Snowblower Troubleshooting

A man pushes a snowblower.

As the season's cycle throughout the year, homeowners face many challenges to prepare their homes accordingly. And with the frosty months of winter fast approaching, it won’t be long before an influx of snow requires you to break out the old snowblower. Homeowners depend on snowblowers to keep their driveways, walkways, and curbs snow free and their homes accessible. However, after sitting dormant all spring and summer, or due to improper storage, the snowblower might fail to start or experience another mechanical problem. This post will help you troubleshoot common snowblower problems.

Snowblower Fails to Start

A man pushes a snowblower.

Many homeowners fail to drain the fuel before storing their snowblower. As time passes, fuel can evaporate and become stale. Drain and dispose of any old fuel resting in your machine’s fuel tank and replace it. Failure to drain the fuel before storage can also have a profound effect on the carburetor. Fuel left in the bowl will evaporate and leave behind a gummy residue. Remove your carburetor bowl, clean it with fresh fuel, and replace it.

It could also be an issue with the filter. A clogged or faulty fuel filter can also prevent your machine from starting. Clean and install a new fuel filter on your blower.

Your snowblower depends on a strong spark from the plug to start. Remove and inspect your spark plug for any cracks, residue, or deposits. Clean and replace it when necessary. If it’s been a while since you changed the plug, purchase and install a new one.

Machine Runs But Fails to Blow Snow

A man pushes a snowblower.

Worn paddles and scraper bars are a common reason snowblowers fail to blow snow. Most paddles have indicator holes built into them. When the paddles have worn close to the holes, it is time to replace both the paddles and the scraper bar.

Snow build up in the chute can clog your machine with ice and snow. Turning off the snowblower and clearing the chute usually restores service. You should also check to ensure the blower’s impeller is not jammed or broken. The impeller is a vital component as it is responsible for moving snow through and out of the snowblower chute.

Machine Does Not Move

A man pushes a snowblower.

A broken cogged belt or V-belt will prevent your blower wheels from turning. Inspect and replace broken or worn belts. You should also inspect the rubber drive disk. It is similar to an automobile clutch and is responsible for turning the drive plate which in turn, turns the wheels. If the drive disk is wet or covered in grease, oil, or another residue, it will just slip on the drive plate. You may be able to clean or dry the drive disk and plate to restore service. If the disk shows signs of heavy wear and tear, you may need to replace it.

Inspect the snowblower control cable. The cable allows you to engage the drive to move the machine. As they age, the control cable can become rusty which will prevent it from moving. You may be able to restore operation by lubricating it with an applicable lubricant. If the control cable fails to move or is broken, replacement is necessary.

These are the most common problems and easy remedies associated with snowblowers. If your snowblower has a more serious issue such as a busted gearbox or blown motor, it may be time to consult with a professional repair technician or purchase a new one.