Why Won't Your Snowblower Start?
Ugh, now that blows!

It’s that kind of day again, you know the one. The one that follows suit after a heavy snowfall. You come face-to-face with your driveway, ready to tackle it with your snowblower in tow... only to find that it’s unfortunately not as cooperative as you’d like it to be. If your snowblower is not firing up, a repair is in order.

Treat the following guide as a checklist – it will help you narrow down the most probable causes of your snowblower’s stubbornness!

Does Your Snowblower Have a Case of Bad Fuel?

When old fuel sits in your snowblower’s tank, it turns into sludge. This can gum up the engine and make it hard for it to start up. Fuel can become stale within a month – it then takes on a muddier appearance and emits a sour odor. When this happens, it’s time for a fuel change.

How to Clean the Fuel Tank

To drain its tank, turn the snowblower off and allow it to cool down. Remove the fuel from the tank using a siphon pump. Don’t forget to drain the fuel from the carburetor bowl as well. You can get rid of the residual fuel in the tank by running the engine and letting the system dry out. Afterward, you can replenish the tank with fresh fuel and a fuel stabilizer.

It Might Be the Carburetor!

If your snowblower is still stalling after cleaning out its fuel tank, the next likely culprit behind this issue would be its carburetor. The carburetor’s job is to combine air and fuel in the snowblower’s engine to produce power. If it is clogged, the engine cannot function properly. You would need to remove the blockage from your carburetor by cleaning it.

How to Access the Carburetor

You can locate your carburetor based on what type of snowblower you have. It is typically found beneath the air filter so you would need to remove the filter housing to gain access to it. Use the following instructional videos to guide you through this process:

On A Single Stage Snowblower

  1. Remove the chute
  2. Removing the Chute from a Single Stage Snowblower
  3. Detach the chute ring
  4. Removing the Chute Ring from a Single Stage Snowblower
  5. Remove the upper shroud
  6. Removing the Shroud from a Single Stage Snowblower
  7. Separate the fuel tank from the upper shroud
  8. Removing the Fuel Tank from a Single Stage Snowblower
  9. Pull the starter cord away from the handle.
  10. Removing the Starter Cord from a Single Stage Snowblower Follow suit by removing the ignition wires and the primer line. You can then unfasten the lower shroud Removing the Ignition Wires from a Single Stage Snowblower Removing the Primer Line from a Single Stage Snowblower
  11. Clamp off the fuel line
  12. Clamping the Fuel Line on a Single Stage Snowblower
  13. Remove the hose clamp
  14. Removing the Hose Clamp from a Single Stage Snowblower
  15. Pull the fuel line from the carburetor
  16. Removing the from Fuel Line from a Single Stage Snowblower
  17. Take the choke linkage off
  18. Removing the Choke Linkage from a Single Stage Snowblower
  19. Remove the air filter box
  20. Removing the Air Filter Box from a Single Stage Snowblower
  21. Detach the opposite end of the primer line
  22. Removing the Opposite End of the Primer Line on a Single Stage Snowblower
  23. Remove the gasket to gain access to the carburetor
  24. Removing the Gasket from a Single Stage Snowblower

On A Two Stage Snowblower

  1. Remove the muffler cover
  2. Removing the from Muffler Cover a Two Stage Snowblower
  3. Unfasten the air filter box
  4. Removing the Air Filter Box from a Two Stage Snowblower
  5. Disconnect the fuel line and the primer line
  6. Removing the Fuel Line from a Two Stage Snowblower Removing the Primer Line from a Two Stage Snowblower
  7. Take off the gasket before pulling the carburetor away from the engine
  8. Removing the Gasket from a Two Stage Snowblower

If you noticed that the carburetor or any of the other parts in your snowblower needs replacing, let us help you out! Find the parts you need in our catalogue fast - all you need is your model number.

How to Clean the Carburetor

To thoroughly clean the carburetor, you would need to disassemble it. Taking it apart allows you to completely remove the deposits, clogs, and debris from all of its smaller parts.

Pro Tip: Drain any fuel that spills out from the carburetor into a catch tank.

  1. Start by unfastening the carburetor bowl and removing it
  2. Removing the Carburetor Bowl from a Carburetor
  3. Detach the choke lever
  4. Removing the Choke Lever from a Carburetor
  5. Take the float out
  6. Removing the Float from a Carburetor
  7. Remove the metering needle
  8. Removing the Metering Needle from a Carburetor
  9. Peel the bowl gasket from the carburetor
  10. Removing the Bowl Gasket from a Carburetor
  11. Take the main jet out
  12. Removing the Main Jet from a Carburetor
  13. Remove the emotion tube
  14. Removing the Emotion Tube from a Carburetor
  15. Unthread the idle screw
  16. Removing the Idle Screw from a Carburetor
  17. Detach the pilot jet
  18. Removing the Pilot Jet from a Carburetor
  19. Clean the parts using a carburetor cleaner or an ultrasonic cleaner. Avoid sticking anything metal inside the jets' openings - use something soft instead like a piece of fishing line
  20. Cleaning Carburetor Parts Using an Ultrasonic Cleaner
  21. Reassemble the carburetor afterwards

Some Other Things to Consider...

Is your snowblower still making you scratch your head and leaving you wondering where it all went wrong? Here are a couple of more things you should check out.

Are the Valves in the Correct Position?

Conventionally, your snowblower’s shut-off valve must be set on the “open” position, its choke on “full”, and its ignition switch on “on” or “run”. These settings may vary across models so you will need to consult your user’s manual.

Don’t have your user’s manual on hand? Don’t fret! The Fix App fetches all the information you need on all your appliances. All you need to do is to key in any relevant model numbers – it's that easy!

Have You Pressed the Primer Bulb?

The primer bulb is a small rubber button that feeds the carburetor with fuel, allowing for an easier start. Your user manual will instruct you how many times you need to press it, but three to five times should do the trick.

Is the Spark Plug Clean?

The spark plug produces the powerful spark needed for ignition but can only effectively do so when it is clean. To clean it, you would need to remove it using a spark plug socket. Light deposits can be removed using a wire brush and a spray-on cleaner. You would need to replace the plug if its stains are too stubborn or if cracks are present on its body.

You're All Set!

Woman Pushing a Snowblower

Now you're all ready to conquer your driveway! Interested in making the most out of your snowblower? Read all about our snowblower performance tips. Wielding a shovel to clear snow instead? Don't miss out on this handy guide that will show you how to do it safely and effectively.