Question about Honda GCV160 Engine

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If I have fuel in the cylinders post fuel in my filter and exhaust caused by sticking float, will this prevent me from pulling the cord?

I stripped the carb down following fuel in filter and exhaust and checked the float in the float bowl. I have now reassembled it and am unable to deploy the cord. It is very stiff. I was initially able to move the blade slightly but now nothing is working.Is this due to fuel in the cylinders? When I took the spark plug out there was fuel everywhere. If it is how do I get the fuel out?

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You are absolutely right on target. This is called 'hydro-locking, In fact many engines have been destroyed when a leaking fuel injector ,overnight, even partially fills a cylinder that is on compression stroke. With the higher cranking speeds today, It usually bends the connecting rod when the engine rotates 1/4 revolution s or more and 'hits' the in-compressible liquid.

In your case, simply remove the spark plug, and pull the rope a few times to blow out the gasoline and then add a teaspoon of oil in the cylinder, pull the rope a few times to re-lubricate the cylinder. When there is no liquid coming out, reinstall the spark plug and it should be good to go.

With carburetors, even a tiny speck of leaf or grass can cause the float valve to leak.

Posted on Apr 03, 2015

  • julie Perry
    julie Perry Apr 03, 2015

    I have tipped the endine on its end with the spark plug out and left it in that position for a couple of hours and no petrol has come out. I cannot pull the cord at all. It is solid and this is what has annoyed me becasue when fuel started coming out of the filter the cord pulled freely, so it wasn't lackof oil but I think fuel has got into the cyliners and damaged the engine. I have put penetrating oil in the spark plug hole and left it over night, so I am going to see in aminute if it works but I shall not hold my breath. I am annoyed that a simple thing like fuel leaking can cause so much damage. I wouldn't mine if I didn't look after it but I do which makes this even worse for me.

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Sounds like you got a huge amount of fuel in the cylinder. I'd tilt the engine up with spark plug hole open and down. Leave open overnight. Next you Must change the oil. Fuel is in the oil and may destroy the engine. You have probably "washed" all the oil off the cylinder so it is difficult to move. Leave the drain open overnight.

Posted on Apr 02, 2015

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  • julie Perry
    julie Perry Apr 02, 2015

    I have drained the oil off and I have also tilted the machine but no petrol has come out of the spark plug hole at all, not even a drop. I could leave it overnight but I was expecting it to drip out. The spark plug has been off for sometime. The blade underneath is solid and not moving. Someone has told me that it would have damaged the engine anyway all because of a float sticking. Seems rather a bad bit of design to me.

  • gbob59 Apr 02, 2015

    Before throwing away I would spray a good amount of WD-40 or equivelent in the spark plug hole. It may free up the piston and get some lubrication to the piston.

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2 Answers

Have K341s engine on a welder and crank case flooded with fuel. what should I look for?


It is likely that this engine has a gravity feed fuel system such as the lawn tractor in the photo. The problem is if the needle valve sticks open, float fails to push the needle into the seat fuel will flow until the tank empties. The fuel floods the engine and leaks by the valve stem and cylinder rings filling the crank case with fuel.

What a mess and always a concern when fuel leaks. The preventative is to make sure the fuel shut off valve is closed when engine is not being used. Usually running the engine with the shut off valve will empty the carburetor of gas a good procedure to prevent the carburetor from fouling.

You must drain the oil completly and replace before running the machine.

Likely with the engine vibration the needle will operate normally. Removing the bowl and checking for contamination is recommended.

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Hi Julie,
There's a penetrating catalyst (oil) called "BLASTER". Anything that may be causing the engine to freeze up, that can be desolved, broken loose or washed away... This stuff will get it done. You can get it at any auto parts store. Try that in the cylinder.
Also, Try back tracking what you've done. If the engine began acting frozen after you installed the carb, take the carb back off and see if the engine will turn over without it. If for some reason air doesn't flow through the carb, the engine will appear to be frozen and won't allow the exhaust valve open to complete the cycle.
Let me know what happens. I'm interested to find out. Have a good morning,
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Following fuel leaking through the air filter and exhaust and checking the float bowel & putting the carb back I cannot engage the cord. The break is deploying and was working prior to the fuelleakage


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Help! Why wont my lawnmower start? I am sorry to keep posting about my blasted lawnmower but quite honestly I am baffled to why I am having so much trouble with it. At the beginning of the season I had fuel seeping through the air filter and on one occasion it nearly caught fire. I took carb off and cleaned it and checked the float and pin and it all seemed to work perfectly find. It still leaked when I put the carb back on, so I had it professionally cleaned and they checked the float and pin and said the same that it was okay. I put it back on the engine and it leaked petrol again. I bought a new carb and put it on and it went like a rocket and I was very pleased. I ran the machine for over two hours no problem at all. Two weeks later I get my mower out and it won't start. It won't even turn over. I went and bought a new spark plug just in case but nope it still won't start. Before you ask, yes I did turn the fuel on and engage the choke, so I am at a loss to know what is wrong with it. I know gas, air and spark are the three ingredients that make an engine work. It has had a new filter, spark plug, gaskets and carb this year and an exhaust last year. Someone mentioned it could be the coil. Is there anyway of finding out if this is the case. It just seems everything is going wrong with this engine at the moment. It is 11 yrs old and has been looked after but I don't understand why it went for over 2 hours and cut beautifully to not turning over at all. Any help would be appreciated. Many thanks

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