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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.

Tags: Auto Choke System, Honda Izy, Honda Izy lawnmower, Honda Izy problems, Honda Oil, HT, lawnmowers problems, starting petrol lawnmowers, starting your lawnmower, troubleshooting, User Manual


All quoted prices were correct on 22nd March 2011. For up-to-date current prices please visit the corresponding product pages on our website by clicking the relevant links within the post above.


Steve is an internet marketing specialist based in North Norfolk who works as a consultant to Calgary Just Companies on website development, search engine optimisation, business blogging, social media and eCommerce.


43 Responses to Honda Izy Troubleshooting Guide

  1. Jonathan Prideaux 2nd June 2012 at 12:10 pm

    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 7th June 2012 at 10:20 am

      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 10th September 2013 at 11:02 pm


      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 11th September 2013 at 12:45 pm


        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

        • Rebecca Pratt 16th September 2013 at 9:06 am

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

  2. g. cooper 21st August 2012 at 1:32 pm

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

    • mike 19th November 2012 at 4:57 pm

      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 19th May 2013 at 12:01 am

        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

        • Rebecca Pratt 20th May 2013 at 4:09 pm

          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.

  3. michael lambert 13th March 2013 at 3:01 pm

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

    • Just Lawnmowers 13th March 2013 at 4:38 pm

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

  4. Karl 31st March 2013 at 5:33 pm


    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 3rd April 2013 at 10:49 am

      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

  5. Don MacKenzie 12th April 2013 at 4:43 pm

    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 26th April 2013 at 12:30 pm

      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 26th April 2013 at 2:12 pm

        Hi Greg,

        I would recommend contacting http://www.angliamowers.co.uk 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.

    • Rebecca Pratt 20th May 2013 at 4:11 pm

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

    • gjores 30th May 2013 at 6:05 pm

      Did you manage to correct the problem on your mower

      I have the same problem

      thanks gary

  6. Chris B 17th April 2013 at 9:26 pm

    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?


  7. Elaine Slater 21st April 2013 at 4:46 pm

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


    • Just Lawnmowers 23rd April 2013 at 3:07 pm

      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 23rd April 2013 at 3:52 pm

        Thank you – will do as you advice

  8. infidel 23rd April 2013 at 10:29 pm

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

    • Just Lawnmowers 24th April 2013 at 9:27 am

      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 justhonda.co.uk.

  9. Humph 25th April 2013 at 2:52 pm

    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.

  10. get_the_grass_cut 2nd June 2013 at 11:16 am

    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.

    • Rebecca Pratt 4th June 2013 at 11:36 am

      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

  11. get_the_grass_cut 4th June 2013 at 12:05 pm

    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.

    • Rebecca Pratt 4th June 2013 at 12:47 pm

      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.

  12. timmbo 31st August 2013 at 9:52 pm

    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!!

    • Rebecca Pratt 2nd September 2013 at 4:43 pm

      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 2nd September 2013 at 4:55 pm

        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!

        • Rebecca Pratt 9th September 2013 at 4:29 pm

          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 11th September 2013 at 8:50 am

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

            • Just Lawnmowers 11th September 2013 at 9:39 am

              Really glad your problem is solved. Take care.

  13. RonFree 25th October 2013 at 10:36 pm

    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?

    • Rebecca Pratt 31st October 2013 at 3:52 pm

      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.

  14. Dhug Bennett 8th April 2014 at 10:42 am

    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?

    • Rebecca Pratt 10th April 2014 at 4:26 pm

      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

  15. david 8th May 2014 at 12:50 am

    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

    • Rebecca Pratt 8th May 2014 at 3:43 pm

      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

  16. Steve 18th May 2014 at 5:03 pm

    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!

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