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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3
    Location
    North Carolina
    Mower
    Hustler

    Hustler Sport 42 w-Honda GXV530 16HP Engine - Intermittent Start Problems

    I've been having problems for the past couple of years getting my mower to start when I am ready to mow the lawn. In something like 80 percent of the time, when I go out to start the mower it will not fire up on my initial attempt. The battery is strong, the starter is strong, the plugs are clean and there is a healthy spark from each plug. The fuel is reaching the carburetor (always ethanol free fuel and treated with Startron fuel stabilizer). Choke is working properly. In my attempts to start the mower, I never engage the starter for more than 5 or 6 seconds each time but usually give it 8 to 10 attempts before I give up.

    Here's how it usually goes. I go out to start the mower (no particular time of day) and climb aboard, fully engage the choke and place throttle fully forward (full throttle), turn the key and engine turns over strong but will not fire. After several attempts over a few minutes, and without the least bit of fire, (choke on, choke off, choke at mid point) I give up and when I return later that day or the next, the engine (most of the time) fires up like it should. On rare occasion, I have gotten the engine to start in as little as several minutes after my initial attempt. If you've been following along, and particularly with my last couple of statements, you might conclude (as I did) that the engine is flooding but I'm nearly for certain that this is not the case, at least when I have checked or inspected for this cause... no unusual strong smell of fuel, spark plugs not wet, with all parts removed from around the carb, choke and throttle seem to be working properly with fuel entering carb and with the carb exposed, it's quick and easy to dry out the carb of any excess fuel when I've even remotely suspected this to be the case.

    I have experimented with the throttle and choke over these many months, with no clear advantage one way or the other, except that I can remember one time (only) that the (cold) engine started on a warm day without full throttle and/or fully engaged choke. I have, on more than one occasion, removed the parts surrounding the carb (flywheel cover, air cleaner housing, etc.) to inspect the carb, carb linkage, choke, and basically clean the surfaces with carb cleaner, followed by spraying a bit of WD-40 on the movable exterior parts surrounding the carb.

    I'm familiar with the basics of how combustion engines work and have pretty much been able to maintain and service my vehicles and small engine lawn and garden equipment over the decades. Having said that, I do not consider myself a mechanic by any stretch of the imagination. Because this is an intermittent problem and I have (so far) always been able to eventually get the engine started, I have been unable to track down and correct the problem. At this point I'm thinking the problem has been and continues to be electrical in nature though I'm stumped that the problem has gone on for so long and it still will fire up after a period of time between attempts.

    Additional Info: I use my mover every week to 10 days from April thru mid November. Takes about 45 minutes to cut the lawn each time. Use is less than 50 hours per year.

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  3. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    6,158
    Location
    Australia
    Mower
    Victa slashers & Push , Rover Rancher II's, Cox ( several ) & White LT120 + GT 200

    Re: Hustler Sport 42 w-Honda GXV530 16HP Engine - Intermittent Start Problems

    Really sounds like bad fuel.
    However if you turn over the engine for a few minutes ( in total ) , it has not fired then the plugs should be a little damp.
    Get someone to crank the engine while you sniff the exhaust.
    If it does not smell strongly of fuel then you have a fuel supply problem.
    Try a touch of starter fluid down the carb throat.
    Engine fire strait up then that confirms fuel supply problem .

    Try warming up the plugs with a propane torch and then try starting.
    Fires right up = bad fuel.
    There is a tiny amount of the fuel that forms a vapour at low temperatures which is needed to start a cold engine.
    Right out of the pump some times what comes out is short this fraction so no matter what it just won't start.

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3
    Location
    North Carolina
    Mower
    Hustler

    Re: Hustler Sport 42 w-Honda GXV530 16HP Engine - Intermittent Start Problems

    Thanks for the response and info bertsmobile1. It does sound like the problem could be bad fuel or a fuel supply problem but I'm pretty sure this is not the case here. None the less, I did suspect bad fuel or a fuel supply problem early on in my initial diagnoses nearly 2 years ago. The first major effort I took concerning this problem was to remove and empty the fuel tank, clean the tank, remove and flush out the fuel line all the way to the carburetor, changed the filter, and refilled with fresh fuel. As with all other attempts to remedy this "intermittent" start problem, I've had a couple of times when I thought the problem was solved only to find out the next time (a week or so later) that I'm right back where I started with the mower failing to start.

    A little more background... I own 3 boats with 140 to150 HP outboards, and often run offshore up to 50 miles from land. I'm anal about using fresh, clean fuel and so I'm aware of the many of the common problems related to fuel and fuel systems that can leave one stranded far out to sea in a life threatening situation. Here at home, aside from my Hustler zero turn, I own and use 2 push mowers, 3 chain saws, a log splitter, two garden tillers, a yard vacuum, two weed eaters, and a hedge trimmer and have maintained these and many other similar types of gasoline powered lawn and yard equipment over the past 50 or so years. Also note that I purposely keep only enough fuel to last 30 or so days so I'm constantly replenishing my fuel supply on a regular basis. No other of my gasoline engines have experienced fuel related issues over this same period of time, or for many, many years for that matter, and all my yard and garden equipment uses the same source of fuel. I try to service and maintain all my small engine equipment myself and usually I'm able to diagnose and repair just about all the minor issues a fellow might come up against trying to do so but this problem has been long lasting and so far has gotten me stumped.

    Having said all that, I'm going to run down each point you've made tomorrow (or the next time I'm unable to start the mower on the first attempt) and see if I've missed something that you have mentioned that might help me solve this problem.

  5. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    1
    Location
    Florida
    Mower
    Hustler

    Re: Hustler Sport 42 w-Honda GXV530 16HP Engine - Intermittent Start Problems

    Hi I am new on this site and am not very good on these computers. I acquired a hustler fastrak mini about 10 to 15 years old, while mowing the lawn I could smell wire burning. I shut off the mower and lifted the seat and could see smoke coming off the rectifier which within minutes caught fire. I disconnected the battery and removed the rectifier, the back of which had a exposed circuit board that at one time was covered with a insulating material (tar like) which had melted the bare connections were grounding out on the frame of the mower.
    I believe the rectifier overheated and should have been mounted with a gap between the rectifier and the frame of the machine allowing for air cooling. I am now in the process of trying to find a part number from Honda for a replacement rectifier.

  6. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    1
    Location
    Australia
    Mower
    Hustler

    Re: Hustler Sport 42 w-Honda GXV530 16HP Engine - Intermittent Start Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by HS42 View Post
    Thanks for the response and info bertsmobile1. It does sound like the problem could be bad fuel or a fuel supply problem but I'm pretty sure this is not the case here. None the less, I did suspect bad fuel or a fuel supply problem early on in my initial diagnoses nearly 2 years ago. The first major effort I took concerning this problem was to remove and empty the fuel tank, clean the tank, remove and flush out the fuel line all the way to the carburetor, changed the filter, and refilled with fresh fuel. As with all other attempts to remedy this "intermittent" start problem, I've had a couple of times when I thought the problem was solved only to find out the next time (a week or so later) that I'm right back where I started with the mower failing to start.

    A little more background... I own 3 boats with 140 to150 HP outboards, and often run offshore up to 50 miles from land. I'm anal about using fresh, clean fuel and so I'm aware of the many of the common problems related to fuel and fuel systems that can leave one stranded far out to sea in a life threatening situation. Here at home, aside from my Hustler zero turn, I own and use 2 push mowers, 3 chain saws, a log splitter, two garden tillers, a yard vacuum, two weed eaters, and a hedge trimmer and have maintained these and many other similar types of gasoline powered lawn and yard equipment over the past 50 or so years. Also note that I purposely keep only enough fuel to last 30 or so days so I'm constantly replenishing my fuel supply on a regular basis. No other of my gasoline engines have experienced fuel related issues over this same period of time, or for many, many years for that matter, and all my yard and garden equipment uses the same source of fuel. I try to service and maintain all my small engine equipment myself and usually I'm able to diagnose and repair just about all the minor issues a fellow might come up against trying to do so but this problem has been long lasting and so far has gotten me stumped.

    Having said all that, I'm going to run down each point you've made tomorrow (or the next time I'm unable to start the mower on the first attempt) and see if I've missed something that you have mentioned that might help me solve this problem.
    Hi there,
    I have been having the same issues as yourself with intermittent starting problems with the same mower. I also believe it to be an electrical issue. I was wondering if you had solved the problem.?

  7. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    6,158
    Location
    Australia
    Mower
    Victa slashers & Push , Rover Rancher II's, Cox ( several ) & White LT120 + GT 200

    Re: Hustler Sport 42 w-Honda GXV530 16HP Engine - Intermittent Start Problems

    It is a bitch when people don't get back and let you know how they went.
    Run through what he was advised to do & let us know how you went.
    When I have a gremlin problem the last resort is the colortune so I can see into the cylinder and see what is happening.

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