Snowblower: Won't start

The snowblower engine needs gas, compression and spark to start, so if your snowblower isn't starting, focus on those. First, make sure the gas in the tank is fresh; older gas can form gummy deposits that interfere with starting. Another easy thing to check is the spark plug—if the spark plug is cracked or has a sooty electrode, replace it. For a quick compression test, remove the spark plug, cover the cylinder hole with your thumb and pull the starter rope. If you don't feel air against your thumb, the problem could be with the piston, piston rings, or cylinder—and it might be time for a service technician. This video has more troubleshooting tips for starting your snowblower engine: Snowblower Engine Won't Start: Troubleshooting Tips Video .

These repairs may help solve your Snowblower problem:

Do a snowblower tune-up

Spark plug

A tune-up restores the snowblower to its peak operating condition. A tune-up includes changing the oil, cleaning the engine, replacing the air filter, checking the ignition system, inspecting the carburetor, testing the battery, adjusting the throttle and choke controls, and adjusting and lubricating all moving parts.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Clean and rebuild the snowblower carburetor

Carburetor rebuild kit

Rebuild kits are available for most carburetors. The kit contains the essential components such as jets, pins, seals and gaskets to overhaul the carburetor. You can sometimes fix a fuel supply problem by disassembling and cleaning a carburetor. Use the rebuild kit to rebuild the carburetor after cleaning it.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Adjust the snowblower valve lash

Exhaust valve

The snowblower valve lash is the amount of clearance between the top of the valve stem and the rocker arm. Incorrect valve lash prevents the snowblower valve from opening or closing properly. valve lash is incorrect, the snowblower engine is hard to start, runs poorly and loses power. Premature valve failure also results from improper valve lash. Check valve lash after the first 25 hours of use and then every 100 hours. Adjust the valve lash if the snowblower engine won't start or runs poorly.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the snowblower fuel filter

Fuel filter

The snowblower fuel filter screens particles from the gasoline as fuel moves from the fuel tank to the carburetor. Fuel won't flow if the snowblower fuel filter clogs. Replace the fuel filter if it's clogged or damaged.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the snowblower fuel line

Fuel line

A cracked or broken snowblower fuel line leaks gas, creating a fire hazard. Inspect the snowblower fuel line regularly and replace it if it's cracked or damaged.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the snowblower electric starter

Electric starter

The snowblower electric starter is a motor attached to the engine crankshaft, The electric starter includes a cord that plugs into an electrical outlet to provide the starter motor with power. Replace the snowblower electric starter if the motor won't spin when activated.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the snowblower spark plug

Spark plug

The snowblower spark plug creates the spark that ignites the fuel, creating a controlled explosion in the cylinder to move the piston that drives the engine. The spark plug won't create spark if deposits build up on the spark plug electrode or if the ceramic insulation cracks. Replace the snowblower spark plug if it's fouled or damaged.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the engine stop switch

Engine stop switch

The engine stop switch prevents the engine from starting unless you insert the key and stops the engine when you remove the key. Replace the stop switch if it won't allow the engine to start when you insert the key or doesn't kill the engine when you remove the key.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the snowblower carburetor

Carburetor

Over time, varnish from stale gasoline builds up in the carburetor, decreasing the amount of air/fuel mixture reaching the engine. Replace the carburetor if it's severely clogged with varnish or if the orifices are clogged with debris and can't be cleared using carburetor cleaner and compressed air.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Repair or replace the snowblower recoil starter

Recoil starter

Many snow blowers have a recoil starter with a pull rope. The pull rope can usually be replaced if broken. If the pull rope doesn't retract, it's likely the spring is broken. Because replacing the spring is difficult and usually impractical, replace the whole recoil starter.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.