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How to Repair a Snow Blower

When Winter throws its worst at you the last thing you want to worry about is a snow blower that won't start or a clogged chute. Snow blowers can clear snow quickly and easily, however, unanticipated equipment issues can occur creating havoc with your plans.

The two most common snow blower equipment problems are starting issues and clogged chutes; however, both can be resolved with the proper maintenance and tools. Follow these easy troubleshooting tips to help get your snow blower up and running so you can get the work done quickly.

Starting Trouble

After sitting unused throughout the warmer months, revving up your snow blower at the start of the snow season may require some coaxing, this can also be an issue midseason if you haven't used your snow blower in a while. Begin by emptying out any fuel left in the tank from the previous winter, and replace it with clean, fresh fuel. If you already have fresh fuel you can skip this step.

Next, check the dipstick to make sure you have adequate oil ' running your snow blower with little or no oil can damage your engine. It's also important to set the choke and push the primer bulb a few times before your first pull (if your snow blower is equipped with those features). Some models have push-button electric start which eliminates pull starting.

Lastly, check your spark plug to see if it's unplugged, corroded, or covered in the buildup. If you spot one of these issues, try cleaning or replacing your spark plug by following the instructions in your owner's manual.

Chute Clogging

Many snow blowers have adjustable chutes that enable you to control the direction and pitch of snow as you clear. Depending on your snow blower model, objects and particularly heavy, wet snow can clog your snow blower's chute interrupting your work.

To fix this follow these important steps. Release both the auger control and drive control, shut off the engine and remain behind the handles until all other moving parts of your snow blower have stopped.

Next, use the shovel-shaped end of the clean-out tool to break away and remove any snow and ice that has built up in and around the chute assembly. Never put your hands near the assembly or use your hands to try to clean out the chute. (Many snow blowers have the chute clean-out tool fastened to the rear of the auger housing with a mounting clip.) Once you've cleared the chute, simply refasten the clean-out tool to the mounting clip.

When the clearing is complete and all tools are safely put away, reinsert the ignition key and start your snow blower. While standing in the operator's position (behind the snow blower), engage the auger control for a few seconds to clear any remaining snow and ice from the chute assembly.

And keep in mind, whatever the maintenance task may be, you should always read your owner's manual and wear protective eyewear and other necessary safety gear.