Using the wrong type of gas or old gas is often the primary reason a generator has trouble starting or running. Not only can gas cause fuel restrictions, but also choosing the wrong gas can have damaging effects on the engine.
Honda generators use unleaded gas with a minimum octane rating of 87 and maximum ethanol content of 10%.
Always refuel your generator in a well-ventilated area with the engine off. Follow the safety precautions listed in the Honda operator’s manual.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual prior to diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
Choose the Right Gasoline for a Honda Generator
Using the right type of gas is an important part of the generator’s performance.
To minimize fuel-related problems, always use fresh gasoline with low ethanol content. I also recommend using a fuel additive to help reduce moisture and stabilize gas.
Low Ethanol Content
While ethanol is added to gas to make it more environmentally friendly, it is not a good product for the small engine on your Honda generator.
Ethanol naturally attracts moisture. This moisture and ethanol combination can leave behind varnish that coats and gums the fuel system causing fuel restrictions.
It can also cause fuel component failures including carburetor damage.
Because of its negative effects on the fuel system, always choose gasoline with an ethanol content no greater than 10%. The lower the ethanol level, the better.
Avoid fuels sold as E15, E30, or E85. These fuels contain up to 15%, 30%, and 85% ethanol.
Use Fresh Gasoline
Gasoline can begin breaking down as soon as 30 days after purchase. Because of this, it’s best to purchase fresh gasoline and consume it within this time.
It can be difficult to know how quickly you will go through a tank of gas especially if you only use your generator for power outages. I have a larger portable generator I keep on hand only for this reason.
I always use a fuel additive to stabilize gas in each tank of gas so it lasts a little longer before it begins to break down.
Add a Fuel Stabilizer
Add a fuel stabilizer to gasoline while it is still fresh. Fuel additives cannot reverse the effects of old gas.
I like to add Sea Foam Motor Treatment to every tank of gas. Sea Foam not only stabilizes gas but also cleans the fuel system and reduces moisture. It helps minimize problems that can develop from running old fuel.
Another good fuel additive alternative is STA-BIL.
Ethanol-Free Fuel (Optional)
Using an ethanol-free gas will avoid the negative effects ethanol has on the generator. While ethanol-free gas is the best fuel option to run through your Honda, it is the more expensive fuel choice.
Ethanol-free gas can be purchased at some fuel stations. It is sold as recreation fuel or REC-90. Check out Pure-gas.org to find a fuel station near you.
It can also be bought in canisters at your local hardware store or online like this 4-cycle fuel by TruFuel. The canisters are a convenient option to have on hand.
Tips for Purchasing and Storing Gas for Your Honda Generator
Using the wrong kind of gas or old gas in a Honda generator can cause starting and running problems. Follow these quick tips when choosing and storing gas:
- Always use fresh gas and consume it within 30 days.
- Use unleaded gasoline with a minimum 87 octane rating and a maximum 10% ethanol content.
- Add a fuel stabilizer when you are unable to consume gas within 30 days.
- Store gasoline in a dry cool location away from combustible products.