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How to clean a fuel screen on a Honda Rebel 250

My wife complained of her Honda Rebel 250 cutting out while riding. I asked her questions like a doctor asks a patient to diagnose the problem.

“Did it die after hitting a bump?”
“Did it die while you were giving it full throttle?”
“Did you run out of gas?”
“I am not an idiot!”

After a dozen questions I ruled out an electrical problem and there was plenty of gas in it. I pulled the spark plugs and they looked fine. It had to be a problem with fuel getting to the engine. The Honda Rebel 250 has a fuel screen instead of a fuel filter. It works by letting gasoline enter a chamber below the petcock. The gas is then sucked up through a screen into the fuel line where it heads into the engine. If there is too much dirt in the chamber the screen can starve the engine of gasoline. Here is how to clean it:
  1. Let the Honda Rebel cool before messing with the fuel system. The fuel tends to squirt through the lines if it is hot and you could scald yourself.
  2. Put down a pan to catch any gasoline that will spill.
  3. Turn the petcock to “OFF”. That is halfway between “ON” and “RESERVE”.
  4. With a ratchet or wrench turn the nub on the bottom of the petcock while holding the petcock with pliers. After a quarter turn you should be able to twist it off with your fingers. Gasoline will spill at this point but if you turned the petcock to “OFF” it should be minimal.
  5. Make sure the gasket and/or screen don’t fall out. They are easy to loose. Carefully pull the screen and gasket straight down.
  6. Pour the rest of the gasoline in the chamber out. It will be dirty and you don’t want to reuse it. Clean the screen with a toothbrush. If there is gunk in the bottom of the chamber scrape it out.
  7. Once the chamber and the screen are clean, reverse the process to put them back into the Honda Rebel. The screen needs to be installed with the tab facing outward. There is a mark on the petcock that makes it easier. Make sure the hole matches up with the petcock and then screw the gasket and chamber back on, using a wrench to get it tight.
Remember to turn the petcock to “ON” before trying to ride around. If you had a bunch of gunk in the chamber like I did, you should notice a pick up in power. With regular maintenance like this, the Honda Rebel 250 should run great forever.


I really appreciate this article after having already done it the hard way. The question that I have is in regards to that fuel screen. When I pulled the petcock out of the tank, the bottom half of the fuel screen that covered the stem seem to be "crushed". The top half of the 4-5 inch screen seemed firm but the bottom half seems to have caved in. Now having not seen this before I am unsure if this is a manufacured "crush" for fuel flow purpuoses or if I need to replace it with a new firm screen. Any thoughts?
Chris B.

The petcock does not need to be removed from the tank to clean the fuel screen. It is located under the petcock and the screen is only about an inch in diameter. It sounds like you pulled the screen that protects the fuel line out of the tank. I have not had to repair the tank of my wife's Rebel so I am not familiar with the screen you are talking about but from what I know about tanks, it should be uniform, otherwise dirt would be allowed to enter the fuel system. Good luck, putting back together and I hope you see a difference in performance.
James - Whybike

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