Snow Blowers

Replacing Belts on Snowblowers

November 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Replacing Belts on SnowblowersReplacing Belts on Snowblowers is not something that operators really want to do very often. In fact the average residential owner should probably never have to replace any belts. This assumes that they are only clearing their own relatively short driveway. It also assumes that they do not engage the forward drive wheels when the wheels are blocked. The same thing applies to the auger as well. You risk burning the belt and breaking it as it heats up. If there is ice or snow blocking the auger, first shut the machine off. Then use a broom handle or a special snow clearing tool to remove the ice and snow from the auger. Never put your hands near the auger.

The auger could turn 90 degrees once the pressure is released. This would be sufficient to slice a finger or even a hand off. Back to replacing belts on Snowblowers.

Replacing Belts on Snowblowers

The first step is to check the condition of the belts. There is a plastic housing that covers the pulleys and belts. It is located between the engine and the chute of the snowblower. Remove two bolts that hold it in place and then remove the plastic housing.

You should see two belts, each on a different set of pulleys.  Make sure the engine is turned off and cannot be started. Examine the condition of the belts. Look for fraying or splitting.

Check your manual for the correct belt size. Replace both if frayed. You might as well replace both even though one of them may appear to be fine.

Depending on the snow blower you may have to temporarily separate the engine from the blower housing. Access the belts by splitting the machine in the middle. Replace the belts and then reassemble the housing with the engine.

Start the engine. Is it assembled properly? You may have to adjust the tension to ensure it engages properly. Always turn the engine off before making any tension adjustments.

A small engine mechanic can complete the repairs. You may have to have it picked up and delivered for repairs to be completed. for more repair related posts, click here.


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Snowblower Electric Starter Repair

June 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

snowblower electric starter repairThis component is a standard on many snowblower engines. There are several choices if the electric starter needs to be repaired. You can attempt to repair the unit by troubleshooting to find out what is wrong. Or you can just replace the entire component. Home mechanics will find that it is very easy to remove the electric starter motor from the engine housing. Remove 2 or 3 bolts. The sprocket should move out along the shaft easily. If not you need to lubricate this area to ensure that it does move freely. Next, you need to make sure that the push button switch is actually making a connection and closing the circuit. Use a volt ohmmeter to test it. It is easy to complete snowblower electric starter repairs.

Snowblower Electric Starter Repair

The next step is to replace the entire module. Order these modules on Amazon. They will ship to your home.

You will need the make and model number of your snowblower to order the correct module. Once it arrives, install it on your snowblower engine following the same  process you used to remove it in reverse.

Trying to start some of the larger snowblower engines using the pull chord is almost impossible unless you have a perfectly tuned engine.

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Snowblower Starter Motor Problems

June 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

The picture on the left is a typical starter motor package for snow blowers. It consists of the motor, a connecting cable and a push button starter terminal, It accepts an electrical extension chord connection. On the motor there is a sprocket that spins out and away from the housing to engage with the engine drive shaft sprocket. There are many different snowblower starter motor problems that can occur as these devices age and are used. Lets face it the engine is much easier to start with an electric starter compared to a pull chord.

As engines get larger, pull chords are even more difficult to use. Unless your engine is tuned perfectly it can be very difficult to start a snow blower engine with a pull chord. Recently the writer found that on his snowblower, the electric starter would spin. But the sprocket would not engage with the engine sprocket.

Snowblower Starter Motor Problems – Lubrication

We removed the starter by unscrewing three engine screws and found that the sprocket which is supposed to slide out needed lubrication. The chaft was a bit rusty preventing the sprocket from sliding out. WD40 is a great product. I sprayed the shaft and the sprocket liberally with WD40 and reinstalled the motor. Presto it worked and I was able to start the engine and clear the snow from my driveway.

The major problem I had was that I had to do this in freezing temperatures. The good news was that I am handy enough to do this sort of thing on my own. The alternative might have been a $75 to $100 repair bill. Don’t forget transportation costs to get it to the repair shop. I would probably lose the use of the machine for at least a week or longer.

Bottom line, this is a maintenance item this summer for me when it is warm. I will also have time to do proper repairs and lubrication. It could have also just as easily been a broken wire, a bad switch on the starter switch or a seized electric motor.

You can purchase the entire component online from Amazon as well for a reasonable price and they are relatively easy to install.

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Can bad Spark Plug affect Snowblower

April 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

can bad spark plug affect snowblowerCan a bad spark plug affect snowblower engine performance? The answer is definitely yes. Plugs that are dirty with soot or have an improper gap can affect a snowblower engine in several ways. They may become difficult to start. When they start, they may run rough and use more fuel in the process. You may get a lot of exhaust because of the poorly burned fuel. In some cases, when a spark plug is in really bad shape, the engine may not start at all making it quite frustrating on those really cold, snowy days. If you are having problems of this sort, attend to the problem immediately before your snowblower will not start at all.

Can a bad Spark Plug Affect Snowblower Performance

Remove the spark plug using a spark plug removal socket after first disconnecting the spark plug wire from it. Once it is removed, inspect the spark plug for damage. Any damage to the metal of the porcelain should require a new plug to be installed.

If you decide to keep the old one, clean all of the soot and deposits off the plug and then reset the gap to the manufacturer’s specifications. Once this is complete, reattach the spark plug wire and hold the plug against the metal housing to ground it properly. Pull the crank to turn the engine once or twice to confirm adequate spark is being produced.

If there is no spark, you may have problems other than the spark plug. You may have to do this several times to ensure that you have a spark. Make sure you properly ground the plug against the housing.

Reinstall the spark plug in the engine and reattach the spark plug wire. If the engine still does not run smoothly, you may have a gummed-up carburetor which will require cleaning etc.

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What will a bad Spark Plug do for a Snowblower

April 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

what will a bad spark plug do for a snowblowerThe answer to the question, what will a bad spark plug do for a snowblower, is nothing good. At the very least, your engine may run rough, be difficult to start and use more fuel than normal. At the very worst it will not stat at all, especially on the coldest day of the year or when you have the most snow. These things just have a habit of occurring at the worst times leaving you to shovel snow or look for help from a neighbor.

Your snowblower engine can run rough for other reasons as well such as bad gasoline, a gummed up carburetor and other issues. However one of the easiest things to check first is the condition of your spark plug. The one shown in this picture needs to be clean and reset. It may even need to be replaced if the corrosion is bad once you remove all of the dirt etc.

What will a bad Spark Plug do for a Snowblower

Remove the spark plug while being careful not to dislodge any dirt from around the spark plug area. Disconnect the wire first. You will need to use a spark plug removal tool to unscrew it from the engine.

Once it is out, clean it with sand paper and a spark plug cleaning tool. If there are pock marks in the porcelain or you cannot get it to clean up just buy a new one. In both cases you will need to reset the gap according to the manufacturers specifications.

While the spark plug is removed you should also verify that it is producing adequate spark. Reattach the spark plug wire and ground the outer metal of the plug against the housing. Crank the engine once or twice to confirm that it is producing a spark. If not you may have other problems to resolve besides replacing or cleaning the spark plug.

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Tubeless Tire Conversion

March 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Tubeless Tire ConversionWe discussed options for a tubeless tire repair in our last post. We wanted to spend a few more minutes discussing tubeless tire conversion. This is a viable option for older snow blowers with tubeless tires. It is an inexpensive way to repair the tire and you do not even have to take the tire and rim off the axle. This can be a problem for older snow blowers. We will outline a step-by-step approach to completing a tubeless tire conversion assuming that you cannot remove the tire and rim from the axle. If you have the rim off the axle, just ignore the appropriate steps.

Tubeless Tire Conversion – Step by Step

  • Place blocks under the snowblower to raise the wheel off the ground
  • Disconnect the spark plug wire to avoid accidental engine starts
  • Remove the existing valve using pliers to pull it out of the rim
  • Using several screwdrivers pry the outside edge of the tire off the rim
  • Reach inside and run your fingers along the inside of the tire to detect any sharp edges that could damage the new tube
  • Remove any sharp objects from inside the tire
  • Place the new tube inside the tire and position the valve in the rim
  • Begin blowing up the new tube
  • Massage the tire as you are adding air to ensure it properly seats onto the rim
  • Fill the tire with air to the recommended pressure

The tire is repaired inexpensively and without waiting for a mechanic.


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Tubeless Tire Repair Snowblower

March 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

tubeless tire repair snowblowerIt should be pretty easy to do a tubeless tire repair snowblower, right? Well there is always a complication. To begin with, the tire always goes flat when it is really cold outside. If only the tire would go flat in the summertime and you had the presence of mind to repair it then. Another complication is that your snow blower is old and the rim is rusted onto the axle. No matter what you do it will not come off! Even after using penetrating oil, hammering it, and trying to get a gear puller on it, nothing works. What can you do to get this fixed? In some cities there are mobile small engine repair mechanics to call on. You may have to load it onto a trailer and take it to a mechanic. While these solutions are viable, they can be expensive and time consuming. There is another answer.

Tubeless Tire Repair Snowblower – Install a Tube!

If you cannot get the tire and the rim off, there is another approach. Purchase the proper size of the tube for your wheel. Pry off one side of the tire from the rim. Install the tube inside the tire and insert the valve into the appropriate spot in the rim.

Pry the tire back onto the rim and blow up the tube. Take care to make sure that the rubber tire seats properly on the rim. You may have to massage the tire a bit to get everything to fit. Now you have a tubed tire with a lot less effort and very little cost.

If you can clean the rim and the existing tire, reapply the glue and then blow up the tire you may be able to keep your tubeless option. When it is cold or you cannot get the rim off the axle, this can be quite difficult to do. Nevertheless, it is another option for a tubeless tire repair.

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How to know if a Spark Plug is bad on a Snowblower

January 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

The spark plug in the picture has been partially cleaned. Further readers can tell that it was very dirty and corroded. It probably was not delivering a very good spark to the engine. How to know if a spark plug is bad on a snowblower? In situations such as this the engine will be difficult to start and may also run roughly. These symptoms can also be caused by dirty gas, a dirty carburetor or clogged filters. You really have to solve the problem through a process of elimination. Firstly the easiest one is to check and clean the spark plug first. Don’t forget to set the gap properly each time you clean the spark plug.

How to know if a spark plug is bad on a snowblower?

Remove the spark plug after first removing the spark plug wire. Next clean it up using medium grit sand paper. If you cannot get all of the grit off, it is sometimes just easier to install a new plug. Make sure that the gap is set properly as well before you test it.

The next step is to reconnect the spark plug wire. Hold the plug using gloves  with the metal portion touching the side of the metal housing of the engine. Slowly crank the engine and observe if a spark is being generated between the central post of the spark plug and the outer metal housing of the plug. This test will confirm that electricity is being delivered to the plug and it is generating a spark.

Reinstall the plug and start the engine. If the engine still does not run smoothly, you may need to clean the carburetor and filters.  Before doing so make sure you have gasoline in the tank! This is actually a common problem for many people who have trouble starting their snow blower. They forget to add gasoline!

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How do I know i need a new spark plug for my snowblower

January 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

how do i know i need a new spark plug for my snowblowerIf your snow blower is not running very well it could be because you have a bad spark plug. It could also be due to bad fuel, a dirty carburetor, or even a clogged filter. The only way to really tell how I know I need a new spark plug for my snowblower is to check. A poorly running engine is just the first symptom. Either you or a mechanic will need to eliminate the possibilities until you have a smooth-running engine. Here is some more information about checking your spark plug.

How do I know I need a new spark plug for my snowblower

The easiest first step is to actually check the spark plug. If the engine will run, but not smoothly, then you already know that the plug is delivering a spark to the combustion chamber. If it will not run you will need to ensure that electricity is being delivered.

Remove the spark plug after first disengaging the spark plug wire. If the spark plug is dirty and coated with deposits either replace it with a new one or clean the existing one. If the porcelain around the central post is cracked or chipped, replace the plug. Otherwise, it can probably be cleaned with sandpaper.

After all of the deposits are removed, set the gap to the recommended gap provided in your manual. Reattach the spark plug wire and ground the outer electrode of the spark plug against the housing. Turn the engine over once or twice by pulling the starter chord. You should see a spark between the central post and the outer housing. If not you may not be getting any electricity to the plug.

Once you have confirmed that there is electricity being delivered, re-install the spark plug and try starting the engine following the normal procedure. If it will still not start, remove the plug to see if gasoline is being delivered to the combustion chamber. You should be able to smell it. If not, you will need to clean the filters and possibly the carburetor.

If the spark plug is wet, you may have flooded the engine. Wait a few minutes and try again.

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Symptoms of Bad Snowblower Plug

March 21st, 2016 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Symptoms of Bad Snowblower PlugA poorly running snowblower engine may be difficult to start. When it does start, the engine may run roughly, cough, sputter etc. It also may not run under full power and may not deliver full power. There can be a number of issues that could cause this condition including the spark plug. While all of these could be symptoms of bad snowblower plugs, they can be symptoms of poor gasoline, dirty fuel filters, and gummed carburetors.  The best way to deal with these problems is by a process of elimination and one of the easiest is to check and clean the spark plug.

Symptoms of Bad Snowblower Plug

Remove the spark plug after the first disconnection of the spark plug wire and moving off to the side. Use an air blower of some kind to blow away any dirt and dust from around the snowblower spark plug. With the proper tool, remove the spark plug and assess the condition of the plug.

If it is clean with no carbon deposits, regap the plug and reinsert it. If there are any deposits, they should be removed using sandpaper and then the plug regapped to the specified gap as outlined in the manual.

Plugs that are very dirty, with lots of carbon, probably should be replaced. Replace any plug that is in this condition.

Often this is all that is needed. If this step does not make your engine run smoother or start, then further checks are necessary. Verify that there is a spark getting to the plug, verify that there is clean gas in the gas tank. Also, use some gas line cleaner added to the gas tank.

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