Top tips for keeping your petrol strimmer running like a ‘Rolls Royce’
- Make sure the fuel you have in the tank is fresh and not from three years ago (it goes off)
- Keep the spark plug gap set within the manufacturer’s tolerances
- Lubricate all moving parts lightly with a generic spray oil each time you use the strimmer
Someone got in touch with a strimmer that would not start. Anything that involves moving parts and petrol always gets my attention, so I accepted the challenge. Once in the workshop, I tried to start it using the pull cord and as predicted, it wouldn’t run, not even a cough. A little bit of carb cleaner sprayed in to the barrel, a pull of the starter cord and the engine did fire, suggesting that the engine could run. More analysis was required.
The strimmer had not been started for many years, so the first job was to remove the old fuel from the tank as old fuel goes off after a while. The engine on this strimmer is a two-stroke design, so the special two-stroke oil must be pre-mixed with the fuel in the right proportion before re-filling the tank.
While sorting the fuel out, I noticed the first fault. Both flow and return fuel pipes were cracked and one had come apart in the fuel tank, meaning that no fuel would flow to the carburettor. No fuel, no work.
To start most petrol strimmers, mowers and chainsaws from cold, a petrol primer pump is usually used to fill the carburettor with the right amount of fuel and this one was no different, but in this case, the pump was cracked.
After fitting some new fuel lines, a fuel filter and primer pump, the engine fired up and ran well again, ready for more garden work. See slide show.
Cost of replacement: £80 and up. Cost of repair: £7.53 plus my time and custard creams.