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Man trying to start leaf blower

Leaf Blower Troubleshooting:How to Fix Your Leaf Blower

Leaf blower Troubleshooting can be a frustrating experience. You know the scenario. It’s fall, and a carpet of leaves is covering our yards. So, you get out your trusty leaf blower and fire it up, only to find that it splutters, stalls, and stops working.  Of course, a leaf blower—whether a gas, battery, or electric-powered blower—is a great tool. The force of air through the nozzle easily clears large amounts of wet leaves, grass clippings, and other debris from your yard.

Leaf blower troubleshooting, Blower with gas can

The issue with leaf blowers is that they are only used at certain times of the year. Therefore, long storage periods, dampness, or old fuel can impact its performance. But, of course, preventing leaf blowers problems by servicing them at the end of the season and storing them properly can help keep them working throughout the year. So, you will be disappointed if it breaks down when you need it most.

However, don’t stress—there are several easy ways to troubleshoot a leaf blower and get it running again. Read on to discover what common problems may be causing your leaf blower to malfunction and how to troubleshoot them.

Common Problems with Leaf Blowers

Common leaf bower problems depend on the power source. For example, gas-powered leaf blowers are to clogged intake vents, worn-out spark plugs, or issues with the carburetor. Electric leaf blower problems are usually related to the cable or motor. Finally, battery-powered leaf blowers tend to have the most issues with the battery or charging unit.

If you’re having trouble with your leaf blower, troubleshooting these common problems should help get it running again quickly.

How to Troubleshoot a Leaf Blower

Most problems with leaf blowers are connected to the motor not pushing out enough air or not blowing at all. However, with a few simple steps, you can usually get to the root of the problem relatively fast. 

Gas Leaf Blower Troubleshooting

The most common problems with leaf blowers occur with gas-powered models. This is because they have more moving parts than electric and battery-powered blowers. As a result, they can experience issues with the air filter, fuel quality, or starting system. In addition, one or a combination of things could prevent the blower from working as it should. 

Here are some of the most common problems you will likely encounter with a gas-powered leaf blower.

The Gas Leaf Blower Won’t Start

If your gas-powered blower won’t start, the first troubleshooting step is to check the fuel lines for blockages or leaks. Next, examine the spark plug for signs of wear or damage. Finally, make sure the air filter is free from dirt and debris.

Here are a few causes and solutions when a gas leaf blower fails to start.

Damaged recoil starter

Gas-powered leaf blowers use a recoil starter or pull starter to start the engine. The mechanism includes a rope and pulley that activate the leaf blower engine. If the recoil starter malfunctions, starting a leaf blower may become impossible.

Potential issues with the recoil could include a tangled pull cord or a damaged pulley. To rectify the issue, you must refer to the manufacturer’s instructions about replacing the cord or the starting assembly. 

Check the fuel filter

Man working with leaf blower

If you cannot start the leaf blower, check the fuel filter. The fuel filter prevents dirt, debris, and other harmful particles from damaging the engine. If the filter gets clogged, there won’t be enough fuel flow to start the engine. 

To resolve this issue, drain the fuel from the tank and store it in a safe place. Next, locate the fuel filter in the tank. Then, using pliers, remove it and clean it with some gas and an old toothbrush. If necessary, you could replace the filter rather than clean it.

Remember that regular leaf blower maintenance should include changing the fuel filter. Do this as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Regular maintenance can help prevent many performance issues with a gas-powered leaf blower. 

A worn-out spark plug will make it impossible to start a leaf blower

The spark plug is responsible for starting a leaf blower’s motor when it ignites the fuel.  An old spark plug will fail to start the motor. Additionally, check to see if there are any signs of wear, damage, or discoloration.

Replacing the spark plug is relatively easy and inexpensive. It is also part of regular leaf blower maintenance. If you change it regularly, you should not have any significant issues when starting a leaf blower. 

Primer not pumped sufficiently

To start a leaf blower with the first pull of the cord, you must pump the primer. So before firing up the blower, pump the primer about five times, then pull the cord again to know if this is the problem. 

The leaf blower carburetor is clogged or damaged

A blocked or damaged carburetor can cause several issues with a leaf blower. First, it will be impossible to start. Additionally, a damaged carburetor will cause the fuel intake to be erratic, resulting in excessive vibrations or poor performance. 

If you suspect the carburetor is damaged, you must replace it. Before removing the fuel lines, always take note of where they connect. This is essential when you fit a new carburetor.

Old or expired fuel prevents a leaf blower from starting

Bad fuel is one of the most common reasons leaf blowers won’t start. It’s common for people to leave fuel in the tank during winter. Unfortunately, the fuel quality will deteriorate and cause issues with the blower’s performance. Base fuel makes it almost impossible to start the blower the next season. 

Thankfully, it is relatively easy to replace the fuel. All you must do is drain the fuel from the tank. Then clean any residue on the inside of the tank using fresh gas. Lastly, refill the tank with fresh fuel, and the leaf blower should start up without a hitch

Leaf Blower Won’t Stay Running

Troubleshooting a gas-powered leaf blower can be frustrating if it doesn’t run smoothly. The most common cause of poor performance it’s necessary to regulate the carburetor. Adjusting the carburetor to the optimal settings results in smoother performance.

To get the leaf blower working smoothly, adjust the screws on the carburetor while the motor is running. You should notice a change in performance as you make the adjustments. Adjust the screws until the engine runs smoothly and doesn’t cut out. 

Blocked air filter

A blocked air filter is a common problem with leaf blowers that can sometimes cause the engine to shut off. If dirt and debris have clogged the filter, the fuel and airflow will not be sufficient. This will cause the engine to lose power and eventually shut off.

To fix this issue, simply remove and clean the air filter or replace it with a new one.  

The Leaf Blower Won’t Rev

Have you noticed that your leaf blower is losing power or doesn’t rev up like before? If this is so, there are a few possible things to troubleshoot. Many of the same issues that affect starting a leaf blower can also affect the blower’s power and performance. Therefore, check the fuel quality, air filter, and carburetor. 

Leaf Blower Overheats

Leaf Blower on grass with leaves

Overheating can be a common issue with leaf blowers. To troubleshoot this problem, check that you are using the correct fuel mix and that the gas is not old. However, the most common reason a leaf blower overheats is due to airflow to the engine.

Cleaning the engine cooling fins is crucial for good leaf blower maintenance. The fins are designed to dissipate the heat generated by the running engine. But the engine will start overheating if they become clogged with dirt, dust, and debris. 

To clean the engine cooling fins, use a soft brush and compressed air to remove any dirt and debris that has accumulated on them. Once all debris has been removed, wipe down the cooling fins with a cloth dampened with soapy water or rubbing alcohol.

Be sure to wear safety glasses when using compressed air to protect your eyes from flying debris.

Leaf Blower Leaks Gas

Leaf blower leaks gas can occur if the tool is dropped or stored incorrectly. Troubleshooting this problem involves locating the source of the leak and assessing if it can be fixed. Sometimes, tightening loose screws can resolve the issue. However, more often than not, leaks in the fuel lines or carburetor require professional repair.

Leaf Blower Excessively Vibrates

Excessive vibration is a common problem with backpack leaf blowers. The typical cause is damage to the cushions or isolation pads that help reduce vibration. However, a clogged air filter or vents could also make the engine work harder than it should.

To fix this issue, first, remove the air filter and check it for any dirt or debris. If the filter is dirty, replace it with a new one. You should also check there is no damage to the cushioning material. 

Leaf Blower Smokes

A potentially serious problem, smoke coming from a leaf blower motor, can indicate that it’s a possible fire hazard. Dirty fuel, blocked air vents, or leakages could be the underlying cause.

In the case of smoke from the engine, you must shut the unit down immediately and call a professional technician. 

Electric Leaf Blower Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting an electric leaf blower is relatively straightforward. There are fewer moving parts than a gas blower. As long as you keep the air vents clean, you should prevent several problems. 

What are the most common reasons for troubleshooting a leaf blower with an electric motor? Here are a few. 

Electric Leaf Blower Won’t Start

If your electric leaf blower doesn’t start, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to try and get it running again.

First, ensure the power cord is firmly plugged into an outlet. Then check that the switch is in the “on” position. If this doesn’t work, try plugging it into a different outlet, use a different extension cord, or check the trip switch.

If you still cannot start the electric leaf blower, you must ensure the unit is functioning properly. For example, the on/off switch or the motor could be broken. 

Electric Leaf Blower Keeps Shutting Off

Suppose your electric leaf blower keeps shutting off. In that case, you’ll want to take a few troubleshooting steps before taking it to an authorized repair shop. Begin by making sure you didn’t disconnect the power cord by mistake. Other reasons for unexpected cutoffs include wear and tear on the brushes, a short circuit, or loose wires. 

Always remember to unplug the leaf blower from the electrical outlet when attempting to service the motor, fix loose wires, or repair electrical connections.  

Battery Leaf Blower Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting battery-powered leaf blowers generally involves checking the quality of the rechargeable battery. Common issues with cordless leaf blowers involve the battery charge running low, corroded battery contacts, or a faulty charger. 

Let’s look in more detail at what you can do if your battery leaf blower stops working or doesn’t have enough power.

Leaf Blower Battery Doesn’t Charge

First, make sure that the charger is plugged into an outlet and that the light on the charger is lit up. If the charger seems to be working, but the battery doesn’t charge, you may need to replace the battery. Also, check the battery connections for signs of corrosion.  

Leaf Blower Doesn’t Start

If your battery leaf blower won’t turn on, the first step is to check the battery. Ensure it is correctly installed and charged, and then try turning it on again. If this doesn’t work, the battery may be faulty.

Suppose the battery works with other battery-powered tools. In that case, you will need to take the blower to an authorized repair shop to check that the motor is working. 

When Battery Doesn’t Hold its Charge

When troubleshooting battery-powered leaf blowers, remember that old batteries don’t hold their charge as long as new ones. Therefore, it’s expected that the charge in older batteries doesn’t last long. Additionally, batteries perform poorly in cold weather and quickly run out of juice. 

Tools and Equipment Needed for Leaf Blower Troubleshooting

Leaf blowers are typically low-maintenance power tools with few serviceable parts. The only tools you need are a small brush or air compressor and a screwdriver. Having goggles for eye protection and gloves is also a good idea. 

Preventing Leaf Blower Problems

Blowing Leaves from Grass

Regular maintenance is the best way to prevent performance issues with leaf blowers. Not only can you save money on repairs, but you avoid frustration when the blower doesn’t turn on or breaks down while you are clearing leaves.

Here are some of the best maintenance tips to reduce the number of times you must troubleshoot repair issues:

·        Wipe the leaf blower down after each use, especially around the fan blades.

·        Check the air filter every few weeks. 

·        Check the blower for any damaged or loose parts

·        Change the spark plug and air filter annually for gas-powered leaf blowers.

·        Always use a fresh gasoline mixture. 

·        Store the gas blower in a cool, dry place.

·        If you have a battery-powered leaf blower, store the batteries indoors, not in a cold garage or outbuilding. 

Leaf Blower Troubleshooting — In Conclusion

Leaf blower troubleshooting doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Proper maintenance and storage reduce motor, battery, and fuel system problems. Therefore, keeping the leaf blower in good condition will ensure it performs well for many years.