Tune up and service a string trimmer at least once a year. You will need to service it more often when using your trimmer for commercial purposes or more than the average homeowner.
Servicing an ECHO string trimmer includes replacing the air filter, fuel filter, and spark plug; removing dirt and debris from the cooling system; cleaning the spark plug arrestor; replacing missing or worn parts, and greasing if necessary.
This should be done in addition to inspecting the trimmer for damage and wear before each use.
13 Steps to Service & Tune-Up an ECHO String Trimmer:
- Gather tools and supplies
- Remove the spark plug wire & follow safety precautions
- Replace old fuel
- Replace air filter
- Replace fuel filter
- Check the fuel system
- Replace the spark plug
- Clean the cooling system
- Clean the spark plug arrestor
- Clean the exterior and trimmer head
- Tighten loose hardware & replace broken or missing parts
- Grease the shaft and gear housing (on select models)
- Reattach the spark plug wire
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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.
Perform Maintenance on an ECHO String Trimmer: Step-By-Step
Step 1: Gather Tools and Supplies for ECHO String Trimmer Maintenance
- Socket set and screwdrivers
- Air filter
- Fuel filter
- Spark plug
- Clean rags
- Plastic or wood scraping tool
- Wire brush or small torch (optional)
- Bristle brush
- Safety gear: gloves, glasses
Step 2: Remove the Spark Plug Wire & Follow All Safety Precautions
Before beginning maintenance on your ECHO trimmer, read the safety precautions provided in your operator’s manual. It’s important you understand how to safely work on your trimmer to avoid injury.
Remove the spark plug wire. Wait for the engine to cool and all moving parts to stop. Refer to your operator’s manual for additional safety precautions.
Step 3: Replace Old Fuel
If the fuel in your string trimmer is older than 30 days, it’s best to replace it to prevent fuel system and engine problems that can develop from running old fuel.
Fuel that includes a fuel stabilizer must be replaced if the fuel is no longer stable. Check how long the fuel additive works to stabilize the fuel.
Some additives will stabilize your fuel for up to 30 days while others work for up to two years.
Running old gas through your ECHO trimmer can cause varnish and sticky deposits to form that can clog the fuel system. Moisture can build up in the gas and prematurely corrodes your ECHO.
To minimize the negative effects old fuel can have on your ECHO, follow these tips:
- Always use fresh gasoline
- Only purchase enough gas that can be consumed within 30 days.
- If you purchase more fuel than you can consume quickly, add a fuel stabilizer to the fresh fuel to make it last a little longer.
- Store gasoline in an approved container in a dry location away from moisture.
- Label the fuel can with the fuel-to-oil ratio mixture to avoid using the fuel in the wrong equipment.
ECHO 2-cycle engine gas and oil mix:
A 2-cycle ECHO string trimmer requires a gas and oil mixture at a ratio of 50:1.
50 parts of unleaded gasoline with an ethanol content of less than 10% and an octane rating of 89 or higher must be mixed with 1 part of a premium 2-cycle engine oil.
Read more about choosing the right fuel for your ECHO in This is the Type of Gas and Oil ECHO String Trimmers Use.
Add a fuel stabilizer like Sea Foam or STA-BIL to the fuel to stabilize the fuel and reduce moisture in your ECHO string trimmer if needed. Again, some 2-cycle oils include a long-lasting stabilizer while others do not.
Step 4: Replace the Air Filter
When an ECHO trimmer takes in the air the engine needs to run, it also draws dust and debris to the engine. In order to prevent dirt from entering the air intake and wearing on the engine, an air filter is used.
While the air filter is an essential maintenance part to help protect your engine, it can also become a problem and potentially hurt the engine when it becomes so dirty that the engine can’t get sufficient air.
The air filter should be changed annually and regularly checked and cleaned throughout the year.
You may have to replace the air filter more often if you use your trimmer more than the average homeowner or if you are using it in very dusty conditions.
Replace an ECHO air filter
- Remove the air filter cover. It may be held on with clips or a latch.
- Remove the dirty air filter.
- Wipe any dirt or debris out of the air filter housing and cover.
- Install a new air filter.
- Reattach the air filter cover.
Step 5: Replace the Fuel Filter
Another area where dirt can get into the system and contaminate the engine is through the fuel system. A fuel filter is used to strain the fuel in the fuel tank before it enters the fuel pickup tube.
The fuel filter should be replaced annually and more often if you find you are running a dirty tank of fuel.
- Wipe around the fuel cap to remove dirt.
- Remove the fuel cap.
- Take note of where the fuel filter is positioned so the new filter can be placed in the same position in the tank.
- Pull the filter out of the fuel tank. A clean bent wire may help you pull it out of the tank
- Holding the fuel line and fuel filter, gently pull the filter out of the fuel line. Don’t allow the ring clip to come off of the fuel line.
- Install a new fuel filter into the fuel line with the ring clip over the fuel line and fuel filter male end to secure the fuel line to the filter.
- Place the fuel filter inside the fuel tank.
- Reattach the fuel cap.
Step 6: Check the Fuel System
Inspect the fuel tank, fuel lines, and fuel cap. If you find leaks or cracks in the tank or fuel lines, they must be replaced before operating the string trimmer.
Make sure the fuel lines are securely attached so air isn’t sucked into the fuel system causing a loss of power.
Step 7: Replace the Spark Plug
Remove the spark plug and replace it with a new spark plug that is gapped correctly.
When the spark plug becomes worn, damaged, or dirty it can cause an intermittent spark problem that will affect your engine’s performance.
Don’t reconnect the spark plug wire until you are finished servicing your ECHO string trimmer.
Step 8: Clean the Cooling System
The engine can overheat and shut down when it gets hot due to debris and dirt clogging the air passageways. When the airways become plugged, the air is not able to circulate around the engine to keep it cool.
Confirm the spark plug is removed. Remove the engine cover and remove all debris from the cover and around the engine, including the cooling fins. Remove debris with a bristle brush (not made of metal).
Do not use a metal object to clean the unit as this can damage the string trimmer.
Step 9: Clean the Spark Plug Arrestor
The spark arrestor is a small metal screen that prevents hot exhaust material from leaving the muffler and starting a fire.
When this small screen becomes plugged you may experience a loss of power where your ECHO string trimmer won’t run at full RPMs.
Confirm the spark plug wire is disconnected. Remove the engine cover and the engine exhaust cover. Carefully remove the spark arrestor screen. Clean it with a metal 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.
Step 10: Clean the Exterior
Remove dirt and debris from the exterior of your string trimmer using a clean cloth. Use water with a mild detergent to dampen the cloth to remove dirt from around the string trimmer head. Avoid harsh cleaners.
Step 11: Tighten Loose Hardware and Replace Missing or Damaged Parts
Look over your string trimmer carefully to find any hardware that may have become loose or is now missing. Tighten the loose hardware.
Replace any missing or broken components on your trimmer. Make sure all safety guards and shields are in place. Don’t operate your ECHO without these safety items in place.
Step 12: Grease the Shaft (Flex Cable Models) & Grease the Gear Housing
Apply lithium-based grease like Red Armor from ECHO to the gear housing if your model has a grease plug. If it does not, you don’t have to grease it.
If your model ECHO uses a flex cable, remove the gear case and pull out the flex cable. Wipe it clean and apply a half ounce of lithium-based grease. Don’t get any dirt on the cable and reinstall it.
Step 13: Reattach Spark Plug Wire
Once all services are performed on your ECHO string trimmer, reattach the spark plug to use the trimmer.