You’re having problems with your leaf blower where it will no longer stay running and keeps shutting off. I’ve put together a list of items that can cause this problem along with tips to fix them.
A RedMax leaf blower will start, stall and die when it isn’t getting sufficient air, fuel, and spark.
This may be due to a plugged air filter, incorrect choke setting, plugged fuel filter, clogged fuel line, plugged fuel tank vent, dirty carburetor, bad spark plug, bad ignition coil, plugged spark arrestor, or old fuel.
Always remove the spark plug wire to prevent your RedMax blower from starting. Wait for all moving parts to stop and for the engine to cool down before performing any repairs.
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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.
10 Reasons a RedMax Blower Keeps Shutting Off & Dying
1. Incorrect Choke Setting
The choke lever is used to open and close the choke to adjust the amount of air that gets pulled into the engine to start it.
The choke lever must be placed in the CLOSE position to start a cold engine. This is so the fuel mixture runs rich with more fuel and less air.
To start a cold engine, place the choke lever in the CLOSE position to restrict airflow. After the engine starts and warms up, you must adjust the choke lever to the OPEN position or your RedMax will die because it isn’t getting enough air to keep running.
2. Plugged Air Filter
One of the first things to check on your RedMax blower if it shuts down or loses power is the air filter. The air filter protects the engine by preventing dirt and debris from passing through the filter and wearing on the engine.
Because you are working in very dusty conditions, the air filter is prone to get dirty and must be cleaned or replaced regularly. If it becomes so dirty that sufficient airflow isn’t able to pass through the filter, your RedMax blower will sputter and die.
When you find your air filter is not in good condition because it is damaged, wet, very dirty, or doesn’t seal properly, replace the filter.
Never run your blower without a filter even if it’s just so you can get your job finished. Doing so may allow dirt into the engine that will wear on the engine causing damage.
For the average homeowner, I recommend replacing the air filter once a year and more often if you notice it is in poor condition when you check it several times throughout the year.
If you’re using your RedMax leaf blower more than the average homeowner or in extremely dirty conditions, you will need to check it more frequently.
- RedMax blower FELT 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.
- I prefer replacing the filter if it appears dark in color to ensure I’m running a good filter.
- RedMax 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. Squeeze 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 the dry pre-filter.
- Reattach the air filter cover.
Because there are so many different types of filters used which varies from model to model, refer to your operator’s manual for steps to clean different types of filters used in your RedMax leaf blower.
3. Old or Bad Fuel
It does matter what type of gas you use in your RedMax leaf blower and how fresh it is. Old gas and gas with high levels of ethanol will increase the problems that develop in your fuel system and how your blower runs.
Most types of gasoline contain ethanol, a product added to make it more environmentally friendly. This alternative fuel is often made of corn, but can also be made from other high-starch content plants.
Ethanol naturally attracts moisture from the air to the fuel system. The ethanol and water mixture leaves behind varnish and gums the fuel system that can damage the fuel components and restrict fuel flow.
High levels of ethanol are not good for the small engine on your blower. You need to make sure you are using unleaded gasoline with a maximum ethanol content of 10% and an octane rating of 89 or higher.
RedMax 2-cycle leaf blowers require a gasoline and oil mixture at a 50:1 ratio.
Gasoline must be mixed with premium 2-cycle engine oil like RedMax MaxLife oil or one that is ISO-L-EGD and JASO M345 FD certified. This oil is different than your standard engine oil.
Using the wrong type of oil or the wrong amount of oil can result in engine damage. Never run straight gas through your RedMax blower. Gas runs extremely dry. The engine will seize without the added lubrication of 2-cycle oil.
Use a fuel stabilizer
Gas can begin breaking down as soon as 30 days after purchase. Add a fuel stabilizer like Sea Foam Motor Treatment to fresh fuel to make it last a little longer without breaking down. A fuel stabilizer can help minimize fuel issues from running old gas.
Keep in mind some 2-cycle oils include a fuel stabilizer. Even though the bottle of oil states it includes a stabilizer, read the fine print to see how long the additive will keep the fuel stable.
If it doesn’t state a timeframe, don’t assume it will work longer than 30 days. Read more about choosing the right gas and how to care for it in This is the Type of Gas RedMax Leaf Blowers Use.
4. Plugged Fuel Filter
Just like the air filter is used so your blower gets clean air free of dirt and debris, a fuel filter is used to keep dirt and debris out of the fuel system.
You will find the fuel filter located inside the fuel tank. It is attached to the end of the fuel line. The filter can become plugged with dirt causing your RedMax blower to die.
It must be regularly replaced to avoid this. I recommended changing the filter out at least once a year. When using your blower for commercial purposes, you should change it once every 3 months.
Replace a 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. Be careful not to lose the retaining ring. Keep the ring on the fuel line.
- Attach the new fuel filter by inserting the male end into the fuel line and securing the line to the filter using the retaining ring.
- Place the fuel filter back inside the fuel tank.
- Install the fuel cap.
5. Clogged Fuel Lines
Old fuel can leave behind gummy deposits that can restrict fuel flow through the fuel lines. When this happens, remove the fuel line and install a new fuel line of the same diameter and width.
You will need to replace the fuel line if you find it is dry, cracked, or kinked.
6. Plugged Fuel Tank Vent
The RedMax fuel tank requires a vent to allow air to pass through it. When this vent gets plugged, the fuel tank forms a vacuum.
The vacuum prevents fuel from flowing out of the tank which causes the leaf blower to stall and die.
If you are not getting fuel to the carburetor, and have verified you are running a good filter and you don’t have any clogs in the fuel lines, you may have a clogged fuel vent. You can test this by placing your RedMax leaf blower on a level surface.
Loosen the fuel cap to allow air into the tank and start the blower. Don’t allow gas to spill out of the fuel tank. When the blower starts and runs, replace the fuel cap with the blower still running.
Continue to let it run for a while. If it sputters and dies with the cap on and then starts and runs once the cap is removed, you most likely have a problem with the fuel tank vent.
Replace the vent with a new fuel tank vent. This is a small part that is found coming off a line out of the fuel tank.
7. Dirty Carburetor
The carburetor mixes the correct proportion of air and fuel required for your RedMax 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 is a big reason why a RedMax carburetor will stop working. You may be able to clean or rebuild your carburetor to get it working again. You will have to replace the carburetor if this doesn’t work.
8. Bad Spark Plug
The spark plug provided the spark required to get it started, however, if the plug is very dirty or damaged, it may have intermittent spark problems that will cause the generator to sputter and die.
Remove the spark plug and check its condition. If the tip is very dark in color, the electrode is worn or the porcelain is broken, you must replace the spark plug with a new one.
If it appears in good condition, clean it with a wire brush and check the electrode gap and securely attach the spark plug wire. A loose wire or incorrect spark plug gap can also cause the generator to quit running.
9. Faulty Ignition Coil
Before checking for a bad ignition coil, make sure your spark plug is in good condition. The ignition coil provides voltage to the spark plug so it can start the engine.
When the ignition coil gets hot, it can stop working causing your RedMax leaf blower to quit running. The windings on the coil can separate and short out.
If the spark plug isn’t able to fire due to a bad spark plug or ignition coil, the engine will die.
Make sure you are using a good spark plug. Use an ohmmeter to test your ignition coil to confirm there isn’t a break in the continuity. Replace the coil when you find your ignition coil is bad.
10. 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 will become plugged with a buildup of carbon that will affect how the engine runs.
Disconnect the spark plug wire. On most RedMax blower models, you will remove the engine cover and the engine exhaust cover to access the spark arrestor screen.
Carefully remove the spark arrestor screen. Clean the screen 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.
Contact your local RedMax dealer if you are continuing to experience problems with your leaf blower.