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Discussion Starter #1
I have had at least 1 and most of the time 2 Honda EU2000I generators for most of 20 years and they are so dependable they make me feel invincible in knowing I have a solid game plan for power outages. I have I guess always used them in warm weather camping, boating and for outdoor projects. Today I went to my small town chiropractor appointment and his water was froze up out at the meter so I said I got this for you. Ran back home and spent the next 30 minutes fighting to get either of my Hondas to run. They always have non eth farm gas in them, never anything else. Fuel is fresh, This seems to just be the cold weather. They were in my unheated but attached garage so not really all that cold, I'd guess 40 degrees initially and dropping to 10 outdoors as I moved them outside one at a time to test fire before leaving with one on the back of my truck. I finally got one of them to start just before I took a 9mm to both. This particular set of generators are about 2 years old and have been flawless up until now with estimated 25 hours of run time. Some individual and some in tandem. This was very aggravating since I have always put my trust in them without fail. I have had both outside all afternoon at 15 degrees and now 10 again and 1 will still not even try to start, the one that did finally take off this morning will now barely start after after 15 or more pulls being in the cold all day. They were left outside to test and try and figure out what is going on. If I have to store these in a warmer box all their life to make them think it is summer I see no value in having them as a backup in winter. I am just amazed since I guess I have fortunately never needed one in cold weather. I got to figure something out here since I am getting older and the shoulders are not what they used to be, only got so much pulling on that rope in me these days. Please help. What is the deal with these generators not starting when it is cold ???? is there a trick. Thanks in advance for you thoughts.
 

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Not sure if you are in the US or Canada but I believe theunits sold in Canada and possibly the northern States have Hondas “cold climatetechnology” which helps keep the crankcase ventilation tube free from iceformation and prevent generator shutdown. I believe you can add this option ifyou don’t already have it. . Also 5w30 oil will help in colder conditions.
John
 

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A Honda style compression release is not your friend in cold weather.
 

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Would ether starting fluid be my friend for an easier start in single digit temperatures. I mean really I could deal with that if I knew it going in on cold days. I have not tried and could not give a ship about if the generators like it or not if it helps them start when i need them. I got old used hard tired sholders and yesterday fiasco is still hurting now. What I went though yesterday was BS. I wish they would extend the crankshaft and make room for a cordless drill or something if they are not going to start when cold and pulling on the rope.
 

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Starting fluid, will allow it to start easier in cold weather, but like anything else it's a trade off. If you use it sparingly you will not hurt the rings, piston lands or cylinder walls. The major issue with people using it is they use to much, which flakes the chrome off the rings or in some cases of way over kill breaks the ring lands from back firing. the best way to use it is by having the engine spinning then start slow an add until it starts to fire then keep that same amount going until it's running. In your case that can't happen w/o a second person, so try this. Remove the air filter(always do this when using it no matter the engine) with the choke open spray just a little into the choke area, close the choke an try to start it. If it does not fire an you can not feel it pull harder leave the choke open the next time an do the same thing again. if it fails that time just add a little more spray an repeat. It should start in less than 4 pulls.

Now the other thing you can do, get a plastic tote from a store, set the genset inside or cover it with the tote. Use a 30-40 max watt light bulb on a thermostat that turns on the lamp at anything less that 55* F. Just make sure you cut a small vent hole for the gas vapor to escape, an it should start as normal. Make sure the lamp is not touching or right below the fuel tank, you just want the heat to keep the contents of the tote warn.
 

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A couple of things that might help if you have not done so already.
Clean and re-gap the plugs
Change out oil for lighter weight 5-30w in the cold weather.
A quick spray of starting fuel if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I will do all of the above, as I need a trusted resolve to the cold weather non starting issue. Is starting fluid known to ignite at lower cylinder pressures than gas, if so this will be the answer and if not, in the end I will test it out and advise back hear.
 

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Starting fluid about, 340-350*F
Gasoline, 490-500*F
 

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Those look like flash point #'s, is that relative to cylinder pressure
Yes, because remember compression is what builds heat. When you relieve compression so it's easier to pull start with a compression release,
you are giving up some of the heat required for starting. In warm weather that is a none issue as the engine metal is already warm from ambient, that is not the case in cold weather. With engine metal cold the heat of compression is rapidly absorbed into the metal, which leaves little for combustion. If everything is correct on the engine even when cold it should only require a few more start attempts, even with a compression release.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, because remember compression is what builds heat. When you relieve compression so it's easier to pull start with a compression release,
you are giving up some of the heat required for starting. In warm weather that is a none issue as the engine metal is already warm from ambient, that is not the case in cold weather. With engine metal cold the heat of compression is rapidly absorbed into the metal, which leaves little for combustion. If everything is correct on the engine even when cold it should only require a few more start attempts, even with a compression release.
Do you have one of these generators that starts easily in cold weather because you have me thinking my matched generators have an issue that I need to sort out and I am thinking they have a design flaw. Does anyone have one of these that starts easily in cold weather.
 

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I do not have one of those as the inverter style's I own are those long ago old from 100lb 12.5 hp B&S engine's.
All my rope start engines of which I have 7 all start with in 3 pulls in cold weather. The ones with starters start about the same in warm or hot weather.
One thing to always remember is just because it's new does not mean it's tuned properly or runs as designed, the reason for warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I do not have one of those as the inverter style's I own are those long ago old from 100lb 12.5 hp B&S engine's.
All my rope start engines of which I have 7 all start with in 3 pulls in cold weather. The ones with starters start about the same in warm or hot weather.
One thing to always remember is just because it's new does not mean it's tuned properly or runs as designed, the reason for warranty.
Ya, all my other stuff starts as expected too, just these two generators. I am going to give both fresh gas again and new plugs just to waste some time and money but I am betting it is the compression release design and ether is the better answer. Will advise.
 

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I have two Honda eu2000i generators with approximately 2500 hours on each. I use them for my camper located in upstate NY where winter temps can drop down to the single digits. I don't run them over night so in the morning they are at ambient temperature for starting.


First, 5w-30 (full synthetic) oil is a must. The eco throttle switch should be off. I've always treated my premium gas with Pri-g treatment. I like winter blended gas as it vaporizes more easily, so that's my choice. Finally, a properly gapped spark always helps. Ether is last resort.


Other than the above your generator should start within 5 pulls-mine do. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have two Honda eu2000i generators with approximately 2500 hours on each. I use them for my camper located in upstate NY where winter temps can drop down to the single digits. I don't run them over night so in the morning they are at ambient temperature for starting.


First, 5w-30 (full synthetic) oil is a must. The eco throttle switch should be off. I've always treated my premium gas with Pri-g treatment. I like winter blended gas as it vaporizes more easily, so that's my choice. Finally, a properly gapped spark always helps. Ether is last resort.


Other than the above your generator should start within 5 pulls-mine do. Good luck.

Thank You for that feedback, less than 10 pulls would be acceptable in very cold temperatures. I am due for oil change #2 so I will switch to the recommended 5w-30 Full Syn. When you say premium gas, what exactly is that, ?? Are you buying 91+ octane or non Ethanol or ?? I always run 90 octane non Ethanol gas in everything but my cars and trucks. I used to run av gas but switched to farm fuel a few years ago.
 

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For me premium is 93 with ethanol or 91 non ethanol from Valero. I forgot to mention that I also add Seafoam to the gas. The naphtha in it is a great solvent for your carb. Some people think it's snake oil. All I know that after 2500+ hours on both machines, my carbs are spotless. I've never had to clean or rebuild them. Then again, Honda makes a superior product.
Keep in touch.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
For me premium is 93 with ethanol or 91 non ethanol from Valero. I forgot to mention that I also add Seafoam to the gas. The naphtha in it is a great solvent for your carb. Some people think it's snake oil. All I know that after 2500+ hours on both machines, my carbs are spotless. I've never had to clean or rebuild them. Then again, Honda makes a superior product.
Keep in touch.
Yes, I am a seafoam believer too, I commonly add it to my fuel jugs before it even goes into the equipment fuel tanks. Our only convenient non ethanol fuel around here is avgas or farm fuel at 90 octane. I am very impressed with that 2500 hours !!!
 

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We have a little country general store that sells ethanol free gas, 91 or 92 octane, about 15-18 miles from here. I usually make one or two trips a year down there and fill up my cans, the last time I bought 60 gal home and keep in my shed, and use in all the small engines. The last time I filled up was about a week before hurricaine Harvey hit, all we got here 200 miles north of the Texas coast was a nice breeze and light rain, but better prepared. I treated with Seafoam and a touch of two cycle outboard motor oil, probably to the tune of about a 1:400 dilution, thinking a thin oil film will help seals, and certainly will help the metal tank on my big Honda generator. I ususally use it throughout the year in my lawn mowers and two cycle equipment, and replace in late fall or early winter to be prepared for the rare but possible ice or snow that we sometimes have.

In the past I have gone to the hardware store or paint store and purchased a gal of xylol and used it as a additive, basically using the amount that compared to some commercial fuel additives such as chem 12. Seems to work and some of those engines are still going as well as my wife's 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis.
 

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I agree 100% with the others that recommend that you switch to the 5w-30. Synthetic or not, you need to change the oil as per Honda's guidelines or more often. I always say, oil is cheap so change it often. Keep in mind that these small engines do not have an oil filter. So changing it on a regular schedule and always warm up the engine before draining the oil, helps to insure long engine life. I suggest switching back to 10w-30 for the hot summer months. Also, using ethanol free is good but it will still go stale over time so using Sta-bil or another fuel conditioner is wise if you are storing your fuel for more then 6 months. Finally, to avoid condensation (water) from forming in your fuel can, store it up off of the cement floor. I put a 2x8 piece of scarp wood under mine or a low shelf.
Hope this helps.
 

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I have 3 Honda eu2000i , all three have over 2000 hours and they always start within 3 pulls in the winter as long as I don't let them sit unused for a long time.

If you let the generator sit in storage unused you have to put some Seafoam in the gas tank and then run the generator on high for about 3 hour to clear out the carb , you get it started with starting fluid.

My pull cord pulls hard in the winter because I have 10w30 oil in it but it still starts ., I think if I put cold weather oil in it it would pull easier.
My generators are kept in a uninsulated metal storage shed , they'll start even at negative 40 degree Fahrenheit always within 7 pulls most of the time 2 pulls , most of the time it doesn't start I realize I forgot to turn it on .

I do have one Honda eu2000i generator that i leave outdoors in a partial aluminum box , the box is mounted to my bumper .

it doesn't have the red plastic and it sits out in the elements 24 /7 year round , I use it everyday , it sometimes doesn't start when it gets cold out , if I wait a few hours and try it again it starts .
I'm thinking of adding a little heater to the box
 
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