Honda GCV160 Hard To Start When Cold | Causes + Solution

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Due to two issues, small engines have trouble starting: cold weather and a lack of oil. Because cold oil thickens quickly, your engine will have trouble turning over. If the engine’s gas tank contains summer mix gasoline, it will be difficult to start a chilly car. But Why Is Honda GCV160 Hard To Start When Cold?

Honda GCV160 Hard To Start When Cold

The ability of a mower to start in cold weather can be improved by good maintenance. If you notice any carbon or oil buildup, replace your spark plug as soon as possible. You should try refilling the gas in your lawnmower if it contains any smells from last fall. Using a manual transmission can help to warm up the carburetor even more.

Why Is Honda GCV160 Hard To Start When Cold

Oil Level

Some Honda mowers will not start if the oil level is low; this is not a defect intended to safeguard the engine. Checking the oil level every time you fill the gas tank is smart. Check on level ground with all four wheels at the same height.

Gas Level

Is the mower running on gas? The obvious option isn’t always the best, and as Sherlock Holmes argues, “we should confirm a fact is truly a fact.” It’s possible that the customer filled the gas tank with what they thought was decent gas.

Gas Tap On

The fuel tap is used to turn off the carburetor’s fuel supply. When the commercial mower isn’t used, I tell my customers to switch off the fuel. It’s really simple to overlook turning it on. When looking at the mower from the front, Honda placed the fuel tap on the right-hand side of the engine.

Air Filter

The mower will not start if the air filter is clogged. The Honda air filter should be cleaned after 25 hours of use, and it should be replaced every 100 hours. Honda installed toolless air filter covers, making cleaning a breeze.

Plug Wire On

The plug wire might easily come free, which happens all the time. Because the plug wire is located near the front of the engine, it frequently collides with shrubs, hedges, and other objects. The black cable with the rubber boot on the end is the one. Ascertain that it is in good, clean contact with the plug. You’ll get a no-start if you have bad or no contact.

Choke On

I meet a lot of consumers who don’t know how to operate the choke properly, and I don’t blame them; the shop probably didn’t show them. When starting a cold engine, the choke is employed. The choke generates a richer air-fuel ratio because a cold engine requires more fuel than a hot one.

Bail Lever On

The dead man’s lever, often known as the bail lever, is a safety feature. Its purpose is to bring the spinning blade to a halt within three seconds of being released. This is accomplished by turning off the engine and applying a flywheel brake. The zero-turn mower will not start if the bail lever is not held.

This basic article will help you through testing for sparks and change a coil. The bail lever will regulate the stop/start function on only a few Honda mowers. The stop/start control is incorporated into the throttle lever on other Hondas.

Check For Bad Gas

The most common cause of no starts is bad gas. Your gas could be clean, but stale gas is bad for mowers. After one month, the gas loses its capacity to combust, resulting in poor performance and misfiring. It starts to crystallize roughly three months after it has gone entirely stale.

Now that we’ve verified all of the basic items, we’ll go a little deeper. Bad gas has become a serious issue, particularly in Hondas, where the carburetors are extremely susceptible to polluted gas. Therefore we’ll run a gas shot test next.

Try The Gas Shot

To start, your engine requires fuel, spark, and compression. Fuel, Spark, and Compression cover more ground than their names imply. Fueling, for example, is more than just gas; it also includes the carburetor, tank, air and fuel filters, gas line, intake manifold, and other components.

Fueling is the most likely cause of a no-start Honda, so we’ll start there. Spark is the second most likely cause, while compression is the least likely.

Is It Time For A Honda Tune-Up?

Service your Honda engine at least once a season, preferably in the spring. Oil, plug, air filter, fuel filter (if applicable), and replacement blade are included in the tune-up kit (optional). A GCV 160 or GCV 190cc Honda engine is most likely.

Test The Choke System

If the choke is broken, your mower will not start. The next step is to check that the choke system is working properly. The proper starting process is giving a cold engine extra gas to enrich the fuel/air combination, which a cold engine needs for a smooth start. To reach a fuel-enriched condition, Honda employs a choke plate arrangement.

If the choke is broken, your mower will not start. The choke will be controlled via a throttle lever on the manual variant. There will be no choke lever on the auto-choke version. Instead, a wax thermostat in the cylinder head heats up and opens the choke plate through a lever.

The throttle should be switched to the run position once the mower has started. Ensure the choke plate is fully open (off), as shown in the picture. Adjust the cable if necessary. A sticky choke will make the engine operate poorly and cause the muffler to blow black smoke.

Your Honda may have an automatic choke. If this is the case, the choke plate should be open. If not, the choke thermostat in the muffler should be replaced. If your choke system appears to be in good working order, proceed to clean the gas bowl.

The Problem With Ethanol Gas

Honda advises against using fuels that contain more than 10% ethanol. Ethanol is a plant-based alcohol fuel manufactured from sugar, corn, and other plants. To make ethanol, this alcohol is mixed with gas. The carburetor’s rubber seals and hoses are said to be damaged by the alcohol concentration of the ethanol.

Honda mower engines are not compatible with E15, including 15% ethanol. Your mower was not meant to run at these temperatures since E15 burns hotter than other fuels. Ethanol absorbs water vapor from the air. Moisture collects in the carburetor if the fuel is left in the mower throughout the winter.

Corrosion frequently occurs, resulting in a varnish-like layer that clogs the ports. This is what causes the slow start and bad running. Check out the “How to winterize your mower video” for assistance in preparing your Honda for hibernation.

Gas Stabilizer

Unless you apply a fuel stabilizer, regular gas older than three months is stale. After one month, ethanol fuels go stale. The most common cause of a no-start or poor performance is a lack of gas. Many of these problems can be avoided by using a stabilizer. You don’t have to use the stabilizer throughout the season, but you should do it near the end and while winterizing the mower.

What Makes It Difficult To Start A Lawnmower?

The gasoline filter may have become clogged. If you leave leftover lawn mower fuel in the fuel line, the fuel filter will likely clog. If part of the fuel’s constituents evaporates, the gasoline will thicken and become stickier. When using this sticky fuel, the fuel filter can become blocked with dirt, making it impossible for the engine to start.

Why Is It So Difficult For My Lawnmower To Start?

Check for damaged or loose pins on your mower’s spark plug, remove debris, tighten the pins, and reseal the pin. Filters should be cleaned or returned if they are unclean. By tapping the carburetor’s side, you can allow gas to flow. If this does not work, you may require to replace the gasoline filter.

In The Winter, How Do You Start A Riding Lawn Mower?

Temperatures of 0 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for properly running engines to run 4 to 7 times faster. Replace the choke lever, at least partially, while warming up. The engine should be able to run without the choke after around 10-15 seconds.

How Do I Start My Lawnmower When It’s Cold Outside?

  • The spark plug tip should be brushed with the wire brush because it is responsible for eliminating any carbon and oil particles.
  • Press your thumb three times on the primer at the air filter cover, then let the primer return upward when you remove your thumb.
  • Make certain your lawnmower is turned on.

Does A Honda GCV160 Have A Fuel Filter?

Just within the fuel tank, where the fuel line joins the tank, is where you’ll find the fuel filter. First, remove the tank from the lawn mower engine’s body to access the filter.

How Do You Start A Honda GCV160 Easy Start?

  • The fuel valve on the engine’s side should be turned 90 degrees in the opposite direction to the “On” position.
  • Put the flywheel brake control in the “Run” position. It is located above the throttle/choke lever.
  • While slowly allowing the rope to feed back into the machine, pull firmly on the starter cord.


So, what if Honda GCV160 Hard To Start When Cold? You have read all instructions given above. Tell me if you have found it helpful.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it so difficult to start my Honda mower?

Honda’s most common solution The lawnmower is difficult to start. The carburetor may be clogged possibly. .’s Leaving fuel in the trimmer for an extended period of time is the most common cause of a blocked carburetor. There may be an increase in stickiness and thickening of the fuel’s ingredients over time.

Why won’t my Honda GCV 160 start?

If it doesn’t start, double-check that the spark plug is clean and in good operating order and that the fuel tank is full. If that doesn’t work, have an authorized dealer examine the engine. Check the air filter for debris and damage if the engine loses power, and make sure the gasoline is fresh.

What kind of oil does a Honda gcv160 take?

If the temperature is above 50 degrees F, Honda recommends 10W30, although 5W30 or SAE 30 can also be utilized (11 degrees C). API standard SJ or later is required for this oil. To check the oil level, remove the dipstick from the filler neck, wipe away any excess oil, and then replace the dipstick.

Why do Honda tiny engines perform so well?

Because the cylinders and heads are linked together as a package, head gasket or bolt failure is avoided, and heat flow between the engine’s two components increases, enhancing reliability.

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