How to Troubleshoot Gas Weed Eaters


Keep your backyard landscape in trimmed, manicured shape with a weed eater. Such power tools use a set of strings that spin at high speeds to cut away at vegetation like grass and weeds. It's ideal for cutting plants where a lawnmower can't reach. Though weed eaters vary in shape and size, several common problems may arise while using your weed eater no matter what its make or model. Troubleshoot it to find the problem and get back to maintaining a pristine yard.

Step 1

Verify that the weed eater's gas tank is full if it doesn't start or shuts down in mid-use.

Step 2

Check that all of the weed eater's switches are engaged and the carburetor is choked if you can't get the weed eater to start even with a full fuel tank. Most weed eater models have several switches on the engine that must be flipped, as well as a choke button or trigger that must be held while trying to start the power tool. Consult your user manual for model-specific guidance.

Step 3

Inspect the end of the weed eater and clean away any debris or vegetation that may be wrapped around the string head. A buildup of debris can make the tool difficult to start or may result in uneven trimming results. Using the weed eater on wet vegetation will increase the likelihood of clogging the end piece.

Step 4

Replace the weed eater's strings if it doesn't cut well. Over time, the strings will wear away and need replenishing. Read your user manual for model-specific instructions on how to replace the string and what type of string to use. Usually, you must use your fingers or a screwdriver to pry off the plastic end of the weed eater's head to reveal its string spool. The new plastic string gets wrapped inside the spool and pushed through the spool's one or two exterior holes.

Step 5

Contact the manufacturer of your gas weed eater if you still cannot get the power tool to work. The manufacturer's number is outlined in your user manual. A fault in the device's electrical wiring or fuel lines may require servicing. Your manufacturer can provide you with the location of a regional authorized service center.


  • "The Tool Book: A Compendium of Over 500 Tools for the Well-Tended Garden"; William Logan; 2000
Keywords: troubleshoot weed eater, gas weed eater, weed weater troubleshooting

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.