7 Reasons Leaf Blowers Get Hot and Shut Off

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Does your leaf blower get hot and then shut off? Does the engine only respond when it is cold? This can affect gas and electric leaf blowers, but the solutions are quite simple. The following is a compilation of the best solutions to this problem, and you should be able to get that leaf blower running in no time.

The most likely reasons are old fuel or a dirty air filter. Sometimes pressure builds up when fuel evaporates and causes a leaf blower to shut down after heating up. You can fix this by lifting the fuel cap.

Old Fuel

Gas leaf blower fuel must be replaced at least every 30 days. Once fuel is over four weeks old, it begins to lose its consistency and turns into a thick sludge. While fuel evaporates this sludge is left behind and clogs the engine.

If you want to keep fuel in the tank during storage, put HappyFuel fuel stabilizer or a similar product.

A leaf blower with a clogged engine will have a hard time starting especially when warm. Most of the usable material is gone. There is little for the engine to work with so it shuts down.

Solution. Replace the fuel every 30 days. Put fuel stabilizer in the tank or empty it if you are going to store the leaf blower for months. Only use fuel that the manufacturer recommends. Most leaf blowers run fine with regular unleaded octane 87.

Clean the tank before pouring new fuel. Drain whatever fuel is left and wipe the residue. The sludge may have spread throughout the engine so clean it thoroughly.

Pressure Buildup

Leaf blower fuel tanks can build up pressure and make it impossible for the system to start. Heat is one reason this can happen, but it can also be due to a leaky fuel line, a faulty pump or too much gas.

In most cases involving leaf blowers, there is just too much fuel in the tank. Too much fuel evaporates and the reservoir cannot keep up. Temperature increases and all sorts of problems can arise.

Solution. Lift the fuel cap and allow the fuel to evaporate. This almost always fixes the problem. Let the gas run before you put the cap back on. With the engine still warm, restart the leaf blower. You can use this method for the Craftsman B235 27cc leaf blower and other products.

Clogged Air Filter

Leaf blower engines can get really hot and without a cooling mechanism can malfunction. The air filter is designed to lower the temperature and prevent debris from getting in. The filter screens out dirt and allows cool air to come in.

Because an air filter traps dirt, it will get clogged eventually. Too much dirt and air can no longer pass through. Worse, the dirt on the filter can spread throughout the engine and cause the leaf blower to run hotter. It can reach the point the engine can no longer function.

Solution. Clean or replace the air filter.

Air filters are usually replaced every 6-12 months, but it also depends on how often you use the leaf blower and where. If you use a leaf blower on wet leaves, its filters can get clogged quickly.

If the air filter is more than 12 months old you should replace it. Turn the leaf blower off and remove the filter case. You might have to remove some screws or latches depending on the blower.

Once you remove the cover you will see the filter. Dispose of the old filter and clean the housing. Install the new filter and put the cover back on.

If the filter is still new, it probably needs a bit of cleanup. Remove the cover and take out the filter. Wash the filter under running water. Wash thoroughly and let it dry.

For really dirty air filters, pour soapy water in a bowl and leave the filter there for several minutes. Empty the bowl and rinse the filter in fresh water. Put the filter back on after it has dried.

Defective Spark Plug and/or Ignition Coil

The ignition coil and spark plug are responsible for igniting the fuel and starting the engine. Just like other engine parts, they get damaged or just worn out after heavy use.

If you look up leaf blower problems online, the experts almost always recommend checking the spark plug. This is not surprising given how important its role is. The same with the ignition coil.

Solution. You will need an ignition coil tester and spark plug tester. These tools are widely available and work the same way. Start with the ignition coil. If the tests show it is working, test the spark plug. If the spark plug also works the problem is elsewhere.

If the either of the two are faulty, get a replacement. It is not worth the trouble to fix a spark plug and replacements are cheap. If the plug is very dirty and can no longer be cleaned, it might be a good idea to replace it anyway.

Dirty Muffler

The muffler on a leaf blower minimizes the noise produced by the exhaust. It works with the spark arrestor to deter fires in case the engine gets too hot.

Just like the air filter, the muffler and spark arrestor accumulate dirt. You have to clean the two regularly or replace them when they get too dirty.

Solution. Usually you have to remove the muffler to clean the spark arrestor. But that is okay since you have to clean the two of them anyway. Clean with detergent and remove all signs of carbon deposits. Again, you might need to replace the two if necessary.

Carburetor Needs Cleaning

The carburetor determines how much fuel and air goes into the leaf blower engine, so it plays an important part. A dirty carburetor will contaminate the fuel mixture. So even if you can get the leaf blower to start, it will shut down.

When this happens it means either the carburetor is damaged or clogged with debris. Unless your blower is several years old, the carburetor is not likely to be broken. Most probably it just needs cleaning.

Solution. A thorough cleanup should get the carburetor running smoothly again. Old fuel is the most likely reason for its clogging.

Carburetors are complex but cleaning is straightforward. Use a carburetor cleanser and remove all traces of oil sludge, deposits, debris etc. Follow the instructions on the cleanser. You might have to remove the carburetor from the leaf blower first, so follow the instructions on your owner’s manual.

Low Battery Power

If you are using a rechargeable leaf blower, check the battery power. As soon as the blower gets hot, it starts consuming a lot of power. If the battery capacity is low the system will shut down.

Solution. Charge the battery to full power before using it. You will definitely need full power if you are going to do a lot of yard work.

Charging time varies and also depends on how depleted the battery is. If the battery won’t charge, check if the charger is working.

Tips for Best Leaf Blower Maintenance

Clean after every use. If you made it this far, you already know that most of the problems stem from debris and dirt. Old fuel left over and leaves clogging the blower are also common issues. By cleaning your leaf blower after using it, you can prevent dirt buildup.

Use the right fuel. If you have a 2-stroke blower, it needs a mixture of oil and gas. A 4-stroke engine does not use mixed fuel. Getting the fuel wrong can cause short and long term damage.

Start at the lowest setting. Always running a leaf blower at full power will wear out the engine quickly. You might be surprised at how powerful a blower is even at the lowest configuration.

Clear the area. Leaf blowers are designed to well, blow leaves. Stones, plastics, metallic objects and other materials that could get caught up should be removed. Any of these can cause clogging later on.