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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m new to this forum and just purchsed my first Honda mower. Growing up we always had Craftsman mowers, and I had always wanted a honda with the hydrostatic drive. Well I finally pulled the trigger and could not be happier! I’m excited to meet some folks on here and contribute from time to time.

Aside from non-ethonal gas and an oil change after the first 5 hours of use, is there anything else that is recommended for longevity?
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, the party didn't last. The mower was working wonderfully for the first two mows. Per the manual, I changed the oil around the 5 hour mark. After doing so it fired up fine.

Yesterday, when I went to mow, the pullcord kicked back hard. It felt like I almost had my hand broken. I tried again, thinking I just caught it right at the top of the compression stroke, but the same thing happened. The motor would get to the top of the compression stroke and was almost impossible to pull over. My initial thought was that the motor was somehow partially seized, but I was able to get it started by catching the engine between compression strokes with the pull cord to avoid kickback, and it would start and ran perfectly fine.

I checked the oil and mowed my whole yard without any issues. Plenty of power, ran smooth, etc. After I was done, I let it cool down and then tried to start it again. The kick back issue was gone and it easily fired right up.

I called the dealer and they said I probably overfilled the oil. I've been around small engines most of my life and highly doubt that I screwed up something as simple as an oil change, but figured I would try draining some oil. Perhaps too much oil could lead to pressure in the crankcase. I started draining oil, a little at a time until it just hit the very middle/low spot on the dipstick, which is very hard to read with clean oil. When I first cranked it the issue was gone. All of the sudden, it came back and basically breaks my hand. I tried pulling the cord with the oil cap removed and the issue persisted, so it's definitely not an issue with pressure in the crankcase.

I read something about a compression release on these engines to prevent this sort of kickback at low RPMs. Could this be the issue?

It's going back to the dealer this week. Go figure this is the most expensive mower I've ever bought and in less than a month it's broken.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just spoke to the dealership. The tech said the valves were in spec but not perfect, so he adjusted them and still no change. Most likely the compression release.

Apparently there is an updated parts kit that includes a new cam gear to correct this issue. They are ordering and hopefully the issue should be fixed next week.

I will try to get more specifics on the update kit. With luck it could help someone else experiencing the same problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks for the follow up. Sorry you’ve had this experience. So far, the rear wheels on my HRR haven’t locked up but I’m pretty much expecting them to do so next season. I think that when you pay top dollar for a lawnmower, it shouldn’t come with these problems. When it comes time to replace the HRR, I won’t be buying a Honda product.
Agreed that these problems on a premium product shouldn’t happen, but manufacturers defects are unfortunately inevitable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quick Update:
They ended up having to put a new camshaft in it. Issue seems to be solved. The part number is 14100-Z9M-000.

He also said that Honda is good about continuing to cover existing issues even after the warranty period expires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update:

After a 20 minute mow of the front yard, I shut the mower down. When I restarted, it snapped back again and the decompression mechanism had failed. I ended up just keeping it running for the rest of the time. Interestingly enough, this morning the cord pulled fine.

I am working with the dealer and Honda to discuss repair or replacement options. The dealer has been very understanding and easy to work with. The experience with this mower has been disappointing, but I am really glad I purchased from a local dealer and not a big box.

I have wanted one of these mowers since I was a kid cutting grass for $10 a yard. I was finally in a place where I could afford one, and very excited. Oh well, guess that is life sometimes…
 
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