How to Troubleshoot a Ryobi Weed Eater


Ryobi outdoor products are designed specifically with the homeowner in mind. That is, they are not designed for heavy, everyday use. As a homeowner, learning to troubleshoot your outdoor tools will save you time as well as money. There are some troubleshooting situations that will require the assistance of a qualified service dealer, such as making major carburetor adjustments. But other troubleshooting tasks simply require that you know what you are doing. They are relatively simple solutions that can be done quickly.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh fuel
  • 2-cycle engine oil
  • Fuel stabilizer
  • Spark plug
  • Ratcheting wrench
  • Clean cloth rag
  • Spark plug gapping tool
  • Compressed air
  • New air filter
  • Screwdriver
  • Check the fuel level first when the engine will not start. The fuel may also be old and need to be replaced with fresh fuel and 2-cycle engine oil. In the future, using a fuel stabilizer will keep the fuel fresh longer. The spark plug may also be fouled or in need of replacement. Disconnect the spark plug wire, and remove the spark plug with a spark plug socket and ratcheting wrench. If the plug is in good condition, wipe it off with a clean cloth rag. Check the gap with a gapping tool to be sure it is set correctly (0.025 inches). It is also possible that the engine could be flooded. While the spark plug is out of the engine, turn the weed eater so the spark plug chamber points towards the ground, turn the choke switch to RUN, and pull on the starter ten to fifteen times to clear excess fuel out of the piston chamber. Replace the spark plug, and connect the spark plug wire.

  • Attempt to start the engine again. When the engine starts, allow the engine to warm up for a few minutes before accelerating. A warm engine accelerates and is more responsive than a cold or cool engine. If the engine was warm and was left to cool for a little while, warm it back up by allowing it to idle for a few minutes before opening the throttle completely. If the engine will not accelerate when it is warm, take the weed eater to a local service dealer.

  • Pull on the throttle with the choke switch in the RUN position. If the engine produces a lot of smoke, there is something wrong with the fuel, the air filter, or the spark arrestor. The fuel mixture may have too much oil in it. Mix a fresh gallon of the oil/fuel mixture, drain the fuel from the fuel tank, and replace the fuel with the correct mixture. The correct fuel mixture ratio is 50:1. Then remove the air filter cover, and take the air filter out of the filter housing. If the air filter is clogged, it will appear dirty and may have bits and pieces of debris attached to it. Blow the debris away with compressed air, or simply replace the air filter. If the weed eater still produces an excessive amount of smoke after making these repairs, the spark arrestor screen may be dirty. Cleaning the spark arrestor screen must be completed by a qualified service dealer.

  • Start the weed eater. If it runs and accelerates normally, but does not idle very well, the idle speed on the carburetor needs to be adjusted. With a screwdriver, turn the idle speed screw to the right (clockwise) to increase the idle speed until the weed eater idles normally without increasing the throttle.

Tips & Warnings

  • Attempting to complete repairs that should be done only by a qualified service dealer may void the warranty.

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