Honda 4518 Lawn Tractor Troubleshooting

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The Honda 4518 is a sit-down lawn mower that you can also use as a mobile snowblower. Honda designed these lawn tractors specifically for users that either have difficulty pushing a traditional mower or have large lawns. Manufactured during the 1990s, the 4518 lawn tractor is reliable and easy to operate. Although problems can develop, you can easily remedy most of them.

Engine Fails to Start

  • If the engine fails to start, make sure that fuel is in the gasoline tank. The 4518’s gas tank holds only 2.38 gallons of gasoline. When the fuel level is below one-fourth of a tank, the fuel light on the tractor’s dashboard will illuminate. The gearshift level must also be in the “Neutral” position and the PTO lever must be in the “Off” position, or else the engine will not start. As a safety feature, the tractor has a switch built into the seat. The engine will not start unless you have activated this integral switch. You can only activate the switch by sitting in the seat. Finally, make sure that the spark plug wires are firmly attached to the top of each plug, and that the plugs are gapped properly. The gap between the porcelain tip of the plug and the hook-shaped metal electrode just above the tip must be between 1.0 and 1.1 mm, as measured by a feeler gauge. This is especially important if you have installed new spark plugs, as overlooking the spark plug’s gap is a common mistake. When reinstalling the spark plugs after checking the gap, remember to hand-tighten the spark plugs before tightening them with a wrench to avoid cross-threading the plugs.

Increased Oil Consumption

  • If the tractor is suddenly using more oil than normal, first make sure that the correct oil viscosity is used. Viscosity refers to the thickness of the oil. Oil that is too thin may inadvertently enter the combustion chambers, where it is ignited and routed through the exhaust pipe. An oil viscosity of 10W-30 is best suited for most applications. However, if the tractor is used in temperatures that exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you should use a thicker oil such as 10W-40, 20W-40 or 20W-50. Only use SAE-rated engine oil, as non-detergent or 2-stroke engine oil will damage the engine. If the proper oil is used, yet the engine still consumes oil, inspect the oil pan’s drain bolt at the bottom of the pan for leaks. Note that you must turn the tractor’s wheels to the extreme left to access the drain bolt. If signs of an oil leak are present, tighten the drain bolt. Finally, too much oil will cause excessive oil consumption. At the base of the oil dipstick are two lines. The oil level must be between these two lines. You can drain oil from the drain plug if necessary.

Uneven Mowing

  • If the tractor fails to mow evenly, you may need to reduce the tractor’s speed to ensure that the blades completely cover a given portion of grass. Shift the transmission to a lower speed to reduce the speed of the tractor. Also, make sure that you periodically empty the tractor’s clippings bag. Uneven tire pressure may also cause the tractor to mow unevenly, particularly if one or both tires on one side of the tractor are inflated to a lower pressure than the tires on the opposite side. An underinflated tire will cause the opposite side of the tractor to lift up, resulting in an unevenly mowed surface. You should inflate the tractor’s two front tires to 11.4 pounds per square inch (PSI). Because the tractor’s engine rests over the rear tires, inflate the rear tires to 14.2 PSI.

References

  • "Honda Power Equipment: Owner’s Manual Lawn Tractor H4518H;" Honda Motor Company; 1990
  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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