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    Default Trouble with Honda engines in cold weather?

    Has anybody had problems with Honda engines running poorly in cold weather? Mainly on extrication tool power units.

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    I don't think it's any different than any other engine. They don't particularly like the cold. Usually you just have to play with the choke a little more than usual, but that's all I've noticed.

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    Todd,
    We have trouble starting our honda powered equipment, both hydraulic and water pumps if it gets below freezing. We now try to keep our portable hydraulic pump warm on the way to an accident scene.

    We had trouble with firefighters flooding the engine by over choking. Also Honda motors will flood on their own bouncing down the road if the gas isn't shut off. We now use an easy start type plug, a spark plug with an internal air gap, and make sure to always warm the engine fully when started, to dry the spark plug, to help keep it from fouling the next time it is started. I asked a Honda small engine mechanic about our problem and he laughed. He said that is why you don't see Honda engines on snowblowers. The average person can't get one to start when they are cold.

    If we are careful not to flood it, it starts in about 5 pulls instead of the 1 or 2 when it is warmer. We keep several plugs with the pump just in case.

    I wouldn't want to even try to start one in the -25 deg F temps North Dakota's been having. We feel warm here, it got up to 6 deg F today. Good luck and stay warm.

    Brad

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    The trick to starting small engines that are kept in reasonably well tuned shape is to pull choke on full, pull till it coughs once, let off on the choke and pull it again. This is a sure fire garantee. To keep said motor running in cold weather the trick is to use fresh gas, nothing will keep a motor from running poorly in the depths of winter if you use old gas. We know this for sure as for the last week we have had temps at or near -40F. Makes fighting fire a bitch

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    I own a small engine shop and service Honda engines on rescue equipment, fans etc. Here are a few suggestions:

    1. Use a good grade of fuel and always add fuel stabilizer.

    2. When you finish using the equipment, turn off the gas and let
    the engine run until the fuel bowl is dry.

    3. As the previous post suggested, choke the engine until it hits one time, then turn the choke off.

    4. Honda engines seem to start better with a good clean air filter. Again, as the previous post stated, keep it tuned and serviced.

    5. Make sure everyone knows these procedures, I have seen my own firemen trying to start the engine with the fuel off, not choked, etc.........

    I hope this information helps.
    Last edited by arhaney; 01-28-2004 at 11:16 PM.

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    Just another thought, Briggs and Stratton now markets a synthetic motor oil formulated for air cooled engines, this would help a lot in your cold weather starting. I'll check and see if Honda will synthetic motor oils in their engines. Is it still under warranty?

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    Good point about oil.
    Straight 30wt, a commonly prescribed small engine oil turns to molasses at temps below 20F or so.
    A 0w30, 5w30 or 5w20 oil, especially synthetic, will drastically reduce resistance when cold and help starting.

    These oils are commonly used in snowblowers, and the difference is startling.

    Of couse check with the manufacturer which they recommend...

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    Also be sure to use fresh gas. It is formulated by season. It will make a big differance on when your fuel supply was filled. You might be better off filling your can at the local filling station . Just a thought

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    I used to work at a large dairy operation and every small engine we had was Honda. The reason being they were the most reliable and easiest to start on cold winter mornings. Also they were the most durable.

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    Honda reccomends 5W-30 synthetic for operation below 32 degrees.
    The manual also states that it should not be useb above that temp.
    I would use the 5W-30 during the winter and change back to 30W during the summer.

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    So...basically do Briggs and Straton engines perform better in cold weather? The comment about the snowblower hit home. The only snowblowers that I have seen with Honda engines are Honda snowblowers.

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    Tecumseh actually has the largest share of the snowblower market. I was involved in the purchase of our Hurst tools, and we purchased Honda powered equipment, it just seems to perform better. The Briggs and Stratton synthetic oil part # is 100074. Again, the oil is formulated for air cooled engines. Hope this info helps.

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    Originally posted by Bowbreaker
    that is why you don't see Honda engines on snowblowers.
    Meet the mac daddy of all snow blowers...

    11HP 32" Honda powered

    IMHO Fresh gas, right oil, and proper tuning/maint., is the key to starting any small engine. If you pull a Honda more than 3 times and it doesn't start something is wrong (usually operator error). In extreme cold weather I might consider carrying a can of starter fluid.

    At the family hunting camp we have a 15 year old Honda 5000watt generator. I've seen it start when it was so cold the beer froze solid on the back of the snowmobile (and watched my uncles cry). She's getting a little tired now, two weeks ago in the -40 weather they had to put in on top of the camp stove for about 15 minutes each morning to take the chill out of her, but she still ran damn it!
    Last edited by Fire304; 01-31-2004 at 10:33 PM.
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    now that is a a snowblower !!!!!!!
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    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Talking Re: Trouble with Honda engines in cold weather?

    Originally posted by toddman
    Has anybody had problems with Honda engines running poorly in cold weather? Mainly on extrication tool power units.

    Cold Weather? Where? We've been in the "Damn near zero" lower end of the thermometer (6f last night, 16 as I type this at 09:40) for quite a while. This winter has been colder than normal, but thankfully, below normal precipitation came with the cold. We have the "normal" 5 hp Hondas on 4 fans and three Hurst pumps. We do not have a problem with any of them starting, possibly because they are started often, every one gets fired up several times a week. I would agree with several who stated that proper maintence is the key to success. Stay Safe....
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    here is another Monster Blower !!!!!!!!!! has standard heated hand graps and an elctricaly controlled chute discharge !
    Last edited by Weruj1; 10-30-2010 at 08:29 PM.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Our Honda generator fired right up this morning at a structure fire. Air temp - 2 degrees
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    Moe, did you actually get to do anything????????

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    Wink

    My heart bleeds for the brother who had 6 degrees the other night. It was 44 below zero (actual air temp) in Grand Forks, ND the other morning.

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    I have faced with my Husqvarna. But no idea about Honda\
    click for small engine parts news.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hakosisa View Post
    I have faced with my Husqvarna. But no idea about Honda\


    Did you know that you replied to a 10 year old thread which was at rest?
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    Did you know that you replied to a 10 year old thread which was at rest?
    While this is a ten year old thread, I learned alot about Honda motors. Both VFD's I am a member of have Honda portable pumps with Honda engines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    Did you know that you replied to a 10 year old thread which was at rest?
    He brought up a zombie thread only for the spam link in his signature.

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    There are only two things you need to do for Honda engines:

    1. When done with them, turn off the fuel valve and let them run dry. If you are going to store it for a while, make sure you drain the tank or put STA-BIL into the fuel.
    2. Always run fresh gas in them.

    You do these things, and keep oil in the crankcases, the damn things will run forever.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    if the switch is on, the choke pulled, and you have to yank the rope more than twice, its out of gas or oil.
    ?

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