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Pressure washer with Honda gcv160 engine wont start.

Roy I have pressure washer Excel 2500 vr2522 with a Honda cgv160 5.5hp engine that will not start. I have clean fuel, a good spark and adequate compression on the engine. I cleaned the carburetor and it stil wont start. A neighbor suggested the flywheel key may be faulty. I took off the flywheel and saw where it "should " be, however I may be seeing the wrong things. Someone help me decipher this issue. I bought the washer 6 months ago!

Thanks guys

Tom Roy, Doubtful that you have spun flywheel - sheared flywheel key, it would be extremely rare in GCV160 engines, on mower applications the crankshaft will bend when something is hit before the flywheel key shears.

If you have good compression (over 85 PSI), good spark with a good spark plug, good fuel, then it could be either a bad carburetor (which isn't uncommon on the GCV160 engines) or possibly the starting technique. You've probably experienced, gas powered pressure washers are easiest to start with the pressure washer gun trigger pulled and the pressure tip in the low pressure soap position. Or the high pressure hose can be removed from the pump and the water allowed to flow freely with no resistance while trying to start engine.
You have a 2 year warranty on the engine it is non-commercial non rental use, 3 months otherwise. will give you the name of the Honda enginde distribtor for your state. They will have authorized Honda engine dealers throughout your state. Tom C.

Scott Did you ever get a response? I have the same problem
Fred I also have the same problems as most of the people I have read about concerning the gcv160 engine. I have also cleaned, changed plug, changed oil, changed gas, etc. All it makes me think is the HONDA engines must not be worth purchasing ever again. I'm tired of pulling and having it run a few minutes if I use a start-it spray. All the advise that seems to be given is to take it to a repair shop. Well I think I would rather just tell everyone I know that the HONDA engines are not worth buying...I will throw it away and buy something else. FRUSTRATED

If you can forward this to the proper HONDA representatives, please do.

jeremy Having the very same problem with my Excell 2500 VH2522 2ith a Honda GVC160 ic2 5.5. I have only used it twice in two years I think maybe its the start up process I am going to try that route before I haul it in. I will post any success
jeremy Premature post but i found the operators manual at the honda website. It seems to discuss bad fuel spark gap for potential reason. I am going to give the spark plug a checking and try to hook up the water and see if that makes a difference. I have been trying without the water hooked up.
jeremy Forgot the link to the manual

roy 3 year old pressure washer used 3 times. Will not start. have changed/checked fluids to no avail. after reviewing other comments, maybe this Honda engine is a lost cause. have spark and fuel.
any suggestions!

roy mc Honda gcv 160 engine on Troy built pressure washer. Used 3 times. gas, oil and plug changed. will not start. any suggestions other than trash.

roy mc

Ron I have the same problem with my POS excel with the Honda vr2522 engine. Three uses in three years, thanks Honda!!!

Pierre Durand Same problem GCV 160 5.5 pressure washer wont start.
Last year, before winter, ran fine.
New gas, new spark plug.
Still wont start.
I see gas coming through, spark OK.
Still wont start

Marcus Smith Ok here is what I did and after 20 minutes pulling on mine trying to start it. I did some research on the different styles of this motor.

If you are having problems with a manual start+fixed throttle like a pressure washer follow the start procedure for manual start+manual throttle by putting your finger on the spring loaded throttle and push it to wide open as you pull on the manual starter rope. Once I saw the model with the manual throttle said to put at full open, I just myself "frickin duh!!!".

Fired right up, first pull. Now still use your choke like normal and all that too and have the wand depressed also. It makes it all tricky so I twist tied my wand trigger n put under my foot so I could hold spring loaded throttle in one hand and pull rope with other.

Yah it's b.s. but give it a try. Oh and only had to do this the first start after pulling out from being stored. Starts normally every time after that with out having to hold throttle open.
Hope it works with yours too.

Stu Used this twice last summer. Stored it in my shed with a blanket over it. I have been trying to start it for almost an hour. I have read all of your posts and I am not going to take a new power tool apart. There is no way I should have to. This is a new machine! Last time I buy a Honda.
John K.
Aside from the engine not starting, every 4th pull or after, the pull cord whips out of my hand - some kind of back lash. Does it have electronic ignition and is this misfiring to cause the "kickback"? It is dangerous this way and I am afraid of being injured.

Harold Had same problem with GCV160. Would start for maybe 10 seconds, cord would pull back and almost break my hand. Turned out to be a broken rocker arm. Pull off front cover where it says "OHC", being careful not to bend it. If one of the rocker arms is broken, new one from Honda costs only $5 and is easy to replace. Keep piston at top-dead-center in case valve spring pops off. this will avoid having the valve slip down into the cylinder. also suggest checking valve clearance.
Ken M Same Problem, so I bought a new carburetor, and replaced it, the pressure cleaner ran for 3 hours, spraying my drive way, then it quit. as before the new carburetor, it starts for 4 min. then quits. drained the carb bowl, drained the gas tank, bought fresh fuel, vacuumed out the tank with 1/4 inch hose attached to my shop vac, put new gas in, same thing. starts for 3 or 4 min then shuts off. it dosnt matter where you put the choke, if you wait for an hour or so you can repeat the strat process and have it run for 4 min. was wondering if there is some kind of thermal cut out ?
Mark Z Tried the method suggested by Marcus but to no avail. It seems to be a consistent problem for this engine but can't find any recalls from Honda. If anyone has found a good solution please post, otherwise such a waste of good $
George Have Honda GCV160 engine with Excell VR2522 pressure washer. The intake valve is stuck in open position no compression. There is a crack on the push rod tower, Doesn't look like there is any way to remove and replace the push rod tower. Got any suggestions?
Robb Perez borrowed one from a friend. started on first pull but the spray was sputtering and spitting and wouldn't spray full blast consistently. shut it off changed tips and tried starting again and now the pull string is much harder to pull and will not start. I tried starter fluid and a new spark plug and holding the trigger in on position none of it works. Now I have to give it back to him saying it cant start. I wont buy a Honda.
Bob My problem after the tuneup is I get no spark/crank. Not even a gasp. Frustrating.
Seth Same old issues, "Will not start." Wish i researched all this before purchase. No more HONDA'S to be purchased by this family. Please forward to HONDA if anyone has the time?
Dave Wow! Been trying to start my Troy Built power washer with a HONDA 160 engine for an hour. No luck and VERY frustrating. Has been used 3 times!
I bought it specifically because it had a HONDA engine... what a mistake!!!

Rex whetstone I can get mine to start and it runs fine at an idle...when I turn on the water and squeeze the trigger the motor will not stay constant, keeps surging and won't put out a constant pressure
Bill Ditto to everything that's been said about the GCV160. New plug, fresh gas, oil change, sprayer open, sprained wrist....unbelievable, with the Honda name. They must have bought the motor from somewhere cheap. The scrap metal guy is going to get a nice surprise at the curb this weekend.
daryyl The person that said to push the throttle wide ope was right on after almost giving up, it worked.
Manuel hernandez Run's find at an idle..Press the trigger on the wand & it shut's right off.Was going to change the spark plug….
Greg 4/24/15 I bought a new carburetor. I put it on last night and it started on first pull using starter fluid. I let it run a few minutes then shut it off. I restarted it several times (with it choked) with one pull. Problem seemed to be resolved!
Got up today to use the pressure washer. Now it won't start. Same problem as before. If I spray starter fluid in carb, it will start and run a few seconds then stop. I tried holding the throttle open but that didn't help.
It's still under warranty so I'm going to call the dealer and see what they will do.

Greg I continued to work on the engine all morning. I removed the new carburetor and cleaned it with spray cleaner. Reinstalled it and it still would only run for a few seconds.

I called a local dealer and talked with their service department. I explained the problem and he said it sounded like a carburetor issue and/or bad fuel. He pointed out that gasoline is now refined for use in cars with fuel injectors. and engines that still have carburetors are having more problems in general. I remembered that I run premium fuel in my big SKAG mower (also a Honda engine) and it runs great. Starts on first pull every time. So I went and got a gallon of Premium gas.

I decided to flush the fuel system. I pulled the fuel line from the carburetor without turning the fuel valve off. I was surprised that the fuel only dripped out of the hose. I pulled the hose from the input side of the fuel valve expecting to get a big flow of fuel. But it only dripped from this hose as well. Was the fuel line clogged? I pulled the fuel line from the tank and got the big flow I expected so I drained the tank. I also noticed something sticking out of the end of the fuel line. It was apparently a filter. It didn't look dirty, but it was very flimsy. It could easily get bent in the hose and effectively stop the fuel flow. I put the line back on without the filter, put premium gas in the tank and started the engine. IT RAN GOOD!

I didn't want to run without a filter, so I removed the fuel line and CAREFULLY put the filter in the hose so it wasn't bent. The engine still runs good.

The only way I can explain why the new carburetor ran well but did not run the next morning is the fuel line. I think the filter was bent before I changed the carburetor, but I wiggled it enough as I installed it to get a good fuel flow without realizing it. But the temperature the next morning was much colder which may have caused the rubber line to shrink slightly and close the bend in the filter. I started it multiple times yesterday and a few times this morning and it continues to run well.

Check your fuel flow into the carburetor. Also run premium fuel if possible. It can't hurt.

Ratchet Clank Marcus, thanks for the tip about the manual start/throttle -- I had the same issue where it wouldn't start, but tried your tip and it fired right up.
Alan Weber This pressure washer is a POS. Had the same problems all of you are having the Honda motor is worthless and I and anyone I know will never buy one again. Mine is 2 years old and been used twice, waste of money.
Tech Teach I was having the same problem as many others posted here, use the pressure washer for a time then it wouldn't run anymore. Sometimes I could top off the gas tank and it would run for a few minutes more. Went through the carb and that didn't do any good, so I concentrated on fuel supply. Disconnected the fuel line from the shutoff, and a good stream would run for 30 seconds or so, then it would stop. When I loosened the fuel cap, it would flow again. The cap has four holes around the edge that allow air into the tank to replace the fuel. There is foam behind the holes to prevent water from migrating in. These holes weren't letting the air in because they were dirty. Cleaned the heck out of them with carburetor cleaner, (pull the rubber center out of the cap and blow the holes out till fuel runs free with the cap on. I also flushed the tank and cleaned the filter in the hose at the tank end of the hose. Seems to work like a champ now!!
Dave I have the same issue as everybody on this thread, took Harolds advise and removed the OHC cover and as he describes found a broken rocker arm.
Joe Have a BlackMax Pressure washer with Honda GCV160 about 4 years old. After a couple of years, it would not start when warm/hot - like after refuling after using it. Let it sit overnight then it would start only after lots and lots of pulling on the manual rope starter.
Just took off carb and find it to be very clean.

Going to try all the suggestions above.
1. Use premium fuel
2. Check gravity feed fuel from tank, lines, etc.
3. Clean out fuel cap vent holes.
4. Check rocker arms
5. Try starting wit water flowing through pump
6. Try holding the throttle at WOT when starting.

I too bought this PW as it had a HONDA engine. My feeling are moving toward Honda is a POS and very tempermental. Had a Briggs for years with out any of the BS.

justin i have a problem with mine as well it was running likea champ fired rite up and all the sudden after long use and filling up without letting cool down wich i almost always would do it wouldnt start...i was on 3rd tank of gas an i filled up tank after shutting off an it was running just fine when i turned it off an now i cant get the thing to start to save my life took coil off changed plug new gas an nothing i am going to try to check the fuel next i guess it just seems plum deead like it has nothing it is getting spark i tested that but havnt checked the fuel yet im gonna try that then see where it gets me..seems to be a cheaper..i had a northstar with a honda and cat pump it never gave me a problem one but this troy built is just a cheaper product i do believe
Karl i also have a pressure washer 1 yr old with Honda GCV160 engine. [i had a Honda lawn mower that started on first pull for 10 years, so i've had good results with Honda.] Wouldn't start after not using it for about 6 months. Didn't seem like it was getting gas or spark.. didn't fire at all. Got online and read through this thread. Then I decided to use the tips of Marcus. This worked for me: by hand, i moved the throttle connection to full while pulling the cord. my PW started on the first pull.
Al Honda GCV160 5.5 HP running Delta Pressure Washer (DTH2450)will not start after sitting idle for a time. Put in new plug a new carb. There is fire in the plug and fresh gas getting to carb. But, only starts for a few seconds occasionally, when using starter fluid. I pulled off the water pump after reading to do that to determine if the problem was with the engine or the pump. Would not start before or after pump pulled. I tried advancing the manual throttle when pulling starter rope - no help. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Edward Honda GCV 160 power washer. Yup, same problem. The machine is 2 years old and used only twice. Fresh gas, new plug, spark, quick start. Runs for less than 1 second. Cleaned out the carb, I think I bought a pile of junk. I will never by another Honda anything. Big mistake on their part trying to pass off this crap to consumers.
Larry bought power washer Thursday used Friday/Saturday won't start Sunday morning
dale After reading all this I feel better, I am having the same issue and now am convinced that I will NEVER buy another Honda engine period. I will tell everyone the same! enough is enough,Honda should stand by there product..not impressed
Paolo Chiericoni Mine would only start for a second when I sprayed carb cleaner in the carb, then it would stop after a minute. Then i unscrewed a screw on the bottom of the gas bowl, and no gas came out, i removed the other scew at the center of the silver bowl and removed the silver bowl, the bowl was bone dry and no gas was coming into the carb. Then i touch the white float, and it became unstuck, and gas began to drip. So basically the carb float was stuck in the closed position, not allowing fuel into the carb. Unfortunately, it took me like 2 hours of pulling and dismantling before i found the simple fix. I think if you don't drain the bowl every year, this can happen with all the enamels in the gas.
Mart We installed a Honda GCV 160 on our log splitter a couple years ago - thinking it was a good "Quality" replacement for the well worn B&S. What a Nightmare! Once running it works well - The trick is getting it running. Cold start is impossible without starting fluid - Regardless of any combination of throttle or choke tricks. It pops and backfires. The rope kicks back violently, and actually dislocated my thumb - which was the last time I attempted to try starting this engine. What a shame (sham?) for a name like Honda. Min found it's way to the dumpster with very low hours on it. Soon to be replaced with a different brand engine to be sure!
pdtech Same problem with gcb160 no start. The third time I went to use it nothing, every once in a while it would pop through the exhaust.Got it at Costco May of 2014. Took it to the shop they said it was two teeth out of time. What! they said someone pulled the valve cover off a pin fell out it was put back in wrong. No one has touched this engine.
JohnG I can start my Ryobi 80940A pressure washer with the Honda GCV engine up with no problem; but only as long as I don't have the water supply connected to it! Once I connect the water supply, I can't even pull the starter rope. It feels as if the engine cannot be turned. Remove the water supply, and the engine spins freely. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks, John
John Coumerilh Same issues. Bought it brand new in the fall. Ran it 10 minutes to test it. Worked great. This spring I can't get it to run for more than 15 seconds. I'm hoping for a class action and a refund.
Vincent Marcus is correct on this one. finger on the spring loaded throttle while starting. Works 100%

Josh Again putting your finger on the spring loaded throttle while starting Works 100%! I am chalking this up to BAD design on the part of Maxwell, the Honda engine is performing excellent as it should. They had nothing to do with the poor design choices of the reset of this machine.
Big Blooper Same issues with the Honda.
Tip to others.... If the pull string gets really hard to pull, release the pressure by opening up the wand and water will most likely spit out and then you'll be able to pull the string.

Mine finally started and ran for hours, then mysteriously stopped (full tank). I think it may have over heated but i'm not sure yet.

MikeS There is obviously a problem with this engine. Used my pressure washer twice and won't restart after turning it off for a few minutes. A lot of suggestions here but this shouldn't happen with a $650 pressure washer. The machine has been sitting at BE Pressure warranty repair for shop for two weeks and they haven't even looked at it yet. BS engine, BS service, don't buy a BE Pressure washer.I will be picking it up and returning it to TSC for a refund.
Ross Wow! Had it for a year, used it once and can't even get it to start for more than 10 seconds. Tried everything on this blog and still no success. A piece of junk!!!
Jim Have a GVC160 pressure washer that runs greater on first pull for 5-10 minutes then seizes up until it cools down. During this time the pull cord is extremely difficult to pull. I can force it with a ratche wrench on the crank shaft. Pulled spark plug in case of hydro lock but doesn't help. Only cooling helps. Have changed oil replaced carb, and changed spark plug. Pulled valve cover, push-rods look greate and move freely. It feels like the piston is getting tight when hot, or the pump itself is getting tight when hot. Any ideas? Thanks -Jim
Ron I cleaned the carb on my pressure washer with Honda gcv 160 engine and it will start however when I put the air filter on it chockes it out, what s happening I have no clue.
PamE My husband tried Marcus Smith's suggestion & it worked like a charm. Before he used it today, it hadn't been touched in 3 years. Thanks, Marcus.
Frank The second, maybe third time for use of this machine. I tried all I could think of, even opening the throttle. I finally pulled off the plastic covering, fiddled with the once briefly used spark plug, put everything back on and it turned over, and worked for about 15 minutes.

Finally, after putting gloves on because of the blisters I was creating due to the number of futile cranks, I had my wife open the throttle, and it started, and immediately stopped, and then just wouldn't start again. Taking this baby back to the Home Depot.

Shocked to have such little success with a device that costs so much.

Frank The second, maybe third time for use of this machine. I tried all I could think of, even opening the throttle. I finally pulled off the plastic covering, fiddled with the once briefly used spark plug, put everything back on and it turned over, and worked for about 15 minutes.

Finally, after putting gloves on because of the blisters I was creating due to the number of futile cranks, I had my wife open the throttle, and it started, and immediately stopped, and then just wouldn't start again. Taking this baby back to the Home Depot.

Shocked to have such little success with a device that costs so much.

toal I bought a Ryobi model 80280, with Honda GVC 160 engine. I bought in May 2016. Used it for couple of times, it was fine: light, does it job. In August, I started using it, and I have had exactly the same problem as described in this trail of email. I could not start. Poured out all the gasoline; replaced with the fresh gasoline. Nothing works.

After seeing all of these writing, I brought my machine back to where I bought it -- Home Depot. I want to make a complaint to the maker: I wanted to return it and demand a better piece of equipment. Home Depot did not take back as returned since it passed 30 days. It will repair it, and if it is gasoline related then I have to pay for the repair.

1. If it is gasoline related problem, too much ethanol in the gasoline; there is no way conssumer will find this problem before 30 days. So Home Depot policy is terrible, not protecting consumers.

2. Manufacturer MUST informed consumers about the gasoline to use, and not leave unused gasoline in the tank, or have to use stabilizer, if let the gasoline in the tank.

It is very frustrating, upsetting with both Home Depot and the manufacturer Ryobi. I strongly suggest NOT to buy this piece of equipment.

An unhappy client of HOme Depot and dissatisfied owner of Ryobi pressure washer.


frank same 'ol samo, pull till my arm hurts, change fuel, sparkplug, i even changed the TIRES, no response, changed the oil.
accidentily dropped it off of my work table, and hallieyah, it started by itself, and proceeded to run out the door, while chasing it, I slipped in the mud, dislocated my thumb, only to get and pursue the little "DICKENS", ABOUT TWO CITY BLOCKS away, lo and behold there was another IDENTICAL pressure washer running slugishly the same wa, the two sidled up to each other and proceeded to 'WASH THE SIDEWALK', while running from me. the last I saw of those two was on the 10'o'clock news, when they were caught eyeballing a couple of young chichs.
needless to say, i now have a contract for ALL my water-blasting, and WILL NOT, (REPEAT) WILL NOT LET ANYONE DD=ON MY PROPERTY THAT HAS ONE THAT HAS THE gvc

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leno This Honda engine is on a Ryobi 2800 psi It work for 4 hours the first day, the next day I tried to start it and it was a no go. Changed gas, checked plug, changed hose, checked gas filter. Call Ryobi and told it was a pump problem. Took it back to HD was going to get my money back but decided to get a replacement. The new replacement out of the box would not start, had a friend who works on engines look at it and he could not get it started. Returned it to HD and got my money back. Advice to anyone that buys a Ryobi 2800 with a Honda engine don't waste your time like I did.
reinzcarnation I have repaired or restored several pressure washers with the Honda GC160 engine and found them to be quite reliable. My favorite routine with a R&R is flush the fuel tank and refill with regular octane gas, inspect/clean or replace the spark plug with the correct gap and inspect and/or replace the air filter. Many times either one or all these basic items is the culprit. I prefer to remove the inline fuel filter, add seafoam to the fuel mixture, spray the carburetor through the air filter port with starting fluid and apply dielectric grease to the top of the spark plug connector point. I hope this helps!
Richard Kenny New Ryobi 2800 psi. Worked for about an hour and ran out of gas. Refilled, could not get it to start - chocked/not chocked, pulling for about 20 minutes and always pulling the wand trigger before I pulled the starter rope. Tried the full throttle technique above - no dice. Finally disconnected high pressure hose to the wand. Bingo! At least in my case, it appears that the back pressure from the pump is the problem. Maybe this will help you too.
william I am in the same boat without a paddle or a pressure washer that works. I bought mine 5/7/17 and used it twice for a total of about 1 1/2 hrs. I tried to use it yesterday 6/28 and it would not start. I checked everything ad then brought it back to Home Depot. They said because it was over 30 days they would not give me a replacement but would fix it. It would be 4 to 6 weeks..I said HUH...are you serious. I took it back home and started to trouble shoot it. It has no spark at the spark plug even when I disconnected the kill switch from the coil.. so that means that the ignition coil is bad. How does that happen with less than 2 hrs of run time?? Another thing I noticed was that the plug was totally dry even though I pulled the the cord about 20 I may have 2 problems to deal with. I put a complaint in online with Ryobi that will do any good..What a mistake it was to buy this POS..I am going to put a new coil in and try to get it running. Honda's are not what they used to be...
ronald Almy Pressure washer wont start changed plug and gas full of oil and which way does the valve handle turn for starting with the FLOW - or +

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