Weed Eater Won’t Start

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At the end of every growing season, we seem to forget about our precious weed eaters that we keep in the backyard until the next season.

Now, as the new growing season approaches, frustration starts piling up when you notice the weed eater won’t start. There are many reasons that might have caused your machine to seize working, so before taking a trip to the nearest hardware store, we’re going to list some possible common causes.

Apart from failing to start after being stored for too long, a weed eater might suddenly seize working or refuse to start after a busy working day. These factors/tips will therefore save you time and money if implemented correctly.

Fuel Issues

Fuel-related issues are one factor that can cause your trimmer to seize working. First and foremost, check if the fuel tank has enough fuel to power up the engine. If the fuel level is too low, of course you can’t expect the trimmer to start.

Secondly, check if the fuel is fresh. It’s highly recommended that trimmers should be refueled with fresh gasoline that hasn’t stayed for more than three months. Fresh fuel flows easily through the carburetor, thus preventing clogging that might occur in delicate parts of the engine.

Finally, ensure that gasoline has been mixed with two-cycle oil in the correct ratio of 40:1 (one gallon of gas to 3.2 ounces of oil) or 50:1 (one gallon of gas to 2.6 ounces of oil).

Spark Plug Problem

Another common reason that might cause your trimmer to seize working is the spark plug. To test this, first try to start your engine to see if it will respond. If it fails completely, it’s more likely that the problem might be the spark plug. Begin by inspecting the spark plug for any signs of wear or tear.

Check if there’s any carbon or dirt buildup, then use a spark plug tester to see if it’s defective. If the spark plug is in good working order, clean it thoroughly using a brush, and if it’s defective, consider replacing it with a new unit.


The carburetor is an essential part of the engine, and when damaged, it becomes completely impossible to start your trimmer. What causes the carburetor to malfunction in most cases is when fuel is left in the trimmer for too long.

When fuel is left for too long inside the machine, it evaporates, leaving a thick and sticky residue that clogs the carburetor, thus preventing the engine from starting. Remove all clogged substances such as fluids and dirt. If the carburetor is damaged beyond repair, the best thing is to replace it instead of buying a new weed trimmer.

Air Filter Blockage

Your engine might be trying to start then suddenly stop. This is a sign of air filter blockage, which means enough fuel is running through the engine, but too little air is passing through due to dirt and other debris in the air filter.

To troubleshoot this problem, simply remove the air filter and clean it with hot water before squeezing it to dry. If there’s no further maintenance, simply restore the air filter in the filter housing and try starting the engine.

Electrical Issues

If you have an electric weed trimmer, the most probable cause of a fault is the power outlet or the cable. Check the extension cord to ensure that it’s perfectly fitted to the power outlet.

Check for any faulty connections and ensure that the electrical cable is working properly. Also, check the fuses and the circuit breaker and ensure that the switch is always in the “On” position.

Recoil Starter

Something else that might cause your trimmer to seize starting is a default in the rewind spring or the recoil pulley. If the rewind spring is broken, it won’t be able to coil onto the pulley, meaning you’ll have to replace it. On the other hand, if the recoil starter is damaged, the engine will also seize to start, meaning you’ll have to replace it.

Adjust the choke

A strong gas odor indicates the engine is flooded, & you may need to adjust it a bit. What you can do is set the choke to the halfway point and then see if you can start the engine. Also note :  A flooded engine can also be remedied by waiting for several minutes before you try the weed eater.

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