Snow Blowers


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 do I know I need a new spark plug for my snowblower is to check. A poor running engine is just the first symptom. Either yourself 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. Other wise it can probably be cleaned with sand paper.

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 this 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 first disconnection 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.

If the plug is very dirty, with lots of carbon, it 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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Symptoms of Bad Spark Plug Snowblower

March 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Symptoms of Bad Spark Plug SnowblowerWhat are the symptoms of bad spark plugs in snow blowers? If your engine is not running well, there can be a number of reasons causing this including a bad spark plug. While it might be other items causing the problem, one of the easiest things to check is the spark plug. Remove the plug and clean it, check the gap and replace it. Confirm also that there is a spark between the terminals of the plug. Install the plug and try running the engine to determine if this makes any difference. You will notice right away if this was the problem. Overly dirty contaminated plugs should be replaced with new spark plugs after making sure that the gap has been set to the proper specifications.

Symptoms of Bad Spark Plug Snowblower

If the spark plug is black and covered with soot, it needs to be cleaned or replaced. But the soot is an indicator that the fuel air mixture is not correct. This usually means a dirty carburetor. Sometimes the carb can be cleaned by using gasoline treatment which will clean the carb and keep the gas fresh.

Never leave old gas in your snow blowers gas tank for any length of time. It tends to gum up everything and will cause the condition mentioned above. If the cleaner does not work, the carb will need to be taken apart and cleaned. If you are not familiar with this type of work, it is best to hire a small engine mechanic to complete the work for you.

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John Deere Oil Change Manuals

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

John Deere Oil Change ManualsWhile you really do not need to have the John Deere oil change manuals in front of you when you are changing the oil it is a good idea to review it ahead of time. We are going to cover the step by step generic process to change the oil in a snow blower. You will need to confirm the viscosity of the oil that should be used in your particular John Deere snow blower. We also suggest that you review all safety precautions for your snow blower prior to doing any kind of maintenance including the oil change.  Here is your step by step process for an oil change.

John Deere Oil Change Manuals

  • Run your snow blowers engine for 5 minutes to warm up the oil
  • Shut the engine off and disconnect the spark plug wire
  • Place a catch basin under the oil outlet to catch the oil
  • Loosen the oil filler dip stick
  • Loosen the oil drain plug and allow the warm oil to drain into the catch basin
  • Wait until all oil has drained from the engine
  • Attach the oil drain plug and tighten
  • Add the proper viscosity oil to the engine via the oil filler dip stick
  • Ensure the oil level is at the correct level on the dip stick
  • Place the oil filler dip stick in place and tighten
  • Attach the spark plug wire
  • Start the engine and allow it to run for a few minutes
  • Shut the engine off
  • Remeasure the oil level in the engine to ensure sufficient oil
  • If there is too much you will need to drain some out.

Check the oil level prior to starting the engine each time you use it to ensure there is sufficient oil in the engine. While it is pretty straight forward, care should be taken to avoid spilling oil on the floor of your garage or on the ground. Place a drip sheet under the snow blower if this is a concern. Follow all proper safety precautions as outlined in the manual.

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John Deere Snow Thrower Oil Change

February 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

John Deere Snow Thrower Oil ChangeRegardless of the type of snow thrower you have, changing the oil in your snowthrower and doing a tune up at least once a year will ensure it lasts for many years. A John Deere snow thrower oil change is relatively easy to do yourself. Two main points to always remember is A)Follow the safety instructions outlined in the manual and B) properly dispose of the oil from the engine! Not only do you want to be friendly to the environment, you also do not want the mess around your home or to be storing old oil in your garage or work shed.

John Deere Snow Thrower Oil Change

Follow the safety instructions such as disconnecting the spark plug before working on the engine or the impeller and auger. This is one of the most important items to remember. Never do any kind of repair or maintenance on a running snowthower and never take the chance of poking a shovel or pole into the auger area while it is running. Many people have lost an arm or foot in this manner.

Before draining the oil, run the snow thrower engine for a few minutes to warm up the oil so that it runs freely. When it drains you will drain much more of the oil from the engine if the oil is warm or even hot. You also drain many more impurities that can settle to the bottom of the engine reservoir if the oil is cold.

Drain the oil into a reservoir and use one of the old containers to hold the old engine oil. Most garages will accept old oil for disposal or you can take it to one if the chemical disposal places in your area. Once the oil is drained, tightened the oil stop and add new oil up to the level specified on the dip stick. Run the engine for a few minutes and recheck.

It is a good idea to check the level of oil in the engine each time it is used to make sure there is sufficient oil in the engine and that it is not discolored due to over use.

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John Deere snow Blower Oil Change

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

John Deere snow Blower Oil ChangeIt is pretty easy to complete a John Deere snow blower oil change. There are a few key steps you need to follow to ensure that the job is completed safely and properly. We will cover these in this post, but the main thing to do is to review your snow blowers manual. This will confirm the type of oil to use, how much oil to use and how often the oil should be changed. For most consumers, once a year is typical based on limited usage over the winter. We suggest doing the oil change in the fall so that you have fresh oil in the crankcase for the coming season. If you use the snow blower for commercial services, you should change the oil more often.

John Deere snow Blower Oil Change – Steps

The following steps can be followed for just about any snow blower, however always read the manual before you begin. Here we go:

  • Place the snow blower on a flat location
  • Run the engine for 10 minutes to warm up the oil
  • Shut the engine off and remove safety key so that it cannot restart
  • Place an oil pan under the engine and under the oil drain plug
  • Loosen the oil drain cap and allow the oil to drain completely
  • Once the oil is finished draining, replace the oil drain cap
  • Tighten the cap securely
  • Add new engine oil to the oil filler reservoir
  • Measure the oil to ensure that it is at the right level
  • Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes
  • Recheck the engine oil level and add oil if needed
  • Clean up the area and properly dispose of the used oil

It is pretty straightforward to complete the John Deere snow Blower Oil Change or any other snow blower oil change for that matter. Make sure you read the instructions in your manual before attempting the job.

You will also want to check the belts to make sure that they are set to the proper tension level and grease the auger assembly. Any other repairs that are needed should be completed at this time.

 

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Tune Your Snow Blower Engine Now

November 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Tune Your Snow Blower Engine NowThe best time to make sure your snow blower is ready to go for the season is in October or November before it gets really cold. That’s why we are saying Tune Your Snow Blower Engine Now! The picture on the left, covers most of the small engine types with snow blowers at the bottom of the picture. They all have similar steps, however obviously each is different and requires specific steps to make sure that your snow blower is ready to go for the coming winter. We will go through each of the steps or activities in a bit more detail. Always ensure that there is fresh gasoline in the tank to avoid clogging the carburetor.

Tune Your Snow Blower Engine Now

Inspect The Safety System – check that all levers etc disengage properly, with the engine off check the shear pins, lights work if you have them

Replace or Clean the Spark Plug – replace if in doubt, clean and regap if you reuse the old one.

Adjust the Skid Shoes if Needed – Check that the bolts are tight and they lift the shave plate slightly above the surface of your driveway

Change the Engine Oil – at minimum once a year in the fall and more often if the engine is used a great deal as per the manufacturers instructions

Adjust the Shave Plate if Needed – it should be slightly above the surface, but not so much that it leaves a significant layer of snow on the driveway

Adjust the Drive System if Needed – check the belts for fraying and cracking, replace as needed and ensure that there is an appropriate amount of tension

Test the Snowblower for Operation – Start it up and let it run for a few minutes and test all moving parts.

Add Fuel Stabilizer – to the gasoline tank and the extra fuel you keep for refilling. This will ensure that your engine runs smoothly and does not gum up.

Following these steps should ensure that you have a problem free winter, unless you have missed a major item that needs an overhaul.

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Should I Change Oil in My Snow Blower Spring or Fall

November 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Should I Change Oil in My Snow Blower Spring or FallOne of our readers asked the following question, When Should I Change Oil in My Snow Blower Spring or Fall? We will answer this question in this post and also share an approach to draining the oil from the engine that avoids oil being spilled all over the housing, the tire or on the ground. The best time to change the oil in your snow blower is in the fall when it is still relatively warm. No one wants to work in the cold weather doing this sort of job in their garage. The fall is the best time for another reason. The oil has been sitting in the engine block all summer, after being used in the engine during the previous winter. It is time to have fresh oil in the engine for the coming season to ensure that your snowblower delivers the best results. If your snowblower is used a great deal, you may even change the oil more often based on recommendations found in the user’s manual.

Should I Change Oil in My Snow Blower Spring or Fall – Draining

Regardless of when you do this job, start the engine and let it run for 5 or 10 minutes to warm up the oil. This will ensure that it has a higher level of viscosity and will drain more thoroughly.

Many snowmobile engines have a drain plug on the side of the engine block, near the bottom of the engine block. Some like mine, have a 3 or 4 inch pipe with a plug on the end of it. If you remove the plug the oil is going to fall all over the gear housing or the tire depending on the location with a great deal of oil ending up on the ground.

I always have a one foot long piece of hose available and a reservoir to catch the oil when I am draining the oil. AS I remove the plug on the end of the pipe, I have the hose ready to place over the end of the pipe so that the oil drains through the hose and into the reservoir. This is just a handy little trick that helps me change the oil without making a big mess.

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Snowblower Tuneup For the DYI Consumer

October 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Snowblower TuneupSnowblower tuneup for the DYI consumer can save you quite a bit of money. It will also give you satisfaction knowing that you performed this activity yourself . This will ensure that your snowblower will always operate when needed. Delaying a tuneup or never tuning up your snowblower just means that eventually it is not going to work and that will probably be on the coldest snowiest day of the year. Don’t procrastinate, do it today when the weather is still reasonably warm, compared to winter time. We are writing this particular post in October so it is still pleasant outside compared to what it will be like in a few months time.

Snowblower Tuneup For the DYI Consumer

The basic things you need to address when tuning up your snowblower are as follows:

Spark Plug – Remove it, clean it up and check the gap. Reset the gap if needed. Replace the spark plug if it is not in good shape.

Oil Change – change the oil every year as a minimum, follow the manufacturers instructions and always check the oil before starting the engine.

Belt Condition – make sure that the belts are in good condition, that the tension pulleys are operating properly. Change the belts if they are fraying or cracking.

Tire Condition – Check the tire pressure and add air if needed. Remove the tires and grease the axles. If you ever need to remove them because you have a flat tire, you will be glad you did this.

Grease Auger – there are at least two grease nipples on the auger shaft. Give each one two pumps with your grease gun

Test Operation – Once all of the above are complete, start up the engine and test all functions on your particular snow blower. If anything else needs to be repaired, now is the time to do it.

As long as you have done all of the above and your engine starts easily and runs smoothly you should be good for the season. A rough running engine usually means that the carburetor needs to be cleaned or overhauled. This takes more time and will be the subject of another post.

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Just Tuned my Craftsman 10hp Snowblower

October 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Craftsman 10hp SnowblowerJust got finished with a tuneup of my Craftsman 10hp snowblower. This machine is about 15 years old and is still going strong. It is beginning to show its age in terms of rust on the housing etc, bit the engine and the impeller operate just like new. Anyway I thought I would go over the steps required in a tuneup / checkup to help readers decide if this is something they want to tackle themselves or have a small engine mechanic look after for them. We will list them in no particular order and you can tackle each one as you see fit.

Tuned my Craftsman 10hp Snowblower

Change the Engine Oil – Drain the oil into a oil bin and then dispose of it properly at a recycle location. Before you drain the oil, run the engine for a few minutes to warm up the oil. You find that it drains much more quickly and thoroughly if you do this. Add the recommended oil for your engine in the correct quantity. Check the level with the dip stick before and also after running the engine to ensure that the correct amount of oil has been installed.

Check the spark plug – Always take the plug out, check the gap after first giving it a good cleaning. If it is corroded etc, then replace it with a new one after you have set the proper gap.

Check the belts – The belts should be free of cracks, and wear and tear. Check that they are also properly tensioned as per your snowblowers manual.

Grease the Auger – The auger usually has 4 grease points. Give each at least two squeezes from your grease gun.

Grease the Wheel Axles – Remove the wheels and grease the axles and then place the wheels back on, taking care to put them back in exactly the same way. This may seem like a waste of time, however if you have a flat tire and need to remove the wheel,  you will be glad you did this.

Reconnect the Electrical Wires for the Light – Check all of the electrical connections. Reconnect or tighten any that are needed.

Test All Moving Parts – Finally start up the engine, make sure it is running smoothly and test that the auger and impeller are working properly. Check all of the gear speeds to ensure that there is no other maintenance required.

That’s a pretty good check list to make sure that your snow blower will be ready for the season. There is still a chance that it might be hard to start in the cold weather, but at least you know that all of the major things have been addressed in your tuneup.

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