A leaf blower is a tool that can save you a lot of time. It’s not only great for leaf cleanup in the fall, but it’s also a handy tool to have to clear debris from the patio, dry a lawn mower and blow grass clippings off of your pathways.
When your leaf blower starts to run rough, it may fail to give you the air required to complete these tasks.
A RedMax leaf blower will run rough as a result of a plugged air filter, bad fuel tank vent, clogged fuel line, plugged fuel filter, dirty carburetor, bad spark plug or plugged spark arrestor. Items that prevent the engine from getting the airflow, spark, and fuel required will cause a RedMax blower to run rough.
Follow the safety precautions listed in your operator’s manual when working on your leaf blower. Disconnect the spark plug and wait for all moving parts to stop before making 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.
8 Reasons Your RedMax Leaf Blower is Running Rough
Running gas that has been sitting around for a long time will have negative effects on your RedMax blower. It can corrode the fuel system and leave behind gummy deposits that restrict the amount of fuel to the engine.
This is because most gasoline contains ethanol, an alternative fuel added to gas to make it a little environmentally friendly. Ethanol naturally attracts moisture to the fuel system and will separate from gas over time.
While this product is okay to run in most vehicles, it is bad for the small engine on your leaf blower. Because of this, stay away from the gasoline that contains high levels of ethanol.
A RedMax 2-cycle leaf blower requires gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 89 and a maximum ethanol content of 10%. Gasoline must be mixed with a premium 2-cycle oil at a ratio of 50:1. RedMax offers a 2-cycle mix here.
Gasoline begins to break down as quickly as 30 days after purchase. To help minimize the problems that develop from using old gas, only purchase the amount of gas you are able to use within 30 days.
If you purchase more fuel than this, add a fuel stabilizer so it lasts a little longer before it begins breaking down.
Some 2-cycle oils include a fuel stabilizer. Make sure you read the bottle to determine how long the additive stabilizes the fuel. Some work for 30 days while others stabilize fuel for up to 2 years.
Read more about fuel and stabilizers for your RedMax in “This is the Type of Gas & Oil Mix RedMax Blowers Use“.
Solution: When you find old gas in your RedMax, drain the fuel tank and fill it with fresh fuel. Use a stabilizer to keep the fuel running at its best.
A stabilizer like Sea Foam Motor Treatment can be used. This product not only stabilizes your fuel, but it also reduces moisture and cleans the fuel system.
Bad Spark Plug
A spark plug that is dirty, incorrectly gapped, or has a loose spark plug wire can cause intermittent spark issues. This will cause your RedMax to run poorly and run rough.
Solution: Remove the spark plug using a socket wrench. Check its condition. Replace the spark plug if you find the tip is very dark in appearance, the porcelain is cracked or the electrode is burnt.
You can also try to clean a dirty spark plug with a wire brush to reuse it when it is a little dirty but in overall good condition.
I prefer to use a new spark plug since it is a crucial component to having a leaf blower operating at its best. Make sure you have a properly gapped spark plug using a feeler gauge.
Install the new or clean spark plug and securely attach the spark plug wire.
Plugged Fuel Filter
The fuel filter prevents dirt from entering the fuel system preventing fuel restrictions and wearing of the engine. When the filter becomes plugged, the engine will run rough because it isn’t getting enough fuel.
You will find the fuel filter on your RedMax leaf blower in the fuel tank attached to the fuel line. The filter should be replaced once a year and more often if you use your blower more than the average homeowner or you find a tank of fuel is very dirty.
Solution: A dirty and plugged fuel filter must be replaced. To do this, place your RedMax blower on a flat surface. Wipe any dirt from around the fuel cap and remove it.
Use a bent clean wire to “fish” the filter out of the tank by hooking the wire around the fuel line. Holding the fuel line and ring clip in one hand, securely grab the filter and pull it out of the fuel line with the other hand.
Do not lose the ring clip and keep it on the fuel line. Install a new fuel filter into the end of the fuel line. Slide the ring clip so it sits over the fuel line and fuel filter male end to secure the filter to the fuel line.
Clogged Fuel Lines
Old fuel can clog the leaf blower’s fuel line restricting fuel flow. Look for a clogged line or a line that may have gotten pinched or kinked. A punctured fuel line can also cause your RedMax to run rough when it is sucking in air providing too much air to the engine.
Solution: Replace any damaged or clogged fuel line with a new piece of fuel line of the same length and diameter. It’s also a good idea to replace the fuel line if it appears dry and cracked before you run into additional problems.
Plugged Fuel Tank Vent
The fuel tank vent can become plugged or damaged preventing air from passing through the vent to equalize air pressure in the fuel tank. A plugged vent can cause a vacuum to form in the fuel tank. This keeps fuel from flowing out of the tank.
If fuel isn’t running through the fuel lines and you don’t have a clogged line or a plugged fuel filter, there is a good chance the fuel tank vent is plugged. You can test this by loosening or removing the blower’s fuel cap to allow air into the tank. Start the blower, and allow it to run.
Be careful and keep your leaf blower level so you don’t spill any gas from the tank. If your RedMax runs strong and doesn’t bog down or run rough, tighten the fuel cap and see if you can replicate the issue to confirm the fuel tank vent is the problem.
Solution: The fuel tank vent is located in the fuel cap on most RedMax blowers. You will need to purchase a new cap if your blower starts to act up and run rough again after installing the old fuel cap.
Plugged Air Filter
A RedMax leaf blower will run rough and bog down when it isn’t able to get air to the engine. A dirty air filter is one of the reasons your leaf blower won’t get air.
Because of the amount of dirt and debris that is stirred into the air from running the blower, your filter gets dirty and must be cleaned or replaced frequently. Like the fuel filter, I recommend replacing the air filter once a year.
Inspect and clean it before each use. Replace it more often when you find it is extremely dirty.
To protect your engine, never run your RedMax blower without an air filter, not even to finish up a job. A small amount of debris or dirt getting into the engine will cause engine wear and damage.
Solution: If you find your air filter is plugged, I recommend replacing it with a new one. It is an important component when it comes to protecting the engine.
- 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 bad enough to need to be washed.
- 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. 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.
Because there are different types of filters used in various RedMax blower models, refer to your operator’s manual for the steps to clean your model blower.
The carburetor’s function on a RedMax is to regulate the amount of fuel mixed with air to create combustion so your blower will continue to run.
When the carburetor gets gummed up and dirty from running old fuel, the fuel flow can be restricted. This will prevent the engine from getting the fuel it requires and it will begin running sluggishly.
Solution: You may be able to clean your carburetor by removing it and using carburetor cleaner to get it working again. You may end up having to rebuild the carburetor or replace it if cleaning does not help.
Plugged Spark Arrestor
There is a small metal screen that keeps hot exhaust material from shooting out of your RedMax leaf blower to prevent injury or starting a fire. This small screen will become plugged with a carbon buildup that will affect how the engine runs.
Solution: Disconnect the spark plug wire. Remove the engine cover and the engine exhaust cover. Carefully remove the spark arrestor screen. You can either 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.