Troubleshooting Tips for When Your Can't Get Your Snowblower to Start

Troubleshooting Tips for When Your Can’t Get Your Snowblower to Start

Snow blowers are immensely helpful come wintertime, and if you’re a property owner you’ll find having one invaluable for clearing walkways and even getting the snow off your car. Most models are fairly easy to use, and they come with a wide range of features. However, it’s not uncommon for people to go to use their snow blowers, attempt to turn it on, and find that it won’t start. Short of buying a new machine or sending the malfunctioning one back on a warranty claim, the best thing to do is conduct some simple troubleshooting. If you can’t get your snow blower to start, there are several things that may be causing the problem.

Possible Solutions

If it’s not defective and hasn’t been misused, a snow blower with enough fuel, spark, and air should work properly. Look at these three areas first when trying to troubleshoot. Fuel problems don’t just include the blower being out of gas, but the fuel being stale and too old. For instance, if you let the blower sit in your garage for a year with gas in it and then try to use it the following winter, you’ll likely find that it won’t start. To fix the issue, drain the carburetor, clean it with carburetor cleaner for good measure, and then add fresh fuel.

Just as a car needs a spark plug for its motor to run, the same is true of most snow blowers. If you have a spark plug tester give, use it on the blower and see if that’s the issue. If so, changing the spark plug will be necessary — fortunately, this fix isn’t too complicated and it’s inexpensive.

If neither fuel nor spark is the culprit, check the airflow of your snow blower. Air to fuel ratio is important and will affect how well the machine runs. Adjusting the blower’s choke valve is best if the engine needs better air flow, so try that out before taking other measures such as calling a repairman or getting a new machine.

Maintenance and Replacement

Sometimes, it’s not possible to fix a snow blower on your own and it needs to be professionally repaired or simply replaced. The problem may be maintenance or lack thereof, as poorly maintained blowers will break more easily than ones that are stored, cleaned, and cared for the right way. Always refer to the manual that came with your snow blower to see how best to store it, and avoid tangling up the cord — cord shorts are a common issue that often results in the need to replace the machine.

Also, think back to whether the snow blower was recently dropped. Falling a short distance, such as from your lap to the ground, probably won’t cause the blower to stop working. However, a longer drop or one onto a very hard surface may render it unusable. For example, if your snow blower was mounted to the garage wall and fell onto concrete, the chances that you’d need to replace rather than fix it will be much higher.

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