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Honda Lawn Mower Won’t Start

This Easy Fix Works on All Brands

Estimated reading time 5:30

Have you ever dealt with a hard-starting lawn mower? If your Honda lawn mower won’t start after spending the winter in storage (or any other mower brand, for that matter), it could be due to several issues. It’s often due to damage caused by the ethanol in pump gasoline. Before you pull your hair out and waste time taking it to the repair shop, do some simple troubleshooting:


  • Is there fuel in the tank?
  • Are the choke and gas on?
  • Does it have enough oil? Also, change the oil at least once a season.
  • Is the air filter dirty?
  • Is the bail lever operational?
  • Is the wire connected to the spark plug?

If you check off these items, one more simple and inexpensive trick can get a hard-starting lawn mower running like new again, and it can prevent a big headache. This trick not only works for a Honda lawn mower that won’t start but also for other brands, plus generators, leaf blowers, and snow blowers – pretty much any type of gas-powered two and four-cycle outdoor power equipment.


A solid piece of outdoor power equipment (OPE) is an investment. A Honda lawn mower can cost over $1,000, depending on the model. The same applies to any quality brand. Therefore, it’s reasonable to expect it to perform and last.


Few things are as annoying with yard work as when your OPE won’t start. If you’ve owned a piece of portable gas-powered outdoor equipment for any length, you’ve likely experienced this agonizing moment of futility at some point.


A gummed-up carburetor is a common reason a Honda lawn mower won’t start. As previously mentioned, pump gas is often the culprit for hard-starting equipment. Why is that?


Most people power their equipment with pump gas, assuming that it will work fine in their hedge trimmer or generator if it’s good enough for their vehicle. In reality, pump gas is one of the worst things you could put in your OPE unless you like the idea of spending wads of money on repairs or, worse yet, replacing your equipment.

Why Pump Gas is Bad for Outdoor Power Equipment

As noted, what you put in the gas tank can be a big reason your Honda lawn mower, string trimmer, or hedge trimmer won’t start. Hard-starting equipment is more typical after it’s been in storage during the off-season. Refineries design pump gas for cars and trucks, which are bigger and have sophisticated computer systems that monitor the air/fuel mixture.


The engine on a piece of small equipment runs between 10K-14K RPMs. It operates like a small racing engine. Manufacturers finely tune these engines with very close tolerances. Additionally, the smaller parts of a 2-cycle or 4-cycle engine are susceptible to the tiniest amounts of gum and corrosion, which leads to hard starts and damages the engine.


Furthermore, they blend pump gas with ethanol, which is an oxygenate. That’s great for cars but not for small engines. For instance, when pump gas sits idle in the tank, the ethanol absorbs water and soon separates from the gas. They call this process phase separation.


In addition, water promotes corrosion, which eats away the vital components in your expensive equipment as it sits for months in storage. Another critical point is that pump gas degrades fast and forms gums faster. Adding a fuel stabilizer helps, but stabilizers won’t undo the damage already caused by using ethanol-blended gasoline.


Pump gasoline degrades quickly and can become almost unusable within 30 to 60 days. The build-up of gums, varnish, and corrosion is likely the reason for hard-starting equipment and equipment failure. Moreover, the continued use of pump gas in OPE causes it to operate less efficiently. Now you see why your lawn mower won’t start.

VP Fix-It-Fuel® – Lawn Mower Gas Treatment

Repairs Lawn Mowers & Other OPE That Won’t Start

We’ll let you in on a little secret if your chainsaw, string trimmer, or lawn mower won’t start. One quick, easy, and inexpensive way to repair outdoor power equipment that won’t start.


What if we told you that there was a lawn mower gas treatment that would almost instantly clean and fix small 4-cycle and 2-cycle OPE engines damaged by ethanol-blended fuel? Or that this product saves you the pain and expense of engine rebuilds or replacing your equipment? This gas treatment isn’t a mythical product or a magical potion: it’s VP Fix-It-Fuel®.


VP Fix-It-Fuel is an ethanol-free, pre-mixed gas and oil blend that works in any 2-cycle engine application that calls for a 40:1 or 50:1 fuel/oil mix. It also works excellent in 4-cycle small engine applications, like a generator or mower.


Fix-It-Fuel’s small amount of oil provides some top-end lube for hard-to-start engines. It also lubricates vital engine parts before storage. It may cause minor temporary smoking in 4-cycle equipment, but it’s safe to use on this limited basis and will improve ring seal and top-end lubrication.


We engineer our lawn mower gas treatment as a single-use product for poor or non-running engines damaged by pump gas with ethanol. It cleans and repairs fuel systems without having to remove the carburetor or injectors. Simply pour it into the tank and follow the directions on the label.


In addition, VP Fix-It-Fuel rejuvenates rubber and plastic, safely cleans varnish and carbon deposits, and removes corrosion-causing water. It also helps you avoid costly repairs and downtime.

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When To Use Fix-It-Fuel

And What You Should Use after that

VP Fix-It-Fuel is for all seasons, not just when your lawn mower won’t start. Not only can you use it in your portable outdoor equipment at the start of each season, but you can replace your gas with it and use it as a storage fuel for the off-season. Doing so will keep the engine’s fuel system in top shape and guarantee it will start up at the beginning of the next season.


For best results, use Fix-It-Fuel as pre-treatment before using ETHANOL-FREE VP Small Engine Fuel. We blend our superior fuel blends to prevent ethanol-related problems from occurring in the first place. VP SEF is stable for two years in the tank and five years in a sealed can. It extends engine life, improves equipment performance, and helps you avoid expensive mower repairs or other outdoor power equipment repairs.


Keep in mind that VP has blended specialty fuels for nearly 50 years. We’re not a power equipment company that makes fuel. We’re a fuel company that makes… fuel.

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