This is Why a Honda Generator Won’t Stay RunningWhy Does a Honda Generator Not Stay Running?This is Why a Honda Generator Won’t Stay Running

You were able to start your generator, but for some reason, it will not stay running. This could happen for a variety of reasons. Continue reading, and I’ll go over them.

When a Honda generator is overloaded, low on engine oil, has a plugged spark arrestor, or isn’t getting enough air, fuel, and spark, it won’t run.

This could be caused by a clogged air filter, clogged fuel filter, clogged fuel line, dirty carburetor, dirty spark plug, low oil level, or attempting to power more items than the load limit can handle.

Always adhere to the safety precautions outlined in the Honda owner’s manual. This includes disconnecting the spark plug wire and allowing the engine to cool before proceeding with repairs.

Before diagnosing, repairing, or operating your equipment, read and follow all safety instructions in the operator’s manual. Consult a professional if you lack the necessary skills or knowledge, or if you are unable to perform the repair safely.

6 Reasons a Honda Generator Won’t Stay Running

Too Much Load for the Honda Generator Size

The load capacity of Honda generators varies. When you try to power more items than the generator’s load limit, it will shut down.

Check the load limit on the generator to ensure you don’t plug in too many items. Then, check the wattage requirements of all the items you’re trying to run at the same time.

Add the wattage requirements of all the items you’re running at the same time. The total wattage of the items must be less than the generator’s load limit.

Follow these tips to determine the wattage capacity:

  • Most electrical items have their wattage listed on a tag attached to the item.
    To start an item, some motors require more wattage. In this case, when calculating wattage requirements, the starting wattage should be used.
    To get a total, add the wattage of all items that will be plugged into the generator at the same time.
    This total wattage must be less than the wattage capacity of the generator.

Lack of Air in the Honda Generator

When looking for an air restriction, make sure that air can flow through the intake and is not being restricted by a closed choke or plugged air filter.

Plugged Air Filter: The purpose of the air filter is to keep dirt from entering the engine. Even a small amount of dirt can cause engine wear and damage.

When the air filter isn’t cleaned or replaced on a regular basis, it can become clogged with so much dirt that not enough air can pass through.

Remove the filter and inspect it for damage. When the filter is damaged or extremely dirty, replace it with a new one. If it is in good overall condition but just a little dirty, clean it.

Incorrect Choke Setting: When starting a cold engine, the choke is required. To allow more air into the carburetor throat, the choke lever must be adjusted from the on/closed position to the off/open position as the engine warms.

If the engine shuts down immediately after starting, it could be due to an incorrect choke setting or a stuck choke. Make sure the choke lever is in the correct position.

If the choke lever is correct but you’re still experiencing airflow problems, check the choke to ensure it isn’t stuck in the closed position. To open and close a stuck choke, use carburetor cleaner to free it up.

Lack of Fuel in the Honda Generator

Empty Fuel Tank: This is an obvious reason for a generator to shut down, but sometimes the last time fuel was added to the tank is forgotten. It could also be the result of a fuel leak or a faulty fuel gauge.

Fill the tank with new fuel. If you discover either of these issues, repair any fuel leaks and replace any faulty fuel gauges.

Dirty Carburetor: The carburetor controls the amount of fuel mixed with air to create combustion. Old gas can leave a coating on the carburetor, causing it to stop working properly and preventing the engine from receiving the gas it needs to run.

When this happens, remove the carburetor from the generator and clean it with carburetor cleaner to remove the crusty buildup left by old fuel. To ensure that a carburetor is properly reassembled, I take photos as I disassemble it.

If you don’t want to clean the carburetor or if you can’t get it clean and working again, replace it.

Using fresh fuel and not allowing it to sit in your generator for extended periods of time can help reduce the negative effects of old fuel on your Honda Generator.

Plugged Fuel Tank Vent: The fuel tank must be able to vent in order for air to flow in and out and equalize the air pressure. When the fuel tank vent becomes clogged, the fuel tank forms a vacuum as fuel is consumed, and air cannot enter the tank.

This vacuum will prevent fuel from reaching the carburetor, causing the generator to run slowly and eventually shut down.

The Honda generator’s fuel tank vent is built into the gas cap. You may have a fuel tank vent problem if the generator shuts down and won’t start until you loosen the cap.

Lack of Spark in the Honda Generator

Bad Ignition Coil: When the generator gets hot, the ignition coil can separate and short out. As a result, the spark plug will be unable to generate a spark because it is not receiving the necessary voltage.

First, ensure that the spark plug is in good working order. Next, use an ohmmeter to check the continuity. If you find a break in the continuity, replace it.

Low Engine Oil Level in the Honda Generator

When the engine oil level falls below a certain level, most Honda generators will shut down. This is a safety feature that protects the engine from the damaging effects of running a low-oil engine.

If your generator shuts down and the low oil light comes on, make sure it’s on a flat, level surface. The sensor may be triggered if the generator is placed on uneven ground.

Once you’ve confirmed that the generator is properly positioned, use the oil dipstick attached to the oil cap to check the engine oil level.

Take off the oil cap. Wipe the dipstick clean with a clean cloth. Remove the dipstick and cap to check the oil level on the dipstick. (When taking an oil level reading, do not screw the cap back on.)

If the level is too low, add oil until it reaches the correct level as measured by the dipstick.

If you have the correct engine oil level but the low oil sensor light remains illuminated, you may have a faulty sensor. For assistance, contact your local Honda generator dealer.

Plugged Spark Arrestor on a Honda Generator

On the muffler, there is a small spark arrestor screen that prevents hot exhaust material from blowing out. This screen is required to prevent fires and reduce burns.

When hot air from the engine is unable to exhaust due to a clogged spark arrestor screen, the engine will bog down and may shut down.

Clean the spark arrestor screen with a solvent or a small metal brush. If you discover a hole or damage, it must be replaced with a new screen.