Honda Generators Starting Troubleshooting

Bonnie Conrad

Having a Honda generator allows a home to function normally when the power goes out. As long as the generator is working, you can keep your lights on, keep the food in your freezer from spoiling and keep your family from freezing in the event of a power outage.

With so much at stake, all Honda generator owners should know what steps to take if that machine refuses to start.

Check the Fuel

One of the most common causes of starting problems with Honda generators—and other brands for that matter—is deteriorated fuel. The fuel you use in your generator can degrade over time, and that deterioration can cause the generator to have startup problems. Since generators are used only occasionally, fuel deterioration is common. One way to prevent this is to start your generator and run it for at least a few minutes once or twice a month. If you suspect fuel deterioration is the cause of your generator's problem, you can drain the fuel tank and replace the old fuel with fresh fuel. Many Honda generators suffer from hard starting, especially in cold weather. It may take a bit of coaxing to get those motors to start if the weather is cold, but keeping the generator in a warm garage or other heated or insulated space can help a lot.

Clogged and Dirty Air Filters

Clogged and dirty air filters also can make it hard for a generator to start. If the air filter in your generator has become clogged, this could prevent sufficient air from getting into the system, and that could interfere with fuel combustion. Since air filter problems are often the cause of starting problems, keep a spare air filter on hand. If the generator will not start, remove the old air filter, replace it with the new one and try to start the generator again. Honda generators can be particularly sensitive to dirt trapped in the air filter. Even if the air filter does not look dirty, it might need to be replaced.

Spark Plug Issues

Another common startup problem with Honda generators is a worn out or fouled spark plug. Check the condition of your spark plug each time you run your generator, and keep a spare spark plug on hand in case it's needed. Honda generators are prone to flooding, so be on the lookout for things like wet spark plugs. Wet spark plugs may indicate that the generator is flooding.