How to check the condition of your brushcutter engine

What to do if your brushcutter won't start

Inspirations / How to

29/08/2022

Estimated reading time 2 minutes

What to do if your brushcutter won't start? It can happen, especially after long periods in storage such as during winter, if your petrol engine brushcutter has not been properly prepared beforehand. Let's see how to check whether your brushcutter is in perfect working order.

Firstly, make sure that the fuel tank is not empty and that the fuel is fresh and clean. Also ensure that the starter cord and return spring are not worn or damaged.

Lay the brushcutter on the ground and start it following the recommended procedure: turn on the switch, fill the carburettor using the primer, close the choke lever (starter), lock the throttle trigger in the half-throttle position, pull the starter cord until the first firing sound is heard, open the choke and pull the starter cord again.

At this point, if your petrol engine brushcutter does not turn on, the problem may be the ignition system or fuel delivery system. Is there a smell of petrol? Check whether the spark plug is wet, in which case the brushcutter is flooded, i.e. too much fuel has entered the engine. If so, take out the spark plug and follow the anti-flooding procedure as indicated in the user and maintenance manual to drain the fuel in the engine.

If, on the other hand, the spark plug is dry, check whether:

  • the crankcase air intakes are free of dust, grass clippings, etc.

  • the brushcutter air filter is clean: if necessary, replace it — we recommend purchasing original replacement parts

  • the fuel filter is clean, and change it if necessary

  • the spark plug is completely worn: if the electrodes are rounded and the gap between them is wide, it should be replaced. If it is not worn, simply clean it and adjust the gap between the electrodes

  • the wires and the contact of the spark plug cap are intact: otherwise, if the brushcutter is an Oleo-Mac model, take it to your nearest authorised service centre

  • the coil is in good working order: it should be tested by a service centre technician (here you can learn more about how a brushcutter coil works)

Inspect the spark plug: its colour is a good indicator of your engine's overall operating condition, including fuel/air mixing. For example, if it is brown or grey, the ratio of fuel to air is just right, whereas if it is black or white it may need adjusting: in this case take the brushcutter to a service centre.

If your brushcutter is a 2-stroke machine, as in the case of Oleo-Mac models, the fuel is ready-mixed. Adding the wrong mixture to your brushcutter can result in an incorrect air-to-fuel ratio, so it should be prepared with fresh petrol and good quality engine oil in the correct proportions (usually with 2% oil). On the subject of brushcutter oil, read our article on lubricants for gardening tools.

As regards our brushcutters, this video shows you how they are made.

So far, we have not mentioned the key component of a brushcutter, namely the cutter assembly, which should be selected based on the vegetation you want to cut. Here you will find an article focusing on line heads for brushcutters and a comparison between cutting lines and blades.

Besides choosing whether to use a cutting line, blade, disc or particular accessories, technique is equally crucial to a brushcutter’s performance: discover the secrets to using brushcutters like a pro. If you want to get the best out of a brushcutter you should also consider ergonomics: decide whether a single or double handgrip works best for you.

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