I have a Honda EU3000IS generator, and I tried to start it yesterday. I followed the instructions and the Eco Throttle is Off, the fuel valve is On, and the choke lever is pulled all the way out.

I turn the engine switch to the Start position for about 5 seconds, and it cranks (if that's how you say it) but it doesn't start.

As someone with limited skills, what can I check?

The tank had very little gasoline (it was almost empty) and it was in the tank several months old. I poured some gasoline from a container that I had, so now it's about half-full.

  • How old is it? When did it last run? What fuel was in it and is now in it?
    – isherwood
    Apr 7, 2022 at 15:18
  • 1
    Can see if a new spark plug will help, but with old gas left for several months, my guess is that the carb will need cleaning.
    – crip659
    Apr 7, 2022 at 15:18
  • If it's been a while, 5 seconds probably won't do. Give it 30 seconds or more to pull fuel through the carb.
    – isherwood
    Apr 7, 2022 at 15:18
  • My suggestion is to drain out all the old gas, clean or replace the carb, they tend to be pretty inexpensive on small engines. I replaced the carb on my Sthil weed-eater (string trimmer), a couple of times over the years for about $25 each time. Check your spark plug, if it's not wet with gas and it's a nice brown/tan, it's good. Next time you store it, do it with a full tank of gas and fuel stabilizer. Rationale: an almost empty tank will take in air and let it out as temps change, That introduces moisture that condenses in the tank. Either that or drain it completely for storage.
    – George Anderson
    Apr 7, 2022 at 15:31
  • 1
    Get a spray can of starter fluid. Remove the air cleaner from the engine and give a 1-2 second shot of fluid into the air intake, then immediately try to start the engine. If it stumbles or even runs briefly then you know the ignition system is functioning and you have a fuel delivery problem. If it doesn't even stumble or sputter after trying this a few times then you know there's a problem in the ignition system - spark plug not sparking for some reason. This at least helps to narrow or focus the search for faults.
    – Greg Hill
    Apr 7, 2022 at 15:38

2 Answers 2


Possible reasons not to start:

  1. Check the oil level.

These generators have a low oil level sensor that won't allow you to start it when there is no enough oil in the engine. Oil DOES evaporate (and leak) when left for several months.

There is a specific blink pattern of the control light that I don't remember, but is listed in the manual.

An oil change after a several months of storage is advisable anyway.

  1. Try a starting spray. A good thing to have handy when you have rarely used internal combustion engines. Gas station sell them at extortive prices.

  2. Simply an empty carburettor and pump. Just try harder - e.g. 10 x 5s attempts with ~30 seconds pauses in between.

  3. A wasp or spider nest in the air filter/inlet. Clean accordingly.

  4. A dried out gasoline in the carburettor.

The gasoline has ingredients that are not volatile, so it leaves behind a viscous oily substance that prevents the fresh gasoline from flowing into the carburettor and its dosing system. In the extreme cases the substance left after the evaporation is not really liquid and the carburettor needs removing and soaking in gasoline first, disassembly and cleaning or simply a replacement.

  1. A dried out gasoline in the fuel pump (at least EU2000 has one, not sure about EU3000). The effect is the same. The cure is disassembly and cleaning.

p.s. I have an EU2000 that I haven't started for more than a year.

Considering that I live in a country #3 in the Comrade Putin's TODO list, I will try to start it right now.

Thanks for the hint.

edit: Yes, I did try to start my generator and no, it did not start.

What I discovered:

  1. The fact that you see a liquid on the bottom of the tank does not mean there is enough gasoline to be sucked by the pump. It happened that there is a spoonful of gasoline on the bottom.

  2. Fresh premium gasoline is much easier to ignite than somewhat stale regular (the car I siphoned runs mainly on propane and the gasoline tank is topped once in 2-3 months)

  3. The original spark plug has an iridium equivalent (CR5HIX) that is better in any regard, including the ease of starting. 10 euro well spent.


You mention limited skills, and I'm also assuming limited tools. Let's keep this simple. It sounds like you have bad gas in the tank and you need to drain it out. You should be able to see a black rubber or plastic hose coming out of the bottom of the tank with silver springy hose clamps. If you can take it off from the lowest portion of the hose and let it drain the tank that would be best, but if you can only reach the portion under the tank then that will work. This will make a mess so be sure to do this outside where you don't mind gas spilling.

Once the tank is drained, reconnect the hose and hose clamp. Get some fresh gas from the station, and a bottle of Berryman B-12 fuel system cleaner. Pour about half the B-12 in, and fill the tank about 1/2 way with fresh fuel. The B-12 is a very good fuel system cleaner and will work to clean everything out. Crank up to 10 seconds with about a minute rest in between cranks to let the starter cool. This strong B-12 mix should let it start even with some old gas left in the system.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .