Leaf blower won’t start? Here’s what to do

Woman using a leaf blower on decking, stood next to a pile of logs.
(Image credit: Getty)

Leaf blower won't start? Don’t be daunted by a garden power tool that won't turn on - even the best leaf blowers (opens in new tab) can fail to start due to issues that are surprisingly simple to fix. If your leaf blower won’t power on then there’s a good chance that it’s one of several common issues that can be easily remedied. So, whether your leaf blower’s fuel source is electricity or petrol, here are some quick tips that will help to get your machine back up and running. 

Check the spark plug

If your leaf blower runs on petrol and won’t start, the spark plug might be faulty. Typically it needs to be changed every year but can be done sooner with high usage.

Start by unclipping and giving it a clean using plug-specific cleaner and a wire brush. Dirt build-up of old carbon and oil or a disconnection can stop the spark plug from igniting properly. 

If cleaning doesn’t help, the plug may be too old, worn or out of shape to function. Replace the plug with a fresh one.

What the expert says...

Professional gardener Adam Whale (opens in new tab) gives us his take on why fuel could be the culprit. He advises to “check the fuel is fresh and has been mixed to the correct ratio with the recommended oil. Other than that, if you aren't confident in taking it apart and checking it over, then the manufacturer is your best bet.”

As our gardening expert, Adam says, fuel is often the source problem for a petrol-based leaf blower that won’t start. Try the following to fix fuel-related issues:

1. Check the oil-to-gas ratio 

Firstly, as garden care expert Adam mentions, the wrong ratio of oil to gas in a 2-cycle leaf blower can cause the engine to seize up and could be the reason your leaf blower won’t start. Check the manufacturer’s manual for your model to find out the correct ratio. Drain the old fuel and replace it with the correct ratio mix. 

2. How long has the fuel been in your machine? 

Old fuel, especially leftover from last season, can become gunky and stale and won’t work when used. Change the fuel for fresh and consider whether the carburetor may also need cleaning to unclog from old fuel if the consistency has changed.

3. Clean the fuel filter

The fuel filter removes impurities from the fuel line before the fuel enters the engine. This can also become clogged up over time and prevent enough fuel from getting to the engine. This can mean it can’t start up. Remove and clean it with a specific cleaner or replace it entirely to fix this problem.

Advice for electric leaf blowers 

If your leaf blower runs on electric power then the reason it won’t start is likely to do with the wire connection or the motor. In either case, the best way to resolve this is to take it to an electric machinery repair specialist or contact the manufacturer to see if your warranty covers repair or replacement. 

Leaf blower won’t start after troubleshooting? 

If your petrol-fuelled leaf blower won’t start after trying the remedies above, we would recommend following Adam’s expert advice and taking it to the manufacturer. Most reputable retailers will honor the warranty provided with the sale and in most cases, you will get a refund, repair or replacement within a certain period of time if you have proof of purchase. 

Alternatively, contact a local small engine repair specialist for help with mechanical issues that you can’t easily resolve yourself. 

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Tanisha started her career in commercial retail buying for one of Amazon UK’s Top 10 revenue grossing online homeware retailers. Years spent obsessing over homeware products made it an easy career switch to writing about them. Her freelance career has seen her craft customer-focused web content for brands big and small, as well as writing articles in the health, lifestyle, home and retail sectors.

With contributions from