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Petrol Strimmer FAQs

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In an ideal world one would be able to pop down to the local store, purchase the required piece of gardening equipment, return home and just complete any gardening job without any problems or hindrance. Sounds good doesn’t it. Bong, reality emerges.

Now the petrol strimmer is not the most complicated of man made inventions. In fact it is quite the opposite. You have an engine at the top of a shaft which powers the cutting head at the bottom of the shaft. Just power up the machine and away you go. Not rocket science is it? Bong, reality emerges.

Now petrol strimmer manufacturers spend a lot of money with research and development in order to manufacture a high quality strimmer that outperforms their rivals. And many strimmers are actually very good. To be honest over the last 10 years or so, new models of the petrol strimmer are just getting better and better. However what these manufacturers fail to do is supply their new excellent machines with adequate handbooks giving you all the information you require about your petrol strimmer. This is why there are so many similar questions asked by fellow petrol users on a regular basis. The questions vary from the simple to the complicated, yet time after time, the same questions just keep emerging. Lets hope one day that one of the major manufacturers compliments their great machines with a suitable handbook we can all appreciate and understand.

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What is the oil and fuel mix ratio with a petrol strimmer?


Most petrol strimmers are powered by a 2 stroke engine. These engines require lubricating but do not have a regular oil sump. So to lubricate them, oil has to mixed with the fuel. New strimmers today are made so that the mix ratio is 50/1. Older versions of the petrol strimmer have mix ratios of 40/1 or even 32/1. Check your handbook or on the engine housing of your petrol strimmer to see which ration your strimmer requires. Remember that oil and fuel will separate over time. So if you store you mix in a canister you need to swirl it around before refilling. Never shake it.



Why do I have to use a oil and fuel mix?


A 2 stroke engine does not have a regular oil reservoir. So to keep the engine lubricated at all times, oil has to be added to the fuel. Failing to add oil to your fuel will mean that the engine will have no lubrication at all. Within a couple of minutes the engine will overheat and seize, rendering it useless.



Which fuel do I use with a petrol strimmer?


Regular unleaded gasoline is the fuel of choice. You can use fuel that has a maximum of 10% alcohol in it. Never use diesel fuels with a petrol strimmer.



Is it ok to leave fuel in the petrol strimmer?


You shouldn’t do this. Particularly over a long period of time. If you do then deposits will form in the fuel system and cause you allsorts of working problems. So if you will not be using the petrol strimmer for an extended period of time, always drain the fuel tank and run the strimmer dry.


How do I start the petrol strimmer?


A simple procedure with the 2 stroke engine. Move the choke lever to the full on position. Next hold down the throttle switch in the full on position. If your petrol strimmer has an on and off switch then set the switch to on. Depress the primer bulb a couple of times to get fresh fuel in to the carburetor. Place the strimmer on the ground and make sharp brisk pulls on the starter cord. When you hear that the engine is trying to run then reset the choke to half level and pull again on the starter cord. The engine should begin running. You need to keep the throttle at full power and allow the engine to warm up for about 10 seconds or so. Turn the choke off and allow the engine to tick over for about 30 seconds. It should now be fully warmed up and if you need to start it again, it should start without the need for the choke.



Why does my petrol strimmer not start?


There are several causes that result in the engine not starting. You need to check if the fuel mixture you are using is fresh. Is the on switch on? Is the spark plug functioning properly? Is the air filter dirty? Is the fuel filter clogged? Is the engine flooded?

Checking these common symptoms will usually rectify any starting problems.



Why does trimmer line always break?


You will soon discover that trimmer line will break due to line crowding. This happens when you hold the trimmer head too close to any hard objects such as rocks, bricks and fencing. By keeping the line at full extension and not crowding it will reduce line breakage problems.



Why won’t the trimmer head turn when the throttle is engaged?


This happens when the drive shaft is not fully engaged. It also happens if the flexible cable is broken.



What type of spark plug do I use with a petrol strimmer?


Each petrol strimmer will vary. Usually the spark plug required is that of RCJ-8Y or RCJ-6Y. But do check your handbook.



What is the correct spark plug gap?


0.025 inch



How do I lubricate the driveshaft?


With a curved shaft petrol strimmer you need to remove the driveshaft housing to obtain access to the flex shaft. Simply pull the shaft out and clean it up. Then apply the shaft lubricant and replace the driveshaft housing.

With a straight shaft petrol strimmer you have to remove the gearbox. You do this by unscrewing it. Then pull the shaft out of the bottom  and clean and lubricate it. Always remember to reassemble your petrol strimmer in the correct manner.



Is the fuel filter easy to locate?


Yes. You will find the fuel filter at the end of the fuel line in the fuel tank. The fuel filter needs to be changed annually at the least. To take the fuel filter out simply drain any fuel from the strimmer and pull the filter out of the tank and remove it from the fuel line. Place a new fuel filter on the fuel line and drop it back in to the tank.



How often should I clean the air filter?


Approximately after every 4 or 5 hours of use. You can clean the air filter using warm soapy water and then allow it to dry before replacing.