Now that winter is upon us, cleaning snow can be a daunting task for most residence. Especially in more recent winters our region has received it’s fair share of snowfall and storms. It’s important to be prepared with the right tools to weather any storm safely.
Safety while using a snowblower:
You may find that during a snowstorm the snowblower auger (s) stops turning all of a sudden.
This may be due to broken auger shear bolts. Luckily it's a simple and inexpensive fix.The purpose of auger pins or bolts are to act as a safety mechanism to prevent any severe damage due to overload. So, if you were to go thru heavy snow or catch something in the auger, the bolts 'shear' to prevent any damage to the auger differential gears.
When you break a shear pin, make sure to replace it with the proper bolts or pin made for your machine. Don't use any ordinary bolt or nail because they may not break under heavy load and can cause major damage. It's always a good idea to keep couple of spares in case you need them .
Other causes of snowblower not throwing snow:
- Loose/worn Auger belt
- Worn impeller bearing
- Broken impeller bolts
- Worn differential gears
Fall is the time to pull the snow blower out of storage and give it some attention to avoid frustration during cold winter. Start off by doing a general inspection of your snow blower and look for any visible signs of damage that may have been caused while in storage. Check engine oil and change if needed (should be done annually)
Common problem after long period of storage is the engine not starting due to bad gas. Gasoline that is more than about one month old loses its proper combustion properties. This means that it loses its ‘spark’ and thus causes engine starting problems. It can block the fuel system as it turns in to varnish.
One way to avoid this problem is to mix fuel stabilizer with the gas and run the engine. This must be done BEFORE storage. However, in the fall you should still start the engine just to see the gas was treated properly and it will start easy. Because if it doesn’t start now, it most likely won’t start in the winter!
If you had forgotten to treat the gas before storage (most people do) then you will likely have trouble starting the engine or it will not run very smooth. Simple step you can take is to drain all the old gas out of the tank, put in some fresh gas, and try starting the engine. If you still have trouble starting, then the carburetor is probably gummed-up and would have to be flushed and cleaned.
Useful snow blower preparation tips: