and Manasa Reddigari | Updated Aug 8, 2022 4:03 PM

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Lawn care can be tedious, but once the grass starts growing in the spring, mowing becomes a fact of life in most neighborhoods. When you finally muster the strength to tackle that first cut of the season, there are few sounds as disheartening as that of a lawn mower engine that turns over but doesn’t start.

Before you drag the mower in for repairs or invest in costly replacement parts, first make sure that a clogged air filter, soiled spark plug, damaged safety cable, clogged mowing deck, or contaminated gas isn’t to blame. Work through the following steps, and you may be able to get your puttering grass guzzler up and running again in no time.

A lawn mower repair professional can help. Get free, no-commitment repair estimates from pros near you.

Change the lawn mower carburetor filter.

Your lawn mower’s air filter guards the carburetor and engine from debris like grass clippings and dirt. When the air filter becomes clogged or too dirty, it can prevent the engine from starting. To keep this from happening, replace paper filters—or clean or replace foam filters—after every 25 hours of engine use.

The process for removing the filter depends on whether you are operating a riding or walk-behind lawn mower. For a riding mower, turn off the engine and engage the parking brake; for a walk-behind mower, pull the spark plug wire from the plug. Then, lift the filter from its housing.

honda, mower, fuel, tank

The only choice for paper filters is replacement. If you’re cleaning a foam filter, wash it in a solution of hot water and detergent to loosen grime. Allow it to dry completely, and then wipe fresh motor oil over the filter, replace it in its housing, and power up the mower—this time to the pleasant whirring of an engine in tip-top condition.

Check the spark plug.

Is your lawn mower still being stubborn? The culprit may be the spark plug, which is responsible for creating the spark that ignites the fuel in the engine. If it’s loosened, disconnected, or coated in water or carbon residue, the spark plug may be the cause of your machine’s malfunction.

Locate the spark plug, often found on the front of the mower, and disconnect the spark plug wire, revealing the plug beneath. Use a socket wrench to unscrew the spark plug and remove it.

Check the electrode and insulator. If you see buildup, spray brake cleaner onto the plug, and let it soak for several minutes before wiping it with a clean cloth. Reinstall the spark plug, first by hand, and then with a socket wrench for a final tightening. If the problem persists, consider changing the spark plug.

Clear the mower deck of debris.

The mower’s deck prevents grass clippings from showering into the air like confetti, but it also creates a place for them to collect. Grass clippings can clog the mower deck, especially while mowing a wet lawn, preventing the blade from turning.

If the starter rope seems stuck or is difficult to pull, then it’s probably due to a clogged deck. With the mower safely turned off, tip it over onto its side and examine the underbelly. If there are large clumps of cut grass caught between the blade and deck, use a trowel to scrape these clippings free. When the deck is clean again, set the mower back on its feet and start it up.

Clear the vent in the lawn mower fuel cap.

The mower started just fine, you’ve made the first few passes, then all of a sudden the mower quits. You pull the cord a few times, but the engine just sputters and dies. What’s happening? It could have something to do with the fuel cap. Most mowers have a vented fuel cap. This vent is intended to release pressure, allowing fuel to flow from the tank to the carburetor. Without the vent, the gas fumes inside the tank begin to build up, creating a vacuum that eventually becomes so strong that it stops the flow of fuel.

To find out if this is the problem, remove the gas cap to break the vacuum, then reattach it. The mower should start right up. But if the lawn mower won’t stay running and cuts off again after 10 minutes or so, you’ll need to get a new gas cap.

Clean and refill the lawn mower fuel tank.

An obvious—and often overlooked—reason your mower may not be starting is that the tank is empty or contains gas that is either old or contaminated with excess moisture and dirt. If your gas is more than a month old, use an oil siphon pump to drain it from the tank.

(It’s important to be careful as spilled oil can cause smoking, but there are other reasons this might happen. Read more about what to do when your lawn mower is smoking.)

Add fuel stabilizer to the tank.

Fill the tank with fresh fuel and a fuel stabilizer to extend the life of the gas and prevent future buildup. A clogged fuel filter is another possible reason for a lawn mower not to start. When the filter is clogged, the engine can’t access the gas that makes the system go. If your mower has a fuel filter (not all do), check to make sure it’s functioning properly.

First, remove the fuel line at the carburetor. Gas should flow out. If it doesn’t, confirm that the fuel shutoff valve isn’t accidentally closed. Then remove the fuel line that’s ahead of the fuel filter inlet. If gas runs out freely, there’s a problem with the fuel filter. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on replacing the filter and reassembling the mower.

Inspect the safety release mechanism cable.

Your lawn mower’s reluctance to start may have nothing to do with the engine at all but rather with one of the mower’s safety features: the dead man’s control. This colorfully named safety bar must be held in place by the operator for the engine to start or run. When the bar is released, the engine stops. While this mechanism cuts down on the likelihood of horrific lawn mower accidents, it also can be the reason the mower won’t start.

The safety bar of a dead man’s control is attached to a metal cable that connects to the engine’s ignition coil, which is responsible for sending current to the spark plug. If your lawn mower’s engine won’t start, check to see if that cable is damaged or broken. If it is, you’ll need to replace it before the mower will start.

Fortunately, replacing a broken control cable is an easy job. You may, however, have to wait a few days to get the part. Jot down the serial number of your lawn mower, then head to the manufacturer’s website to order a new cable.

Check to see if the flywheel brake is fully engaged.

The flywheel helps to make the engine work smoothly through inertia. When it isn’t working properly, it will prevent the mower’s engine from working.

If it is fully engaged, it can make a mower’s pull cord hard to pull. Check the brake pad to see if it makes full contact with the flywheel and that there isn’t anything jamming the blade so the control lever can move freely.

If the flywheel brake’s key sheared, the mower may have run over something that got tangled in the blade. It is possible to replace a flywheel key, but it does require taking apart the mower.

Look out for signs that the mower needs professional repairs.

While repairing lawn mowers can be a DIY job, there are times when it can be best to ask a professional to help repair a lawn mower. If you’ve done all of the proper mower maintenance that is recommended by the manufacturer, and gone through all of the possible ways to fix the mower from the steps above, then it may be best to call a pro. Here are a few signs that indicate when a pro’s help is a good idea.

  • You see black smoke. The engine will benefit from a technician’s evaluation, as it could be cracked or something else might be worn out.
  • Excessive oil or gas usage. If you’ve changed the spark plugs, and done all of the other maintenance tasks, and the mower is consuming more than its usual amount of oil or gas, consult a professional for an evaluation.
  • The lawn mower is making a knocking sound. When a lawn mower starts making a knocking sound, something could be bent or out of alignment. It may be tough to figure this out on your own, so a pro could help.
  • A vibrating or shaking lawn mower can be a sign of a problem beyond a DIY fix. Usually something is loose or not aligning properly.

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WARRANTY OVERVIEW

Jono Johno offers a 12-month warranty on all products. Warranty period is 12 months for the home user and 6 months for commercial use.

We pride ourselves on selling good quality kit and will be fair and prompt honouring our warranties. If you’re in trouble, we’ll help you out.

WHAT IS COVERED?

Exactly what is covered by warranty will depend on 2 things:

Minor faults caused by user. Parts will be supplied for repair at user expense.

Minor faults caused by manufacturer. Parts will be supplied for repair, with instructions provided by us on how to carry out repair. If the repair is time consuming in nature, you can contact Jono Johno to discuss labour cost compensation.

Major faults caused by manufacturer. Jono Johno will facilitate a return of the product for refund or replacement at our expense. Or if you’d prefer (at our discretion and in consultation with you), we can send appropriate parts and compensate labour costs if you can carry out the repair yourself.

Major faults caused by user. Where possible parts will be supplied at user expense. Where the item cannot be repaired by the user, Jono Johno will offer to have the item returned for repair at user expense. Our workshop rate is 60 per hour.

HOW DO I RETURN MY PRODUCT IF IT’S COVERED BY WARRANTY?

If you’re in reasonable driving distance of a Jono and Johno outlet, you can physically return the product yourself. Please contact us in advance to arrange a return authority.

If you are not within reasonable driving distance, Jono Johno will provide you with a return authority and an address to return the product to. Where Jono Johno is at fault a postage-paid return label will be provided.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE

If your product is out of warranty and is buggered, even though you’ve hardly used it, give us a call or shoot us an email. If there is a manufacturer fault or the item should have lasted a lot longer than it has, we’re happy to assess it outside of the warranty period. We do this on a case-by-case basis.

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