Fall is just around the corner. As leaves turn colors, it won’t be long before those rich hues of red, orange and yellow wind up in your yard. In anticipation of the upcoming season, it’s important to make sure your leaf blower is ready for the busy months of leaf cleanup ahead.
While some might use a rake for smaller yards, many opt for leaf blowers to handle larger leaf piles. Whether you use a handheld, backpack or wheeled blower, you need to keep it maintained regularly to enhance its life and reliability. Consider these gas leaf blower maintenance tips to keep your blower in great shape and ready for cleanup all season long.
Maintain the Air Filter
It’s especially important that air filters in gas leaf blowers are kept in good condition so they can continue doing what they do best: blow air. Knowing how to clean leaf blower air filters can extend the longevity of your fan, allowing for a more consistent and stronger pattern of air to be blown. To check the condition, remove the air filter cover and turn it over to locate the air filter. Then, remove the air filter from the unit and wash the filter using a mild detergent, such as regular dish soap and water. Rinse thoroughly and squeeze out excess water. Allow it to dry completely, lightly coat it with clean SAE 30 oil and place it back in the unit. You’ll want to do this step after about every 10 hours of use.
Check the Spark Plug
The leaf blower spark plug is the key to igniting the engine. If it’s damaged, then your leaf blower’s engine may not start or run at optimum efficiency. You’ll want to maintain the spark plug about every 25 hours of use. To remove the spark plug from your gas leaf blower, stop the engine and allow it to cool, then grasp the spark plug boot firmly and pull it from the spark plug. Clean around the spark plug, then remove it from the cylinder head with a 5/8-inch socket — make sure you do not sand blast, scrape or clean the spark plug electrodes because grit in the engine could damage the cylinder.
Inspect the leaf blower spark plug to see if it’s cracked, fouled or dirty. If it is, then replace it. Then, use a feeler gauge to set the air gap at 0.025 inches, reinstall the spark plug in the cylinder head and reattach the spark plug boot.
Change the Oil
When it is time to change the oil, make sure the unit is warm so the oil will drain more completely. Remove the oil fill plug and drain the oil by tipping the unit onto its side so the oil drains into a cache container. Slowly add 90 milliliters of new SAE 30 oil. Replace the oil cap and wipe any excess oil from the housings.