How to Troubleshoot a Grass Trimmer That Won't Pull to Start

Written by patrick nelson
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

Trimmers and other two-stroke engines like blowers are notoriously flaky. One of the problems is that their use tends to be cyclical. You use them in the spring and summer months and then they lie dormant over winter. When you come back to use a trimmer after three or four months, the device won't start. Troubleshooting a trimmer that won't start when you pull it isn't too difficult, though.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Other People Are Reading


  1. 1

    Check the tank has fuel in it. If it does and the fuel was left over from a previous season, discard the fuel and replace it with fresh fuel --- fuel bought this season.

  2. 2

    Look at the primer bulb. It's the little clear plastic bulb near the engine. Press it and it should fill with fuel. If it doesn't, the pipe is blocked. The pipe runs between the tank and the bulb. It's clear, so you may well be able to see blockages. Replace the pipe.

  3. 3

    Take the sparkplug out and check the spark. Check the spark by removing the sparkplug from the sparkplug cap and replacing the cap. Pull the starter cord to see if the plug sparks. Replace the sparkplug if necessary.

  4. 4

    Check for engine flooding. Repeatedly pulling the cord can flood the engine. Remove the sparkplug and turn the machine so the hole in which the sparkplug goes points toward the ground. Set the choke to the "Run" mode and repeatedly pull the rope. The engine will clear of excess fuel and flooding.

  5. 5

    Clean the sparkplug with a wire brush or replace it. Pull the cord three times, leaving the choke on Run. The engine should start.

  6. 6

    Move the choke position to "Full Choke" and try again if it doesn't.

Tips and warnings

  • If the trimmer still won't start, the engine may be damaged. They can be damaged easily with an incorrect fuel/oil mix. Depending on the cost of the trimmer, replace the whole trimmer or take it in for service. Replacing it may well be cheaper.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.