Honda GC Engine

Honda GCThe GC Series may be aimed at residential use, but it’s just as reliable as anything from Honda. Found mostly in pressure washers, tillers and water pumps, this motor is easy to use if you know how to operate and take care of it.

What’s the Difference between the GC160 and GC190?

Both engines are identical aside from the GC190’s longer stroke and higher weight. The information below applies to both versions of the GC series.


There are three versions of these motors, each with their own control set located to the right of the fuel filler neck. All models have a choke rod which has a hook on the end. Pulling this rod out closes the choke.

Next to the choke rod, there may be a lever. If the lever is gray, it’s the throttle lever. Pushing it up will open the throttle, increasing engine speed. If it’s red, it’s the ignition switch. Pushing it up switches the ignition on, allowing the motor to run.

Some fixed throttle engines have an engine stop/start switch next to the choke rod. Turning the knob clockwise switches the ignition on, while turning it counter-clockwise cuts the ignition, shutting off the engine.


Before starting, the choke should be closed if the engine is cold and open if the engine is warm. If your motor has a throttle, it should be set to 1/3 of the way toward the “Fast” position. If it has an ignition switch or stop/start switch, it should be on. Use the recoil starter to turn over the engine. Once the engine is warm, the choke can be opened and the throttle set to the desired speed.


To stop the engine, shut off the ignition or push the throttle lever all the way down to the “stop” position.


These engines are designed to run regular unleaded fuel with up to 10% ethanol. The fuel tank should be filled no higher than the bottom of the filler neck. When storing the engine, keeping the fuel tank full will limit the air inside. This reduces oxidation and aging. If the fuel will be stored for more than a month, a fuel stabilizer should be used, but this will only extend the fuel’s life to a maximum of three months.

If your engine isn’t running well due to stale fuel, use a siphon hose to remove fuel from the tank, then get the last of the gas out by loosening the drain screw on the base of the carburetor.

If you operate your engine at elevations above 5,000 feet (1,500 meters,) Honda recommends having the carburetor re-tuned to deliver the right amount of fuel to match the lower density air.


Honda recommends checking the oil level before each use. The dipstick is attached to the oil filler cap, which is located directly below the muffler. To get an accurate reading, the dipstick must be inserted without screwing the cap back into the filler neck.

This motor is designed to use 5W30 or 10W30 oil with an API certification of SJ or greater. SAE 30 can also be used at temperatures above 50 degrees F (10 degrees C.) When filling, the oil should come up to the bottom edge of the filler neck. Oil can be drained from the motor by removing the drain bolt and washer, located to the left of the filler neck. This motor holds about 20 oz. of oil, and it should be changed every 6 months or 50 hours of use. If you use the engine in high temperatures or places with a lot of dust, Honda recommends changing the oil every 25 hours.

Oil and Sudden Stops

All GC engines come equipped with the Oil Alert system. If the sensor inside the crankcase detects that the oil level is below a safe level, it will shut the engine off automatically. If the engine stops working, check the oil level to make sure this system hasn’t been tripped.

Air Filter

The air cleaner housing is located directly above the fuel tank. The paper filter inside can be accessed by opening two clasps on the side of the cleaner cover. The filter should be inspected for damage before each use. It should be cleaned every three months or 25 hours by gently tapping it against a hard surface to remove loose dirt. The filter needs to be changed every two years or 250 hours.

Sourcing Parts for the GC160 and GC190

When you need parts for your Honda motor or equipment, visit We’re a certified dealer, so we’re able to offer OEM replacements for everything from Honda’s small engine equipment line. Our site has factory diagrams and descriptions built-in, making it easy to find exactly what you need, and we can ship your order to any address in the U.S. and Canada.