The leaf blower is a handy tool to have to quickly clean off the patio, dry off a piece of equipment, or for many other projects. You probably don’t realize how much you use it until it no longer works.
A Yard Machines leaf blower won’t start when the engine doesn’t receive the air, fuel, and spark required.
This may be due to a dirty carburetor, plugged fuel filter, plugged air filter, bad spark plug, faulty ignition coil, or plugged spark arrestor.
Keep reading for more items that can cause your Yard Machines starting problem including a flooded engine. Always wait for the engine to cool and remove the spark plug boot prior to making repairs.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual prior to 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 Yard Machines Leaf Blower Won’t Start
If you haven’t performed maintenance on your leaf blower in quite a while, you should at least replace the maintenance items at this time. The maintenance items are the air filter, fuel filter, and spark plug.
1. Wrong Choke Setting on a Yard Machines Blower
The choke is used to reduce the amount of air getting to the engine. It is needed to start a cold engine so the fuel-to-air mix runs rich with a higher concentration of fuel.
Once the engine is warm, the choke must be off so the engine receives the air it needs to keep running. If the choke lever isn’t in the correct position, the blower won’t start or it may start and then immediately die.
Follow these steps to start your Yard Machines Handheld Leaf Blower:
- Depress the purge bulb just until you begin to see fuel in the bulb. The bulb does not need to be full.
- Place the choke lever in the START position.
- Squeeze the throttle control and continue to hold it while you place the cruise control at HI and until you get the engine started and it runs well.
- Pull the starter rope about 5 times while the choke lever is in the START position.
- Next, move the choke lever to the WARM UP position and continue to pull the starter rope until the engine starts.
- After a minute of running, move the choke lever to the RUN position.
2. Incorrect 2-Cycle Oil Mix in a Yard Machines Blower
Your 2-cycle Yard Machines handheld leaf blower requires gasoline and oil mixed at a 50:1 ratio. This oil is added to properly lubricate the engine and keep it cool.
Running straight gas or gas without sufficient oil can cause permanent engine damage. Gas runs extremely dry. The engine may seize and no longer start.
When creating a 50:1 fuel mix for your Yard Machines blower, use unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 89 (mid-grade) and maximum ethanol content of 10%.
Add a 2-cycle premium oil or an equivalent 2-cycle oil that is ISO-L-EGD and JASO M345 FD certified.
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
SOLUTION: Mix gas and oil in a gas container before adding it to the fuel tank.
You will find more information on the right fuel and how to mix it in This is the Gas and Oil Yard Machines Leaf Blowers Use.
3. Old Gas and Oil Mix in a Yard Machines Blower
Gas begins to break down quickly so it’s best to purchase fresh gas and consume it within 30 days.
Most gas includes ethanol as an added alternative fuel to make gas more environmentally friendly. This is because ethanol is made from a renewable resource like corn.
While ethanol is better for the environment, it can have damaging effects on your Yard Machines leaf blower engine and fuel system.
Ethanol and the moisture it attracts leaves behind varnish that restricts the amount of fuel getting to the engine which may cause the blower to fail to start. This mixture is highly corrosive on the leaf blower.
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.
It’s best to add a fuel additive to keep fuel stable. Many 2-cycle engine oils include a fuel stabilizer. Just because they include a stabilizer doesn’t mean you can expect gas to remain stable for longer than 30 days.
Some fuel stabilizers included in oils are not guaranteed to work any longer than 30 days while others may work up to 2 years. Adding a fuel stabilizer like Sea Foam Motor Treatment is also a good option to add to your fuel mix.
A great option to reduce fuel problems and extend engine life is a pre-mixed fuel like TruFuel. This is an ethanol-free blend of oil and fuel that is ready to pour into your leaf blower’s fuel tank.
If you choose to use a pre-mixed ethanol-free fuel, you do not need to add a stabilizer.
SOLUTION: 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 clean the fuel system.
If you are able to start the engine, start it and allow it to run until the fuel mixture works its way through the fuel system. If not, continue troubleshooting the blower by looking at other items on this list.
4. Plugged Air Filter on a Yard Machines Blower
Air is the main requirement to start and keep the engine running. When the air filter becomes plugged with dirt and debris, sufficient air isn’t able to pass through the filter keeping the engine from getting the air it requires to start.
- The air filter is a maintenance item that should be checked before operating your Yard Machines blower. The filter is crucial to protecting the engine, but it can also be the cause of overheating and damage if it is plugged.
It must be cleaned if it is dirty and replaced once a year or when it becomes very dirty or damaged. Never run your Yard Machines blower without an air filter.
SOLUTION: Follow these instructions to clean a foam air filter. If you have a different type of filter on your blower, consult the operator’s manual for cleaning instructions.
Clean a Yard Machines 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.
- Inspect the filter. Replace it with a new one if it is dry or damaged. Proceed with cleaning if the filter is in good condition.
- 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, cover the filter with a clean engine oil like a SAE30 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.
5. Dirty Spark Plug on a Yard Machines Blower
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.
SOLUTION: 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.
6. Plugged Fuel Filter on a Yard Machines Blower
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 Yard Machines 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.
SOLUTION: Check and change your fuel filter by following these steps:
Replace a Yard Machines 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 on a Yard Machines Blower
A cracked primer bulb that won’t fill with fuel won’t function correctly to get fuel to the carburetor.
SOLUTION: Check the condition of the bulb including the backside of the bulb where the fuel line attaches. Replace a damaged bulb with a new primer bulb.
8. Clogged Fuel Line on a Yard Machines Blower
Old fuel sitting in your Yard Machines leaf blower can leave behind gummy sticky deposits that restrict fuel flow.
SOLUTION: Replace a fuel line in the leaf blower when it is cracked, kinked, or clogged.
9. Bad Fuel Tank Cap on a Yard Machines Blower
The fuel cap allows air to pass through it so air can get into the tank. When the cap is bad and no longer allows the fuel tank to vent, a vacuum will form in the tank.
This vacuum will keep fuel from flowing out of the tank to the carburetor.
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.
SOLUTION: Purchase a new fuel cap when you find the old cap is no longer venting properly.
10. Dirty Carburetor on a Yard Machines Blower
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.
SOLUTION: 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 dealers 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.
11. Bad Recoil Starter on a Yard Machines Blower
A recoil is used to start a Craftsman blower. 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.
SOLUTION: 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.
12. Failed Ignition Coil on a Yard Machines Blower
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 Yard Machines blower to fail to start.
SOLUTION: Identify a bad ignition coil to check for a break in continuity. Replace the ignition coil if you find a break.
13. Plugged Spark Arrestor on a Yard Machines Blower
A spark arrestor is attached to the muffler to keep hot exhaust material from shooting out of the exhaust causing injury or fires.
The spark arrestor is a small screen that can get plugged with soot. A plugged spark arrestor will interfere with airflow which may keep the leaf blower from starting.
SOLUTION: 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 Yard Machines Blower
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 Yard Machines Leaf Blower
- Move the choke lever to the RUN position.
- Press the throttle control 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.