Weed eaters smoking
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When Your Weed Eater Starts Smoking: Solutions to the Problem

If your weed wacker starts smoking, the first thing you should do is diagnose the issue. Weed eaters can produce smoke that varies in color.

So the question you’re probably wondering is why is your weed eater smoking?

There is a multitude of reasons as to why this is happening. Some of the most common reasons can be attributed to exhaust buildup issues, improper fuel mixtures, and faulty mechanical components. The color of the smoke that’s coming from these machines may hold the key clue as to what’s going on.

In this article, we’re going to look at the different diagnoses you can come up with simply by looking at the color of the smoke emitted.

Weed eater
Weed eater

We’ll also give detailed instructions on what other problems it could be. You’ll know exactly what’s happening when your weed eater starts smoking as well as how to fix it!

Black smoke coming from my weed eater

When you see black smoke coming out of your weed eater this is usually attributed to several different issues.

Fortunately, most of these issues are rather quick and easy to resolve. However, it is important to fix these issues as soon as you can because if they are left unintended, they could otherwise permanently damage your weed eater.

Your trimmer has old fuel in it

One of the reasons that you may find black smoke coming out of your weed eater is that the gas inside is old. If it’s been a long time since you’ve used your weed eater, there’s a likely chance that you may have to drain your fuel tank and replace it with a fresh batch of properly mixed gasoline.

It’s oftentimes recommended that you don’t leave old gasoline inside your fuel tank for more than 30 days. The longer this fuel is inside of your tank the more it can corrode and clog up your engine. Corrosion of a fuel system can result in oxides, hydroxides, and sulfide products.

They can end up destroying your motor with hard particles from the contaminant.

Make sure your choke is turned off

Another reason why you would see black smoke coming from your weed eater is due to the choke still being on.

The choke is a valve on the engine’s air intake. The all-purpose of a choke is to reduce the amount of air that flows into the engine during a cold start. Once the choke valve closes it enriches the fuel and air mixture. During a cold start, it is harder to vaporize the gasoline.

Thanks to the richer fuel mixture, there will be enough gasoline vapor in the combustion chamber to start the motor when the spark plug fires up. Leaving the choke on for too long will cause unnecessary fuel waste.

When you see black smoke, it’s often a sign that your engine is getting way too much fuel and not enough air. Turn off the choke and this should solve the issue.

The combustion system is not working properly

In some cases, this may be due to the residue buildup inside the motor. It’s important that you properly clean this area to improve the air circulation so that fuel can burn throughout the motor.

A faulty carburetor may also be the reason why you may find black smoke in this case. If the carburetor is supplying more gas to the engine than it can handle, the result of unburnt gas may come out as black smoke.

You can attempt to clean the carburetor, but oftentimes if this is an issue coming from the carburetor then the trimmer might require replacing.

The air filter might be blocked

A blocked air filter may also be one of the most common reasons you find black smoke. Filtering the air before it enters the engine will help get rid of all the particles that may end up running their way through the carburetor.

Sometimes when the air filter is really dirty, particles from the filter may end up going through the carburetor. When that is burned through the motor that may emit black smoke.

Try removing the filter and running the engine. If there is no black smoke then it might be due to the filter being just way too dirty.

Ultimately the filter might need replacing if you can’t clean it properly.

Blue smoke coming from my weed eater

When you add way too much oil to your gasoline mixture the result when running the trimmer may be blue smoke coming from the motor. The oil you are adding to the mixture alone, when burned, emits Blue smoke.

It’s important that once you see the blue smoke coming out of the exhaust, or oil dripping from the exhaust, you should turn off the weed eater immediately.

How to fix Blue smoke coming from a weed eater

Replace the fuel with a new batch with a properly mixed ratio of gas to oil.

  1. Turn off the motor to the weed eater.
  2. Drain the current mixture of fuel into a separate bucket.
  3. Create a new mixture with a 50 to 1 ratio of gas to oil (older models may require a 40 to 1, or 32 to 1 mixture. (Check with your manual or manufacturer for details.)
  4. Replace this mixture into the fuel tank of the weed eater

This should solve your issue with blue smoke. If you would have continued running the weed eater with too much oil, it would have led to a damaged engine. Make sure you pay attention to the color of the smoke and always recognize that blue smoke almost always means that you’re putting way too much oil in the mixture.

White/Grey smoke is coming from my weed eater

Now, this may be one of the most serious problems you may find from the color of smoke. White smoke can be very serious. White smoke usually comes from when the engine is running way too hot.

It could be due to several reasons like poor lubrication, not enough oil mixture in the gas, or maybe even too much ethanol added to the fuel.

You have to stop the engine when you see this white smoke. Doing so could likely avoid what is known as an engine seizure.

You may even notice that the engine sound becomes loud and rackety.

You must release the clutch, turn off the motor and allow it to cool. After it’s cooled down make sure to change the fuel with the proper mixture.

Normally the proper mixture of ethanol should be less than 10% with gas. However, it may vary depending on whether you have a two-stroke or four-stroke motor.

My final thoughts

Smoke coming from a weed eater is often a concern and needs to be addressed. If it is blue, white, or black smoke, you know there are problems and should address them accordingly to prevent an engine seizure or other mechanical complications from happening.

Knowing the signs and the colors is vital to your weed eater usage safety.

The first step in fixing the problem is to know what it is and why it happened. Once we have done that, then we can take care of the issue at hand.

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