There are many items that can affect whether or not your leaf blower is going to start. Many of these items are the result of running the wrong type of gas or old gas through your blower while others are due to not regularly maintaining your blower.
A RedMax leaf blower will not start when it can’t get sufficient air, fuel, and spark to form combustion.
This is a result of a plugged air filter, bad fuel, clogged fuel lines, plugged fuel filter, dirty carburetor, bad spark plug, clogged fuel tank vent, or plugged spark arrestor.
Keep reading for additional items that will prevent your RedMax from starting. Remove the spark plug boot and wait for all moving items to stop 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.
Reasons Your RedMax Leaf Blower Won’t Start
The first thing I do when I am troubleshooting a leaf blower starting issue is to replace the maintenance items: spark plug, air filter, and fuel filter. By replacing these items, I rule out these common parts as being the problem when they aren’t changed out regularly.
1. Bad Switch or Wrong Setting
The switch on your RedMax blower must be placed in the on position to start. If you find the switch is off, flip it to the on position.
A faulty switch or a bad ground wire can also be the reason your blower won’t start. You can test this using a multimeter. Replace a bad switch. Repair or replace a bad ground.
2. Incorrect 2-Cycle Oil Mix
The worse thing you can do for your RedMax blower is to add straight gas to the fuel tank. Your blower requires a gas and oil mix. Without the right amount of oil added to the gas, the fuel will run very dry through the engine and cause it to seize.
This most likely will result in damage that cannot be repaired. You will have to spend money on purchasing a new RedMax leaf blower.
RedMax 2-cycle leaf blowers require a gas and oil mixture at a rate of 50:1. 50 parts gasoline is mixed with 1 part premium 2-cycle engine oil.
When creating this mix, use unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 89 (mid-grade) and maximum ethanol content of 10%. Add a 2-cycle premium oil like RedMax 2-Stroke Engine Oil.
50:1 = 1 gallon of gas + 2.6 fl oz. 2-cycle oil
50:1 = 2.5 gallon of gas + 6.4 fl oz 2-cycle oil
You can also use an equivalent 2-cycle oil that is ISO-L-EGD and JASO M345 FD certified.
A great option to reduce fuel problems and extend engine life is a pre-mixed fuel like RedMax MaxFuel.
This is an ethanol-free blend of oil and fuel that is ready to pour into your leaf blower’s fuel tank. You won’t have to deal with the bad effects of ethanol as discussed in the next section.
Read more about the right fuel to use in your RedMax and how to care for that fuel to minimize the negative effects of running gas containing ethanol in “This is the Type of Gas and Oil RedMax Blowers Use“.
3. Old Fuel and Oil Mix
Ethanol, found in most gasoline on the market today, attracts moisture to the fuel system. This water and ethanol mixture causes gumming in the fuel system and begins degrading the blower’s components.
It contributes to premature failure of the fuel components and restrictions in the fuel system preventing the engine from getting the fuel it requires.
Additionally, water and ethanol separate from the gasoline and sink to the bottom of the fuel tank. When this solution runs through the engine, it runs hot and can damage it.
Always use unleaded gasoline with a maximum ethanol content of 10% (E10). Avoid E15 and E85 gasoline. These contain ethanol at levels up to 15% and 85% respectively.
Drain any old fuel remaining in your leaf blower 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.
If you choose to use a pre-mixed ethanol-free fuel, you do not need to add a stabilizer.
4. Plugged Air Filter
Your RedMax blower requires air to start and run so when the air filter becomes plugged it may not start. With the dirt and debris that gets tossed into the air from using a blower, the air filter can become clogged if it isn’t cleaned or replaced regularly.
The air that is sucked into the engine has to pass through the air filter. A plugged air filter restricts the amount of air that is able to pass through the filter. This lack of air will cause your blower not to start.
It’s good practice to replace your air filter annually and then check it before each use to make sure it is free of dirt and debris. When checking the filter, remove it and clean it if you find it is dirty.
I know this is just one more step to your blowing process, but it takes less than a minute to remove a cover and look at your filter’s condition. The filter is crucial to protecting the engine, but it can also be the cause of overheating and damage if it is plugged.
You will have to clean or replace your filter more frequently if you use your RedMax more than the average homeowner. Follow these steps to clean the style filter in your blower:
- 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. 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.
If you find your air filter is bad and you don’t have a replacement filter on hand, NEVER operate your blower without one even if it’s only for a short period of time to finish up a job.
Allowing small particles to enter the engine will cause engine wear and damage. That small filter is providing protection to your engine.
5. Bad Spark Plug
A bad spark plug is one that is dirty with carbon buildup or has a cracked porcelain or burnt electrode. When the plug isn’t functioning, it will not provide the spark required for the engine to run.
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.
6. 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 RedMax 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 RedMax 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.
7. Bad Primer Bulb Causes
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.
8. Clogged Fuel Line
Old fuel sitting in your RedMax leaf blower can leave behind gummy sticky deposits that restrict fuel flow. Replace a fuel line in the leaf blower when it is cracked, kinked, or clogged.
9. Plugged Fuel Tank Vent
The fuel tank vent allows air into the tank. Without a vent, the fuel tank will create a vacuum that won’t allow fuel to leave your RedMax fuel tank.
A good indication you may have a fuel tank vent problem is when your leaf blower runs for a few minutes and then shuts down and won’t start until you remove the fuel cap to allow air into the fuel tank.
It then shuts down again after running for several minutes with the fuel cap in place. The fuel tank vents through the fuel cap on most RedMax blowers.
Purchase a new fuel cap when you find the old cap is no longer venting properly.
10. Dirty Carburetor
The carburetor regulates the amount of fuel that is mixed with air to create combustion in the cylinder. Old fuel will gum up and clog the carburetor so it no longer functions as designed.
It can cause your RedMax blower to run rough and even not start.
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.
11. Bad Recoil Starter
Your RedMax leaf blower uses a recoil to start the engine. A bad pulley; loose or missing spring; or broken clips can keep your recoil from working.
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 are better off just replacing the recoil assembly.
12. 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 RedMax blower to fail to start.
Identify a bad ignition coil using an ohm meter to check for a break in continuity. Replace the ignition coil if you find a break.
13. Plugged Spark Arrestor
The spark arrestor is a small screen that can get plugged with soot. A plugged spark arrestor may prevent your RedMax leaf blower from starting.
Remove the spark arrestor and clean it with a wire brush. If you are unable to clean it sufficiently, replace it with a new spark arrestor.
14. Flooded RedMax Blower
I have had customers bring their RedMax leaf blower to the repair shop because they can’t get it started. Many times it’s due to a flooded engine which isn’t too serious.
The engine can become flooded when the choke is in the closed position and the starter rope was pulled 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 RedMax Leaf Blower
- Turn the switch on to the on position.
- Move the choke lever to the open position.
- Move the ignition lever to about 1/3 open position to increase the throttle
- Pull the starter rope multiple times until it starts. 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.