Your ECHO String Trimmer Performs Poorly (8 Reasons)

When your string trimmer begins to bog down and run rough, it will not provide you with the power you require to complete your trimming task. The job may take much longer, and the trimmer may not provide an even trim.

Old fuel, a dirty carburetor, a clogged fuel line, a plugged fuel filter, a dirty spark plug, a plugged fuel tank vent, a clogged air filter, or a plugged spark arrestor screen cause an ECHO string trimmer to run rough.

When working on your string trimmer, use caution. All safety precautions listed in the ECHO operator’s manual must be followed. This includes disconnecting the spark plug wire, allowing all moving parts to stop, and allowing the engine to cool.

ECHO string trimmer dirty air filter

ECHO String Trimmer

Before diagnosing, repairing, or operating your equipment, read and follow all safety instructions in the operator’s manual. Consult a professional if you lack the necessary skills or knowledge, or if you are unable to perform the repair safely.

8 Reasons Your ECHO String Trimmer Runs Rough & Bogs Down

Old or Bad Fuel Causes an ECHO String Trimmer to Run Rough

When an ECHO string trimmer begins to run rough and bog down, the first thing I suspect is poor fuel quality. As soon as 30 days after purchase, old fuel can begin to degrade and become less effective.

Most gasoline contains ethanol, a plant-based fuel that attracts moisture naturally in the fuel system. When the ethanol and water mixture evaporates, gummy deposits and varnish are left behind.

A sluggish string trimmer will result from a lack of fuel caused by varnish and deposits in the fuel system.

The type of fuel used and how quickly it is consumed are critical factors in achieving good trimmer performance. Choosing the right fuel and properly caring for it will reduce the problems that arise from using old gas.

One thing you don’t want to get wrong is the type of gas you use to fill the tank. When you use the wrong type of gas or let the gas sit in your trimmer for too long, it can have a negative impact on your string trimmer.

Keep these items in mind when selecting fuel for your string trimmer:

  • Purchase new unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 87 and a maximum ethanol content of 10%.
  • Before adding to the fuel tank of ECHO string trimmer 2-cycle engines, mix 50:1 gas and 2-cycle oil. Find out more about fuel in ECHO
  • String Trimmers run on this type of gas and oil.
  • Use the fuel within 30 days.
  • If you are unable to consume fuel within 30 days, add a fuel stabilizer to make it last a little longer.
  • Store fuel indoors, away from combustible materials, in a dry location.

SOLUTION: Remove the old fuel from the tank. In a gas container, combine 50 parts unleaded gasoline and 1 part 2-cycle oil. To stabilize the fuel and clean the fuel system, use a fuel additive like Sea Foam Motor Treatment.

Allow the fuel mixture to run in the fuel tank while the new fuel works its way through the system. The ECHO string trimmer may start to perform better. If it doesn’t, go through the remaining items on the list until you find one that does.

Plugged Fuel Filter Causes an ECHO String Trimmer to Run Rough

Continue to look for other items that could be causing a fuel restriction. Examine the fuel filter. This is the small cylinder-shaped part found inside the fuel tank and connected to the fuel line.

When the filter is not changed on a regular basis, it can become clogged with dirt, preventing a good flow of fuel to the carburetor. This will cause the trimmer to bog down and run rough.

SOLUTION: To replace a clogged ECHO fuel filter, follow these steps:

  • Place the trimmer on a level surface.
  • Remove the fuel cap after wiping it down.
  • Hook a clean bent wire to the fuel line and pull the fuel filter out of the tank.
  • Holding the fuel line tightly, grab the filter and pull it out of the line.
  • Install a new fuel filter at the fuel line’s end.
  • Replace the filter in the fuel tank.

Clogged Fuel LinesCause an ECHO String Trimmer to Run Rough

Inspect the fuel line for clogs or kinks that limit the amount of fuel that can flow through the line. Clogs can form as a result of dirty fuel or gummy deposits left over from running old fuel.

SOLUTION: Replace an ECHO line with a new fuel line if it has a clog, kink, puncture, or leak.

Dirty Carburetor Causes an ECHO String Trimmer to Run Rough

The carburetor controls the amount of gas mixed with air required to form combustion, allowing the ECHO to start and run.

When the gas-to-air ratio is incorrect, the string trimmer may begin to run rough. The carburetor’s passageways can become clogged, and the small components that make up the carburetor can become stuck.

This can cause the ECHO carburetor to malfunction and not provide enough fuel to the engine.

SOLUTION: You may be able to restart your carburetor by cleaning it. If cleaning does not help, you may need to rebuild (if rebuild kits are available for your carburetor) or replace the carburetor.

Carburetors that have been damaged by running old fuel through them are a common problem.

By using fresh fuel, you can reduce carburetor damage. To avoid the negative effects of ethanol on the carburetor, use non-ethanol fuel, such as pre-mixed ECHO Red Armor 50:1 fuel.

Dirty Spark Plug Causes an ECHO String Trimmer to Run Rough

A clogged spark plug can cause your ECHO to misfire and run slowly. A damaged spark plug, an incorrect spark plug gap, or a loose spark plug wire can all cause your string trimmer to run poorly.

SOLUTION: Using a socket wrench, remove the spark plug. Examine its condition. Replace the spark plug if the tip appears to be very dark, the porcelain is cracked, or the electrode is burnt.

If your spark plug is in good shape but simply dirty, clean it with a wire brush or replace it with a new spark plug.

Using a feeler gauge, check the spark plug gap to ensure it meets the engine manufacturer’s specifications. Replace or clean the spark plug. Check that the spark plug wire is securely fastened.

Plugged Fuel Tank Vent Causes an ECHO String Trimmer to Run Rough

A vent in the fuel tank is required to allow air to pass through. When this vent becomes clogged, the fuel tank creates a vacuum, preventing fuel from escaping and reaching the carburetor.

A fuel tank vent on an ECHO string trimmer is a small part attached to the end of a fuel tank line. When the engine can’t get enough fuel because of a clogged fuel tank vent, it runs rough.

If you aren’t getting fuel and there isn’t a restriction caused by a clogged fuel line, plugged fuel filter, or dirty carburetor, the issue could be a clogged fuel tank vent.

To check for a clogged fuel tank vent, loosen the fuel cap and let air into the tank. Start the trimmer and let it run. Keep your string trimmer level to avoid spilling any gas from the tank.

Tighten the fuel cap and see if you can replicate the problem to confirm the fuel tank vent is the problem.

SOLUTION: If your trimmer starts acting up and running rough after reinstalling the fuel cap, replace the fuel tank vent. When the fuel tank is unable to vent, the cap contains a non-serviceable filter and check valve that must be replaced.

Plugged Air Filter Causes an ECHO String Trimmer to Run Rough

An air filter is required to operate an ECHO string trimmer. It safeguards the engine by keeping dirt out of the air intake.

When the air filter on your trimmer is not checked, cleaned, and replaced on a regular basis, it can become clogged with so much dirt that sufficient air cannot flow through the filter.

The engine will begin to run rough if there is insufficient air. It is critical to keep the air clean in order to protect the engine and avoid overheating due to a lack of air.

SOLUTION: If the air filter is in good condition, inspect it and clean it using the steps below. If the filter is extremely dirty, fuel-covered, or damaged, it must be replaced.

Steps to clean an ECHO string trimmer felt-type air filter:

  • Take the air filter cover out of the housing.
  • Using a dry clean cloth, remove any remaining dirt from the housing.
  • Examine the filter. Proceed with cleaning the filter if it is in good condition and not damaged, covered in fuel, or extremely dirty.
  • Brush the dirt from the air filter lightly. If lightly brushing the filter does not work, wash it in a mild detergent and water mixture. Brush the dirt from the filter lightly. Allow the filter to dry completely by airing it out.
  • Replace the air filter.
  • Reassemble the air filter cover.

Because there are so many different types of air filters used on ECHO products that can vary by model, consult the ECHO operator’s manual for instructions on how to clean a different style of air filter.

Plugged Spark Arrestor Causes an ECHO String Trimmer to Run Rough

A small metal screen prevents hot exhaust material from shooting out of an ECHO string trimmer and injuring or igniting a fire. This small screen will become clogged with carbon buildup, affecting the engine’s performance.

Remove the spark plug wire. Remove the engine and engine exhaust covers. Using a metal brush, carefully remove the spark arrestor screen.

Install the spark arrestor screen that has been cleaned. Replace the engine cover and exhaust cover. Connect the spark plug wire again.

If the screen cannot be sufficiently cleaned, or if it is damaged or has a hole in it, a new spark arrestor screen must be installed.