What things should I check when buying a used snowblower?

Old 11-14-13, 08:56 PM
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What things should I check when buying a used snowblower?

I am going to look at a used Ariens 824 snowblower.

I am not sure what I should check on it to make sure it works besides obviously starting it. (There is no snow on the ground now, so I cant test it throwing snow unfortunately)

Would should I check to make sure it is ok?
Old 11-15-13, 04:30 AM
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Weather cracked tires.
Smell the gas, it should smell like fresh gas not off smelling.
General over all condition.
Cracking fuel lines, stiff fuel lines.
Old 11-15-13, 04:50 AM
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Probably the most important would be to check if it has fuel in it. If it does remove the fuel cap and smell the tank. We all know what fresh gas smells like. If it smells different make sure the engine starts and runs smoothly. Once it's warmed up a bit it should run fine without the choke. If the engine surges or needs the choke to stay running then the carburetor may need to be removed, disassembled and cleaned.
Old 11-15-13, 06:02 AM
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I have a model 824! It's nothing to brag about. Ariens is not what they use to be. It's not that they are cheap or poorly made, it's that they are no better than any other no name brand.

What to look for:

1) Does the engine run smoothly? (If the gas is old don't worry too much. A carburetor rebuild or thorough cleaning is worth it.) See my point #6
2) Are the augers loose on the shaft axle? They should wiggle about a 1/4 inch or so on the shaft axle (if not they might be seized on the axle and will be a bear to get off). I know , I've been there, done that.
3) Is the chute crank the type that's sits high over the engine? If so be sure it fully cranks in both directions without skipping. Those gears are plastic and will strip easily. Again, been there, done that.
4) The wheel traction should be strong and positive as you go through each gear, including reverse. The wear plate may be worn and although its replaceable, it's a tough job. (Again I did this.)
5) As mentioned earlier the tires should be fairly decent. However, cracked sidewall are not a big deal. It's only a snow thrower. You won't be worrying about a high speed blowout. BTW...the wheels should also be easily removed by pulling the pin on the axle. If they spin freely it's OK. But if they are rusted to the axle then its a tough job to get them off. Yes, again I've been through all this.
6) Use a fuel stabilize. Can't stress this enough. Especially on older engines that are not engineered for today's gas.
7) Are the belts in good shape?
8) Last but not least the price should less than 1/3 the price of a new unit. I don't care how good the condition is. A new unit has at least a full year warranty. That's worth something nowadays in light of how cheap these units are made.

If you can get an Arien's from the 60's or early 70's grab it. They were made to last. My son-in-law is still using the 1965 unit handed down from my Father-in-law to me to my son to my son-in-law. And it still runs as strong as ever with hardly and repair needed in all that time.

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