An ECHO edger may start, stall and die when the engine isn’t getting sufficient air, fuel, and spark.
This may be due to a clogged air filter, plugged spark arrestor, plugged cooling system, wrong choke setting, plugged fuel filter, clogged fuel line, dirty carburetor, bad spark plug, or faulty ignition coil.
Take the proper safety precautions by removing the spark plug wire before performing repairs. Follow all safety guidelines listed in your ECHO operators manual.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
11 Reasons Your ECHO Edger Starts Then Dies
1. Wrong Choke Setting
You will find a choke lever on your ECHO edger. This lever is used to engage the choke to restrict airflow. Less air and more fuel are required to start a cold engine so the choke must be placed in the on/closed position.
Once the engine gets warm, the lever must be adjusted to the off/open position to allow sufficient air for the engine to continue to run. If the choke isn’t adjusted, the ECHO edger will begin to sputter and die.
2. Clogged Air Filter
The air filter should be replaced at least once a year and more often if you use it more than the average homeowner. Your air filter maintenance doesn’t stop there, you must regularly check and clean it.
If you don’t perform maintenance on your air filter, it can become plugged with dirt and debris restricting airflow. When the engine isn’t getting enough air, your ECHO will quit running.
When you find your air filter is very dirty, damaged, or wet, you should replace it with a new one. NEVER remove your filter and run the edger without one even if it’s just to finish a job.
Doing so can cause dirt to contaminate the engine causing permanent damage.
Clean an ECHO edger felt air filter:
- Remove the air filter cover and remove the air filter.
- Wipe any dirt or debris remaining in the air filter cover or housing.
- Brush the dirt off the air filter.
- Install the clean filter.
- Reattach the air filter cover.
Clean an ECHO foam pre-cleaner filter (if your model uses one):
The pre-cleaner can be cleaned with water and a mild dish detergent solution. Rinse clean and squeeze to remove all water. Allow drying before installing. DO NOT ADD OIL to the pre-filter.
Because there are so many different types of filters used which varies from model to model, refer to the operator’s manual for steps to clean the type of air filter used in your ECHO edger.
3. Plugged Cooling System
When the engine gets too hot, the edger may shut down. To keep the ECHO engine cool, it requires air to circulate around the engine.
Remove all grass clippings, dirt, and debris from around the air intakes and cooling fins that may be preventing air circulation. To do this, first, remove the spark plug and wait for the engine to cool.
Remove the engine cover and remove debris from the cover and around the outside of the cylinder. Clean the cylinder fins and reinstall the engine cover. Continue cleaning the edger to make sure cool air can circulate around the engine.
4. Old or Bad Fuel
ECHO edgers require a fresh gas and oil mixture to operate at their best. Mistakenly using the wrong type of fuel or the wrong fuel mix, or allowing gas to sit in the edger for a long time can cause significant problems in the carburetor and engine.
ECHO edgers require gasoline and oil mixed at a ratio of 50:1.
Mix unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 89 and a maximum ethanol content of 10% with a premium 2-cycle oil that is ISO-L-EGD and JASO M345 FD certified.
Running a gas with a high ethanol content or not getting the gas-to-oil mixture correct can result in your edger quitting on you. High ethanol contents are bad for the small engine on your ECHO edger.
Always use fuel with an ethanol content of 10% or less. Non-ethanol fuel is best, but it’s the more expensive choice.
Using the wrong type of oil or the wrong amount of oil can result in engine damage. Never run straight gas through your ECHO edger. This is a sure way to ruin the edger and have to purchase a new one.
Because gas can begin breaking down as soon as 30 days after purchase. Add a fuel stabilizer to fresh fuel to make it last a little longer without breaking down. A fuel stabilizer can help minimize fuel issues from running old gas.
Keep in mind some 2-cycle oils include a fuel stabilizer. Even though the bottle of oil states it includes a stabilizer, read the fine print to see how long the additive will keep the fuel stable.
You will find it will keep it stable anywhere between 30 days and 2 years. ECHO’s Red Armor oil provides fuel stabilizers good for up to two years.
Read more about choosing the right fuel and how to care for it in this article.
5. Plugged Fuel Filter
To keep dirt and debris from entering the fuel system, you will find a small filter located inside the fuel tank. It is attached to the end of the fuel line. The filter can become plugged when it isn’t replaced regularly.
The fuel restriction caused by the plugged filter can keep your ECHO from running. I recommend changing the fuel filter annually or more often when needed.
You may have to replace it as much as every 3 months when using it for commercial purposes.
Replace an ECHO fuel filter:
- Wipe around the fuel cap to remove dirt and debris so they don’t fall into the tank.
- Remove the cap.
- Take note of the placement of the filter so you install the new filter in the correct position.
- Pull the fuel filter out of the fuel tank. A clean bent wire works well to retrieve the filter.
- Once the filter is out of the tank, remove it from the fuel line. Be careful not to lose the retaining ring. Keep the ring on the fuel line.
- Attach the new fuel filter by inserting the male end into the fuel line and securing the line to the filter using the retaining ring.
- Place the fuel filter back inside the fuel tank.
- Install the fuel cap.
6. Clogged Fuel Lines
The deposits left behind by old fuel can cause a buildup in the fuel lines that will prevent a good flow of fuel from running through them.
When you find a clogged fuel line, remove the line and try to remove the restriction using carburetor cleaner to loosen the clog and compressed air to remove the clog.
If the fuel line is dry, cracked, or damaged, you should replace it with a new fuel line.
7. Plugged Fuel Tank Vent
There is a vent on your edger that allows air to enter the fuel tank as fuel is consumed. Without a vent, the fuel tank will form a vacuum keeping fuel from flowing out of the fuel tank causing your ECHO to stop running.
If your edger quit running and won’t restart, you may have a clogged fuel vent.
Perform this simple test to identify a clogged fuel tank vent.
- Place the edger on a level surface.
- Loosen the fuel cap to allow air into the tank and start the edger.
- Don’t allow gas to spill out of the fuel tank.
- If the edger starts and runs, tighten the fuel cap. You can further confirm the tank vent is the problem by trying to replicate the problem where the edger runs sluggish and quits until you loosen the cap to allow air into the tank.
Replace the vent with a new fuel tank vent. This is a small part that is found coming off a line out of the fuel tank.
8. Dirty Carburetor
The carburetor mixes the correct proportion of fuel with air that is required for your ECHO edger to run. The passageways can become clogged and the small components can fail to function correctly.
This can cause an insufficient amount of fuel mixed with air resulting in a rough running edger that may just quit. You may be able to clean your carburetor to get it working again.
You may end up having to rebuild it (if rebuild kits are available for your carburetor) or replace the carburetor if cleaning doesn’t help.
Before replacing a carburetor, I recommend comparing the cost of the carburetor and labor expense to the cost of a new ECHO edger.
Depending on the model, cost, and age of your edger, you may be better off purchasing a new one.
9. Dirty or Bad Spark Plug
When the spark plug is worn or becomes dirty, it may provide an intermittent spark that may cause the engine to die. Remove the spark plug and inspect its condition.
If you find the tip is very dark in color, the electrode is burnt or the porcelain is cracked, it’s time to replace the spark plug. If it’s just a little dirty, you can try to clean it with a wire brush.
Check the electrode gap and make sure it meets ECHO’s specifications. Once you have confirmed the spark plug is good and the gap is correct, reinstall the spark plug. Wait to attach the spark plug wire until you have completed all repairs.
10. Bad Ignition Coil
The winding on the ignition coil can separate and short out. When this happens, the spark plug won’t get the voltage required to create a spark. This will cause your ECHO to die after it’s been running.
Identify a bad ignition coil using an ohmmeter to check for a break in continuity. Replace the ignition coil if you find a break.
11. Plugged Spark Arrestor
You will find a small metal screen installed on the muffler of your ECHO edger. This is installed to keep hot exhaust material from shooting out of the edger and causing injury or starting a fire.
Carbon can build up on the screen restricting airflow. This will make your edger run sluggish and quit.
Disconnect the spark plug wire. On most ECHO models, you will remove the engine cover and the engine exhaust cover to access the spark arrestor screen. Carefully remove the spark arrestor screen and clean it with a wire brush
If the screen isn’t able to be sufficiently cleaned or you find it is damaged or has a hole in it, replace it with a new spark arrestor screen.
Contact your local ECHO dealer if you are having trouble locating the spark arrestor screen or if you are continuing to experience problems with your ECHO lawn edger.