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Ryobi 2 cycle trimmer won’t start? How to fix

Is your Ryobi 2 Cycle trimmer refusing to start? While Ryobi 2 cycle is one of the best trimmers out there for weeding and lawn maintenance, it can sometimes develop issues.

Luckily, most problems are usually simple and you can fix them yourself.

We’ve created this guide to help you troubleshoot and fix your Ryobi 2 Cycle trimmer. Since there are several issues that may prevent the trimmer from starting, we have explained each of them and provided possible solutions.

Ryobi string trimmer troubleshooting: why your trimmer fails to start

These are the most common reasons why your new or old Ryobi trimmer stopped working:

  • Wrong starting procedure
  • Fuel issues – no fuel in the tank, clogged or broken fuel lines, clogged carburetor, etc.
  • Spark plug problems – damaged spark plug, clogged up dirt, covered with fuel or oil, etc.
  • Dirty air filters
  • Not mixing the oil or wrong mixing rations

How to fix a Ryobi 2 Cycle trimmer that won’t start

If your Ryobi trimmer is not starting or having issues picking up, we have highlighted 5 simple ways you can fix it.

1. Run the correct starting procedure

A Ryobi 2 cycle trimmer won’t start if you are running the wrong starting procedure. In fact, this is the most common reason for people who have experienced the problem before.

To solve the problem, this is how to start a Ryobi 2 cycle trimmer correctly:

  • Add correctly mixed gas and oil as not doing so can cause the trimmer to stop working. The correct mixing ratio is 1 gallon of gas and 2.6 ounces of two-cycle oil.
  • Press the “PRIME BULB” about seven to ten times to prime the engine
  • Set the choke to full position
  • Squeeze the throttle then pull the starter rope until the engine starts
  • Slide the choke to half position and allow the engine to warm for about 30 seconds
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With the engine warm, the trimmer is ready for use. Return the choke to full position and start trimming your lawn.

2. Check the fuel lines

Why does my Ryobi 2 cycle engine stall when I give it gas? The most likely scenario is a problem with the fuel line. They may have clogged up due to dirt and debris.

Alternatively, the lines may be bent or broken due to wear and tear caused by exposure to the fuel.

To fix the lines:

  • Siphon the gas from the fuel tank.
  • Unscrew the rear cover of the trimmer then unscrew the carburetor from the engine to expose the lines.
  • If the filters are clogged or broken, disconnect them and replace them with new ones.
  • Attach the carburetor back to the engine then screw back the rear cover.

With the new fuel lines in place, you can try running the trimmer. Add fuel to the tank and follow the correct start procedure.

3. Check that the spark plug is working

Is your fuel system working and the trimmer is still not starting? The problem is mostly in the ignition system.

You can troubleshoot the ignition by

  • Unplug the spark plug and check for any visible signs of damage.
  • Next, check for clogging or soaking with oil and clean.
  • If the issue persists, remove the spark plug and test for a spark. If you find one, the problem is not with the ignition. However, if there isn’t one, your spark plug is damaged, and you need to replace it.
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With your ignition system fixed, you can now run your Ryobi power tool.

4. Clean the filters

Aside from fuel and the ignition systems, the next common area where a problem can arise is the air system. This usually occurs when the air filter clogs up.

The issue can be easily fixed by cleaning or replacing the air filter. To do this:

  • Unscrew the rear cover of the trimmer
  • Pull the filter away from the cover and check for dirt or debris.
  • Clean the filter by brushing away dirt and debris. If there is too much grime, wash it with hot water and liquid soap.
  • If there is too much damage, replace the filter with a new one.

With the filter now fixed, your trimmer should have enough air to start and run.

5. Adjust the carburetor

Ryobi 2 cycle trimmer

What if your trimmer starts then dies? What could be the issue? If it is turning off after pulling the throttle, the reason could be inadequate gas. In this case, adjusting your carburetor could fix the problem.

To adjust the carburetor:

  • Unscrew the rear cover and turn the trimmer so that the trimmer is facing upwards
  • Find two bolts located next to the choke slider.
  • Adjust the bolts one at a time, testing the trimmer after each adjustment
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Once you have the desired engine run, screw back the cover and proceed with trimming. If this doesn’t work, you might need a replacement carburetor.


The above are some of the issues that might be affecting your Ryobi 2 trimmer and their solutions. Hopefully, you have now been able to fix the problem and continue trimming your lawn.

However, if the problem still persists, other factors could be in play, for example, a leak inside the engine. If this is the case, it is time to service your Ryobi trimmer – by taking it to a professional.