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Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 12172
Experience:  have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
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Have a Hustler mower with a Honda 20 HP twin cylinder motor.

Customer Question

Have a Hustler mower with a Honda 20 HP twin cylinder motor. Most mowing days the wife (Primary operator) has to use a hair dryer to blowing warm dry air on the back of the motor before it will start. I can't see any logical parts in the area where she blows the air but... it works most times. When it doesn't we tow the mower out into the yard and let it sit in the sun for 3-4 hours.
What part is likely to collecting moisture this way. This has been happening for the last 4 years now. The mower is 9 years old and the nearest 'servicing' dealer has been no help at all.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Richard replied 3 years ago.
Hey there - Im Richard G.

Let me help you.

Are you using the choke before using the hair dryer and have you tried not using choke, before using the hari dryer ?

What is the engine model and spec numbers off engine ?

When did the mower last work perfectly and then when did the new problem start ? weeks or months in between please !

Thanks -
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Choke is and has always been used for cold start and we have tried not using it but no success with that. Fuel flow is not the problem ignition seems to be the issue. (It will flood if you keep trying too long with or without the choke.)


Correction to Engine Plates contain the following Family 1HNXS. 6712AK Stamped number on block has QAFM GJAC - 2007264 On the Red Plastic Flywheel cover ACN006 662 862


As mentioned the problem began at least 4 years ago. It began with the second use of the year. In fact the strange thing is that each spring it will fire up fine the first time you try to start it and then the problem begins after the first use. When it started I checked all the parts I could readily check, plugs, plug wires, gas filter, etc. Nothing changed the routine. Once the engine has been started for the day it will fire up readily. Now the problem pretty consistently unless the weather has been very dry with no dew or rain for at least a week or so. Very consistent issue if the weather is damp or we have a heavy dew after the mower has been used.

Expert:  Richard replied 3 years ago.
Couple things here to narrow it down.

When cold and will not start, if the carburetor bowl has a fuel solenoid on it, you should hear a very sharp click everytime you turn the key from off to on.

Next, check for visual spark when the problem occurs.

If you have the above, use a mist of fuel sprayed into the carburetor or cylinder and make several attempts to start it.

Other then that, I would need cold compression and cylinder leak down results, along with hot engine results.

Let me know your findings from there and we can work towards fixing the mower.

Thanks -
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please read customers response before asking for clarification. I stated that the engine would flood if cranked too long indicating that FUEL flow is not the problem.


The problem is clearly ignition related and in fact I solved it no help from you. I called the original selling dealer who had a very qualified mechanic who explained how the problem might be caused and after spending $4.00 for a spark check I found the issue and fixed it thanks to the mechanic who answered my question for free.