Honda GCV160 Engine - will not start

john1906June 19, 2014

So my mower's idle started loping last season, fall 2013. So this year I changed the oil and the spark plug and gapped it. It still ran with the lope, but it ran. Now, after about 4 hours run time since the change, it started shutting off on me, and sometimes I could get it to start after several pulls - it would either start at a very low idle and die off, or start at a low idle and ramp up. Now, it will not start at all. I see oil in the air filter, and I'm pretty sure I smell fuel in the oil. The plug is not too dirty, but it did have some carbon on it that easily came off with a wire brush. Any ideas???

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You will want to know that the choke is working- closing for your cold start and gradually opening as it runs up. You could also remove the fuel bowl (10 MM) and inspect for water / debris / old fuel . These can be quick cleaned many times by blowing up through the center stem with carb spray and /or compressed air.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 8:17PM
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Thanks for the reply. The plastic arm returns to the closed position as it always has. Why would there be gas in the oil though, faulty gasket?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 10:43AM
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Do you ever tilt the mower up on one side or hang it up to save space? If you do, you may be raising the exhaust side which will let oil contaminate the air filter. Gas usually gets into the oil when the carburetor continues to allow fuel in after shutting off the mower. The carb floods and gas gets into the oil. Any time you pick up one side of the mower, it has to be the carb side. That's why they always put the oil fill tube on the side opposite the carb, so you can drain the old oil without causing a problem.
If your pleated air filter is oily, the engine may not run, or it may run 'rich', which will produce carbon and cause the oil to smell like gas. The Honda carb also has a drain plug bolt, so you don't have to remove the fuel bowl to flush it out.
The oily air filter might be why its not running. Maybe you are the only one who knows how it got oily.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 9:54AM
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