It may feel like you’re never going to get your fall cleanup done because your leaf blower stops running. Leaf blowers are a great addition to your yard tools.
It makes leaf pickup easier and faster than using the traditional garden rake as long as they keep working. I’ll take you through some items to check when your leaf blower stops running.
A Husqvarna leaf blower may start and then die when the engine doesn’t receive sufficient air, fuel, or spark.
This may be caused by a dirty air filter, plugged spark arrestor, clogged fuel line, plugged fuel filter, dirty spark plug, dirty carburetor, bad fuel tank vent, or bad fuel.
Keep reading for additional items that can cause a leaf blower to die. Before working on your Husqvarna blower, follow all safety precautions provided by Husqvarna including waiting for the engine to cool and for parts to stop moving. Remove the spark plug wire as well.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
Reasons Your Husqvarna Leaf Blower Starts Then Dies
Incorrect Choke Setting
A cold engine requires a higher concentration of fuel to start it than to keep it running. To do this, the choke is engaged by moving it to the on/closed position to restrict airflow.
Once the engine warms up, the choke must be placed in the off/open position so the blower continues to run. When the choke isn’t adjusted, a Husqvarna will die after you start it.
Plugged Air Filter
Another reason why a Husqvarna blower isn’t getting sufficient air and may stop running is from a dirty air filter. The air filter is designed to keep dirt and debris from entering the carburetor’s throat causing engine wear and damage.
The conditions created when operating a leaf blower are often very dirty which can plug the filter. The filter must be kept clean so your leaf blower continues to run without bogging down or quitting due to a lack of air.
I recommend replacing the air filter annually if you use your blower like the average homeowner and checking it several times throughout the season to clean it.
If you are using the filter in very dirty conditions, for commercial purposes, or more than the average homeowner, check, clean, and replace the filter more often.
- Clean a Husqvarna blower fiber air filter:
- Clean it by removing it from the housing and brushing off the dirt.
- You can also wash it in a mild dish soap and water solution. Rinse until the water runs clear and lay flat to dry.
- Before reinstalling, wipe out any dirt from the air filter housing and cover.
- Replace a filter that is damaged or very dirty.
- Clean a Husqvarna foam primary filter:
- Remove the foam filter from the air filter housing.
- Wipe out any dirt remaining in the housing and cover. Don’t allow dirt to fall into the air intake.
- Wash the foam filter in a solution of warm water and mild dish detergent.
- Rinse until the water runs clear. Ring the water out of the filter and lay it flat to dry.
- Once dry, cover the filter with engine oil and squeeze out any excess oil. You don’t want it to be dripping with oil. (Only add oil to foam filters that are used as the main filter. If your filter is a pre-filter used in combination with a paper air filter, do not add oil. This will damage the paper filter).
- Install the foam air filter.
- Reattach the air filter cover.
- Clean a Husqvarna backpack blower paper air filter & foam pre-filter:
- Remove the pre-filter and air filter from the housing.
- Wipe out any dirt remaining in the air filter housing and cover. Don’t allow dirt to fall into the air intake.
- Clean the foam pre-filter by washing it in a mild dish detergent and water solution.
- Rinse until the water runs clear. Ring the water out of the filter and lay it flat to dry.
- Inspect the paper air filter. If it is dirty, replace it with a new one. If it is not, you can reuse it.
- Install the air filter and dry the pre-filter.
- Reattach the air filter cover.
Old or Bad Fuel
Using the wrong type of fuel or old fuel can cause a leaf blower to die after it’s been running for a while. It’s best to consume fuel within 30 days of purchase to prevent fuel restrictions resulting from old gas.
When fuel ages, it leaves behind varnish and gummy substances that can restrict fuel flow and cause the blower to lose power and possibly stop running. Using a fuel additive can help make fuel last a little longer before it breaks down.
Some 2-cycle oils include a fuel stabilizer. Depending on the manufacturer, they can last anywhere between 30 days and up to two years.
Don’t assume that all oils that include a stabilizer will keep fuel good for more than 30 days unless the manufacturer has indicated it will.
Another option for a fuel stabilizer is Sea Foam Motor Treatment. Follow the instructions to mix the correct amount of additive for your fuel mix volume.
Husqvarna 2-cycle leaf blowers require a fuel mixture of gasoline and premium 2-cycle engine oil. Gas and oil are mixed at a ratio of 50:1. Read more about choosing the right fuel and mixing it in “This is the Type of Gas and Oil Mix Husqvarna Leaf Blowers Use“.
Use a gas with a minimum octane rating of 89 and an ethanol content no higher than 10%. Always choose a low ethanol content or ethanol-free fuel as ethanol has a negative effect on a Husqvarna’s small engine.
Plugged Fuel Filter
Like the air filter keeps dirt out of the air intake, the fuel filter keeps dirt out of the fuel system. The fuel filter is a small cylinder-shaped part you will find attached to the fuel line inside the fuel tank.
It can become clogged when not checked and replaced regularly. A restriction in fuel flow can cause the engine to lose power or stop running.
To avoid a restriction due to a plugged fuel filter, the average homeowner should replace it annually. If you use your Husqvarna often, you should check the filter’s condition and replace it more often.
Replace a Husqvarna leaf blower fuel filter:
- Wipe around the fuel cap to remove dirt and debris so they don’t fall into the tank.
- Remove the cap.
- Pull the fuel filter out of the fuel tank. A clean bent wire works well to retrieve the filter.
- Once the filter is out of the tank, remove it from the fuel line. Don’t let go of the fuel line and allow it to drop back inside the fuel tank. Using needle nose pliers to hold the fuel line can help grip the fuel line tighter so it doesn’t slip out of your hand and fall back inside the fuel tank.
- Attach the new fuel filter by inserting the male end into the fuel line and making sure it is securely attached.
- Place the fuel filter back inside the fuel tank.
- Install the fuel cap.
Clogged Fuel Line
Old fuel can leave behind gummy deposits that may restrict fuel flow through the fuel lines. When this happens, remove the fuel line and install a new Husqvarna fuel line.
If the fuel line appears in good condition, you can attempt to clean out the line using carburetor cleaner to loosen the clog and compressed air to remove the clog.
When inspecting your fuel lines you find it dry and cracked, you should replace the line before it begins leaking or drawing air into the line from a puncture.
Plugged Fuel Tank Vent
The fuel tank must be able to vent. Without a vent to allow air to pass through it and into the tank, the tank will form a vacuum. It won’t allow fuel to leave the fuel tank.
If you are not getting sufficient fuel to the carburetor and don’t have a clog in the fuel line or filter, you need to check the vent.
If your Husqvarna blower died and doesn’t start, confirm the fuel tank vent is clogged by placing your leaf blower on a level surface. Loosen or remove the fuel cap to allow air into the tank and start the blower.
If the blower starts and runs fine, tighten the fuel cap onto the fuel tank. Run your leaf blower for a little while to see if your problem returns and the leaf blower shuts off.
You may have a plugged fuel vent if the blower dies and the fuel cap needs to be loosened or removed to start it again.
The vent is located in the fuel tank cap on most Husqvarna leaf blowers. Replace a clogged cap with a new Husqvarna fuel cap.
The carburetor mixes the correct proportion of air and fuel required for your leaf blower to start and continue to run. The passageways can become clogged and the small components can fail to function correctly which can be the reason the blower stops running.
Old fuel usually plays a part in the carburetor no longer working. You may be able to clean or rebuild the carburetor to get it working again. You will have to replace the carburetor if this doesn’t work.
Plugged Cooling System
When the engine gets too hot, the blower can shut down. To help keep the Husqvarna engine cool, it requires air to circulate around the engine.
Remove all grass clippings, dirt, and debris from around the air intakes and cooling fins that may be preventing air circulation. To do this, first, remove the spark plug and wait for the engine to cool.
Remove the engine cover and remove debris from the cover and around the outside of the cylinder. Clean the cylinder fins and reinstall the engine cover. Continue cleaning the blower to make sure cool air can circulate around the engine.
On a Husqvarna backpack leaf blower, remove any debris from the grill between the backpack and blower housing. On a handheld blower, remove the debris from the intake and discharge grill.
Carburetor Needs Adjustment
Husqvarna sets the carburetor settings at the factory to ensure the blower is getting the fuel-to-air mixture to run at its best. The quality of fuel and high altitudes can affect the carburetor and the settings may need to be adjusted to get a good performance from the engine.
You will find 3 carburetor adjustment screws on your Husqvarna leaf blower. The idle speed screw may need to be adjusted to keep your blower running at idle speed.
Husqvarna does have some limits to the adjustments you can perform to the carburetor. Many models require a special tool Husqvarna certified mechanics have on hand to adjust the carburetor.
If you continue to have problems with the carburetor, bring your leaf blower to your local Husqvarna dealer for assistance with making necessary adjustments.
Fouled Spark Plug
A dirty or broken spark plug won’t provide the consistent spark needed to run the leaf blower. It may provide intermittent spark causing the saw to lose power and possibly die.
Inspect the condition of the spark plug tip. If it is very dark in color and has a broken porcelain or burnt electrode, the spark plug must be replaced.
You can try to clean the spark plug with a wire brush and reuse it if it’s just a little dirty. I prefer to just replace it. It’s an important part required for your Husqvarna to run well and it’s an inexpensive maintenance part.
Make sure the spark plug gap is correct and the spark plug wire is securely attached. These two items can also cause the leaf blower to shut down.
Plugged Spark Arrestor
There is a small metal screen that keeps hot exhaust material from shooting out of the leaf blower and causing injury or starting a fire. This small screen on your muffler will become plugged with a buildup of carbon that will affect how the engine runs.
Disconnect the spark plug wire. Allow the engine to cool. Access the Husqvarna blower’s spark arrestor screen and carefully remove it from the blower. Clean it with a metal brush.
If the screen isn’t able to be sufficiently cleaned or you find it is damaged or has a hole in it, replace it with a new spark arrestor screen.
To minimize carbon building up on the spark arrestor quickly, make sure you periodically run your blower at full throttle. Letting your blower idle or run at low speeds for a long time will contribute to a buildup of carbon.
Faulty Ignition Module
After you have confirmed the spark plug is in good condition, check the ignition module to make sure it is functioning correctly. The module provides the electrical current to the spark plug to form a spark that ignites the fuel to start and keep your blower running.
When the coil gets hot, the windings on the coil can separate and short out. This will cause your Husqvarna leaf blower to lose power, run sluggishly, or stop running when there is an intermittent spark.
A bad ignition module will not be able to provide sufficient voltage to the spark plug.
While pulling the starter recoil rope, you may notice a loss of compression. When the compression is low on a Husqvarna leaf blower, it will fail to have enough pressure which can cause it to quit running.
This can be the result of worn crankshaft seals, worn piston rings, or damage to the piston.
I recommend taking your leaf blower to a small engine mechanic or your Husqvarna dealership for testing and making necessary repairs.