Honda Izy Troubleshooting Guide

Honda Izy lawn mower


Honda Izy lawn mowers are really good quality machines. They will give many years of reliable service, but sometimes people don’t read the User Manual and so have problems.

This guide is designed to help you to get your new Honda Izy lawnmower up and running quickly. It addresses the common problems people have when they take delivery of a new Honda Izy lawnmower.

It is not a substitute for the User Manual, more of a pictorial supplement to it.

Step 1: The Correct Fuel and Oil

a) Fill up the petrol tank with normal unleaded petrol.

Note: All Honda lawnmowers have 4-stroke engines which means they run on normal unleaded petrol. There is no need to mix oil with the petrol. But unleaded fuel has a disadvantage too. Because there is no lead in it, it’s chemical structure breaks down very quickly. If you have had the fuel for more than a month it is very likely to cause starting and running problems, so if in doubt, buy some fresh unleaded petrol.

b) Your new Honda Izy will have been delivered with a bottle of Honda Oil. Make sure you put the whole bottle into the oil chamber (see instruction manual for details).

Honda Izy lawnmower with unleaded petrol and Honda 4-Stroke Oil

Step 2: HT Lead and Spark Plug

Your new mower will arrive with the HT lead disconnected from the spark plug.

Honda Izy - HT Lead - picture 1

Take hold of the HT lead firmly…

Honda Izy - HT Lead - picture 2

Push it onto the spark plug firmly…

Honda Izy - HT Lead - picture 3

Until it ‘clicks’ into place.

Honda Izy - HT Lead - picture 4

Step 3: Turn the Fuel Tap On

When your mower arrives the fuel tap will be turned off…

Honda Izy - fuel tap off

Turn it on by rotating it clockwise until it lines up with the fuel pipe…

Honda Izy - fuel tap on

Your new Honda Izy should now be ready to start.

Step 4: Starting for the First Time

Pull the ‘deadman’s handle’ (has a red STOP symbol on it) up to the handlebar and then pull the starting cord (or turn the key). You may need 2 or 3 pulls. The mower will start and you can get on with mowing the lawn.

Honda Izy - deadman's handle engaged

Note: If you have a self-propelled Honda Izy, dont pull the orange ‘drive’ lever towards the handlebar whie trying to start it because it will be much harder to start your mower.

Honda Izy - self-propulsion handle engaged


In the unlikely event that your mower still doesn’t start, tip it over to one side for 10 seconds with the air filter pointing skyward – see picture below. (The air filter has ‘Auto Choke System‘ written on it).

Whilst tipped up, gently pull the starting cord twice (don’t use enough force to start the engine).

This method works because sometimes when first filled with petrol, air can get trapped in the fuel line and doing this will clear it by gravity feeding fuel into the carburettor.

Having done this, lower the mower back to the ground and start normally (see Step 4 above).

Honda Izy - tipped over the right way

Warning: Do not tip the mower over with the air filter towards the ground (see picture below) as this will cause oil to leak into the air filter, which can cause running problems, poor starting, excessive exhaust emissions and smoke.

Honda Izy - tipped over the wrong way

Depsite our careful instructions, occasionally delivery drivers tip mowers up the wrong way during transit. This allows the small amount of engine oil left in at the factory to seep into the air filter and contaminate it. This causes running problems, poor starting, excessive exhaust emissions and smoke. We do everything we can to stop this happening, but cannot guarantee it will never happen. If you think it may have happened to your new mower, remove the air filter from its cover and inspect it for oil contamination. (See user manual for instructions). If it is contaminated, please let us know straight away so we can deal with the problem for you.

Honda Izy - air filter cover closed

Air filter cover open (see below)…

Honda Izy - air filter cover open

The tips above will solve 99% of problems with Honda Izy lawn mowers.

Further reading: How to Make Your Petrol Mower Start First Time.

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Alex is responsible for managing Just Lawnmowers website and blog. When not building websites he spends his time out walking in the beautiful North Norfolk countryside, gardening in his wild, sloping garden or enjoying a game of chess down at his local chess club!


The self drive has stopped working on my ISY ! How do I get into the self drive Mech so I can see what is wrong?
Regards ,
Sandy Mackie

Stewart Mayhew says:

Tearing my hair out here with my Honda Izy Push Mower labouring and cutting out. Took in to dealer who said timing belt, had to strip engine. Paid £75 on pick up. 1st Lawn to mow, half cut and died just the same. Took back to dealer, thinks its the Coil ? Puts a new(ish) one on it and it seemed ok, for half an hour then reverts back to same problem. Took back, drills like a Pilot hole in Petrol cap, it ran for about an hour. Top and bottom of it is, I don’t think they know whats causing it and I can’t afford to leave it with them for any length of time (nor do I have any confidence in them with my Mower anymore). The overall thing appears to be a lack of power and the slightest amount of cut grass covering the grill on the base in the collection box makes it stop ! Is it worth spending anymore time or money on? I’ve had it 5 years and use it regularly and have had it serviced but its costing me now in patience alone. Can anyone offer any help?
Do Honda themselves have any mobile Service Engineers worth a try?

Darren. says:

Have a self propelled Izy. But, its now not functioning…the self propelled element isn’t going forwards anymore. Is there common parts faults with regards to this that I can look into in the first instance? Any advise much appreciated.

Steve harrington says:

I have a Honda izy 18 self drive. It started hunting then cutting out. Took to my dealer, cleaned carb new fuel pipe and re tuned. Got back and when off choke it starts to cut out. If I turn the fuel on off there were bubbles showing in the fuel pipe. Took back to dealer, cleaned carb said filler cap could be too tight. Picked back up after another clean. Used for the first tim… still cuts out and shows bubbles in fuel line, even with fuel cap half off. Dealer is Duttons in Daresbury. What to do next?

Malcolm O'Pray says:

My Izzy HRG465 engine doesn’t stop now when you release both handles as normal, however I’ve noticed a lead loose that’s not connected. Where should this go ?
Thanks, Malcolm. September 2016.

annemarie says:

Does anyone know where I can buy a handle spring for a Honda izy HRG 536 have searched on line with no luck. Have tried all the Honda sites even ebay??

Colin Fulton says:

Hey! I put in a new spark plug then when i ran it for 5 minutes it smokes slightly when you give it throttle. i replaced the air filter, changed oil and still it smokes. This suits the plug up. also when i dethrottle, then throttle up again there is a delay before it throttles up. Also the mower backfires now and then. Any ideas?

Bill says:

My Izzy HRG4 starts first time from cold and mows well but, when I have emptied the grass box a couple of times the mower will not restart – the pull cord seems stiff. I leave the mower for about 15 minutes and then it starts again. Any ideas on what is the problem?

Peter says:

My honda izy is running at low power – is there any way I can adjust the throttle? I cleaned the air filter and carb and replaced fuel, still no joy.

Hugh Pollington says:

My new Honda izy suddenly stopped collecting the grass cuttings – leaving them behind in clumps on the lawn. I’ve used it about half-dozen times successfully, so far, on a large area of grass. I’m half afraid to turn it over and have a look in view of all the trouble others have when they turn the thing over. Any ideas?

Alex Evans says:

The best way to check for clogging on a Honda Izy is to take the spark plug cap off, then lift the machine at the front and inspect. You could also lift the rear flap up and clean. Remember to replace the cap once you have unclogged any blockages.

Simon Robinson says:

I have a 5 year old Izy which has been a fantastic mower. I normally mulch the grass however when I wanted to collect the grass, it seems to get clogged up as it enters the grass box. There doesn’t seem to be enough power to ‘throw’ the grass into the grass box. Does this mean a new blade is required?

Alex Evans says:

Your engine is possibly not producing enough power, and might need re-tuning. Best bet would be to get it down to your local Honda authorised dealer for them to take a look.

Marc says:

Hi my honda hrs 475 struggles when the grass gets little bit long it seems to stop the blades do you have any idea why this is

Alex Evans says:

Your engine might need re-tuning. Your local Honda dealer should be able to help you out.

Aly says:

I have an old HR2160 which cuts fine until it warms up then it stops cutting and the engine races?

Alex Evans says:

It sounds like the governor system in the engine is failing and causing the engine to race. I wouldnt attempt to fix this yourself as it is quite a tricky procedure. Your local Honda dealer would be able to help you out with this.

Steve says:

I’ve got an isy HRG465PD which was cutting out under load. I thought the fuel line was struggling so removed the air filter and then took the bolts out to allow me to see the fuel line. Unfortunately the throttle assembly came apart when removing it and I can’t figure out how it goes back together (it’s an easy start model so no actual throttle). Is their a picture of this assembly somewhere I can use to reassemble it.

The mower runs flat out when I start it now!

david says:

I have my Honda mower serviced regularly, but after a couple of weeks I get problems with is running very “lumpy” and will only run on choke. I am always told that it is dirt or water in the fuel, and costs me another £30 – £40 pound each time. i always keep petrol in a good petrol can with cap on. any suggestions on how I can cure this myself

It might be due to dirt in the jets in the carburettor. If you are mechanically minded remove the carburettor and fully strip it down and clean it. If not, try and take it to your local Honda dealer as they will do this for you.
Hope this helps

Dhug Bennett says:

Hi I have a Honda HRB 425C. It starts fine and drives forward fine for about 2 mins then the forward drive seems to go and I end up having to push it. Blade continues to cut. If I switch it off for 30mins or so and start again the same thing happens. Any ideas what could be wrong?

Hi, thanks for getting in touch, it sounds like it could be the transmission belt slipping which is causing it to get hot and then stretch. Then when it cools off again, it will only drive until it gets hot again. Try replacing your transmission belt, you can get one from our sister company Anglia Mowers. Get in touch by calling 01263 822799

RonFree says:

I have a GCV190A Honda engine–it has an automatic return choke with fixed throttle. I cleaned the carb and is not running right. It runs rich, uses twice as much gas, and erratically surges with occasional puffs of black smoke. The new spark plug also fouls quickly. When I cleaned the carb I tried not to change any adjustable controls. Could it be that I didn’t get something reinstalled property that does allow the choke to close completely?

Is there any way to adjust the auto choke?

Unfortunately we can’t really say without looking at it!
However it could possible be down to the fact that you haven’t installed something correctly when re-assembling.
Have you checked the air filter as this is sometimes a problem?
The best thing to do would to take it to your nearest Honda Dealer.

timmbo says:

Hi folks – I hope someone can help! – my Honda izy will not stop when dead mans handle is released – there seems to be a loose cable (electrical which has a spade connector (female)) now hanging at the front close to the spark plug cable – I think it must have been caught on a bramble when I was using it today and pulled off so now loose – not sure if this is why it won’t cut out or whether just coincidence – I only noticed when the machine wouldn’t stop! Thanks for any help!!

Hello, thanks for getting in touch! We believe that the problem is the wire which cuts the spark attached to the coil pack, has become detached. This is the wire which is hanging down at the front. To fix this, you’ll need to remove the 4 bolts holding the recoil assembly together, and then remove it, then you are able to remove the casing and the fuel tank below the recoil. This will then allow you to gain access to the coil pack to re-attach the wire. Once the wire has been re-attached you can re-fit all the parts which you removed and this should hopefully solve your problem.

timmbo says:

Hi Rebecca – thanks for the response! do you have any photos/pictures to assist in doing this? If I detach the recoil assembly will there be things pinging around under spring tension or anything I should be aware of before I undo the bolts? what does the coil pack look like once I’ve taken off the casing/fuel tank – to be honest doing this is a trifle daunting however I’m happy to do it if it’s something reasonably staightforward? thanks!

Sorry we have no pictures at hand at the moment, however it is absolutely fine to remove the recoil, and there will not be any loose parts. Once you’ve removed the recoil, you will be able to lift up the fuel tank which will give you access to the coil pack. The coil pack has a large thick wire running to the spark plug. The wire you’ll have to attach has a female wire connector on the coil pack near the plug lead wire. You will see a male wire connector, re-attach the female connector and then re-dit the fuel tank and recoil. This should solve your problem.

timmbo says:

Hi Rebecca – very helpful and now all sorted thanks to your advice – thanks!

Really glad your problem is solved. Take care.

get_the_grass_cut says:

Hi Rebecca. Thanks for the advice.
While waiting for a reply on this blog I found this thread on the net:
and decided to change the spark plug before I dismantled anything.
Good job I did as the mower now works perfectly.
I should have remembered this first course of action from my motorcycling days which seem so long ago now 🙁
Had I read your reply yesterday I would have gone for the plug change as you mentioned, before trying anything else.
It just goes to show how initial diagnoses can be wrong.
Thanks again.

No worries at all! Glad that you managed to solve the problem in the end and have got it up and running!
Happy to be at service.

get_the_grass_cut says:

Hi everyone.
Stepped in to help my neighbour who was desperate about her mower cutting out. I am the “helper” in our small street, being a bit of a fix-it with plenty of tools.
Her ISY is old’ish and in her words “has never been serviced”…so!
I have checked there is fuel/oil and that it’s correct (not old/contaminated or a mixture by mistake).
I have removed the air filter and brushed it clean.
I have removed the spark plug (which was sooty black) and cleaned/replaced it.
The problem remains :- It will start easy, run for 30 seconds or so then dies out.
By pushing the carb control lever quickly to Choke the engine picks up and runs.
After moving the lever back from Choke to Run the symptoms return.
This tells me there is fuel starvation.
I don’t have a manual so before I start exploratory dismatling, can someone give me some tips if they themselves have had this problem.
Thanks in advance.

Hi there thanks for commenting!
It could be that there is a blockage in the carburettor, and therefore the jet in the carburettor may need cleaning. The carburettor will need dismantling (take care when removing, as the gasket can tear. If this happens it will need replacing). You will need an oil can with a small tapered point on the end, and then you need to squirt the oil carefully through all the fine jets in the carburettor. Repeat this twice using clean petrol, and then wash off any excess oil from the carburettor, then reassemble and re-fit. If the machine has not been serviced, then a replacement spark plug may be necessary!
This method does seem like quite a messy long winded one, however it is the only way of unblocking the carburettor.
Hope this helps

Humph says:

I purchased a honda mower last October but only assembled it last weekend, it started, I cut 20ft of grass and it stopped and will not start. Is there a problem with Hondas, I also have a 21 year old Mount field and it has never been a problem to start.

Josh Els says:

We recommend you contact your local dealer under warranty –

infidel says:

I have an Honda izy, oil seems to be running low which oil is the best to use

The best oil to use is genuine Honda oil. Universal SAE30 4-stroke oil is the best and is one we recommend and sell on our sister site

Elaine Slater says:

I have a Honda HRB425C – have a problem with the self drive mechanism, it doesn’t work. Everything else seems OK , HELP please.


Without seeing it, it would be difficult to comment on what the problem might be. I imaging it may be the drive belt. Your best bet would be to contact your local garden machinery dealer and let them have a look.

Elaine Slater says:

Thank you – will do as you advice

Chris B says:

I lost drive on my 10 year old Izy and discovered the belt had come off the pulley(s). After successfully replacing the belt, I found the drive (clutch) cable on the handlebar has now become slack and unresponsive. Does it just need re-tensioning or could a spring have worked itself loose?


Don MacKenzie says:

My 11yr old Izzy needs the governor resetting as it is hunting revs up and down all the time could you adise me how to do this please thanks.

Greg says:

I have the same problem to.
Any help will be great, as on a tight budget so would like too “try” and repair it myself.

Josh Els says:

Hi Greg,

I would recommend contacting if you are looking for any spares. Might be worth taking your machine into your local dealer for an inspection at least to determine the fault.

Hello Don, we have a feeling that it could be down to a blockage in the carburettor or due to stale fuel.

gjores says:

Did you manage to correct the problem on your mower

I have the same problem

thanks gary

Karl says:


Just had a nightmare starting my brand new honda izy 415pd…I eventually figured that the cable was too slack to pull the throttle body so mowed whilst holding finger over cable which was a nightmare…there’s no adjustment on the cable. Any ideas please ?


Gary Abel says:

Dear Karl,

If you are making reference to the throttle cable then you can adjust this at the bottom of the cable where the cable is clamped to the engine, undo screw and you will be able to move / adjust cable so the throttle will open further. Regards, Gary

michael lambert says:

i have replace a new handle on my izzy petrol mower lwa96db hrg465c2 when istart it up it runs away itis apush mower

not sure what you mean?? could you explain a little bit more what it is you want advice on?

g. cooper says:

i have petrol leaking into my air filter,anybody else have this izy.

mike says:

i have a honda izy you need to turn off the fuel tap when you are not using the mower or the fuel will drain away, some into the filter some into the block. they need to sort out the float/needle assembly but hey they have your cash now

Georges says:

I have the same problem and honda dealer said there is nothing wrong (£120 bill). 30 mins after start the engine stops and fuel is all over filter….what can I

Your dealer should be notified and rectify the problem free of charge, it might be an idea to ring up and speak to them again. However it could be that the float in the carburettor is stuck and letting too much fuel in causing it to flood. Or it may be that dirt may be causing the needle in the carburettor to stick letting too much fuel in causing it to flood. Really hope this helps and you get the problem sorted.

Jonathan Prideaux says:

My son tipped the lawnmower over as above. It is now smoking and the filter is contaminated. Apart from cleaning/renewing the filter, is
there anything else I should do. Thanks.

Gary says:

Dear Jonathan,
No need to worry, oil has got into air filter via the sump, this happens when you tip the machine over. In future to clean machine without this happening again, you will need to unlock handle bolts and fold handles over, lift grass box flap and stand machine on its end so spark plug is pointing to sky, you could also get someone to hold handles to floor or rest something which is heavy enough to hold them down. The air filter needs replacing and filter housing and spark plug may need cleaning, also re-check oil level. The engine will smoke for a while, dont worry this will stop after oil in cylinder head has been burnt off. Be assured that you will not have done anything detrimental to your machine. PS though the OPC brake is engaged, for safety it pays to remove the spark plug cap from plug when acessing underneath your machine.

Regards, Gary

madhatter says:


I have just done the same thing as Jonathan
I was repairing a rust hole in base unit
Left it for filler to set overnight
Next day confronted with an oil puddle on floor & filter full of oil
Mower will not start now
Any advice to sort please
Cleaned filter & spark plug already

madhatter says:


Went back to it next day
Although i thought i had cleaned the air filter
I took it off & started it without
It works
So guess a new air filter is the answer

That’s brilliant news David! We’re glad it’s all sorted!

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