Most Common Honda Generator Mistakes

The 5 Most Common Honda Generator Mistakes

Murdoch’s services the power equipment that we sell. The unfortunate truth, however, is that many repair jobs on Honda generators could be avoided, says Murdoch’s Service Center Manager Jamie Traver.

Jamie put this list together of the most common Honda generator mistakes he sees in hopes of saving you a trip to the repair shop.

A word to the wise: Jamie told us that the solution to all of these mistakes is at your fingertips. Thumb through your owners’ manual, especially for storage and maintenance advice, and you’ll save yourself time and money at the repair shop. It really does have the answers!

Mistake #1: Fuel, Fuel, Fuel… Fuel… and more Fuel

Improper use of fuel in your Honda generator is by far the most common mistake folks make, says Jamie. This mistake comes in two forms: fuel type and improper storage. First, Honda equipment is designed to run on unleaded fuel with up to 10% ethanol. Your owners’ manual has a list of recommended fuel and current approved additives, and you can find worry-free fuel in Murdoch’s stores.

Second, regarding storage, if you won’t be using your generator for 30 days, then you need to follow Honda’s storage guidelines. This can include emptying the carburetor and/or fuel tank, but again, your owners’ manual details those storage guidelines and even tells you how to do it.

A fuel mistake causes performance problems, starting issues, and damage to fuel system components; in addition, fuel mistakes are not covered by your warranty. Read more about fuel.


Mistake #2: ECO Throttle

This concerns the popular EU Honda generators. “Running your EU model on ECO throttle all the time doesn’t allow the machine to run at full RPM long enough to burn off carbon deposits that build up in the exhaust system,” Jamie explained.

This leads to muffler replacements from improper use, which is not covered by warranty.

To avoid this mistake, Jamie’s advice is to run a full tank at full throttle (ie, not on ECO throttle) every 3-4 tanks.

Mistake #3: Oil Maintenance

Improper oil maintenance will result in poor lubrication, which can cause premature wear on the engine – even permanent failure.

Refer to your owners’ manual, but Jamie’s rule of thumb is to change your oil every 100 hours of run time. In addition, look at that owners’ manual to ensure you’re using the right amount of oil.

Mistake #4: Fuel Vent

When using your Honda generator, don’t forget to turn on the fuel vent, located on the fuel cap.

You can spot this common mistake easily, says Jamie: “Your generator will run for two or three minutes, then shut off. The generator shuts off because the vent isn’t open, creating a vacuum inside the machine. It’s a safety mechanism.” Just turn off the generator, open the vent, and turn it on again.

Mistake #5: Know Your Watt Requirements

Literally add up the watts that each appliance, television, heater, hair dryer and anything else that draws power requires. You’ll be surprised what you end up with sometimes.

If all of these items are turned on at once and are pulling more power than your machine produces, the generator will continue running but won’t put out any energy. You’ve tripped the safety circuit, Jamie says.

To fix it, turn your generator off. Reduce the power draw by turning off an item or two, and turn your generator back on. You’re back in action.

Did you lose your manual? All Honda equipment owners’ manuals are available online.