Servicing the Honda GC Series

Servicing the Honda GC Series

The GC 160 may be from Honda’s residential line, but this engine’s low weight and high build quality make it a perfect fit for Billy Goat’s smallest equipment including models from their power rake, blower, and lawn vacuum lines. Want to make sure this engine lasts as long as what it powers? Here’s everything you need to know about maintaining it.

Maintenance Schedule

First month or 5 hours of use: Change the engine oil.
Every three months or 25 hours: Clean the air filter.
Every 6 months or 50 hours: Change the engine oil.
Every year or 100 hours: Check the spark plug and, if equipped, clean the spark arrester.
Every two years or 250 hours: Replace the air filter and spark plug. Check the fuel line for signs of cracks.

Honda recommends having a professional mechanic check the valve clearance and idle speed every 100 hours and clean the combustion chamber every 250 hours.


This engine is designed to run on regular unleaded with an octane rating of 86. Fuel mixtures should be no more than 10% ethanol, 5% methanol or 15% MTBE.

Fuel should be used within one month of purchase, or within three months if it has been treated with a stabilizer. Always drain the tank and carburetor before putting the engine into storage.

When filling the tank, never let the fuel level get past the base of the filler neck. Move your equipment at least 10 feet away from where you refueled the engine to prevent ignition of any remaining fumes.


For the operating conditions that your Billy Goat equipment will see, Honda recommends using 10W30 motor oil. 5W30 can also be used, as can SAE 30 above 50°F.

The dipstick is built into the cap for the oil filler neck. To get an accurate reading, the dipstick should be inserted into the neck without screwing it in. When adding oil, the oil should come up to the neck opening.

Oil can be drained by removing the plug bolt below and to the left of the filler neck. Always install a new washer on this bolt when changing the oil to ensure a tight seal. The GC 160 holds 20 oz. Of oil.

Some engines come equipped with Oil Alert. This system will shut off the ignition if the oil level is too low, keeping the engine from running or starting. If your engine fails to start, check the oil level first.

If you accidentally spray the engine in your power washer, change the oil as soon as possible. Oil and water will form a sludge-like emulsion that won’t protect the engine.

Air Filter

To access the filter, press in the tabs on the air box cover and swing it up.

To clean the air filter, tap it against a hard surface to remove any loose dirt. Wipe out the air box with a clean rag before reinstalling. Take care not to brush dirt toward the opening at the base of the box, which leads to the carburetor.

Spark Plug

The plug can be accessed by removing the spark plug cap and unscrewing the plug with a plug wrench. The spark plug gap should be between 0.028-0.030 inches (0.70-0.80 mm.) Any deposits should be removed from the plug before checking the gap. If the ceramic has been damaged or the electrode is worn or fouled, the plug needs to be replaced.

Always turn the spark plug by hand when reinstalling to ensure it isn’t cross-threading. Once finger tight, use the plug wrench to turn the spark plug until it seats. From there, turn another 1/8-1/4 of a turn if it’s a used plug or ½ turn if it’s new. This will seal the washer between the head and the plug.

Spark Arrester

Some local fire districts require spark arresters on outdoor equipment, and it’s a good idea to have one if you need to work around dry grass.

Before checking the arrester, let the engine cool for at least a half hour after running to let the exhaust cool off.

Remove the three bolts holding the muffler cover. Remove this cover, then take out the single screw on the side of the muffler tailpipe. The arrester should slide out of the end of the pipe. Use a wire brush to remove any deposits. Over time, cracks and holes can develop in the arrester’s screen. If this happens, it should be replaced.

Getting the Parts You Need for Your Billy Goat isn’t just a certified Billy Goat dealer, we’re also a dealer for Honda Engines. This lets us provide you with everything you need for your equipment from air filters to impeller bolts. Our site has built-in factory diagrams and descriptions for everything we sell, making it easy to find exactly what you need. We can ship your order to any address in the United States or Canada.

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