Skip to Content

How to Start a Honda Lawnmower, step by step. What pros say

Are you struggling to start your lawnmower? Don’t worry; we have the solution. Our guide offers clear, concise instructions for running your lawnmower smoothly. We’re here to make the process as easy as possible.

Before starting, check the oil and gas, roto stop, choke, open the gas tap, and inspect the blades. For manual, set the drive and throttle to choke, pull the starter to start the engine, let it warm up, and engage the throttle to mow. For electric, set the drive and throttle to choke, push the starter until the engine starts, let it warm up, and engage the throttle to mow. Take safety precautions.

Are you facing issues with your lawnmower? We’re here to help. Our guide is designed to provide you with straightforward instructions to ensure your lawnmower operates smoothly. Keep reading to ease your lawnmower troubles.

Prestart checks:

Before starting your Honda lawnmower, you need to perform some prestart checks. Once these are done, starting your Honda lawnmower becomes much easier, and your mower will last longer.

● Step 1: Check the oil level

Before you start your Honda engine, inspect the engine oil. Make sure that it has an adequate level. For inspection, you can use the dipstick. The dipstick indicates that it shows the desired level. Your machine has enough engine oil if the oil is above the dipstick line.

● Step 2: Inspect the gas level

Once you have checked the engine oil level, check if the gas tank has enough gas for the mowing job you want to perform. If possible, use fresh gas for your machine. When gas is stored for some time, it deteriorates, and after an extended period, it can even harm your engine.  

In my 20 years of experience, I’ve found that the first thing one should always do before starting a Honda lawnmower is to check the oil and fuel levels. Running a lawnmower with insufficient oil can cause serious damage, and it’s a simple step that can save you a lot of trouble down the line

● Step 3: Check the roto stop

One of the distinguishing features of a Honda lawnmower is a roto stop that controls the mower’s blade’s engagement. A yellow button usually identifies a Roto stop in the lawnmower’s handle. Thus, before you start your Honda lawnmower, always press the yellow button (Roto Stop) to disengage the blade.

● Step 4: Check the choke

In most newer Honda lawnmower models, you will find an auto choke. An auto choke’s main benefit is that there is no need to set the throttle level to start the lawnmower. You will still find a manual choke for older and less sophisticated models. For those checking, the choke position is necessary before starting the lawnmower.

● Step 5: Open the gas tap

A gas tap prevents gas flow toward the carburetor once your Honda lawnmower is parked. Thus, before starting the lawnmower, it is essential to check that the gas tap is on.

● Step 6: Check the mower blades

Checking the mower blades before starting your machine is a good habit. Check if they are sharp and in good condition. Rocks and other sharp objects can damage the blades and result in a less optimal result. Sharpen or replace if needed.

Once all the steps mentioned earlier have been followed, you are set to start the lawnmower.

Method 1: Manual Starting Process

● Step 1: Set drive control

If the prestart checks have been finished, the first step to start the Honda lawnmower is to set the drive control and the clutch in the release position. Once you have set the release position, the two levers get disengaged.

● Step 2: Set the throttle lever

After setting the drive control, set the throttle lever in its choke position to start the machine.

● Step 3: Use the starter rope

The next step is explicitly related to the manual starting of a Honda lawnmower. After the throttle lever is in the choke position, the next step is to hold and eventually pull the starter rope. It is necessary for you to remove the cord two to three times.

This will cause the motor lawnmower to start. The throttle lever is in a choke position, and this will cause the motor to run roughly.

● Step 4: Warm the engine

Let the engine warm up to ensure that the engine doesn’t shut off immediately. Leave it running to stabilize for three to four minutes, and the oil becomes warm enough.

● Step 5: Start mowing

Once you have followed all the abovementioned steps, the next step is to bring the machine in a working position. You need to pull the engine in the start position, and the device will mow. To keep the machine idle, pulling the throttle lever in a quiet place would do your job.

If someone cannot start their Honda lawnmower, my advice would be not to force it. If it doesn’t start after a few tries, it’s best to consult a professional to avoid causing further damage.

Method 2: Automatic Starting process to start a Honda

The first steps to create a Honda lawnmower with an electric starter are similar to those of a manual one. You do not have to pull a starter rope; you only have to push a button.

● Step 1: Set drive control

Like manual starting, the first step in automatic starting is to set the drive control and clutch in the release position to disengage the spin’s blade.

● Step 2: Set the throttle lever

The next step is to push the throttle lever into a choke position. You can leave it there until the engine is warm enough. 

● Step 3: Push the engine switch

Push the starter button to start the engine. Until the engine starts, it is essential to keep the button held. It can be fast, but it can take up to 5 seconds to get the engine running.

In the case the engine doesn’t start, release the switch. Wait a few seconds. Then press it again. It would take 10 seconds to make the engine responsive in some scenarios.

● Step 4: Warm the engine

Just like the manual starting procedure, wait three to four minutes to warm the engine and oil. This step is necessary if the engine is not warm enough. Immediately using full power requires much of the cold engine and increasing wear and tear.

● Step 5: Start mowing

Once you have followed all the steps mentioned above for the automatic starting of a Honda lawnmower, the next step is to make the machine mow by pushing the throttle in the closed position. Now, your machine is ready and set to mow your yard.

The throttle should be kept in a slow position to keep the lawnmower idle.   

Safety Measures And Tips:

  • As a safety precaution, wearing rubber gloves and goggles when checking the lawn mower is necessary. This also helps protect from a back effect caused by faulty or earthed spark plugs.  
  • During the lawnmower operation, it is crucial to keep children away from the machine to avoid the calamity of any form.
  • The patch of grass you are mowing must be free from any stones and pebbles in place as a safety precaution and to save the machine from any potential wear and tear.
  • It is recommended to use gasoline with less than 10% ethanol as the higher the ethanol level, the more corrosive the reaction will be by enhancing water attraction.
  • Remove the spark plugs when checking the engine oil level and gas tank. These steps are a precaution to prevent any accidental starts of your machine.

Related Questions:

1. How do you start a lawnmower after sitting all winter?

The old gas present in a lawnmower could cause a gumming effect. It is recommended to empty the tank and carburetor or stabilize the fuel before storing it for the upcoming winter season. If you forget to do this, you should give your machine some good maintenance before the start of the season.

This includes replacing or cleaning the air filters and the spark plugs, checking the engine and gear oil, draining and refreshing the gas tank and the carburetor bowl, and filling the tank with fresh gas.

2. Does the gas go wrong in a lawnmower?

Yes. Gas can go wrong if it is stored for an extended period. Due to the presence of ethanol in the gas of a lawnmower, the staling effect can already be seen within a month or two. Using a fuel stabilizer for the gas is necessary when storing the machine for the winter.

The best way to store a Honda lawnmower during the off-season is to clean it thoroughly, remove or stabilize the fuel, and store it in a dry, clean place. This will ensure your lawnmower is ready when the mowing season starts again.


Starting a Honda lawnmower is not very difficult. The given steps help to follow the correct procedure, including the prestart checks and the best way to create a manual push mower and an electric starter.

Do not forget that there is more maintenance that your mower does need to keep it in optimal condition and make it last many years. To start the lawnmower, pull the cord outward and allow the cord to recoil once the engine starts up.

Let the engine run for a few seconds, then pull the starter cord again and let the engine run for three minutes to start the warm-up process. After the warm-up, you can adjust the setting to mow or set the engine to start.

Check the spark plugs and the gas tank if the engine does not spin and the mower does not start.

Remember, letting the engine run for a few minutes before you mow is essential to ensure it’s properly warmed up. Happy mowing!

Leave a comment

We try to answer each comment, but please read our comment rules first here. Use an existing and correct email address as you will receive an verification email. Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

  1. Kim Parker says:

    Are there different starting methods for other lawnmower brands?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Starting a lawnmower can differ by brand. Refer to your specific mower’s manual for instructions. Let us know if you need further clarification!

  2. Deann Neal says:

    What should I do if the lawnmower doesn’t start?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Deann Neal, follow our easy steps in the blog post to get your lawnmower running smoothly again. It’s a simple process that will have your mower up and running in no time.

  3. Katie Bradley says:

    Very clear instructions, thank you

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Katie! I’m glad you found the instructions clear. Let me know if you need any more help with your lawnmower.

  4. David Gutierrez says:

    Great video resources, very helpful

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, David! We’re glad you found the video resources helpful. If you have any more questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out. Happy mowing!

  5. Philip Obrien says:

    What type of oil is best for the lawnmower engine?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Philip, for your lawnmower engine, it’s best to use SAE 30 motor oil. It’s essential for smooth operation and maintenance. Check the blog for more detailed instructions. Happy mowing!

  6. Peyton Pierce says:

    Very informative, thank you

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Peyton! I’m glad you found the information helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions about starting your lawnmower smoothly.

  7. Clayton Burke says:

    How often should I replace the air filter?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Make sure to replace the air filter in your lawnmower every season for optimal performance. Follow our guide for smooth operation. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  8. Georgia Craig says:

    Great guide, very detailed

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Georgia! We’re glad you found our guide detailed. If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out. Happy mowing!

  9. Gina Knight says:

    Can I use regular gas for the lawnmower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, regular gas can be used for your lawnmower. Remember to follow prestart checks for optimal performance. Happy mowing!

  10. Terrance Beck says:

    Thank you for explaining the automatic starting process

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      I’m glad the explanation was helpful! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any more questions. Happy mowing!

  11. Michelle Armstrong says:

    Thanks for the helpful tips

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      I’m glad the tips were helpful, Michelle! If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out. Happy mowing!

  12. Reginald Steeves says:

    Should I wear any specific clothing when operating the lawnmower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Wear protective gear for safety. Follow prestart checks to ensure smooth operation. Enjoy hassle-free mowing!

  13. Stephanie Powell says:

    I appreciate the step-by-step guide

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Stephanie! I’m glad you found the guide helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy mowing!

  14. Dan Willis says:

    Do I need to change the oil regularly?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, it is essential to change the oil regularly in your lawnmower to ensure smooth operation and longevity. Follow the steps outlined in our guide for optimal performance.

  15. Riley Powell says:

    How often should I sharpen the blades?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Riley! Regularly sharpen your lawnmower blades to maintain optimal performance. We’re here to help if you have any more questions. Let us know how we can assist you further.

  16. Byron Ellis says:

    Can I leave the lawnmower outside during the winter?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Byron, it’s best to store the lawnmower indoors during the winter to prevent damage. Follow our guide for a smooth start in the spring!

  17. Chloe Sims says:

    Is it normal for the lawnmower to smoke a little when starting?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      “Check the oil and gas levels before starting, and ensure the blades are in good condition. Some smoke when starting is normal, but always prioritize safety and proper maintenance.”

  18. Cecil Morris says:

    How can I make my lawnmower last longer?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for reaching out, Cecil! Check out our guide for easy steps to help your lawnmower last longer. We’re here to make the process smooth for you.

  19. Ava Sullivan says:

    I didn’t know about the gas tap, helpful information

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Ava! We’re glad you found the information on the gas tap helpful. Let us know if you have any other questions or need further assistance. Happy mowing!

  20. Bobbie Ferguson says:

    Appreciate the safety precautions

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Bobbie! We’re glad you appreciate the safety precautions. Stay safe while mowing!