Solved! My Leaf Blower Won’t Start. What’s The Issue?

When your leaf blower won’t start, it can make tasks that were once easy more tedious. These steps can help you identify and solve the problem.

leaf blower won't start

Photo: depositphotos.com

Q: I’m trying to complete yard work, and my leaf blower won’t start. How can I fix the problem without buying a brand-new leaf blower?

A: The best leaf blowers make menial tasks like raking and mulching more manageable. However, if the leaf blower won’t start, it certainly puts a damper on a productive day in the yard. Whether leftover fuel, a clogged carburetor, or faulty parts are to blame, the solutions to these problems are typically low-cost and easy to achieve.

The following steps can help guide you through the process of identifying the source of the problem and solving it through a variety of tasks, from replacing parts to cleaning out blocked filters. If the problem persists, consult a repair professional or outsource your yard maintenance to a lawn care pro.

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There may be old fuel in the tank. 

Leftover fuel in your leaf blower is one of the primary reasons a leaf blower won’t start. Gas left in the tank for 30 days or more can deteriorate, causing the engine to stall or not start properly. If left for 6 months or more, the gasoline can turn into a thick sludge. To remedy this situation, just empty the old fuel and replace it with new fuel. It’s best to remove any old fuel before stowing your blower away for a period of time to prevent this from happening in the future.

The carburetor or fuel filter might be clogged.

Old fuel that has turned into sludge may be blocking the carburetor or fuel filter. First, check the carburetor to see what has happened. If it’s clogged, there are three options: clean the carburetor, rebuild it, or replace it entirely. If a clogged fuel filter is the source of the issue, you’ll likely need to replace it.

Two-stroke engines need the proper oil and gas mixture. 

leaf blower won't start

Photo: depositphotos.com

The correct ratio of oil to gas is necessary for a two-stroke engine on a leaf blower. In this scenario, gas and oil should be mixed at a ratio of 50 parts gas to 1 part oil. This amounts to around 2.6 ounces of oil to about 1 gallon of gas and ensures the engine is adequately fueled. Otherwise, this may be the reason a leaf blower won’t start. It may be wise to empty the current oil and fuel and refill it with the proper mixture for best results.

Of course, this advice will only pertain to two-stroke engines. If you have a four-cycle leaf blower, this won’t apply. If you’re unsure about which model you have, look it up so you can ensure you’re taking the proper steps. For reference, four-cycle leaf blowers are often larger and heavier, but they’re more fuel efficient. Two-stroke engines are lighter, smaller, and the most commonly purchased type.

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Inspect the spark plug for any wear and tear. 

Damage to the spark plug may warrant replacement. Several factors could affect the performance of your electric leaf blower’s spark plug, including a crack in the porcelain insulator, heavy carbon buildup at the electrode, or an electrode that has been burned away or damaged. Thankfully, all that’s needed to check the status of the plug is a spark plug tester. With the engine on, you should be able to see a strong spark in the tester’s terminals. If the spark is absent, that’s an indicator that the spark plug needs to be replaced.

The air filter could be blocked. 

A common problem that could be keeping your leaf blower from starting is a blocked air filter. Clogged air filters cause the blower’s engine to receive too much fuel and not enough air, which often leads to a faulty start (or no start at all). Combustion engines, in particular, need a flow of fuel and air, which enters through the filter and exits through a muffler. If the air filter is salvageable, it can be soaked in soapy water and scrubbed. If it’s beyond repair, however, it will need to be replaced.

The rewind spring is broken.

Your leaf blower likely relies on a starter rope that is pulled and released, which allows the rewind spring to recoil the starter rope into a pulley. If the rewind spring is broken, this is a problem since the cord won’t recoil onto the pulley. This, in turn, prevents the blower’s engine from starting.  If the rewind spring is broken, it will need to be replaced to start the leaf blower again. Thankfully, a rewind spring can be replaced individually, although it may be beneficial to replace the whole recoil starter assembly. If you’ve tried to replace the spring or the starter and the engine still won’t start, it may be best to take the blower to a repair clinic.

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