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Outdoor power equipment String trimmer care 101

Published on June 17th, 2013 | by Jeff Linderman


String trimmer care 101

String trimmers can turn a mediocre yard into a well-polished masterpiece. That’s why it’s important to take good care of this important tool.

Here are our best tips on how to keep your string trimmer running well this season and beyond:

First, learn how string trimmers work in our popular how-it-works video: 

Here are five ways to maximize efficiency, save money and keep your string trimmer working well:  

Remember to first consult your owner’s manual for maintenance instructions, as they do vary by model.

The easiest way to maximize the efficiency of a string trimmer is to use a tune-up kit that’s packed with the essentials designed specifically for that model. Enter your string trimmer’s model number here to discover tune-up kits specifically designed for it.

1.     Change the air filter.

The air filter has the important job of stopping dirt, dust and debris from getting into the engine. Clean the filter after every four hours of use. Replace it every 100 hours or every three months, whichever comes first.

2.    Change the fuel filter.

In most models, fuel filters can be removed and cleaned. Some fuel filters are located in the fuel line and others are located inside of the fuel tank. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for information about this. If you find debris clogging the mesh screen inside the filter, replace it.

3.    Clean/replace the spark arrestor

Located inside of the string trimmer engine’s muffler, the spark arrestor has an important role in the proper functioning of the string trimmer.

It should be cleaned or replaced every 25 hours of use or once a season.

Note that if your model has a fiberglass spark arrestor, it should be discarded and replaced every 25 hours of use, as this type cannot be cleaned and reused.

4.    Replace the cutting line.

Over time, string trimmer line weakens, becomes brittle and easily breakable. Use a high quality, non-rounded string for a dramatically better cut. RepairClinic has replacement string trimmer line for all models.

Related post: How to supercharge your string trimmer

5.    At the end of the season, degrease. 

Before storing your string trimmer at the end of the season, spray a degreaser on greasy and dirty areas. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping the sprayed area with a clean cloth. Rinse it off and ensure that it’s completely dry before storing the string trimmer.

Here are simple fixes for a few common string trimmer problems:

Problem: The engine starts and then stops shortly afterward.

Possible fix: The spark arrestor may be clogged. This is often caused by using too much oil or the incorrect type of oil in the fuel mixture. With your string trimmer model, head to’s Repair Help for troubleshooting information and to discover what may be the cause and solution.

Problem: The engine won’t start at all.

Possible fix: If the engine won’t start at all, the most likely cause is a defective spark plug or a restricted carburetor.



Check out RepairClinic’s Repair Help information, where you can find additional troubleshooting information for common string trimmer problems.

You’ll find other symptoms and troubleshooting information on our website’s String Trimmer Repair Help.


Need help finding your string trimmer’s model number? Here’s a helpful video:


String trimmer safety

  • Always use safety glasses, as pebbles and debris can be propelled at high speeds.
  • Keep pets and people at least 200 feet away when string trimmers are in operation


Something broken? has troubleshooting and repair help information for string trimmers. With your string trimmer’s model number in hand, head to RepairClinic’s Repair Help information. RepairClinic has replacement parts for string trimmers including air filters, fuel lines, spark plugs and many others. Click here to shop.



How to supercharge your string trimmer

What to do if your lawn mower won’t start

Five landscaping & yard care secrets from the pros

Seven quick, easy & cheap fixes for common lawn problems


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About RepairClinic

Since 1999, three and a half million people have purchased replacements parts and accessories from RepairClinic and saved more than $260 million in repair costs by fixing appliances, lawn equipment, power tools, and heating & cooling equipment on their own. From the beginning, RepairClinic has provided free troubleshooting and how-to resources on its website.

The company’s 2,000+ free how-to repair and how-it-works videos on its YouTube channel have been viewed more than 41 million times.

RepairClinic’s free, advanced online repair help system empowers do-it-yourselfers to fix common problems associated with home appliances, lawn equipment, power tools and heating & cooling equipment. DIYers can enter a model number to choose from a list of common symptoms for that particular model, troubleshoot and watch award-winning, expertly-produced videos to learn the most likely causes and conditions and purchase the correct part. stocks more than one million parts and accessories for 160 brands of lawn mowers, small engines, snowblowers, string trimmers, furnaces, air conditioners, air handlers, heat pumps, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, power tools and many other products.

Since 1999, the company has served more than three million customers including homeowners, first-time and beginner DIYers, advanced DIYers, appliance repair professionals, small engine repair shops and landscaping and lawn care business owners. RepairClinic orders are backed by a 365 Days. Period.® return policy that enables customers to return any part. Of the more than one million parts available on the website, 95 percent of parts ordered are in stock and guaranteed to ship the same business day. RepairClinic ships within the United States, U.S. territories and military bases and Canada.

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About the Author

Jeff Linderman is’s in-house outdoor power equipment and landscaping expert. For 25 years, Jeff owned and operated a successful commercial and residential landscaping business. He couldn’t afford the extensive downtime that came when he brought his equipment to be repaired at overloaded small engine repair shops. Instead, Jeff learned how to complete the repairs on his own. This interest in outdoor power equipment grew as Jeff completed extensive manufacturer training. Today, Jeff is a Briggs & Stratton® Master Service Technician, Kohler® Engines Expert Technician and a Kawasaki® Service Technician for Engines and Power Products. He has a B.A. in criminal justice from Michigan State University. Jeff worked for 25 years as a sergeant in the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department while he operated his landscaping business. He’s an avid fisherman and lives in the metro-Detroit area.

One Response to String trimmer care 101

  1. Jody Lamb says:

    Thank you, Jeff! Great advice!

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