How to Adjust Automatic Choke on Honda Lawn Mower

If your Honda lawn mower is not starting, then it might be time to adjust the choke. Choke adjustment can also help when cutting tall or wet grass and the engine gets bogged down. There are a few different ways to adjust a choke on a Honda lawn mower, depending on what type of model you have.

If there is no manual for your specific model available online, try looking at another similar-style Honda machine’s instructions to find out how to adjust the automatic choke on a honda lawn mower. This article will cover some general guidelines for adjusting any automatic choke on a Honda lawnmower.

How to Adjust Automatic Choke on Honda Lawn Mower

5 Common Issues Found on Automatic Choke:

1. Auto Choke Stuck Closed:

If your car has an automatic choke, that means the air/fuel mixture is automatically regulated. However, if the automatic choke thermostat is not working properly, the mixture can be too rich, causing black smoke, sputtering, and eventually stalling.

2. Auto Choke Stuck Open:

If this is the case, you will have no power when the automatic choke is in operation because it won’t create enough of an air/fuel mixture to maintain a proper idle speed.

3. Choke Cable Not Returning After Choking Out:

This could also result from a bad automatic choke thermostat. In addition, the air/fuel mixture at the start-up is too lean and will cause the engine to stall.

4. Choke Cable Binding or Stuck on Carburetor Body:

Ensure all cables are free of any binding, preventing them from operating freely through their full range of operation.

5. Idle Speed Set Too Low for Auto Choke:

Set the idle speed high enough for the automatic choke to maintain idle. The best way to determine this is to set the speed at its highest point and then engage the auto choke with a call for full power. If it stalls, then raise the idle speed slightly until it no longer stalls.

7 Symptoms to Know if Your Automatic Choke Needs Adjustment:

1. The engine is hard to start; it takes many pulls of the starter cord or several tries to get it started.

2. After starting, the engine may run roughly for a few seconds before it smoothes out.

3. On older models, you might notice that the choke lever remains in, or partially in, the choke position.

4. The engine runs rough and stumbles during acceleration, especially when it’s hot and at full throttle.

5. When the engine is running at a steady speed, you notice that the choke indicator on the side of the carburetor housing is not flush with its housing or barely protruding from it (indicating an open choke).

6. When the engine is running at a steady speed, you notice that the automatic choke lever (if there is one) does not return to its original position (or does not return at all) when you release it.

7. The pull-cord feels loose or sloppy and fails to rewind well after each pull.

Steps to Follow: How to Adjust Automatic Choke on Honda Lawn Mower

Step 1: Locate The Automatic Choke.

 Locate The Automatic Choke

The automatic choke is located on the side of the carburetor. It is directly below the throttle control, a small lever under the knob at the top of the mower handle.

Step 2: Disengage the automatic choke.

Slide the automatic choke lever towards the back of the mower so it no longer touches the carburetor. The engine should immediately idle faster and start running.

Step 3: Turn on a Water Source.

Attach a hose to your spigot or an outside faucet. Please turn on the water source and allow it to run for one minute. Ensure the area is clear of people, pets, and flammable objects (i.e., gasoline cans, propane tanks).

Step 4: Put on Safety Equipment.

Put on safety glasses to protect your eyes from possible debris. Put an old towel down in front of the mower so that any potential debris or water will land on it and not fly up into your face.

Step 5: Shut Off the Water Source.

Turn the water source off and disconnect the hose from your faucet or spigot. Allow the area to dry out.

Step 6: Locate the Choke Housing.

The choke housing will have a lid that opens by rotating it counterclockwise, away from you. It may be a little difficult to remove because a hose underneath has a hose clamp around it.

Step 7: Engage the Choke Mechanism.

Slide the automatic choke lever towards the carburetor so that it is touching again. The mower should idle faster and start running again with water dripping from either side of the engine. If no water comes out, the automatic choke mechanism may be dirty.

Step 8: Remove the Lid to the Choke Housing.

Remove the lid to the choke housing and set it aside. There will be a wire mesh screen inside if you have a foam filter or a hole with a small screw inside if you have a paper filter. Remove the wire mesh screen or screw and set it aside.

Step 9: Clean the Automatic Choke Mechanism.

Use spray carburetor cleaner to clean off the automatic choke mechanism by spraying it through the hole where the wire mesh screen was or where you unscrewed the piece that was blocking your view of whatever

Step 10: Remove the Lid From the Choke Housing.

Rotate the lid counterclockwise so that it is sitting perpendicular with the carburetor and facing you. The automatic choke mechanism will be inside the choke housing under this lid. You may need to pry the lid open if it is stuck shut.

Step 11: Reset the Automatic Choke.

Turn the lid so that it is sitting parallel with the carburetor facing away from you again. The threaded piece on top of this lid should be pointing towards your body, not towards the carburetor. You can determine this by how deep the screwdriver needs to go into the hole to tighten.

Turn the lid counterclockwise until it is snug. Next, test the automatic choke to see if a drop of water comes out of either side of the carburetor. If no water comes out, turn the lid back and forth a few times until water trickles from one side before stopping completely.

Step 12: Clean Off Excess Spray Solvent.

Use an old rag to wipe off any excess spray solvent on the inside walls of the automatic choke housing. Let it dry out before placing the lid back on and screwing it shut again with the wire mesh screen or piece of sheet metal inside. Be careful not to get spray cleaner in your eyes or on your hands.

Step 13: Replace the Lid on the Choke Housing.

 Replace the Lid on the Choke Housing

Slide the original wire mesh screen or sheet metal piece back into its spot to block your view of whatever is under this lid. Put the lid back on by rotating it clockwise towards you to sit perpendicular with the carburetor facing you.

The threaded piece on top of this lid should be pointing away from you, not towards the carburetor. Turn it clockwise until it is snug.

Step 14: Reconnect The Hose to Your Faucet or Spigot.

Reconnect the hose to your faucet or spigot. Test the mower by pressing on the handle and allowing it to start. If it stalls, turn the water source back on and press the handle again. The mower should no longer stall and should idle faster than before. If you still smell gas while idling, turn off the water source and disconnect your hose once more.

Step 15: Test The Choke Mechanism.

Remove the wire mesh screen or screw you took out of your automatic choke housing because it should no longer be needed. Turn on the water source and allow water to run through your lawnmower for at least 10 seconds.

Please turn off the water, put your lawn mower back up on its wheels and start it up. The automatic choke should engage, and your lawnmower will restart right away with no issues.

Step 16: Reassemble The Lawnmower.

Once you have completed all of these steps, reassemble your lawnmower by replacing the side cover and reconnecting the spark plug wire. Next, put gas in your gas tank so that you can start up your lawnmower without restarting it with water.

If you no longer have the automatic choke housing, look in your owner’s manual to see how to adjust your automatic choke manually. Manual adjustment instructions are different for each lawnmower model, so make sure you consult your manual if this is the case.

Tips to Prevent Issues on Automatic Choke in Lawn Mower:

1. Clean or replace the air filter immediately after start-up to prevent dust build-up and reduce the strain on your lawnmower engine.

2. Excess fuel will clog and damage the automatic choke system if it is not drained completely from old oil.

3. Gasoline with 10% ethanol has been known to damage the rubber gasket within the automatic choke.

4. Use fresh fuel to prolong engine life and reduce carbon build-up on pistons, valves, and other parts.

5. Don’t push down too hard when cutting; doing so can cause excess strain on your lawnmower’s motor components, increasing the likelihood of damage over time.


This article has provided you with the information you need on how to adjust the automatic choke on a honda lawn mower. You can now go out and enjoy a beautiful summer day knowing that your gas-powered engine will start whenever it needs to.

If this is too much for you or something seems off in our guide, please consult an expert at your nearest hardware store before operating the machine again.

Jennifer Branett
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

DIY Quickly