Honda GCV 160 Operation and Troubleshooting

gcv160_imgmedHave a new Honda GCV 160? This guide will walk you through starting and stopping this engine, as well as address common issues, no matter what it may be powering.

Before Use

Fuel – Make sure there is fresh gasoline in the tank. This engine can use fuel blended with up to 10% ethanol (E10) or 5% methanol. Do not fill past the bottom of the filler neck.

Oil – Remove the oil filler cap/dipstick, wipe it clean, and reinsert it into the filler neck without screwing it in. Pull it out and check for oil. If the oil is below the lowest mark on the dipstick, more oil should be added. Honda recommends 10W30 motor oil for this engine.

Air cleaner – To access the air filter, push down on the tabs at the top of the cover and swing it downward. Check the filter element for damage. If the filter is dirty, tap it against a hard surface to loosen the dirt.

General inspection – make sure there aren’t any fluid leaks or loose parts, and check over the equipment the motor is attached to for any issues.

Starting and Stopping Engines

There are several versions of this engine with different starting and stopping procedures, but there a few things that remain the same across the model range:

  • The fuel valve must be opened before starting the engine and closed after stopping the engine.
  • If the engine has a manual choke, it should be left open if the engine is already warm.
  • To use a recoil-starter, pull the starter grip until resistance is felt, then give it a hard pull to turn over the engine.
  • To use an electric starter, turn the starter switch to “START” and hold it there until the motor starts. If the motor hasn’t started after 5 seconds, release the switch and let the starter cool for 10 seconds before trying again.

Here’s how you start each version of the GCV 160:

Flywheel Brake/Remote Throttle

Starting:

  • Move the throttle control lever to “CHOKE.”
  • Move the flywheel brake control to “RUN.”
  • Use the recoil starter.
  • Move the throttle control away from “CHOKE” once the engine is warm.

Stopping:

  • Move the throttle control to “SLOW.”
  • Release the flywheel brake lever.

Manual Choke/Throttle

Starting:

  • Turn the choke lever to “ON.”
  • Move the throttle to “FAST.”
  • Use the recoil starter.
  • Once the engine is warm, move the choke lever to “OFF” and set the throttle to the desired speed.

Stopping:

  • Move the throttle lever to “SLOW” and let the engine idle for a few seconds.
  • Move the throttle lever to “OFF.”

Flywheel Brake/Remove Choke/Fixed Throttle

Starting:

  • Move the choke control cable to the “ON” position.
  • Move the flywheel brake lever to the “RUN” position.
  • Use the recoil starter.
  • Once the engine is warm, move the choke lever to the “OFF” position.

Stopping:

  • Release the flywheel brake lever.

Automatic Choke Return/Fixed Throttle

Starting:

  • Move the choke lever to the choke (|\|) position. The choke will open by itself as the motor warms up.
  • Move the flywheel brake lever to the “RUN” position.
  • Use the recoil or electric starter.

Stopping:

  • Release the flywheel brake lever.

Manual Choke/Fixed Throttle

  • Pull the choke rod to “ON.”
  • Turn the engine stop switch to “ON.”
  • Use the recoil starter.
  • Move the choke rod to “OFF” once the engine is warm.

Stopping:

  • Move the engine switch to “OFF.”

Remote Throttle/Blade Brake Clutch

  • Move the choke/throttle/stop lever to “CHOKE.”
  • Make sure the blade control lever is disengaged.
  • Use the recoil or electric starter.
  • Move the choke/throttle/stop lever to “FAST.”

Stopping:

  • Disengage the blade brake clutch lever.
  • Move the choke/throttle/stop lever to “SLOW.” Let the engine idle for a few seconds.
  • Move the choke/throttle/stop lever to “STOP.”

Electric Start with Engine-Mounted Starter Switch/Manual Choke/Fixed Throttle

  • Move the choke rod to “ON.”
  • Turn the starter switch to “RUN.”
  • Use the recoil or electric starter.

Stopping:

  • Move the starter switch to “STOP.”

Automatic Choke/Fixed Throttle

Starting:

  • Move the flywheel brake lever to “RUN.”
  • Use the recoil starter.

Stopping:

  • Release the flywheel brake lever.

Automatic Choke/Remote Throttle/Flywheel Brake

Starting:

  • Set the throttle control to “FAST.”
  • Move the flywheel brake lever to “RUN.”
  • Use the recoil starter.

Stopping:

  • Move the throttle control to “SLOW.”
  • Release the flywheel brake.

Automatic Choke/Remote Throttle/Blade Brake Clutch

Starting:

  • Set the throttle control to “FAST.”
  • Make sure the blade control lever is disengaged.
  • Use the recoil starter.
  • Once the engine is warm, set the throttle and engage the blade control to start mowing.

Stopping:

  • Disengage the blade control lever.
  • Move the throttle to “SLOW” and let the engine idle for a few seconds.
  • Move the throttle to “STOP.”

Troubleshooting

If the engine won’t start, make sure the fuel valve, choke, and ignition switch (if equipped) are all on. Electric start models may fail to start if the battery is flat, the main fuse is blown, or the battery cables are corroded. If it still won’t start, make sure the spark plug is clean and in good working order and there is fresh fuel in the fuel tank. If that doesn’t fix it, have the engine looked at by an authorized dealer.

If the engine is low on power, check the air filter for dirt and damage, and make sure the fuel is fresh. If it still bogs down, have the engine looked at by an authorized dealer.

Where to Get Parts for the GCV 160

www.hondalawnparts.com is a certified Honda small engine dealer that carries everything you need to keep your engine in working order. We ship to the U.S. and Canada.

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