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  Topic Review (Newest First)
2 Weeks Ago 02:18 PM
Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

For what it's worth, I just bought a new (2106 model) 9.9 4-stroke Honda outboard and have had the same starting problem since day-1. 25-30 pulls on the first start of any given day, then it runs and starts fine for the day. Let it rest a couple of days and it'll take 30 pulls to start again. Could there be a carb bowl or something that slowly leaks out when the engine is not running?

I've repeatedly called two local Honda outboard service places but they won't return my calls Likely, since I described the problem on their message, I'm guessing they don't have any idea what to do to help, so they don't call me back.
06-21-2015 03:18 PM
Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

If you have spark compression and fuel your motor should start. Spray some carb clean into the carb and pull through a few times add a shot of starter fluid and pull. I can hear the music from here.....
06-15-2015 11:24 PM
Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

The click makes it sound like the engine may not be turning over when you pull the cord. If the cord doesn't unwind when you pull on it, the engine is seized. Take the plugs off, squirt some penetrating oil (NOT WD-40) into the holes. Remove the 3 or 4 screws that hold the starter assembly (the thing the cord winds up in). Lift it off, put a wrench on the nut that is centered on top of the engine where the starter was, and turn it. You're turning the crankshaft and freeing up the stuck pistons.
If the cord does unwind when you pull it, the starter assembly may need to be lubricated so the parts ('pawls') that are supposed to swing out to engage the flywheel when you pull the rope don't stick in place.
Or, the motor is spinning freely because there are no spark plugs in place, so no compression, so the motor spins easily. Check those two things. Both are visible with the cowl off.
Once the motor is turning when you pull the cord, put fresh gas in the tank and try again.
If no start, then check for a spark. Pull a spark plug, keep it attached to the wire, hold the end against a cooling fin and pull the cord. You should see a little blue spark as long as you're not in bright sunlight. Wear leather gloves, a thick rag, or hold the plug in insulated pliers.
If you don' t have a spark, either your plugs are bad or they aren't getting juice from the coils. Look for a loose or worn spark plug wire, or a loose wire around the coils.
If you have a spark, check for a stuck float valve in the carb.
First, spray some carb cleaner into the air intake and pull the cord a few times. Tap on the carb with a plastic screwdriver handle. If no joy, pull the carb off, take it home, buy a rebuild kit from your local overpriced dealership or online, and teach yourself how to rebuild the carb. Instructions should be include with the kit, and the whole job takes a half hour. Do it on a clean surface where you won't lose the tiny parts.
That covers most of the starting problems I can think of.
Look at this as an opportunity to become a better, more self-reliant sailor.
06-15-2015 02:31 PM
Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

My Honda 8HP 4 stroke started running rough the 4th time that I used it this year. When throttle was applied it would sputter.
I had it winterized by Honda dealer last fall and it started on 2nd pull this spring but went downhill.
Based on what I found here and on the web I added a pint of Seafoam to my 5 gal tank. Ran it for 20 minutes at the dock. Went grocery shopping and got my haircut over a 2 hour break. Returned to boat and took it out and ran it half throttle (5 knots) for 30 runs smoothly now.

What was I doing wrong?
my suspicion is..... I just stopped it with the kill switch. I never unplugged the gas line and let the engine run dry.
Even though I use the highest premium Shell (no ethanol) I think the left over gas in carb gummed things up. It was sitting for up to 2 weeks with no use due to the crappy weather we have had so far this year.

I only buy gas at a gas station...I think the marina gas sits too long vs a gas station and I never know what I am getting.
06-08-2015 01:35 PM
dandy dan
Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

My 2005 9.9 hp honda outboard is not starting.The following has been done, clean gas w/ no ethanol, carburetor has been dipped and thoroughly cleaned. kill swich has been chek out and spark plugs have spark. I am not sure what is left to check. Does this particular model have computer andif so could this b the problem. Any help would be appreciated.
10-25-2013 04:04 PM
Capt Len
Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

If all this info doesn't lead to a start possibly a kill switch failure. A bit of salt crystal grounds the spark. Was a common problem with older Hondas
10-25-2013 03:31 PM
Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start


Catalina is a great choice for your first sailboat.
I bought a Catalina 25 with a 9.9 outboard and had problems with the carburetor.
I tried fixing the problem myself and ran into issues because the jets in the carburetor are so small.
My suggestion is to take it to a marine mechanic and spend the money to get it diagnosed and fixed up accordingly.
I spent $200 to have the carburetor overhauled and now it runs like new.
Once you do get it running make sure to add STABIL fuel treatment to each tank.
Also, disconnect your fuel line and let the motor idle until it runs out of gas.
These two practices will save you from issues in the future.
All the best.

Mr. Moon
10-25-2013 03:04 PM
Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start


Sorry for your issues.

I have a Honda 9.9 with both electric and pull start. Frankly the pull start puts more energy into starting the engine than the electric does so as long as you don't have arthritis or bursitis or other physical issues the pull start is fine.

The Honda carbs are *extremely* sensitive to ethanol. There are several issues. First there is phase separation in older gas - that means the ethanol separates from the gas; the ethanol is corrosive and erodes the inside of the fuel line and leads to tiny particles clogging up the carb jets. Ethanol is also hydrophylic and sucks water right out of the air, leading to additional corrosion in the fuel system and the accumulation of water in the fuel tank.

Given you description I would haul your fuel tank ashore and dump it in a hazmat tank. Get new fuel. Drain your fuel line and carb bowl. Rebuild (sorry) the carb. Start over with clean fuel and the engine should start.

Moving forward, when you are done with the engine, every single time, remove the fuel line from the engine and let the engine run out of gas. Make sure you close the vent on the tank.
10-24-2013 06:06 PM
Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

Unfortunately, we're anchored. But a guy who's been giving us informal lessons is going to take a look on Monday. I'll let you know what the verdict is, just in case anyone else has a similar issue.

EDIT: Did read through the manual thoroughly. Not much help, in this case.
10-24-2013 05:27 PM
Re: Honda 9.9hp Outboard Won't Start

If you're at a marina, ask a dock neighbor for help, many if not most boaters have at least some experience with small outboards. Also, read the manual. If you don't have one, find the Serial Number on your Honda and down load it here
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