Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

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mw1739
Posts: 512
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:44 pm

Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by mw1739 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:21 am

My 2.5 year old Honda HRX lawnmower was not starting well, idling roughly, leaking fuel from the carburetor, and even backfired, so I took it to the local Honda dealer for repair. When I dropped it off and when I picked the lawnmower up, the employees stated the repairs were covered under warranty and nothing was owed. The dealer replaced the carburetor and all was well. I should add that the carb was clean when it was removed, so I don't see how ethanol could have caused the problem. Fast forward a month later I receive an invoice from the dealer with an explanation that Honda denied the warranty claim. When I review the warranty, it mentions that carb cleaning is not a covered service, but I don't see any other applicable exclusions.

How should I handle this situation?

neilpilot
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Location: Memphis area

Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by neilpilot » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:29 am

mw1739 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:21 am
My 2.5 year old Honda HRX lawnmower was not starting well, idling roughly, leaking fuel from the carburetor, and even backfired, so I took it to the local Honda dealer for repair. When I dropped it off and when I picked the lawnmower up, the employees stated the repairs were covered under warranty and nothing was owed. The dealer replaced the carburetor and all was well. I should add that the carb was clean when it was removed, so I don't see how ethanol could have caused the problem. Fast forward a month later I receive an invoice from the dealer with an explanation that Honda denied the warranty claim. When I review the warranty, it mentions that carb cleaning is not a covered service, but I don't see any other applicable exclusions.

How should I handle this situation?
Have you called the dealer and/or Honda with your question?

BTW why the comment "the carb was clean when it was removed, so I don't see how ethanol could have caused the problem"? Ethanol can/will damage gaskets, seals and other rubber and elastomer parts. It will not make a carb "dirty".

mw1739
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Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by mw1739 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:43 am

neilpilot wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:29 am
mw1739 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:21 am
My 2.5 year old Honda HRX lawnmower was not starting well, idling roughly, leaking fuel from the carburetor, and even backfired, so I took it to the local Honda dealer for repair. When I dropped it off and when I picked the lawnmower up, the employees stated the repairs were covered under warranty and nothing was owed. The dealer replaced the carburetor and all was well. I should add that the carb was clean when it was removed, so I don't see how ethanol could have caused the problem. Fast forward a month later I receive an invoice from the dealer with an explanation that Honda denied the warranty claim. When I review the warranty, it mentions that carb cleaning is not a covered service, but I don't see any other applicable exclusions.

How should I handle this situation?
Have you called the dealer and/or Honda with your question? Yes, I called the dealer and they said they would contact Honda again. In the meantime, they've sent another bill, this time with a late fee added.

BTW why the comment "the carb was clean when it was removed, so I don't see how ethanol could have caused the problem"? Ethanol can/will damage gaskets, seals and other rubber and elastomer parts. It will not make a carb "dirty".
To clarify, I've always followed Honda's guidance on fuel, and I don't think a carb should fail within 2 years of purchase.

CAP_theorem
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Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by CAP_theorem » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:33 am

Not what you asked so I apologize for interjecting, but I think you might find it useful.

I use Trufuel exclusively in my mower, snow blower, and generator (for the first 24 hours). Usually it means I don't have do any dances with fuel treatments, draining the tank, or take it in to be repaired every once in a while. Gas w/ethanol is just a disaster for things that are going to sit for a long time.

It's expensive for the mower at 5$ every two weeks, but the savings in hassle is worth it. I have a half acre to mow. If you have less it might cost you less. I buy the smaller cans 6 at a time to get the quantity discount at Home depot. The larger cans cost more per ounce every time I checked and are harder to pour, carry, and store.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:36 am

I've got a Honda mower that's about 5 years old. I put whatever crap gas I have hanging around. It continues to run fine.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

mw1739
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Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by mw1739 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:42 am

Thanks for the advice on the gas - I'll consider trying it going forward. Any thoughts on how to deal with the dealer who represented that a service was covered under warranty but later backed out? In my opinion, as a "Honda Premier Service Dealer" they should know what is and isn't covered under warranty. If it wasn't under warranty, I would have repaired it myself for a fraction of the $150 they want for a simple carb replacement.

neilpilot
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Location: Memphis area

Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by neilpilot » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:55 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:36 am
I've got a Honda mower that's about 5 years old. I put whatever crap gas I have hanging around. It continues to run fine.
I bought my Honda mower in the mid-1980s, use regular gas, empty the tank and carb bowl when going into winter storage, and it still runs fine.

barnaclebob
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Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by barnaclebob » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:58 am

Tell them that they told you all of the service would be covered under warranty and that even so they have no reason to charge you for a carb cleaning on a brand new carb and that you would like them to send you a copy of the bill showing zero balance.

FWIW I have a Snapper with a Briggs and Stratton engine, use whatever regular gas is most convenient, never have drained my tank or ran it dry (except for one winter where the machine ran out of gas right as I finished the last mow of the season) and it still runs great after 9 seasons.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

bob60014
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Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by bob60014 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:04 am

Maybe I missed something, but as I read your post you state that they replaced the carb, not a cleaning. What did they actually do? What is on your receipt? Depending on what was done the dealer may have submitted the wrong info for warranty reimbursement.

9liner
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Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by 9liner » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:19 am

I had the same issue with a Honda HRX mower. I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle to try and fight it and ate the cost for a carburetor replacement. Since then, I use 100LL AVGAS exclusively in all my small engines. 100LL is readily available at my local airports, has no ethanol, tends to have a shelf life of 2+ years before you need to start worrying about it going stale, and, while more expensive than pump gas, is far cheaper than commercially available ethanol-free fuels.

mw1739
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Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by mw1739 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:01 am

bob60014 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:04 am
Maybe I missed something, but as I read your post you state that they replaced the carb, not a cleaning. What did they actually do? What is on your receipt? Depending on what was done the dealer may have submitted the wrong info for warranty reimbursement.
The invoice states, "adjusted valves, changed carb, adjusted carb."

researcher
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Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by researcher » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:21 pm

mw1739 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:21 am
the employees stated the repairs were covered under warranty and nothing was owed.
The dealer replaced the carburetor and all was well.
When I review the warranty, it mentions that carb cleaning is not a covered service, but I don't see any other applicable exclusions.
This is an issue between the dealer and the manufacturer. It is not your concern.

The dealer advised that the repair was covered under warranty and you owed nothing.
Let them fight with Honda over the warranty claim.

iamlucky13
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Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:39 pm

researcher wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:21 pm
mw1739 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:21 am
the employees stated the repairs were covered under warranty and nothing was owed.
The dealer replaced the carburetor and all was well.
When I review the warranty, it mentions that carb cleaning is not a covered service, but I don't see any other applicable exclusions.
This is an issue between the dealer and the manufacturer. It is not your concern.

The dealer advised that the repair was covered under warranty and you owed nothing.
Let them fight with Honda over the warranty claim.
Since the dealer has invoiced them, I think the OP should to respond to the mistake so they don't take further action to collect.

First response: re-read the warranty - the warranty might have been for parts only, not labor. It is not uncommon for labor to be covered only for a year on some items that have longer overall warranties. Does the invoice include parts? They may have listed labor for the replacement as a cleaning and adjustment just to have a standard billing category, or maybe even to save you money if they have a higher standard rate for carb replacement labor.

If labor is not covered, I think you're stuck, but a reasonable manager should reverse the late fee based on their unclear description of the work performed, and slow response to you on the warranty question.

If the warranty definitely had coverage of both parts and labor at 2.5 years, I'd call the dealer, notify them of the mistake, and request them to cancel the incorrect invoice. Keep in mind they probably don't remember you specifically. If they are hesitant, suggest that if there is an issue getting reimbursement from Honda for the warranty work, they try re-submitting their claim to Honda making clear that it was not for a cleaning and adjustment, but replacement of a clearly defective, leaking and unsafe part.

Do you have any written documentation from the dropoff or pickup indicating this was warranty work? Alternately, if you aren't getting anywhere, you can request they re-send you documentation that they informed you otherwise before proceeding (such as a written estimate). They may decide to believe

Your owner's manual should specify gas requirements, but in general, the following is accurate for engines built in the last decade or so:
https://engines.honda.com/parts-and-sup ... mendations

They do leave themselves an out for engines stored for 30 days or more with unstabilized fuel in it. However, the most likely symptoms of that are gummy deposits requiring a cleaning, not replacement, or in severe cases, possible corrosion of some parts. It should not be leaking except in really extreme cases, unless it were an old carburetor with gaskets that are not compatible with 10% ethanol.

A Honda dealer is also one of the last service shops I'd expect to hold you to the 30 day recommendation unless there were clear signs of long-term neglect.

For what it's worth, I use regular gasoline with up to 10% ethanol in my Honda-engined mower. Worse, I've forgotten to winterize it several times. ~7 years so far without an issue. I definitely don't think you caused the issue. I think your were one of the unlucky few who got a Honda with a problem.

neilpilot
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Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by neilpilot » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:08 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:39 pm

It should not be leaking except in really extreme cases, unless it were an old carburetor with gaskets that are not compatible with 10% ethanol.
Do you know that the old Honda engine carb gaskets were incompatible with ethanol, or are you speculating? I ask because I bought my current Honda mower in the mid-80s, and I'm sure I switched to the standard unleaded ethanol blend gasoline when it became common about 10 years ago.

I haven't had any leaks yet.

iamlucky13
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Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:25 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:08 pm
iamlucky13 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:39 pm

It should not be leaking except in really extreme cases, unless it were an old carburetor with gaskets that are not compatible with 10% ethanol.
Do you know that the old Honda engine carb gaskets were incompatible with ethanol, or are you speculating? I ask because I bought my current Honda mower in the mid-80s, and I'm sure I switched to the standard unleaded ethanol blend gasoline when it became common about 10 years ago.

I haven't had any leaks yet.
I guess the most accurate way to put it is that I don't know whether older Honda mowers were compatible with ethanol, so my word choice was in consideration of the possibility at least some of them were not.

mw1739
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Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by mw1739 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:46 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:39 pm
researcher wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:21 pm
mw1739 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:21 am
the employees stated the repairs were covered under warranty and nothing was owed.
The dealer replaced the carburetor and all was well.
When I review the warranty, it mentions that carb cleaning is not a covered service, but I don't see any other applicable exclusions.
This is an issue between the dealer and the manufacturer. It is not your concern.

The dealer advised that the repair was covered under warranty and you owed nothing.
Let them fight with Honda over the warranty claim.
Since the dealer has invoiced them, I think the OP should to respond to the mistake so they don't take further action to collect.

First response: re-read the warranty - the warranty might have been for parts only, not labor. It is not uncommon for labor to be covered only for a year on some items that have longer overall warranties. Does the invoice include parts? They may have listed labor for the replacement as a cleaning and adjustment just to have a standard billing category, or maybe even to save you money if they have a higher standard rate for carb replacement labor.

If labor is not covered, I think you're stuck, but a reasonable manager should reverse the late fee based on their unclear description of the work performed, and slow response to you on the warranty question.

If the warranty definitely had coverage of both parts and labor at 2.5 years, I'd call the dealer, notify them of the mistake, and request them to cancel the incorrect invoice. Keep in mind they probably don't remember you specifically. If they are hesitant, suggest that if there is an issue getting reimbursement from Honda for the warranty work, they try re-submitting their claim to Honda making clear that it was not for a cleaning and adjustment, but replacement of a clearly defective, leaking and unsafe part.

Do you have any written documentation from the dropoff or pickup indicating this was warranty work? Alternately, if you aren't getting anywhere, you can request they re-send you documentation that they informed you otherwise before proceeding (such as a written estimate). They may decide to believe

Your owner's manual should specify gas requirements, but in general, the following is accurate for engines built in the last decade or so:
https://engines.honda.com/parts-and-sup ... mendations

They do leave themselves an out for engines stored for 30 days or more with unstabilized fuel in it. However, the most likely symptoms of that are gummy deposits requiring a cleaning, not replacement, or in severe cases, possible corrosion of some parts. It should not be leaking except in really extreme cases, unless it were an old carburetor with gaskets that are not compatible with 10% ethanol.

A Honda dealer is also one of the last service shops I'd expect to hold you to the 30 day recommendation unless there were clear signs of long-term neglect.

For what it's worth, I use regular gasoline with up to 10% ethanol in my Honda-engined mower. Worse, I've forgotten to winterize it several times. ~7 years so far without an issue. I definitely don't think you caused the issue. I think your were one of the unlucky few who got a Honda with a problem.
Thanks for the response. I verified that Honda's warranty does indeed cover labor and parts. The dealer didn't provide any documentation at dropoff or pickup, they simply stated that it would be covered under warranty. Conversely, I never authorized any work that I was supposed to be charged for, so I suppose I have that defense as well. The dealer's invoice listed approximately $20 for the new carb and $120 for labor.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by jabberwockOG » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:18 pm

researcher wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:21 pm
mw1739 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:21 am
the employees stated the repairs were covered under warranty and nothing was owed.
The dealer replaced the carburetor and all was well.
When I review the warranty, it mentions that carb cleaning is not a covered service, but I don't see any other applicable exclusions.
This is an issue between the dealer and the manufacturer. It is not your concern.

The dealer advised that the repair was covered under warranty and you owed nothing.
Let them fight with Honda over the warranty claim.
If the dealer told you it was warranty repair at no charge you have a right to rely on that verbal agreement. If they told you it might be covered than you should have verified what it would cost. If it were me, I’d go talk to the owner and offer to pay them 1/2 the invoice. That is likely what thier actual cost was. Most replacement carbs for small engines
are available on line for 25-30 bucks and take about 15 minutes to replace. Adjusting valves on a small engine maybe another 15 minute job ( likely completely unnecessary for 2 year old mower). Find a gas station in your area that sell gas with no ethanol in it and use it exclusively for any gas power tool.

bikechuck
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Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Post by bikechuck » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:41 pm

Life is short and you do not have to engage, fight and win every battle. If I tracked this properly you are fighting over $140.00. If it were $1,400.00 I might invest a fair amount of energy in this but at $140.00 I might just pay the bill and thank the dealer for attempting to have the repair covered under warranty.

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