Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Planned Obsolescence and Tool Mainenance

Not too long ago, I got a new String Trimmer.  I selected it specifically because of it's quick start AND the ability to add an electric starter later.  The first year, it started easily.  My arm was able to pull-start the trimmer easily without dislocating anything.  The next year, as the trimmer broke in, it began having problems starting regularly, and my arm just couldn't take the I ended up getting the electric starter and it worked as it should for that entire year.  

Two years of ownership, and this year, it wouldn't start.  Not with the string pull, not with the electric starter and not by cursing at it with a litany of creative epithets. (And I am nothing if not creative in my cursing - just ask the kids from that bible class a neighbor had in their backyard a couple of summers ago.) So, what to do?  One person suggested that it may be time to buy a new string trimmer.  Buy a new one?  It's only TWO FREAKING YEARS OLD!

Hey, looky there, the thing has a 2 year exactly when did I buy this...?  Oh yeah, MAY 15.   Great, I took it out of storage exactly 1 week after the warranty ended.  Did they PLAN this?  This is gonna take some genuine Southern ingenuity. Some genuine southern engine maintenance!

First up, a tune up.  Oh wait, these new things can't be adjusted by the average user.  It takes special tools- ! Who's freaking idea was THAT?? Ok, I can at least replace the spark plug. Easily done.  Yet, no change. Fresh gas, with a new mix of oil - again, no change. My arm is getting sore yanking that cord and the electric starter is getting so warm that it shuts off and can't be used for a while.  

Finally, in desperation, I rip the thing apart.  Well, as apart as I rip it. I take out the fuel lines and discover that they are clogged!  A new fuel line and a new in-tank filter and believe it or not it started just like it did that first year!  I didn't even have to use the electric starter!  It ran so good I immediately went out and trimmed all the front yard! 

I was, as you can imagine, ecstatic!  I went out and mowed the next day, preparing to use the trimmer to fully trim the edges front and back.  AND?  It won't start!  More cursing, shouting of disgusting epithets and I nearly threw the thing into heavy traffic.

Maybe a stick of TNT placed in the gas tank...yeah, that might do it.

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