How to Troubleshoot and Repair Common Weed Eater Issues

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You've carved out the afternoon to make the lawn immaculate, mowed the mass of lawn and are ready to finish up with a turn of the weed eater around the edges and in those hard to reach areas. But when the weed eater won't start, it can stall the completion of your yard chores and ruin that sense of accomplishment you were so close to obtaining. Quickly troubleshooting the most common culprits that are causing the weed eater not to rev up can get your project back on track.

How to Troubleshoot and Repair Common Weed Eater Issues
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Spring Issues

After a long wait in the shed or garage for warmer weather to arrive, the weed eater may need some coaxing to get back up to its former season speed. If you have fuel from last season and you are attempting to start up the weed eater, it could be problematic. Fuel should be changed every three months so that it can easily move through the carburetor and to the spark plug. Old fuel can also gunk up filters and cause a weed eater to stall.

Power Problems

Sometimes it is the simplest things that can cause us to trip up when troubleshooting small machines.

If the gas tank hasn't been checked in some time, it's always good to give it a once-over. Check the ratio of 2-cycle oil, which is 1 gallon of fuel to 3.2 ounces of oil. This ensures that the engine won't seize up after a lot of use during the warmer months. If you attempt to start it up too many times, this can also flood the engine of the grass line trimmer.

If it's a handheld weed eater, make sure the battery is nestled into the housing correctly. Also make sure that it has a full charge. If using an electric weed eater, double check the plug at the wall and at the outlet on the weed eater. If the cord has any visible damage, this could be why the weed eater isn't getting the proper juice.

Line Matters

If the line is constantly breaking, it can be very frustrating. The trimmer line can only take so much. If you are cutting thick weeds, slowly slide the head of the grass line trimmer toward the area that needs taking down. A trimmer line that is more than five years old will be brittle and break more often. Replace old line before the beginning of the season to cut down on constantly repairing the line.

Position Considerations

If a gas weed eater is stored on its side, the engine may have flooded. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes before starting it up again. An electric weed eater should also be stored upright in order to protect the parts from damage due to dust and debris from the ground traveling into the delicate parts of the machine.


Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at

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