With regards to modern lawn maintenance, there are few companies that have been as important as Stihl – with products like their famed Weed Eater acting as necessary labor saving devices for professionals and novice gardeners alike.
However, as with any intricate piece of machinery, accidents and problems can occur – especially if they are not properly maintained and taken care of.
With any gasoline trimmer, one common problem is flooding of the engine, but what exactly causes this, and how can you remedy the problem once it occurs?
What Are Stihl Weed Eaters?
The Weed Eater is a popular lawn trimmer produced by the company Stihl – a brand that has long been a frontrunner in the industry since their introduction 1926 when they began making chainsaws.
Trimmers are great devices for maintaining troublesome areas where lawn mowers cannot reach, and are great for keeping borders looking neat and tidy, chopping down weeds in between paving slabs, and other fiddly, intricate jobs that would otherwise be time consuming and labor intensive.
How Do Engines Become Flooded?
When we talk about engine flooding, there are a couple of things that can cause such a problem.
Excessively Rich Mixture
One of the main reasons for this occurrence is when there is an excessively rich mixture of air fuel – a combination so intense that the combustion engine cannot possibly ignite it and start the machine up.
Flooded With Water
Of course, if you Weed Eater has been left outside in all weathers, then a flooded engine could be down to rainwater seeping inside the engine itself. If this is the case, then starting the trimmer could cause potential engine damage to the machine itself.
This is a more serious problem, and most likely involves draining the entire tank, allowing it to dry, and then refilling with the appropriate combinations of fuel and oil.
Of course, another reason – and one of the most common ones – is when the Weed Eater has been rolled over on the floor (or in your hands), causing a leakage of the gasoline fuel into the rest of the engine – stopping the mechanisms from working, and causing the engine to become flooded.
How To Start A Flooded Engine?
When it comes to restarting a flooded trimmer engine, you first need to determine what the cause of the problem actually is.
The Most Common Cause
Generally speaking, when it comes to Weed Eater engines, the main reason for them flooding is when fuel becomes too rich or leaks from the engine, and luckily, in both cases there are steps you can take to fix the problem in no time at all.
What Are The Clues?
If the problem is fuel-based, then the clues should be the strong smell of gasoline – indicating that the engine is swimming with fuel, and far too richly mixed to ignite and start.
The first thing you should do is put on safety glasses, and ensure that the Weed Eater is positioned on a flat and sturdy surface – such as a work table or bench.
The next step is to remove the spark plug. This is the component that creates the spark which allows the engine to ignite, and can be removed quite easily from within the engine.
First, uncouple the spark plug wire, and place a spark plug wrench on the plug to secure it. Turn the wrench counterclockwise to loosen the spark plug, and then pull it straight out of the socket when loose enough.
If the problem is indeed fuel based, then the spark plug should be sodden with excess fuel, and if this is the case then you should clean the plug off and ensure there are no remnants of fuel on the component or in the socket.
Turn the Weed Eater away from you (or upside down), before sliding the choke into the ‘run’ position, and then pulling the starter cord for roughly 10-15 times – depending on what it needs.
This will cause the excess fuel to exit through the spark plug socket and onto the ground or container that you have laid out.
Once you are satisfied that all of the excess fuel has been ejected from the socket, you can then replace the spark plug inside its holder, turning it back in place with the wrench, and reattaching the wire – ensuring everything is secure and as you found it.
You should then pull the starter cord three times. In most cases the machine should start, but if it doesn’t, move the choke lever to ‘full choke’ and then start using the usual normal procedure.
When it comes to most models, the best way is to set it to full choke, pull the cord a few times to heat the engine, and then turning to half choke to start it properly.
What To Do For Water Flooded Engines?
If the problem is indeed due to water clogging the engine, then you will need to drain all of the liquid from the tank, replacing it with fresh fuel and oil in the appropriate ratios to your model.
This information can be found in your paperwork, and it is important to follow the guidelines carefully to prevent damage.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about Stihl Weed Eaters, and the best way to start them back up when the engine becomes flooded.
It’s true that Stihl has consistently produced some quality merchandise – much of which has made yard work a much easier and time effective process. However, without the proper maintenance and know-how, even the best piece of equipment can become useless.
So if your Weed Eater has a flooded engine, then be sure to follow this handy guide. Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!