Winter Maintenance

Troubleshooting 7 Common Snow Blower Problems

24 May 2021
Troubleshooting 7 Common Snow Blower Problems

When winter time hits and it starts snowing, you need to clear out the snow in the surrounding areas of your brick and mortar business swiftly. If you don’t, your employees will have trouble getting into work and, worse, your customers cannot access your business.

That is why having reliable power equipment like snow blowers is essential for your business in the winter time. Snow blowers are efficient little machines that clear out the snow on your company’s driveway, sidewalks, and pathways in a short amount of time.

However, what happens when your snow blower malfunctions and leaves you out in the cold, literally? You could resort to manually shovelling the snow, but with a brick and mortar location, that takes up a lot of time. Let’s take a closer look at how to troubleshoot 7 of the most common snow blower problems. In order to prepare, be sure to have your snow blower’s manual on hand for reference.

1. The Snow Blower Won’t Start

For snow blowers that operate on gas, check the gas tank because it might be empty and need to be refueled. If it looks like your snow blower still has gas in it, and if it has been in there for more than 30 days, then the ethanol in the gas could have created moisture that built up in the fuel system. This build-up of moisture in the fuel system causes problems in starting the snow blower.

To troubleshoot this problem, drain the old gas from the blower using a gas siphon. Refuel it with fresh gasoline, then try starting it again. For electric snow blowers, make sure to recharge the battery to its full capacity, plug it in, and then turn it on.

2. The Discharge Chute Is Clogged

Before troubleshooting a clogged chute, be sure to turn off and unplug the cord from a gas model or remove the battery from an electric snow blower. Grab a broom handle to clear the clog. Be sure to wear gloves and a mask, as debris and dirt might evaporate into the air as you unclog it.

3. The Snow Blower Wheels Aren’t Turning

There could be several reasons for why the snow blower wheels won’t turn. The first thing you should do is examine the wheels. If the wheel is flat, then you need to replace it with a new one. If you spot damage on the wheel rim, then replace it with a new one. If all the wheels and rims are in good condition, then your snow blower might have a defective cogged belt or V-belt.

A cogged and V-belt work together to create the connection between the gearbox and engine. If the cogged or V-belt are damaged, then it will prevent your snow blower’s wheels from turning. Over time, a cogged and V-belt experience natural wear and tear, so inspect them both to see if they are ripped or worn out. If so, they need to be replaced.

If the cogged and V-belt are still in good condition, then the third thing to inspect is the drive disk. The drive disk contains a rubber outer layer that assists in gripping and turning the drive plate. If the drive disk is defective, then it won’t turn. Check the drive disk to see if it is worn out or greasy. If it’s greasy, then clean it with soap and warm water and let it dry. If it’s worn out, then it’s time to replace it.

4. The Snow Blower Lurches Forward

The cable line is responsible for sending the power to the wheels. If you squeeze the drive handle and the snow blower moves forward quickly, then the cable line needs to be adjusted. To troubleshoot the cable line, remove the clip from the handle and secure the cable line’s threaded adjustment at the base of the snow blower. Afterward, reattach the clip, turn it on, and test the handling. If the snow blower continues to jerk forward, then readjust the cable line at the base of the machine and test it again. Continue to readjust it until it stops jerking forward.

5. The Snow Blower Isn’t Blowing Snow

When your snow blower is not blowing snow, the chute could be clogged. Troubleshoot this problem by shutting it off and unplugging the cord. For electric models, remove the battery. Take a broom handle and unclog the chute until all the snow is cleared.

After cleaning the chute, if it still doesn’t blow snow, then inspect the impeller. The impeller pushes the snow through the chute. If the impeller is damaged, it will prevent snow from being blown out of the chute. Replace the impeller if it’s broken.

6. The Auger Won’t Turn

If your snow blower’s engine turns on, but the auger won’t turn, then shut it off, remove the key, and unplug it. Check the impeller and auger to see if a chunk of snow, rock, or large debris is stuck inside. If there isn’t anything stuck in it, then inspect the shear pins next to the auger. Double check your snow blower’s manual to locate the shear pins. These shear pins are delicate and can break when your snow blower hits a rock or a big chunk of ice and snow. If the shear pins are damaged, then they need to be replaced for the auger to work again.

7. The Snow Blower Is Leaking Gas

When your snow blower shows signs of leaking gas, check the bottom of the carburetor gasket and the carburetor bowl gasket because it might be missing or dried out. Replace these parts if you have been using your snow blower for some years and they have never been replaced. If the gaskets have been replaced and it is still leaking gas, then check the connections of the fuel housing and fuel filter. If the fuel housing and filter are cracked, then replace them with new parts.

At Peel Exterior Maintenance, we offer power equipment rental services in Georgetown, Ontario for maintaining your commercial property. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for your commercial business and to receive a free program evaluation. Call us at 1-888-290-1216 or contact us here.