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  1. #41

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    12,733
    Location
    Australia
    Mower
    Victa slashers & Push , Rover Rancher II's, Cox ( several ) & White LT120 + GT 200

    Re: Honda Autochoke FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by wdwalsh56 View Post
    First, thanks for the info on the auto-choke issue. After getting over Honda design being the fault of my no start issue, I purchased a thermowax plunger and is looking forward to repairing the auto-choke. The two 10mm bolts are torque value 10nm, and suggest you purchase all the gaskets to start fresh. Download a Honda schematic to put the parts in order and start with putting the bolts on the air cleaner first.

    Appreciate your info here...
    If you are going to own this mower for a while, time to make some special tools.
    Take your carburettor mounting bolts to a specalist nut & bolt shop and buy a pair that are about 1/2" to 1" shorter.
    Now go home and cut the heads off then cut a screwdriver slot where the head used to be.
    Screw these 2 "assembly guides" into the engine block , then slide all of the parts over them.
    Being shorter than the original bolts you have enough space to engage the "Z" bend easily.
    When everything is in position replace your "special tools" with the Honda bolts 1 at a time.
    Put them in a sandwich bag with a name strip on it, name them and forget where you stored them safely for future use.
    If your engine has studs then do the same thing after removing the studs except that you will need to tighten them back up before the air filter goes on as there will not be enough room to double nut to tighten the stud with the air cleaner on.

    GEtting all those gaskets & heat shields in place is the only PIA job but this makes it a lot easier

  2. #42

    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    9
    Location
    California
    Mower
    Honda

    Re: Honda Autochoke FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by bertsmobile1 View Post
    If you are going to own this mower for a while, time to make some special tools.
    Take your carburettor mounting bolts to a specalist nut & bolt shop and buy a pair that are about 1/2" to 1" shorter.
    Now go home and cut the heads off then cut a screwdriver slot where the head used to be.
    Screw these 2 "assembly guides" into the engine block , then slide all of the parts over them.
    Being shorter than the original bolts you have enough space to engage the "Z" bend easily.
    When everything is in position replace your "special tools" with the Honda bolts 1 at a time.
    Put them in a sandwich bag with a name strip on it, name them and forget where you stored them safely for future use.
    If your engine has studs then do the same thing after removing the studs except that you will need to tighten them back up before the air filter goes on as there will not be enough room to double nut to tighten the stud with the air cleaner on.

    GEtting all those gaskets & heat shields in place is the only PIA job but this makes it a lot easier
    Thanks... Honda also makes studs just as you described for installation.

  3. #43

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    12,733
    Location
    Australia
    Mower
    Victa slashers & Push , Rover Rancher II's, Cox ( several ) & White LT120 + GT 200

    Re: Honda Autochoke FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by wdwalsh56 View Post
    Thanks... Honda also makes studs just as you described for installation.
    Gees & I thought I was being so so cleaver.
    Oh well it will at least get me one rung higher towards a reinventing the wheel award.

  4. #44

    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    9
    Location
    California
    Mower
    Honda

    Re: Honda Autochoke FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by bertsmobile1 View Post
    Gees & I thought I was being so so cleaver.
    Oh well it will at least get me one rung higher towards a reinventing the wheel award.
    The Honda bolts are M6 x 1.0mm and 85mm long. Got a bolt specialty store and going to try 100mm and cut off the head, will that work? I can leave the z bend throttle link on.

  5. #45

    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    9
    Location
    California
    Mower
    Honda

    Re: Honda Autochoke FAQ

    Thought you might like to see a bad thermowax plunger.
    Attachment 36832Attachment 36832

    Honda has ignored my inquiry on this issue, and I have put up with it for a lot of years. For a 10 dollar part, if I knew now, it could have been fixed a long time ago. Happy now that I know what is wrong.

  6. #46

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    12,733
    Location
    Australia
    Mower
    Victa slashers & Push , Rover Rancher II's, Cox ( several ) & White LT120 + GT 200

    Re: Honda Autochoke FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by wdwalsh56 View Post
    The Honda bolts are M6 x 1.0mm and 85mm long. Got a bolt specialty store and going to try 100mm and cut off the head, will that work? I can leave the z bend throttle link on.
    Should be.
    They do not have to come right out of the end as the last bit is quite thick.
    I do a lot of fire pumps fitted with Honda engines and the idiot moron bastards who designed the set up went to great lengths to get a perfect balance inside the carrying frame, while ensuring that the outlets were exactly square to the carrying frame.
    As such the carb mounting bolt sits directly in line with a frame rail and the frame itself makes direct removal of the carb impossible .
    On the privately owned ones I pull the frame off, weld a new strap on the bottom to rotate the unit 15 deg in the frame so it can be serviced easily.
    That can not be done on the ones the fire brigade owns, thus the alignment "tool"

    Another tech I associate with turned down a couple of biro cases to do the same job

  7. #47

    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    9
    Location
    California
    Mower
    Honda

    Re: Honda Autochoke FAQ

    Thanks to this thread, one pull and started right up. The choke is wide open when warmed up.

  8. #48

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    17
    Location
    southern Illinois
    Mower
    Honda HRX217VKA, 2019

    Re: Honda Autochoke FAQ

    [QUOTE=robert@honda;181192]This post will help you understand a bit more about the Autochoke system found on most modern Honda mowers, and on many other mower brands that use Honda engines fitted with Autochoke. There are also details about the Honda Service Bulletin (January 2014) related to Autochoke.

    [Thanks for the informative post on auto choke. I have run into wax motors before, particularly on my Maytag dishwasher. A wax motor (electrically heated wax) opens the soap dispenser. When it went bad I had a hard time troubleshooting it because it still worked, just not fast enough to open the dispenser before the power was removed from the motor by the timing circuit. It would seem that they get slower with age.

  9. #49

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    11
    Location
    Texas
    Mower
    Honda

    Re: Honda Autochoke FAQ

    Quote Originally Posted by robert@honda View Post
    This post will help you understand a bit more about the Autochoke system found on most modern Honda mowers, and on many other mower brands that use Honda engines fitted with Autochoke. There are also details about the Honda Service Bulletin (January 2014) related to Autochoke.

    Background:
    Engines with carburetors need a mixture of air and fuel to run. When an engine is cold, it needs less air at first, and after warming up, needs more air. A controllable restrictor or choke plate is used to make this work on Honda engines. Other designs use a primer bulb to manually inject more fuel for starting, but either version gets the job done by temporarily changing the mixture of fuel and air.

    Until recently, many Honda engines had a manual choke built into the throttle cable and control. When you moved the throttle past the FAST position and into CHOKE, the choke plate was closed. After the engine was warmed up, you'd move the lever out of CHOKE and into FAST. This held the choke plate fully open so maximum air could flow.

    However, many first-time users of mowers did not understand or realize the purpose of the choke, how to use it correctly, and this resulted in hard or no-start conditions. Further, the control cable could become bent or broken when folding the handlebars for storage, there was extra cost for the parts, exhaust emissions would be worse if the choke was used improperly, the list goes on and on, so there was a lot of good reasons to automate the choke process during engine start-up.

    How Honda's Autochoke Works:
    On a cold engine, a spring puts constant pressure on the CHOKE CONTROL ARM (blue) to hold the CHOKE PLATE (pink) closed. After the engine is started, heat from the engine warms up the WAX CYLINDER (yellow) causing the wax to expand, pushing the PISTON (purple) out and forcing the CHOKE CONTROL ARM into the opposite direction; the CHOKE PLATE is then opened, allowing more air to enter the engine.

    When the engine is turned off and cools, the wax inside the WAX CYLINDER cools and contracts, and the SPRING pushes back on the CHOKE CONTROL ARM. The CHOKE PLATE is moved back into the closed position as the PISTON is retracted back into the WAX CYLINDER.

    Common Symptoms and Issues:
    If the mower is hard or impossible to start, it could be because the Autochoke is not working. There may also be many other things that can make for hard starting, so don't be too quick to think it is the Autochoke. Clogged carburetors, stale gasoline, plugged air filters, bad spark plug, etc. can and are frequently the most common reasons for poor starting and/or running issues.

    Special Note About Warm-Up:
    A frequent complaint is when an engine starts, but is then shut down before being fully warmed up, and then won't restart. This typically can happen when using the mower in cooler weather. If the engine is not run for at least 3 minutes, it is possible for it to not fully warm-up, but still get warm enough to activate the Autochoke. Restart attempts may fail, since the choke plate is open but the engine is still too cold to start/run with too much air flowing. If this happens, let the engine cool off a while, so the choke plate can return to the closed position, then when you restart, be sure to let the engine run for a full 3 minutes before you attempt a shut-down and restart.

    How to Inspect / Check the Autochoke:
    1. When the engine is completely cold, remove the air cleaner cover and filter element. Look in the opening and confirm the choke plate is completely closed.

    2. If the choke plate is open, even partially, the linkage may be sticking; skip to step 4.

    3. If the choke is fully closed, start the engine and let it run for at least 3 minutes. Shut off the engine and confirm the choke plate has fully opened. Allow the engine to cool for at least 30 minutes. Re-check and confirm the choke plate has fully closed. Repeat this step; the choke plate must fully open after 3 minutes of operation, and fully close after the engine has cooled for 30 minutes. If all this checks out, the Autochoke is working properly.

    4. In January 2013, Honda issued a Service Bulletin about the Autochoke. A limited number of Honda mowers may have a defective Autochoke linkage (usually binding or sticking). A mower with a defective Autochoke that is still under warranty is usually repaired at no charge when done by an authorized Honda dealer. Both the Autochoke linkage and the wax cylinder and may be replaced under warranty. It is important to note not all mowers with Autochoke have a defective part, and hard or difficult starting may be caused by other problems (dirty carburetor, clogged air filter, etc.).

    Where To Find The Serial Number:
    Look on the back of the mower deck:



    Affected Honda Mower Models & Serial Number Range
    Mower Model Name Serial Number Range
    HRR216K8 MZCG-8400001~MZCG-8669999
    HRR216K9 MZCG-8670001~MZCG-9100553
    HRX217K3 MAGA-2069723~MAGA-2199999
    HRX217K4 MAGA-2200001~MAGA-2325178

    What About My Honda Engine on Brand X Mower?
    Check the engine serial number on the side of the engine block; it is etched, and may be hard to see, so use a flashlilght; here are the affected GCV160 or GCV190 engines that may have a defective Autochoke.

    Honda GCV160 Engines:

    GJAPA-1000001~GJAPA-2295257
    GJAPA-1546575~GJAPA-2295257
    GJAPA-1000001~GJAPA-4630773
    Honda GCV190 Engines:
    GJAPA-3180269~GJAPA-4630773
    GJAPA-1000001~GJAPA-7147598

    If you think the Autochoke is not working properly on your Honda engine, and it is on a non-Honda mower, warranty repairs must be done by a Honda Engine Dealer; find one using this link:

    Find a Honda Engine Dealer

    What To Do Next (if Autochoke is not working properly AND your 100% Honda mower is in the affected range):
    Have a Honda Mower Dealer inspect and evaluate; they can confirm if the choke is defective, determine warranty status, and perform repairs. Be sure to have the dealer confirm what will or will not be covered under warranty before authorizing any work. Find a Honda Mower dealer using this link:

    Find A Honda Dealer

    How to Find Out if Your Honda Mower or Honda Engine is Still Under Warranty:
    Three ways to find out:
    a. Drop me a PM with the serial number; I can look it up for you.
    b. Call your Honda dealer and ask them to find out.
    c. Call Honda Customer Relations: 770-497-6400

    Why didn't Honda contact me about this Service Bulletin?
    For service issues that are NOT safety-related, Honda issues the Service Bulletin to dealers only. This Autochoke issue is not safety-related, and is covered under the factory warranty.
    Safety-related issues are Product Recalls, and Honda will always send notification to registered owner by mail. Work required by a Product Recall will be done on any affected product, regardless of warranty status.

    Where Can I Get a Copy of My Warranty?
    Here's a link: Honda Power Equipment Warranty
    Can this cause a backfire when engine is hot? Engine starts well when cold but it will make one backfire and starts and runs great when hot. Valves are adjusted. Wax cylinder has never been replaced and my mower falls under the serial numbers listed.

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