I have a Husqvarna gas-powered weed whacker. Starting late last season, it tends to die when given full throttle. Now, it will start when on full choke or half choke, but once I put it in normal operating mode (after warmup) it dies.

It's using gasoline that has the oil mixed in, but the gasoline is rather old. Could that be a factor?

Is there something I can do to fix this myself?

  • When was it last given a tuneup? Do you use fuel stabilizer? – BrownRedHawk Jun 10 '16 at 12:48
  • Never, and no. Engines and maintenance are a weakpoint in my skillset. I'm currently in the process of looking for a service shop nearby. – The Evil Greebo Jun 10 '16 at 13:02
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    This sounds like when I had some gas go bad, and the main jet ended up being clogged/covered with the film/shellac left by the bad gas. It would idle like a champ, the lean out when the throttle opened. Sounds like you're do for some carb cleaning time. – BrownRedHawk Jun 10 '16 at 13:05
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    Never leave gas in a machine for extended periods. When you're going to store the machine, drain the fuel and run the machine dry. It sucks to waste gas, but it sucks even more when stale gas wrecks your equipment. – Tester101 Jun 10 '16 at 13:30
  • You can buy gas at some stations with no ethanol, and for small engines it's worth it. Don't buy too much at a time either, it does get old. In my part of the country BP stations have no ethanol gas in the gold handled pump. – Tyson Jun 10 '16 at 15:01

It doesn't take bad gas or ethanol to crud up tiny carb jets and orifices. Any gas gets old and any gas dries into varnish over time, especially that which has been mixed with two-stroke oil. Proper storage is critical.

Seek out an exploded diagram or a how-to and disassemble your carb. Make note of all screw settings (count turns to fully seated) and take some phone pics and clean everything thoroughly with solvent. It'll run better than new.

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    Beware: carburetors are, at least to the non-pro, magic. If you disassemble and reassemble yours, you may find it not working and have no clue as to what has changed. Unless you're interested in learning the nitty-gritty, and don't mind if you spend a number of hours on the project, I'd leave it to a pro. – Daniel Griscom Jun 10 '16 at 13:16
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    @DanielGriscom You're right, of course, but the OP did post on a DIY forum. :) – isherwood Jun 10 '16 at 14:10
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    @isherwood Still it doesn't hurt to tell them: you better not DIY in this case unless you're sure what to do :) – yo' Jun 10 '16 at 15:17
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    Great. Y'all scared him away. :P Even if you try and fail the repair is likely to cost about the same. There's little risk with trying. – isherwood Jun 10 '16 at 16:54
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    Carbs on small motors are one of the easiest things to repair. If you have not messed with the mixture screws count how many turns until closed tear them apart and clean. If the fuel pump is bad the home stores have a 3 pack for a couple of bucks, the fuel lines another couple of bucks that and possibly a new spark plug and carb cleaner is all it takes. – Ed Beal Jun 10 '16 at 18:48

I have had trouble with small motors since they added methanol to the fuel. the methanol breaks down many of the rubber seals and then the residue gets stuck in the carburetor filter screen. A can of carburetor cleaner and a few minutes to disassemble and cleaning may bring it back to new. Fresh gas is always a plus for small single piston motors.

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