Elenathewise/Getty ImagesFor those of us who live in the north, winter means that our outdoor maintenance emphasis shifts from environment-friendly lawns and gardens to snow-covered driveways and also sidewalks. In summer you have the right to mostly choose when you’re going to work-related in your garden or mow her grass. In winter, as soon as it snows, you have to address it immediately, often before or after your workday. This is why it have the right to be for this reason frustrating as soon as your snowblower i will not ~ start. Here are some basic troubleshooting tips to acquire that engine come fire up and also to make certain that it will do so every time the eye flies.

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Simple stuff First

To start, constantly look for the basic stuff. Is the ignition vital inserted properly and also in the appropriate position? If there is a fuel closeup of the door off, is that in the top top or open position? Most importantly, is there fuel in the tank?

The appropriate Fuel

If over there is no fuel in the tank, far better fill the up v the right type of fuel, depending on what kind of engine you have. Over there are two varieties of motors, 2 cycle and 4 cycle. If you have a 4-cycle motor, it’s just straight gas that goes in her tank. If it’s a 2-cycle motor, you need to mix oil in through the gas, for this reason be certain you have the mix ratio right. That ratio is often written top top the gas lid or nearby on the engine housing. If girlfriend can’t discover it, above the owner’s hands-on to it is in sure. Countless auto parts, and also even convenience stores, have bottles of 2-cycle oil proportioned because that 1 or 2 gallon gas cans. This are good because they take all the guesswork out of acquiring the right mix.With both 2- and also 4-cycle motors, the is finest to acquire a minimum the 87 octane gas through no an ext than 10% ethanol.

Fresh Fuel

Make certain that the fuel is fresh. The most typical culprit the a hard-starting engine is stale fuel. If friend left fuel in the tank end the summer, it’s best to drain it by accessing the fuel line or making use of a siphon system. If that leftover gas is less than a 3rd of the tank, height it off through some fresh fuel, and also be sure to include a fuel stabilizer to help condition the mix. Follow these exact same guidelines for her gas can.

Starter Fluid

So, if you’re sure your gas tank is complete of fresh fuel and your engine still won’t start, friend might think about trying a have the right to of starter fluid. Yet beware, many starter liquid has an ether basic which renders it exceptionally flammable and also can additionally ruin a 2-cycle motor due to the fact that it strips vital residual oil turn off of cranks and also cylinder walls. It’s best to discover a spray have the right to of non-Teflon, petroleum-base lubricant, such as WD 40, to usage for starter fluid. To usage this, friend will have to accessibility the entry of the carburetor which is usually found behind the wait filter. Give a pair of hard squirts right into the throat of the carburetor and then try starting the engine. If it’s still a non-starter that usually way that the issue is v your ignition or spark plug.

Air Filter

While you’re acquisition off the air filter to get to the carburetor, make certain to inspect it. If the filter watch dirty, shot cleaning the out with some compressed waiting or a vacuum. If after that it quiet looks bad, walk ahead and also replace it. Look because that the serial and model # stamped what on the engine or human body of her machine, snap a photo of it and then head to a hardware store or a tiny engine fix shop through the waiting filter in hand.

Spark Plug

If you’re sure the engine is gaining gas, or you’ve tried some starter fluid and it’s still a no-go, its time to inspect the spark plug. Locate the spark plug and pull off the cap. Find the appropriately size deep socket, generally 5/8 or 13/16, to eliminate the plug. Once out, dry turn off the plug through compressed air or a rag. Look for signs of carbon develop up. If that looks bad, you can grab some fine-grit sandpaper and also clean the up, yet the finest bet is to just go buy a new plug. It’s a less-than-$10 investment. I suggest you get an Iridium spark plug due to the fact that they administer faster starts and also last much longer than standard spark plugs. Once you’re ready to put the plug ago in, make sure you inspect the space on the spark plug. The void on a spark plug is the distance between the center and also ground electrodes. You can uncover a basic spark plug gapper in ~ a hardware store. New plugs room usually not gapped properly and also it’s quite most likely your old plug was never ever gapped right in the very first place.


If friend feel the in the process of do the efforts to start the motor you flooded the engine v fuel, currently is no a poor time to pull the starter cord several times with the spark plug out. This will certainly force any excess fuel vapors out of the cylinder and also dry points out a little in there. If you execute this, make certain your ignition move is turned off so the you nothing accidentally ignite any of those escaping vapors.

When to litter in the Towel

If ~ going through every one of these measures your snowblower still i will not ~ start, and also your arm is perhaps falling off from pulling the starter cord, the just might be time come cry uncle and also admit defeat. Discover a trusted small-engine repair shop and bring her snowblower ~ above in. Fair warning though, these shops are probably maxed out through other devices in the same problem this time of year. You’ll probably have to resort to shoveling because your snowblower could not be prepared for a couple of weeks.

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The best advice I deserve to offer is come take the time at the end of each season to drainpipe your fuel tank and add a little of fuel conditioner into the tank to keep any kind of fuel that remains from obtaining stale and also making the machine hard to start. Also with the done, it’s quiet a an excellent idea to take her snowblower in every couple of years for a tune-up in the off season. That way you have much better odds that it starting when friend really require it in those wee hours of a cold and snowy winter.