Top 14 Causes Your Troy-Bilt String Trimmer Won’t Turn On

Also known as a weed eater or string trimmer. No matter what you call it, it’s frustratingly difficult to achieve a polished appearance when it refuses to turn over.

If the engine of your Troy-Bilt string trimmer isn’t getting enough air, gasoline, and spark, it won’t start.

Possible causes include stale fuel, a clogged fuel tank vent, a dirty carburetor, a clogged spark arrestor, a broken recoil starter, or a blockage in the air filter or spark plugs.

Having trouble starting your Troy-Bilt might be as simple as flooding the engine.

First, make sure that the string trimmer is completely still by removing the spark plug wire. When using your Troy-Bilt string trimmer, be sure to follow the instructions in the owner’s manual for maximum safety.

Troy-Bilt String Trimmer

What Could Be Causing Your Troy-Bilt String Trimmer Not To Start

If it’s been a long since I last did it, I always begin troubleshooting by replacing the maintenance items. The spark plug, fuel filter, and air filter.

These parts should be replaced as part of your regular Troy-Bilt maintenance.

Plugged Troy-Bilt String Trimmer Air Filter

That’s why the air filter is so important. It prevents debris from entering the engine by filtering incoming air. The engine could be severely damaged without it.

The use of a string trimmer results in a dusty, unsanitary environment. If the air filter isn’t constantly cleaned or replaced, it might become clogged and restrict airflow.

Due to a lack of air, the engine will not turn over. Never attempt to complete this task without first installing an air filter on your string trimmer.

This could turn out to be quite the expensive error. Wear and damage to the engine can be caused by dirt entering the air intake. Because of the potential for damage, the string trimmer may need to be replaced.

To fix this, take remove the air filter and clean the housing well. If your air filter is unclean, you should get a new one.

Broken Troy-Bilt String Trimmer Due to a Faulty Spark Plug

Carbon deposits on the spark plug are an inevitable part of normal wear and use. Misfiring of the plug and resulting starting issues can result from this.

Incorrect spark plug gap, a burnt or broken porcelain electrode, a slack spark plug wire, and a cracked porcelain electrode are other things to check for. Your Troy-Bilt may have trouble starting due to these factors as well.

A dirty spark plug can be cleaned using a wire brush and perhaps reused. I’d rather get a new one. It’s a low-cost component that plays a crucial role in the string trimmer’s functionality.

Spark plugs need to have their wire boots (gaps) set according to factory standards.

Fuel Filter Clogged on Troy-Bilt String Trimmer

In the fuel tank resides a little component known as the fuel filter. It’s connected to the gas supply pipe. The fuel system relies on it to prevent debris and other foreign substances from entering the engine.

Starting problems might occur if the filter isn’t frequently changed and becomes clogged, reducing the amount of fuel reaching the carburetor.

The answer is to access the fuel filter within the tank and change it out.

  • Any loose dirt around the gasoline cap should be wiped away before it may enter the tank.
  • To access the fuel, the cap must be removed.
  • To bypass the filter, one must first access it. To disconnect the fuel line and remove the filter from the tank, a clean, bent wire works nicely as a hook.
  • Take out the worn out fuel filter.
  • Connect the fuel line to the new fuel filter and install the filter.
  • Return the filter to its original location inside the fuel tank, then replace the cap.

A Troy-Bilt String Trimmer With the Wrong Fuel (2-Cycle Engine)

Two-cycle Troy-Bilt string trimmers run on a combination of gas and oil. If you put undiluted gas into your trimmer, the motor will seize. Your string trimmer will be destroyed in no time.

There’s a severe lack of gas. The engine won’t have the lubrication it needs to run smoothly until oil is provided.

Two-cycle Troy-Bilt trimmers have a 40:1 gas-to-oil ratio. For example, if you combine 40 parts gasoline with 1 component oil, you have a 40:1 mixture.

Your Troy-Bilt string trimmer requires unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 89 or higher (mid-grade) and no more than 10% ethanol in the oil and gas mixture.

To the mix must be added a premium 2-cycle oil that meets the standards set by ISO-L-EGD and JASO M345 FD and is suitable for use in air-cooled motors. Please don’t use ordinary motor oil or 2-cycle oil for outboard motors.

You should combine the ingredients in a gas can that meets safety standards before putting them to your string trimmer.

One way to fix this is to change the ratio of gas to oil in the fuel tank. If the issue persists, take it to a small engine mechanic so they can assess whether or not it can be fixed affordably.

What kind of fuel works best in your Troy-Bilt string trimmer is discussed in greater detail here.

Two-Cycle Pre-Mixed Fuel

Using an ethanol-free gasoline blend is a wonderful way to lessen fuel-related issues and maximize engine longevity. An ethanol-free oil and fuel blend, this can be used immediately in your string trimmer.

You won’t have to worry about ethanol’s drawbacks, as mentioned above in the fuel section. In addition, having fuel on hand is a huge time saver.

In addition, TruFuel produces high-quality 40:1 premixed fuel.

Gas to Oil Conversion for 2-Cycle Troy-Bilt Engines

Blended1 Gal Gas2 Gal Gas2.5 Gal Gas
40:13.2 oz Oil6.4 oz Oil8.0 oz Oil

Wrong Gas (4-Cycle Engine)

Straight gasoline is needed for 4-cycle Troy-Bilt string trimmer models. In order to avoid damaging your vehicle, you should fill it up with unleaded fuel that has an octane rating of at least 89 and no more than 10% ethanol.

Avoid using E15 and E85, which contain excessive amounts of ethanol. Using fuel that doesn’t contain ethanol is recommended.

The answer is to empty the tank and refill it with the proper gasoline.

Using the Wrong Amount of Oil in Your Troy-Bilt String Trimmer (4-Cycle Engine)

All Troy-Bilt string trimmers with 4-cycle engines include dual oil and fuel fill ports.

For this engine, you will not combine oil and fuel. The right kind of oil and the proper amount of oil must be used in the engine.

When operating a 4-cycle Troy-Bilt string trimmer, 2-cycle engine oil is never an appropriate choice. The string trimmer engine requires SAE 30 oil, as suggested by Troy-Bilt. That Kawasaki motor oil really does what it says it does.

The engine’s moving parts can’t function without oil. Mishandling the string trimmer’s oil can lead to overheating and a ruined engine.

The answer is to change the oil and put in the right kind of oil for the engine. It may be necessary to modify the viscosity of the trimmer’s fluid if you plan on using it in extremely cold or extremely hot weather.

If the issue persists, take it to a small engine mechanic so they can assess whether or not it can be fixed affordably.

Engine Oil for a Troy-Bilt 4-Cycle String Trimmer

Troy-BiltSAE 30

Troy-Bilt String Trimmer Run on Expiring Gasoline

Damage to the carburetor and engine can result from using old fuel in a Troy-Bilt string trimmer. After only 30 days in storage, gasoline can start to degrade.

Ethanol, an ingredient in most gasoline, is a moisture magnet. This sludge-like combination of water and ethanol corrodes fuel system parts and impedes their function.

There is a 30-day “shelf life” for gasoline, after which it will start to go bad and will need to be disposed of. If you won’t be using the fuel within that time frame, you can increase its storage life by adding a fuel stabilizer.

Make sure you’re using unleaded gas with at least an octane rating of 89 (low premium) and no more than 10% ethanol (E10). Do not put E15 or E85 in the engine; doing so will cause irreparable damage and will likely void any warranties that came with the vehicle.

The solution is to refill the string trimmer with fresh fuel and discard the old fuel. It is recommended that a 40:1 mixture of gas and fuel be used in a 2-cycle engine. It is impossible to run a 4-cycle engine on regular gasoline.

To prevent the fuel from deteriorating due to excess moisture, you should add a fuel stabilizer such as Sea Foam Motor Treatment or STA-BIL.

Broken Troy-Bilt String Trimmer Primer Bulb

A string trimmer that can’t be started because of a cracked Troy-Bilt priming bulb that won’t fill with fuel.

SOLUTION: Double-check the priming bulb’s connection with the fuel line. A new priming bulb should be used to replace a broken fuel bulb.

Troy-Bilt String Trimmer with Blocked Fuel Line

Gummy deposits left behind by old fuel might impede fuel flow and damage your string trimmer. Due to this, the gasoline line may become clogged, preventing the engine from starting.

If the fuel line on your Troy-Bilt string trimmer is broken, bent, or clogged, replace it.

As an example, a Troy-Bilt string trimmer with a blocked fuel tank vent.

Gasoline tank vents can be found in the fuel cap or on a pipe leading from the tank. If this component becomes clogged and stops functioning, air cannot enter the fuel tank through the tank vent.

When the gasoline tank loses its ability to vent, a vacuum is created that prevents fuel from reaching the carburetor. The trimmer will not operate if the carburetor is deprived of fuel.

If your string trimmer won’t turn on, even after you’ve loosened or removed the fuel cap, there’s a significant chance there’s a problem with the fuel tank vent.

Try starting the trimmer with the fuel lid tightly closed to ensure the fuel tank vent is not the problem. We’ll have to wait and watch if it completely shuts down and refuses to start back up again until we loosen the gasoline cap.

The gasoline tank vent must be repaired or replaced so that air can enter the tank.

Troy-Bilt String Trimmer with a Filthy Carburetor

The carburetor controls how much gasoline and air are injected into the cylinder for combustion. As gas ages, it can congeal in the carburetor and restrict the flow of gasoline, rendering your trimmer useless.

If the carburetor on your Troy-Bilt becomes clogged or damaged, you will need to clean it or replace it before you can start the machine again.

Clean your carburetor yourself if you’re at all mechanically inclined. Take apart the carburetor and clean it with carburetor cleaner.

After a thorough cleaning, if the carburetor still doesn’t work, you may need to have it rebuilt or get a new one.

Depending on the age of your string trimmer and the cost of a carburetor, you might be better off purchasing a brand new Troy-Bilt model instead of repairing your old one.

Evaluate your present Troy-cost, Bilt’s age, and model against those of a brand-new one.

Troy-Bilt String Trimmer with Faulty Recoil Starter

The engine of your Troy-Bilt string trimmer is started with a recoil. It’s possible for your recoil to stop operating due to a defective pulley, a missing or loose spring, or damaged clips.

FIX: You can try to restring the recoil by replacing the spring.

It is best to replace the entire recoil assembly rather than individual parts if it does not work because the clips or pulley are broken.

Troy-Bilt String Trimmer with a Clogged Spark Arrestor

A spark arrestor can be found in a Troy-Bilt string trimmer that also has a catalytic converter. A spark arrestor is a tiny screen installed in the exhaust pipe of a Troy-Bilt to quell any stray sparks that could otherwise cause harm or a fire.

When soot accumulates on the screen, it might prevent hot exhaust air from escaping the trimmer. A Troy-Bilt trimmer might not start if this happens.

One way to fix this is to remove the spark plug boot. Be wary of a hot engine. Pull off the hood and the exhaust cap.

Take out the spark arrestor and scrub the soot from it using a wire brush. If the spark arrestor screen is broken beyond the point of being cleaned, has a hole in it, or has otherwise become unusable, it should be replaced.

Troy-Bilt String Trimmers Ruined by Water

A flooded engine is one that won’t start, regardless of how many times you try to crank the starter. This isn’t a major issue that requires urgent attention.

If the choke is closed and the starter rope is pulled repeatedly while the engine is running, the Troy-Bilt could flood from an excess of fuel.

It can also occur if the priming bulb is repeatedly pushed or the starter rope is repeatedly pulled when the switch is off.

Here’s how to “unflood” your string trimmer and restore the proper fuel-to-air ratio for the engine to start and run.

Taking Apart and Reassembling a Troy-Bilt String Trimmer to Repair a Water-Damaged Engine

  • Set the choke lever to “run” (open). Position 3 on most Troy-Bilt string trimmers corresponds to this setting.
  • Repeatedly pull the starter rope and press the throttle trigger to start the engine. This may require anything from 5-15 pulls to activate. First, the motor on your string trimmer will start to splutter. Just keep pulling it and eventually it will start.