Using Sea Foam to prevent rough idling on a Honda GCV160 lawn mower [SOLVED]

I have been fighting hard starts and rough idling on my lawn mower. It has a Honda GCV160 engine. When it starts, it sputters and puffs black smoke for about 2 minutes before going into a smooth idle and being usable. The Sea Foam can says I can add 2 or more ounces per gallon of gas. Should I try a higher concentration to see if that helps?

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Jim D.
Jim D.
3 years ago

Thanks for the question Andrew. Yes, you can add a much higher concentration than 2 ounces per gallon. Try this: Add 1 part Sea Foam and 2 parts gasoline to a low amount of fuel in the mower’s tank. Run the engine for 5 minutes to draw the cleaning concentration through the carburetor circuits, then shut off to let soak overnight (2 or 3 days is better).  When ready to run the engine again, add some fresh gasoline, start it up and let it run and heat up for 5 minutes, then take the mower out to operate for a few minutes to create more engine heat and compression. If your rough-running problem was caused by varnish in the carburetor, the engine should start to smooth out as you go. When you add more fuel there will still be plenty of Sea Foam in the tank to continue cleaning the fuel passageways.