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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    4
    Location
    Ohio
    Mower
    Honda

    Honda mower only runs in full choke mode

    My Honda is roughly 10 yrs old, model HRB216TDA. The specs online say it's engine is a Honda OHV/OHC Premium Residential engine. It just recently started running only in full choke mode.

    Used to be when I forgot to throttle back from full choke, it would sound funny and run slower but now on full choke, it sounds and acts normal. When I throttle it back to the normal setting, it dies immediately. Doesn't even sputter, just flat dies.

    Does someone have any idea what's wrong? If it's a dirty carburetor, is there an additive I can run through it or does it call for a rebuild? I checked to see if the throttle cable might have slipped out of position but the way it's made, it's pretty well locked in place and can't move.

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  3. #2

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    4
    Location
    Ohio
    Mower
    Honda

    Re: Honda mower only runs in full choke mode

    Forgot one other thing: at the end of each season I drain the gas, then run the mower with the little bit left in it until it quits. My gas always has Stabil in it. And the mower always starts on the first pull. So far, it's been an amazing mower.

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    428
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Mower
    Eager

    Re: Honda mower only runs in full choke mode

    You've got a fuel-starvation problem. Wouldn't hurt to go through the fuel system from tank to line to carburetor including fuel bowl under the carb. Could be some dirt or water in the float bowl. Would be a good idea to drain it anyway, let all that old gas out. Sediments will settle out and interfere with the fuel pickup causing fuel starvation issues. Knowing that I had clean fuel from tank to carb to pickup tube, I'd then look to richen up the carburetor with the mixture screw to give it a bit more gas so it wouldn't be running on Choke. More than likely you will have to clean the carburetor good and make sure all the orifices, jet, pickup tube,etc. are clean and free of any varnish which may be clogging them. I'd clean it first with a can of carburetor cleaner, cleaning out every hole I could see. Then as a last resort, take the carburetor off and dis-assemble it and soak it, blow it off with compressed air and re-assemble with new carburetor kit. In many cases the carburetor cleaner is sufficient. Hope this helps some.

  5. #4

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    223
    Location
    Inside the Beltway in Virginia
    Mower
    Old Honda HRS-21

    Re: Honda mower only runs in full choke mode

    I'll second that. All it takes is a drop of gas to sit in there all winter and harden to varnish, and viola! Clogged carb.

  6. #5

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    4
    Location
    Ohio
    Mower
    Honda

    Re: Honda mower only runs in full choke mode

    OK, thanks. I thought I had a pretty good winterizing protocol but I guess after 10 yrs it's probably time to rebuild the carb anyway.

  7. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    48
    Location
    Oregon
    Mower
    Honda

    Re: Honda mower only runs in full choke mode

    I had a honda comm. mower with carb issues and took it to a shop and cost me 80 bucks! If you can clean yourself go for it, if you have to take it in look on line and by a replacement/new carb, I got one for less than 50 bucks, bolted it on and it was all set good to go.

  8. #7

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    4
    Location
    Ohio
    Mower
    Honda

    Re: Honda mower only runs in full choke mode

    I'm real handy building and fixing anything......except engines. The more I thought about it and the more I looked at the mower, I guess I chickened out and called our local mower place and wound up taking it in. The price was pretty good though...$40 + parts.

    Didn't think about looking online for a replacement. I maybe could have installed one of those.

  9. #8
    PJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    163
    Location
    South Africa
    Mower
    John Deere

    Quote Originally Posted by JDH12
    My Honda is roughly 10 yrs old, model HRB216TDA. The specs online say it's engine is a Honda OHV/OHC Premium Residential engine. It just recently started running only in full choke mode.

    Used to be when I forgot to throttle back from full choke, it would sound funny and run slower but now on full choke, it sounds and acts normal. When I throttle it back to the normal setting, it dies immediately. Doesn't even sputter, just flat dies.

    Does someone have any idea what's wrong? If it's a dirty carburetor, is there an additive I can run through it or does it call for a rebuild? I checked to see if the throttle cable might have slipped out of position but the way it's made, it's pretty well locked in place and can't move.
    Sounds like fuel starvation (dirty or defects in th carb) only one way remove clean and check the carburator things like yet block diafram broken or water in the fuel.
    Regards PJ

  10. #9
    robert@honda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    802
    Location
    Georgia
    Mower
    Honda

    Re: Honda mower only runs in full choke mode

    Only runs smooth on choke usually means there's blockage somewhere in the carb, often in the main jet or nozzle area.

    Depending on the specific mower, it can be cheaper/faster/less drama to simply replace the carb. Many Honda carbs are less than $25, and save you a lot of time and frustration trying to perfectly disassemble, clean, and reassemble one.

    To R&R the carb, it's a simple procedure, usually just two 10mm bolts that hold the air cleaner and carb onto the engine. Disconnect the throttle, choke, and governor linkage, and off it comes. Be sure to use new gaskets when installing a new or rebuilt carb.

    "Modern" fuels don't last like they used to anymore. I try never to use any fuel that's more than 3 months old, and always treat it with Seafoam or Sta-Bil anyway. Of course, always run the mower dry, and drain the bowl on the carb when you put the mower away for the season.
    - - -
    Robert@Honda
    Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding was my opinion alone.

  11. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    48
    Location
    Oregon
    Mower
    Honda

    Re: Honda mower only runs in full choke mode

    Nice reply Robert, you have helped me a lot in the past. I always use premium/non-ethanol fuel in my small engines. I too shut my fuel supply off and run dry, but I never thought about draining the float bowl. That would be easy to do, and should help. I'll definitely start doing that also, thanks bob

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