I have a two year old Troy Bilt pressure washer with a GCV 190 Honda engine. The pressure washer has worked fine for two years (although I have rarely used it).

Recently, I broke out the pressure washer to use for the summer, and I ran into an issue. The washer ran fine for about the first hour of use, but then it shot black smoke from the exhaust and cut off. I could not get the washer to restart.

I removed the spark plug from the washer, and it was charred almost completely black on the end. I bought a replacement spark plug and installed it. The next day when trying to use the washer, it would run but the engine sounded like it was struggling to stay on, and whenever I turned off the sprayer the engine would die. After about an hour, more black smoke came form the exhaust and the pressure washer will not crank again.

Does anyone have an idea of what the issue may be? I've put new gas in the engine and the oil levels look fine.

  • Is the oil level full? My Honda compressor has a low oil cut out when right on the edge it starts running rough but usually won't start until I add oil.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 10:46

1 Answer 1


I think the fuel to air ratio is to high (rich)... the engine needs more air. Look to see if you have a choke on the engine and after letting it warm up for a minute, make sure to switch it to run. If the choke is not the issue, then you (probably) need to change the air filter.

If that doesn't do it, then you may have a problem with the carburator. Don't leave gas in the engine over winter... it causes various problems, including corroding plastic parts- which might lead to gunk in the carburator or worse.

  • You were right! It was a stuck choke. Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 2:08

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