Snow Blowers


Symptoms of Bad Spark Plug Snowblower

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

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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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Should I Change Oil in My Snow Blower Spring or Fall

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

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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.

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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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What Oil to use in Snow Blower Engines

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

What oil to use in snow blower enginesThe chart at the left provides consumers with recommendations regarding what oil to use in snow blower engines at various temperatures. Most consumers will end up using 5 W 30 since it is good for temperatures from -22F to 32F. It is cheaper than synthetic oil which has a wider range. Since a snow blower engine is not needed during warm temperatures the wider range of synthetic oil is not really needed. You save money as well since it is more expensive. Always review the owners manual and use whatever is recommended for your snow blower engine. The intent of this post is to provide consumers with a guideline to follow.

What Oil to use in Snow Blower Engines – Fresh Oil

We also recommend that the oil should be changed at the beginning of the season in the late fall period. Run the engine for a few minutes to warm it up and ensure that the oil is hot enough to cleanly drain out of your snow blowers engine. Shut it off, drain the oil and replace the oil with whatever oil you decide to use. Check the oil level, restart the engine and let it run for a few minutes and then shut it off again. Let it sit for a minute before checking the oil one more time. This is to make sure there is the right amount of oil in the engine.

Depending on how much your snow blower is used, you may need to change the oil one more time during the winter season. Otherwise you can change it again at the beginning of the next season. Maintaining fresh oil in your snow blowers engine is one of the best ways to maintain your engine and keep it running for a long time. Don’t forget to put gasoline preservative in the gas tank, which you can obtain from most auto stores. Clean the spark plug and re-gap the plug when you change the oil as well.

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Signs of bad spark plug on Snow Blower

August 9th, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce 1 Comment »

bad spark plug on Snow BlowerSigns of bad spark plug on snow blower engines can be confused with several other issues all of which have similar symptoms. For example if your snow blower engine will not start it could be because there is no gasoline in the tank (don’t smirk this happens a lot). Also bad gas that has clogged the filters and / or carb. A bad spark plug or no spark at all getting to the spark plug. The easiest way to trouble shoot these problems is to check the easy things first.

Eliminate them and move onto the more difficult areas. For example, always check that you have gas in the gas tank and if there is a shut off cock for the gasoline, that it is open! Many people shut this off in the spring and then forget that they did that when it comes to firing the snow blower up in the fall.

Bad Spark Plug on Snow Blower – Check the Plugs

The next easiest thing to check is the spark plug. Remove the wire connected to the plug and hold the metal end of the wire within 1/16th of an inch to the end of the spark plug. Have some one slowly pull the starter chord. You should see a spark. Be careful not to touch anything metal connected to the machine to avoid receiving a shock. It will not hurt you but it will give you a bit of a surprise.

Next remove the plug, clean it and re gap it to the specification in your manual. If the spark plug is badly corroded or cannot be cleaned properly, replace it with a new one. Make sure you also set the gap on this plug as well. If your engine is still running rough or not at all and you confirmed that there was a spark then you will have to search for other solutions.

At this point you know you have gas in the tank, the shuttle cock is open so gas can get to the carb. You know there is spark getting to the spark plug and you have either cleaned the plug or replaced it. What’s next? Turn the engine over a few times, remove the spark plug and check for gasoline on the plug. If the plug is wet, and you can smell gasoline, then gas is getting into the engine. You will need to recheck that it is gaped properly and that the spark plug is actually receiving a jolt of electricity. If it is dry then gas is not getting into the engine and you will need to recheck and / or clean the carb and gas tank.

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Snow Blower Fuel Stabilizer

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

 

Snow Blower Fuel StablizerPlacing snow blower fuel stabilizer in the gasoline you use in your snow blower or any small engine is one of the best things you can do to keep the engine carburetor and filters from getting fouled.  When this occurs your engine will either run rough or it may not even start. This of course is not something that you want to deal with when there is a foot of snow on the ground. We suggest that you purchase some kind of snow blower stabilizer and regularly add it to your gasoline tank to keep everything clean and working smoothly every year. We do not recommend any particular type of fuel stabilizer, just that you use one recommended for your small engines.

Snow Blower Fuel Stabilizer – Why

If gasoline sits in a tank for any length of time, for example over a season, the components of the gasoline will tend to separate and settle on the sides of the tank as well as on the filter of the tank. As it is drawn into the carburetor, it coats the orifice of the carburetor. It. restricts gasoline from flowing smoothly and at the correct mixture of gasoline and air.

The engine will not start if the carburetor is badly coated. Insufficient gasoline gets into the engine. If it is not too bad the engine will speed up. Then it will almost stall before repeating the same thing all over again. It makes it really difficult to develop enough power to blow snow properly. Especially when you have lots of heavy snow to deal with. A few dollars spent on fuel stabilizer can prevent all of these issues. It may even save you a trip to the local small engine mechanic as well.

Some people have been known to just go and purchase another snow blower instead of getting theirs fixed. Enterprising collectors will take them free of charge. They will fix them themselves and sell them for a few hundred dollars making a nice little profit.

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Fuel Stabilizer for Engines

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

Fuel Stabilizer for EnginesThis is the time to add fuel stabilizer for engines that are going to sit around awhile without being used. Since this is a site that discusses everything about snow blowers and this post is in mid May, it is time to prepare your snow blowers engine for the sitting idle for the next six months. If you have not done so already, add some fuel stabilizer for engines to the gas tank and run the engine for a few minutes to ensure that the gasoline with the fuel stabilizer is properly circulated through everything. We are not recommending any particular stabilizer, but we are recommending that you use some form of stabilizer to ensure that your engines components do not become clogged with the old gas that sits in your gasoline tank.

Fuel Stabilizer for Engines

If you are wondering why you should use a stabilizer, read on. Most mechanics will tell you that when gasoline sits around for longer than several months, it gets stale. Some of the chemicals will separate. They will form a gummy substance that clogs filters and the orifice in the carburetor. Your engine may not run at all or it may run very rough. Only a proper cleaning of all of these parts will bring it back to proper running condition. Spending a few dollars on fuel stabilizer for engines is much less expensive. It is also much less frustrating than having to take your engine in to be repaired.

Most auto parts stores, small engine stores along with the big box stores like will sell these kinds of products. Follow the instructions carefully. Add the proper amount to either your gasoline tank on your snow blowers engine. Or into the portable gasoline tank that you fill at the gas station. In fact if gas is going to sit in this portable tank for any length of time you are better to  use up this gasoline rather than have it sit for a long period.

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Inspecting the belts on your snowblower

April 14th, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Inspecting the belts on your snowblowerThere are usually two belts on most two stage snowblowers. One belt is required to drive the auger while the other belt is required to drive the wheels. They usually last for quite a few years however on older snowblowers operators should check them on an annual basis looking for wear and tear, abrasions and cracking. It is fairly easy inspecting the belts on your snowblower and we recommend that you open your manual and confirm the location of the belt cover and how best to remove it.

The plastic belt cover is secured by two bolts which can be removed using a small wrench. Once you remove the belt cover on your snowboard, inspect the belt for cracks and where. Replace the belt if needed. If you’re going to replace the belt take a picture first so that you can refer to it when you’re installing the new belt and you want to refer to it and install it exactly as removed.

Inspecting the belts on your snowblower

If you’re finding that the forward motion of the snowboard is slowing down under heavy loads, or the snow is not being shown as far as it normally would there’s a chance that the older belts have begun to stretch. There are two ways to deal with this problem. The first is to adjust the pulleys to make sure that the belt is tight. You will notice the belt tightener probably has an adjustment to allow you to tighten the belt. The second alternative is of course to replace a belt. Make sure that the replacement belt is the right size both in diameter as well is in the width and depth of the belt.

Once the belt is installed replace the cover and test your snow blower. Restart it and confirm that the forward speed as well as the auger is running properly. Most operator owners of snow blowers prefer to do their maintenance during the summer or fall months. It is warmer rather than when it’s very cold outside
and difficult to work.

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Changing shear pins on your snowblower

February 28th, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Changing shear pins on your snowblowerShear pins in any piece of equipment including snowblowers are meant to break when the piece of equipment is put under too much stress. In the case of the snowblower if the auger becomes blocked somehow this shear pin will break in order to protect the engine and the gear mechanism. Shear pins should never be replaced with any other kind of bolt other than a shear pin. It is a safety feature the brakes and protects your gear case in your snowblower. Changing shear pins on your snowblower is also relatively easy.

Each year when you’re doing your annual maintenance, the shear pins should be inspected to ensure that they are not broken or missing. When they do break in most cases they will fall out on their own.

Changing shear pins on your snowblower

If you do need to install new shear pins always use the exact replacement pins that are recommended for your snowblower. Your manual will provide information on the kind of shear pin that you should be used. Also make sure that the engine is turned off . Make sure that there is no danger of the auger turning while you are replacing the shear pin.

It is always a good idea to have an extra set of shear pins on hand for use in replacement in the winter season. This will avoid getting stuck in the middle of a snowstorm. Or not having a replacement, or being able to purchase one when the stores are closed. Personally,I would rather have a couple of extra sets of shear pins than have to shovel snow if I couldn’t use my snowblower.

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Quick Start Guide – Snow Thrower

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

Quick Start Guide - Snow ThrowerWhether you refer to the machine in the picture as a snow thrower or a snow blower, it is all the same when it comes to developing a Quick Start Guide – Snow Thrower for these machines. We have put together a quick start guide – snow thrower list of tips for making sure that you can always start your snow thrower easily and also use one of these machines safely. They are powerful and have exposed moving parts that can easily damage something or a person. Pay them some respect and they will move mountains of snow for you for many years.

Quick Start Guide – Snow Thrower – Tips

  • Use fresh gasoline and never allow gasoline to sit in the gas tank for an extended period of time
  • Use gas stabilizer to keep the gasoline fresh for longer periods and to also avoid gumming up the fuel system
  • Change the oil at least once every season and more often if your machine is on the go every day, perhaps as often as once a month or every 50 hours of operation
  • Clean and regap the spark plug annually and / or change it once every two years
  • Make sure that there is a solid connection from the spark plug wire to the spark plug
  • Start the engine every month to keep the fuel moving and to avoid gumming up from stagnant fuel sitting in fuel lines
  • Read and follow all safety guidelines before doing any maintenance on these machines.

Quick Start Guide – Snow Thrower – Safety

  • Read all of the safety instructions on the snow thrower and in the owner’s manual.
  • Use hearing protection and safety glasses whenever you are working or operating one of these machines
  • Wear excellent grip footwear so you don’t slip.
  • Heavy snow may require that you clear the snow more often or that you only take half a swath on each pass to avoid over loading the snow thrower
  • Clear your driveway of rocks, sticks,every year before each snowfall.
  • Clean out the area around the blades and impeller removing all snow. Make sure that the engine is turned off before you attempt this.

Have fun with your snow thrower and remember to do all of the maintenance work before it gets really cold and unpleasant.

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Changing the spark plug on your snowblower

January 30th, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Changing the spark plug on your snowblowerAt the very minimum the spark plug on your snowblower should be inspected every season and replaced as required. Follow the proper safety guidelines as outlined in your manual to ensure that no accidents occur. Changing the spark plug on your snowblower is not difficult. Start by disconnecting the spark plug lead from the spark plug as shown in the picture and remove any debris from around the spark plug before you remove the spark plug from the engine. This will stop any debris from getting into your engine through the spark plug hole.

Changing the spark plug on your snowblower

Once you have removed the spark plug using a socket wrench, from the engine, use a wire brush to clean the spark plug of any light deposits. You mean need to sand it slightly to remove harder deposits. If there are heavy deposits you may want to replace the spark plug. Once you have cleaned and sanded the spark plug you should regap the plug using a gapping tool to ensure that your spark plug delivers the proper spec for the spark. Note, that it is extremely important to have the correct gap on the spark plug, otherwise your engine may not start at all or run rough due to a poor spark.  Reinstall the spark plug and attach the wire.

You will want to test the engine and ensure that it runs smoothly with the new spark plug or the clean old plug. If you have any doubt at all about the spark plug condition replace it with a brand-new one using the recommended spark plug part for your snowblower. Always measure the gap on the plug even if it is a new one and set it to the correct specification for your engine.

Change the Oil in the Engine at the Same Time

Routine maintenance also suggests that the engine oil should be drained and new oil installed at least once per year and more often if your snowblower is being used a lot. Some snowblower manuals will suggest changing the oil at least once every 50 hours of operation or even more often. Check your manual for the recommended oil change frequency.

Before you open the drain plug, run the engine for a few minutes to warm the oil up so that it flows freely. Place a container of some kind under the oil drain spout so that you can capture the oil and dispose of it in a proper manner. Allow it to drip out until all oil is drained, then reattached the oil plug. Add the proper amount of oil to the engine and then start the engine to allow the new oil to circulate and also warm up.

Once the engine has run for a few minutes, shut it off, wait thirty seconds and then measure the oil level to ensure that you have enough oil as recommended by the manufacturer. Add more as needed. If you added too much you will need to drain some off, otherwise you risk damaging the seals in the engine. For more repair information for your snow blower, click here.

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