Weed Eater Dies When I Give It Gas? (7 Possible Causes & Fixes)

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf
Weed eaters are a necessary tool for any homeowner, but they can become a headache when they die after you give it gas. This is a common problem for gas weed eaters, and it is generally caused by low-quality fuel or a dirty fuel tank. Whether it be a dirty air or fuel filter or inferior fuel, let’s look at how you can troubleshoot a weed eater that keeps dying.

Gas-powered weed eaters are some of the most common yet reliable tools available for keeping your yard clean and neat. Since it is not electric, there is no need to lug around a tangled, heavy extension cord.

If your weed eater dies when you give it gas, it’s likely due to poor quality of fuel, or an empty fuel tank. All you need to do is try swapping out the fuel, clean the tank and then fill your weed eater with a higher quality fuel to see if this resolves the problem.

Why Is My Weed Eater Dying When I Give It Gas?

There are a few reasons why your weed eater may just stop working the minute you try to give it gas. It is important to know that this is a fairly common problem, so don’t panic. The key is to troubleshoot the issue to find the reason behind the failure.


The first step, as ridiculous as it may seem, is that you may not have enough gas. This happens often enough that it needs to be mentioned, so verify that your weed eater has enough gas in the tank. We have all been there before, but it is thankfully a simple fix.

Primer Bulb

If you have checked out the gas tank and the levels are fine, then the primer bulb could be the issue. Make sure that the primer bulb is filling properly before you try to start the engine. This is another simple yet easy remedy that can be forgotten in the steps before firing up the engine.

Bad Fuel Mixture

Gas is not all universal when it comes to weed eaters. It is more than possible to get the wrong mixture or type of fuel.

The wrong fuel can play havoc with the internal components of your weed eater. Bad gas can let the weed eater start, but when you try to hit the throttle, that is where it will end.

Fuel Filter

When you have exhausted the various scenarios involving your fuel source, you may find that you are dealing with the same issues. Now that we have ruled out the fuel, it is time to move on to other potential problem areas.

Restricted Fuel Filter Flow

One such problem area is the fuel filter. When the weed eater starts but dies after throttling, the most likely explanation is that fuel flow is restricted. The filter can become clogged if there are too many impurities in the fuel.

When the clogging gets to be severe enough, it may allow a small amount of fuel through, but not enough for you to rev up. That small amount of fuel may even be enough to start the weed eater and let it idle.

Clean Or Replace The Filter

After checking your fuel to ensure that it is the right mixture, try cleaning the filter. Because they are so inexpensive, it may just be quicker and easier to replace them.

If you mix your own fuel, make sure that the two-stroke oil hasn’t expired. Contrary to popular belief, those don’t last forever like some seem to think.

Air Filter

Working through the list of potential problems, we arrive at the air filter next on the list. When the fuel goes through the fuel filter, it then enters the carburetor. When it gets into the carburetor, it is then mixed with a little bit of air.

When the air filter is clogged up or restricted, it basically suffocates the engine when the throttle gets revved. Depending on the model of weed eater you have, it can be a simple fix. Sometimes it is just unscrewing a single screw or turning a plastic knob to get the cover off so that you can gain access.

Clean The Air Filter

Now that you have access to the air filter, clean it or replace it if it is too far gone. Like the fuel filter, they too are pretty cheap and can be replaced without impacting your budget much. With the new air filter in place, try to start up and throttle your weed eater once again.

Check The Carubuerator

For any gasoline engine, you will find a carburetor. The carburetor is what helps the fuel and air work together to ultimately start up the combustion engine.

It turns out that the carburetor is also one of the more frustrating components of a small gas engine. Those who have made the switch to electric outdoor tools will typically cite the carburetor as one of the primary reasons.


Since we know the issue is that it won’t rev after starting, that narrows things down a bit. The most obvious issue is that the carburetor can become clogged.

You’ll have to get some sort of motor treatment in order to clear the clog up. In some cases, that can be all you need to do to get rid of the clogging issue.

Other Issues

When you are certain that there isn’t a clog in the carburetor, there are a few more areas worth checking. You want to look into the diaphragm, the idle speed, and the metering diaphragm.

Those three things are the most common issues within the carburetor when the engine stalls out during throttling.

Idle Speed

It is important to remember that this involves taking the carburetor apart. It can seem intimidating, but you will really only need a screwdriver. If you can get a carburetor rebuild kit, all the better.

  • Test current idle speed. Test out the idling before you move forward. The engine will turn off shortly after starting, meaning the idle speed is too slow.
  • Adjust screw. To adjust the idle speed, you simply need to turn the associated screw. It’s typically behind the air filter but if you can’t find it, check the manual.
  • ¼ turns. When you make adjustments, only do so in ¼ turn increments then try the trimmer again. Keep adjusting as needed.

If the weed eater starts up and stays started when you rev the throttle, that’s the fix. But if the problem persists, you will need to drain the tank and move forward.


There is a small piece on one side of the carburetor with small flaps known as the diaphragm. When the flaps get worn or bent, you can just replace them. There should even be a diaphragm repair kit that you can consult.

  • Replacement: Replacing the diaphragm is pretty easy and simple. You can reassemble the device with the screws from earlier. If that doesn’t work, then there is the metering diaphragm.

Metering Diaphragm

On the other side of the carburetor is another set of screws. Start by unscrewing them and then assessing the condition of the metering diaphragm. The metering diaphragm is what helps to regulate engine speed. It should also have the consistency of a cotton shirt.

If the metering diaphragm has become worn out or even completely worn through, then you can simply replace it. This is another fairly cheap and easy fix to implement. Even amateur DIYers out there can perform this task.

Reassemble the carburetor when you are done and give the weed eater a try. If it still doesn’t work, you could be looking at something like a clogged exhaust.

Preventative Maintenance

As is the case with any piece of equipment, preventative maintenance does wonders. Care for your weed eater as you use it and you can avoid issues like these.

What Are The Best Fuel Options For My Weedeater?

As mentioned in the previous section, the particular type or mixture of gas is essential to the successful operation of your weed eater. Bad gas may allow the weed eater to work momentarily but should stop when you provide any throttle.


It is highly recommended that you use ethanol-free gas in the weed eater. For the most part, manufacturers will allow for as much as 10% ethanol.

Ignore that because it is not worth the risk. Not only can gas with too much ethanol prevent your weed eater from working, but it can do a ton of damage to small engines.

Pre-mixed Fuels

The best bet is to go with a pre-mixed fuel. Pre-mixed fuel ensures that there are the proper ingredients that will help your small engine, not damage it. More importantly, you can ensure that the ethanol content within these pre-mixed fuels is either minimal or non-existent.

Go with something like Husqvarna XP. Not only is it ethanol-free, but it has a high octane rating as well. Best of all? It has a much longer shelf life than if you were trying to make a fuel mixture from scratch.

Those commercial pre-mixed fuels also come with the right levels of fuel stabilizers. They also assure that the gas-to-oil ratio is precise so that you can get optimal performance out of your engine.

Related Questions

Why won’t my weedeater start?
When an electric Weed Eater trimmer won’t start, the most likely cause isn’t always the problem. Check that an electric trimmer’s extension cord is securely plugged into the machine and into an electrical outlet. A faulty extension cord could also be the source of the problem.
Why won’t my weed eater stay running?
If your weed trimmer starts but won’t stay running, it’s usually due to a bad fuel/air mix or a clogged easy-to-replace filter, both of which are simple adjustments you can do at home.
Why does my weed eater keep turning off?
Fuel issues, insufficient air intake, and exhaust problems are the most typical causes of a weed eater dying when throttled. To find the source of the problem, follow the course that the gasoline takes.

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Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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