How can a Honda mower be this bad?

RetireeRon

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I know no one likes to hear negative things about the products we all like so well, so feel free to skip this one if that’s you.

My HRX217 mower is back in the shop for the sixth time since I bought it new in January 2017. Let’s see, one of the drive wheels wouldn’t work. Both height adjusters have been replaced. Mower wouldn’t pull backwards. Starter rope wouldn’t pull, which was supposed to be due to needing a valve adjustment. Got the mower back and mowed the lawn. Once. The latest episode, which is less than two weeks after the valve issue, is the starter rope will not pull again. Dealer says the engine has a cracked rocker arm. Dealer didn’t see the humor when I asked if there was a Lemon Law for lawnmowers.

Hopefully the new rocker arm will be shipped next week. With several inches of rain coming next week, the grass is going to very tall by then. I wasn’t even going to mention one of the front wheels needs replaced already. I’m pretty confident my last 14 months of covered warranty will see me back at the dealership several more times. Once I have to start paying for all these repairs, it’s by-by Honda mower. Being a 30 year owner of Honda automobiles and power products(as well as a near 30 year associate of the company), I would never have believed one of their products could be so bad.
 

Scrubcadet10

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Cracked rocker seems to be fairly common on that engine/ mower.
 

7394

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Ron- does that have the 5 year warranty ?

This older version w/OHC pictured as a cut-away below has been around for over 20 years & good history.

That newer 170 & bigger w/OHV seems to have the issues.
 

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Rivets

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I agree with Bert, may be the dealer, not the mower. Have you tried contacting Honda directly with your problem. In the passed I found their customer service department to be extremely helpful.
 

gotomow

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When I got my Toro Super Recycler I still had my HRX and side by side I saw that the HRX, even with it's 190cc engine seemed gutless compared to Toro's 159cc powerplant. After almost 7 years of hard to start after warmed up in cool weather, plastic bushings on the drive shaft that made it had to pull back on the HRX I could not stand mine, glad it's gone. Mine was well used during those 7 years and was going to need a drive belt. Honda has a nice video about changing the belt on the HRR series so where is Honda's video on the HRX's? I can only find YouTube video's that are sooooo long they need to be 2 parts! Bahahaha! Come on Honda please publish that video. All the wonderful reviews on the Honda are brand new owners, probably coming from non runners who are just glad the Honda starts and runs.
 
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cruzenmike

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That is some terrible luck with your HRX. It is known that some of the problems that you are having are out there, but it maybe isn't known to what extent; in other words what the failure rate is. I had an HRX with 7 trouble-free years. It was a FANTASTIC mower and exceeded my expectations. I live in SE Michigan and at times put it through some of the thickest, lushest and overgrown lawn without it missing a blade of grass. Regretfully I sold that mower a few years back when I moved out to the rurals and needed a riding mower. I have since purchased a Honda HRS as a trim mower and it has already been in the shop once for the "difficult to pull backward" issue that their entire line-up of belt-driven self-propelled mowers suffers from.

While we know you do not intend to bash Honda as their other products have served you well, your experience with this mower should make you question the product and the dealer that is servicing it. There are a numerous, well known mower brands out here, as well as all of the MTD rebranded machines to choose from. If you are wanting something of quality you can certainly look at the Toro Super Recycler or one of the Toro/Exmark commercial machines. I know that if I end up getting a new mower, I will be choosing from one of those.
 
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