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 blower or wheeled blower, you need to keep it maintained regularly to enhance its life and reliability. Consider these tips to keep your leaf 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. To check this, remove the air filter cover and turn it over to locate the air filter. Then remove it from the unit and wash the filter using a mild detergent such as regular dish soap a nd 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 about every 10 hours of use.
Check the Spark Plug
The spark plug is the key to igniting the engine. If it’s damaged, 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 do so, stop the engine and allow it to cool, 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 as grit in the engine could damage the cylinder.
Inspect the spark plug to see if it’s cracked, fouled or dirty. If it is, 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.