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14 Reasons a Poulan Pro Leaf Blower Won’t Start: SOLVED!

A leaf blower that starts and runs is a great tool to remove leaves, clean off the patio, spread out clumps of grass, and clean a lawn mower. A blower that doesn’t start doesn’t have much value

A Poulan Pro leaf blower won’t start when the choke setting is wrong, the air filter is plugged, the fuel is old, the fuel line is clogged, the carburetor is dirty, the fuel filter is plugged, the spark arrestor is plugged, the spark plug is bad, the ignition coil is faulty, or the engine is flooded.

Keep reading for more items that can cause your Poulan Pro blower starting problem. Follow the safety precautions listed in your operator’s manual when performing repairs. This includes waiting for the engine to cool and removing the spark plug wire.

Leaf blower won't start

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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 a Poulan Pro Leaf Blower Won’t Start

If it’s been a while since you’ve changed the maintenance parts on your leaf blower, begin troubleshooting by replacing them. This includes the air filter, fuel filter, and spark plug.

Wrong Choke Setting

The choke lever must be placed in the full choke position to start a cold engine. This position closes the choke to restrict the amount of air mixed with fuel to form combustion in the engine.

Once a cold engine has started, the choke must be adjusted to the open position. Follow the instructions below to start your type of blower.

Start a COLD Engine on a Poulan Pro Handheld Blower:

  • Place the throttle positioning lever in the idle position.
  • Depress the primer bulb just until you begin to see fuel fill the bulb.
  • Place the start lever in the start position.
  • Pull the starter handle until the engine begins to run.
  • Allow it to run for about 10 seconds then squeeze the throttle lever to release the starting system.

Start a WARM Engine on a Poulan Pro Handheld Blower:

  • Squeeze and hold the throttle lever.
  • Pull the starter handle until the engine begins to run.

Start a COLD Engine on a Poulan Pro Backpack Blower:

  • Place the choke lever in the choke position.
  • Depress the primer bulb just until you begin to see fuel fill the bulb.
  • Flip the stop switch to the start position and place the cruise control in the fast idle position.
  • Pull the starter handle a few times until the engine sounds like it’s about to start and run.
  • Move the choke lever to the open position.
  • Pull the starter handle until the engine starts.
  • Allow the engine to run in the fast idle position for about 30 seconds before using the blower at full throttle.

Start a WARM Engine on a Poulan Pro Backpack Blower:

  • Flip the stop switch to the start position and place the cruise control in the fast idle position.
  • Place the choke lever in the open position.
  • Pull the starter handle until the engine starts.
  • Allow the engine to run in the fast idle position for about 30 seconds before using the blower at full throttle.

If you fail to close the choke to start a cold blower and open it once the engine is warm, the blower will not start or stay running.

Incorrect 2-Cycle Oil Mix

Make sure you use a fuel mix made up of gasoline and oil mixed at a ratio of 40:1. A blower requires oil to be added to the gas to properly lubricate the two-cycle engine.

Without the right amount of oil added to the gas, the fuel will run very dry and potentially cause the engine to seize and not start.

Adding a straight gas to your leaf blower will result in permanent damage which may result in having to purchase a new leaf blower.

When creating a 40:1 fuel mix for your blower, use unleaded gasoline with a minimum 87 octane rating and maximum ethanol content of 10%.

Add a 2-cycle premium oil like this oil offered by Poulan Pro or an equivalent 2-cycle oil that is ISO-L-EGD and JASO M345 FD certified.

40:1 = 1 gallon of gas + 3.2 fl oz. 2-cycle oil
40:1 = 2 gallons of gas + 6.4 fl oz 2-cycle oil

A great option to reduce fuel problems and extend engine life is a pre-mixed fuel. This is an ethanol-free blend of oil and fuel that is ready to pour into your leaf blower’s fuel tank. You can find these fuels at your local hardware store or online.

You will find more information on choosing the right fuel and how to mix it in this article.

Old Fuel and Oil Mix

A lot of types of gasoline you find at the fuel station include ethanol. This is an alternative fuel that is often made from corn or other high-starch plants. This fuel is added to make gas a little environmentally friendly.

While ethanol is a good option when it comes to helping the environment, it is not good to run in your Poulan Pro blower.

Ethanol can have negative effects on the fuel system and its components including leaving behind gummy deposits and attracting moisture to the fuel.

Fuel degradation may leave behind a varnish that restricts the amount of fuel getting to the engine which may cause the blower to fail to start.

Because of the negative effects of ethanol, never use fuel with an ethanol content greater than 10%. Avoid fuels sold as E15 and E85 as they contain up to 15% and 85% ethanol respectively.

If you have old fuel sitting in your leaf blower for longer than 30 days, drain the fuel tank and fill it with a fresh gas and oil mix. Add a fuel stabilizer like Sea Foam Motor Treatment to stabilize the fuel, clean the fuel system and reduce moisture in the fuel.

Some 2-cycle oils include a fuel stabilizer. Some additives will only stabilize fuel for up to 30 days while others may stabilize it for up to two years.

If the oil you choose doesn’t list how long it works to make the fuel stable, don’t assume it will work longer than 30 days.

If you choose to use a pre-mixed ethanol-free fuel, you do not need to add a stabilizer.

Plugged Air Filter

Your leaf blower requires clean air to keep it running. An air filter is installed to keep the air free of dirt.

When this filter becomes plugged with dirt and debris, sufficient air isn’t able to pass through the filter causing a starting and running problem.

The air filter should be replaced once a year. Then check and clean it regularly to keep it in good condition. If you find it is damaged or extremely dirty, replace it with a new one.

Clean a Poulan Pro 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. Squeeze the water out of the filter and lay it flat to dry.
  • Once dry, lightly cover the filter with engine oil and squeeze out any excess oil. You don’t want it to be dripping with oil.
  • Install the foam air filter.
  • Reattach the air filter cover.

Dirty Spark Plug

A dirty spark plug that has a buildup of carbon or oil may prevent the spark needed to start the blower. Cracked porcelain, burnt electrode, incorrect electrode gap, or loose wire can also be the problem.

Remove the spark plug and inspect it. Replace a dirty or damaged spark plug with a new one. Make sure the spark plug is gapped to the manufacturer’s specification and securely attach the spark plug boot.

If the spark plug appears to be in good condition but is a little dirty, you can attempt to clean it using a wire brush.

Plugged Fuel Filter

Like the air filter prevents dirt from entering the air intake, the fuel filter prevents dirt from entering the fuel system.

The fuel filter on a Husqvarna leaf blower can be found inside the fuel tank attached to the fuel line. It strains the fuel as it enters the fuel line to keep any dirt or debris in the fuel tank from getting sucked into the fuel line.

This filter should also be replaced each year for the average homeowner. Check and change your fuel filter by following these steps:

Replace a leaf blower fuel filter:

  • Wipe around the fuel cap to keep any dirt from falling into the fuel tank when removing the fuel cap.
  • Remove the fuel cap.
  • Use a clean bent wire to hook the fuel line and pull the fuel filter out of the tank.
  • With one hand securely holding the fuel line and ring clip, pull the filter out of the fuel line with the other hand.
  • Install a new fuel filter by inserting the male end into the fuel line making sure the ring clip is securely holding the fuel line to the filter.
  • Place the filter in the fuel tank and reinstall the fuel cap.

Bad Primer Bulb

A cracked primer bulb that won’t fill up with fuel won’t function correctly to get fuel to the carburetor. Replace with a new primer bulb.

Clogged Fuel Line

Old fuel sitting in your blower can leave behind gummy deposits that restrict fuel flow. Replace a fuel line in the leaf blower when it is cracked, kinked, or clogged.

Plugged Fuel Tank Vent

The fuel tank vent allows air to pass in and out of the fuel tank. Without a vent, the fuel tank will create a vacuum that won’t allow fuel to leave your fuel tank.

A good indication you may have a fuel tank vent problem is when your leaf blower runs for a while and then runs sluggish, shuts down, and won’t start until you remove the fuel cap to allow air into the fuel tank. You may even hear the vacuum release when removing the cap.

It then shuts down again after running for several minutes with the fuel cap in place. The fuel tank vents through the check valve in the fuel cap on most Poulan Pro blowers.

Purchase a new fuel cap when you find the old cap is no longer venting properly.

Dirty Carburetor

The carburetor is essential to regulate the amount of gas that gets mixed with air so combustion can form in the engine.

The carburetor can fail to function properly causing your starting problem. This is often the fault of old fuel that sits carburetor clogging fuel passageways.

If you are a little mechanical you should be able to handle cleaning your carburetor. Clean the carburetor by taking it apart and using carburetor cleaner to clean it.

If the carburetor does not function after being cleaned, you may need to rebuild it or replace it with a new carburetor.

Small engine repair shops can also clean it for you. However, find out the labor rate and charge to clean the carburetor. Compare that to a carburetor replacement. The price may not be that different.

Bad Recoil Starter

A recoil starter is used to start the engine. The starter can fail and will keep the blower from starting.

The string can become unstrung making it hard to start. You may also find a bad pulley; loose or missing spring; or broken clips that will keep the recoil start from working correctly.

You can attempt to replace the spring and restring the recoil. If it does not work because other components in your recoil are damaged, such as the clips or the pulley, you may be better off just replacing the recoil assembly.

Failed Ignition Coil

The winding on the ignition coil can separate and short out. When this happens, the spark plug won’t get the voltage required to create a spark. This will cause your blower to fail to start.

Identify a bad ignition coil using an ohmmeter to check for a break in continuity. Replace the ignition coil if you find a break.

Plugged Spark Arrestor

You will find a small screen placed on the muffler. This is a safety feature to prevent hot exhaust material from shooting out of the blower potentially causing a fire or injury.

This spark arrestor screen can become plugged with soot restricting airflow. When this happens, the leave blower may not start.

Remove the spark arrestor and clean it with a wire brush. If you are unable to clean it sufficiently or you find it is damaged, replace it with a new spark arrestor.

Flooded Engine

Another problem you may have is flooding the engine after you tried to start it initially. This can happen when the choke is in the closed position and the starter rope was pulled too many times.

It can also happen with the switch off and the starter rope being pulled multiple times or when the primer bulb is pushed too many times.

How to Fix a Flooded Engine on a Poulan Pro Leaf Blower

  • Place the start switch in the run position on a handheld blower. Turn the stop switch to the on position and place the choke in the open position on a backpack blower.
  • Press the throttle trigger while pulling the starter rope over and over. This can take anywhere between 5 and 15 pulls before it starts. Your leaf blower engine will sputter first. Continue to pull 2 to 3 more times and it should start.