Honda GXV120 Operation and Troubleshooting Guide

billy-goat-core-aerator-gx120The GXV120 is used in a wide range of walk-behind power equipment, but no matter what it’s attached to, operating the engine remains the same. This guide will walk you through using your engine and solving common problems that may keep it from running.

Before Starting

Check the oil: Remove the filler cap and wipe off the dipstick. Slide it back into the filler neck without threading it back into the motor, then pull it out. If the stick is dry above the lower level mark, add some more oil until it comes up to the upper mark. Honda recommends 10W30 automotive oil.

Check the air filter: Remove the wing nut from the top of the air cleaner and take off the cover. From there, the air filter can be removed by unscrewing two more wing nuts. Make sure the filter elements aren’t torn or damaged. If they are, they should be replaced before running the engine.

Check the fuel: This engine needs fresh unleaded fuel with an octane rating of 86 or higher and no more than 10% ethanol (E10.) The tank holds 0.26 gallons (one liter.) Do not add fuel past the bottom of the filler neck. If you spill some fuel, wipe it off the equipment before starting to prevent the fumes from igniting.


  1. Move the fuel valve lever, located next to the carburetor, outward to the “ON” position.
  2. If the engine is cold, move the control lever right to the “CHOKE” position.
  3. If the engine has a recoil starter, pull the starter grip gently until some resistance is felt, then give it a swift pull. If it has an electric starter, turn the engine switch to “Start” and hold it there until the engine fires up. If the engine hasn’t started after 5 seconds, release the switch and wait 10 seconds before trying again.
  4. Once the engine is warm, move the control lever left to open the choke and adjust the throttle.


  1. Move the control lever left until it reaches the “STOP” position.
  2. Move the fuel valve lever to “OFF.”


Engine Will Not Start (Electric Starter)

  • Make sure the battery cables are connected and the terminals don’t have any corrosion.
  • Check the battery charge.
  • Try the troubleshooting steps below for recoil starter engines.

Engine Will Not Start (Recoil Starter)

  • Make sure the control lever is in the “CHOKE” position.
  • Make sure the fuel valve is on.
  • Check the fuel tank and make sure there’s fresh gasoline inside.
  • Loosen the drain screw on the bottom of the carburetor. If the fuel is reaching the carburetor, fuel should come out of this hole. If it isn’t, the carburetor should be cleaned and inspected at a service center. Tighten the screw and wipe off any gasoline before trying to start the engine.
  • Check the spark plug. When it’s out of the engine, attach it to the plug cap and press the electrode against the engine. Pull the starter or push the “Start” button. If there’s no spark between the electrodes, replace the plug.

Where to Buy Parts for Your Honda GXV120

When you need parts for your Honda small engine, visit We’re more than just an online warehouse, we’re a certified Honda Power Equipment dealer, carrying OEM parts for all of their motors including the GXV120. We make finding parts easy with built-in factory parts diagrams to help you match what you’re ordering with what you need, and we can ship parts to any address in the U.S. and Canada.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *