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String Trimmer Maintenance

Maintaining a beautiful lawn requires the right equipment. In addition to a lawn mower, a string trimmer is needed to get those hard to reach areas that your mower can't access. It's important to maintain your string trimmer so that it will be ready when you need it. The lawn experts at Southern States have some advice for string trimmer care to keep your trimmer performing its best.

A man uses a string timmerRepair or replacement of your string trimmer can often be avoided with regular upkeep. Depending on the type of gas-powered string trimmer you own, maintenance can vary from one string trimmer model to another. Before starting any maintenance or repair, make sure you refer to the manufacturer's instructions provided in your user's manual.

At the start of each yard-care season, inspect your trimmer. It's a good idea to replace the cutting line. Over the winter months, the cutting line can become brittle causing it to break easily during use. Steps for replacing the line vary depending on whether your trimmer is a single-line or dual-line model and what type of line - precut pieces of line or a pre-wound spool - you choose. Make sure you use the trimmer line for your specific model and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

During months of heavy usage, your string trimmer will require occasional maintenance to keep it in good working order. Many of these DIY tasks are easy if you follow the manufacturer's directions in your manual. Check and replace the air filter when necessary - this is needed more frequently in dusty conditions. Clean or replace the spark plug and change the oil. Gas string trimmers typically use two-stroke engines that run on a fuel/oil mixture - know the proper ratio for your equipment. At times, you may need to adjust the idle speed. Whether you have a single idle adjustment screw or multiple screws, follow the manual guidelines for your specific model to set the correct idle speed.

Proper storage will keep your string trimmer running smoothly throughout the season. After each use, brush off any debris and check the trimmer line. Store in a well-ventilated, dry location out of reach of children. At the end of the season, take time to get your string trimmer ready for winter storage. Wipe down any grease or dirt from the surface and remove all debris from the exhaust vents. Add stabilizer to the fuel and run the engine long enough for the mixture to distribute evenly through the fuel lines. Remove the spark plug and pour a small amount of engine oil into the cylinder. Pull the starting cord 2-3 times to distribute the oil and reinstall the plug. Store in a safe, dry area.

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