brand new Ariens that doesn't work


Old 12-07-03, 10:41 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Indiana (formerly Massachusetts)
Posts: 323
brand new Ariens that doesn't work


i bought a very expensive Ariens 11 HP Pro model snowthrower hoping it would be trustworthy. I got is friday. We had a snowstorm Sat to Sun. I used it Sat. and it seemed fine.

I went to use it today. It started right up the auger wouldn't turn. It wasn't frozen so I took off the belt cover only to find a completely shredded belt to the auger. The inside cover is full of shredded belt. Although the belt isn't broken, it is all twisted and can't be fixed. Remember, I used it for one hour before this happened.

So now my question is: what should i do. I am going to contact the dealer right away but this is my concern:

I had this for one hour. The belt is shredded. The gears that are around the belt which includes the drive train, are all covered in shredded belt and grease. The thing is brand new. If they offer to replace the belt, I am worried about having so much contaminants around the pulleys and gears.

Basically, through now fault of my own, the machine doesn't work and now I worry about premature wear due to all the pulley strain from the twisted belt as well as the build-up of shredded belt on the other parts.

What should I do and how do suggest I approach the dealer. I am leaning towards requesting it be fixed, delivered to my home ASAP and a new machine ordered to replace this one.

Does this sound reasonable?

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Old 12-07-03, 05:32 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: USA,Washington
Posts: 865
Since you just bought this that means its under warentee! Because this happened to you it means that they did not install the belt to the auger properly which caused it to get eaten up. Take it back to the store and get a replacement snow througher. I hope you kept your reciept! You will need that to get your replacement!
Old 12-07-03, 09:12 PM
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Location: USA
Posts: 16,814
Hello Robert!

It does sound like it was installed incorrectly...probably on the wrong side of a belt keeper. They should at minimum replace the belt and verify what caused it to go bad and repair it and check the machine over for any consequential damage and clean it out. I think requesting another machine is not unreasonable, but you might not get satisfaction.
Old 12-08-03, 04:30 AM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: upstate NY
Posts: 152
I can see where you would have lost your faith in this snow blower. I would ask for either a replacement snow blower or a refund and buy somewhere else. Unless they can prove without a doubt in your mind that it was installed incorrectly. Why spend all that money on a unit you don't trust or feel you can depend on?
Old 12-20-03, 09:00 AM
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Angry You are not alone

You are not alone.
I, too just bought a brand new Ariens Classic 8524, and I ended up sending it back to the dealer for a refund. The engine sputtered, putted & backfired and it wouldn't go into reverse well. That took about 3 seconds.
It was delivered in that condition, and the dealer was too busy to fix it. I had to finish snowblowing my driveway with a 33-year old Ariens that I left outside in the snow because I was going to give it away. It started right up, as usual and blew snow all over the new Ariens while it was sitting there backfiring. I'm going to keep the old machine and have already tossed the new one. The dealer has refunded my money, and I'm now looking for something else.

In addition, a friend at work just bought a brand new Ariens 1128, and it threw a belt like yours. However, it didn't throw the belt into the auger.

I don't know what's going on, but just recently Ariens seems to be producing some real trash. Just in the past month or so.
Old 12-21-03, 10:54 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Indiana (formerly Massachusetts)
Posts: 323
here is an update:

the dealer picked up the machine and replaced the belt. he didn't tell me what the original problem was as i wasn't home when he delivered the machine. it now works but i am not thrilled with the way is throws the snow. Plus, he brought it back with grease all over the outside of the unit.

I called and left a message asking for a replacement and never got called back. I left 5 messages with no return. How hard is it to return a call?

i then emailed the home office in wisconsin and I was told they don't "replace" machines, just fix them as they are under warranty. No one had apologized for delivering the defective machine yet.

While I was on hold, all I could hear was the taped greeting they play over the phone from the president of Ariens welcoming me to the large family of "satisfied customers" where "customer satisfaction" is their top priorty.

The next guy that got on the phone, told ME how to fix the problem. I told him the machine was 1/2 an hour old. I asked for the manager. I got a call from the rep. who handles my area and he cut me off as I was describing the policy and basically said, they would replace the belt or give a refund. Again, NO APOLOGY!!!!

That night the dealer came by saying "he was in the neighborhood" and said that the reason it threw the belt was either the guide was on too tight or the brake heated up the belt too much.

Bottom line is: terrrible customer service, real bad quality workmanship from Ariens and their representatives. I thought i was buying quality.

Oh well, we'll see what happens from here. As of now, I am planning on keeping the machine because I don't want to start the search process all over again especially with the brutal winters we have been having.

thanks for your feedback.
Old 12-22-03, 04:07 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 105
re: new Ariens

Hello Robert:

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I am not a dealer and do know the older Ariens were top quality but have NO experience with the new ones.

The customer "No Service" and answers you got from Ariens I find inexcusable.

I hope you bought it on a credit card. If so, simply return the machine and insist the dealer indicate you have done so, then dispute this with your credit card provider. Keep in mind one only has 60 days from time of charge to do so, and that you should put EVERYTHING in writing.

You might also send a certified letter to the CEO of Ariens explaining the situation. I suspect Ariens is following the path of many other manufacturers and outsourcing customer service calls.

If that is indeed the case, It's certain the person ou taked to does not work for Ariens but in a call center they contracted to--and the reps or managers have NO authority to do anything. THey were likely not even in the US.

Anyway, I can say from past experience with other companies that a short and precise letter to the CEO will get a quick response. He probably has NO idea there are problems like those you experienced and will be kicking some ass when he hears about it.

If you can't find his address and name easily do repost and I'lll get it for you. I'd do it right now but am a bit swamped.

Good Luck,

Old 12-23-03, 04:53 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Indiana (formerly Massachusetts)
Posts: 323
hello snowman (and others)

thanks for your feedback. my honest feeling on this is that i will just keep the machine and hope that it doesn't break down in the future but the lack of concern and service from Ariens and their reps has turned me off from them. I bought the machine and I am "stuck" with it but I really have a bad taste in my mouth about it and it will reflect in my opinions of their products if anyone asks me about it.

part of the problem is that i paid for the machine 5 weeks before it arrived and four weeks has passed since it arrived. so, i have "owned" it for longer than the 60 days.

thanks for your response though and if anyone at Ariens had your opinion and concern, we would be talking about a different ball game here.

thanks again.
Old 12-23-03, 05:12 AM
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troubled Ariens

Sorry to hear about issues with the Ariens but I can personnaly say that I believe Ariens is one of the best machines on the market and NO I'm not a dealer. I have done service work on Ariens for over 20 years and the older machines are better than the new ones due to the castings and thickness of metal used. But the new ones if properly set up and adjusted are good.
I hope you get the satisfaction of the "Ariens" that you expect and deserve. I believe the machine will work after the bugs are gone.
You should contact Ariens directly and get to a customer service person to see what they can do for you. The dealer who sold the unit should do what ever it takes to put your mind at ease and correct the problem for you. That's there job!
Old 12-23-03, 08:14 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Indiana (formerly Massachusetts)
Posts: 323
hi jlm

since you have experience working on ariens machines here is my question:

it threw a belt (the one that controls the auger) and when i removed the cover, i found the belt completely twisted, off the pulleys and shreddings were covering all the inside parts. My worry is: what damage did the belt do to the pulleys while it was twisted and still running?

Like I said, the machine works now and I have nothing to compare it to but I am not thrilled with it's ability to throw snow. I bought the pro model for the reasons you state about metal thickness and quality of parts. I felt like the pro-models have the longer-wearing parts.

Can you tell me what kind of damage the pulleys might have and if the shreddings that covered the inside might have done any damage as well, in your opinion.

Old 12-23-03, 12:33 PM
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Ariens belts

Usually the shredding's pose no problem or damage. They are just the rubber compound and can be washed or wiped off. The root cause of why the belt shredded is of concern. I would look at the alignment of the pulleys to the belt to see that they are runnig true and not skewed. possibly the pulley moved on the motor shaft. The dealer should have looked at this and corrected when you brought it back. Damage to the pulleys is not likely as they are steel normally and thats why they shred the rubber belts.
A visual inspection for dents or flange damage can be done easily by removing the cover and pulling the starter rope slowly and watch the pulley and belt turn. Remember to disconnect the spark plug wire.
You should also look at the idler pulley to be sure the flanges on it are OK. and that it puts tension on the belt when engaged.
If everything lines up and is under tension the belts will not shred.
Hope this helps.
Old 12-23-03, 06:06 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Indiana (formerly Massachusetts)
Posts: 323
The dealer was not exactly full of feedback when I asked him about the cause of the thrown belt. He said he thought the guard was installed too close to the belt or maybe the brake was putting too much pressure on the belt and heated it up to the point of aiding in it twisting.

I specifically asked him about any visual damage to the pulleys and he said that had he seen any, he would have replaced the damaged parts.

Like I said, this is an unfortunate situation because a new machine is having to be serviced to be in the shape that I thought it should have been when it was originally delivered.

I might take a look at the pulleys but I am not exactly sure that I know what I am looking for besides if there is a huge dent or obvious knick in the pulley.

thanks again

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