Elenathewise/Getty ImagesFor those of us that live in the north, winter indicates that our outdoor maintenance focus shifts from green lawns and gardens to snow-spanned drivemethods and also sidewalks. In summer you have the right to mostly choose when you’re going to work in your garden or mow your grass. In winter, when it snows, you need to resolve it instantly, often prior to or after your workday. This is why it deserve to be so frustrating as soon as your snowbreduced won’t start. Here are some standard troubleshooting tips to gain that engine to fire up and to make certain that it will certainly perform so eextremely time the scurrently flies.

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Simple Stuff First

To start, constantly look for the basic stuff. Is the ignition vital put effectively and also in the best position? If tbelow is a fuel shut off, is it in the on or open up position? Most importantly, is there fuel in the tank?

The Right Fuel

If tright here is no fuel in the tank, better fill it up via the ideal kind of fuel, depending upon what form of motor you have. Tright here are 2 kinds of electric motors, 2 cycle and 4 cycle. If you have actually a 4-cycle motor, it’s just right gas that goes in your tank. If it’s a 2-cycle motor, you need to mix oil in through the gas, so be certain you have actually the mix ratio ideal. That ratio is often created on the gas cap or adjacent on the engine real estate. If you can’t discover it, consult the owner’s hands-on to be sure. Many kind of auto parts, and also also convenience stores, have actually bottles of 2-cycle oil proportioned for 1 or 2 gallon gas cans. These are excellent bereason they take all the guesswork out of gaining the best mix.With both 2- and also 4-cycle electric motors, it is ideal to obtain a minimum of 87 octane gas with no more than 10% ethanol.

Fresh Fuel

Make sure that the fuel is fresh. The the majority of common culprit of a hard-beginning engine is stale fuel. If you left fuel in the tank over the summer, it’s ideal to drain it by accessing the fuel line or using a siphon system. If that leftover gas is less than a 3rd of the tank, top it off via some fresh fuel, and also be sure to incorporate a fuel stabilizer to help problem the mix. Follow these same guidelines for your gas can.

Starter Fluid

So, if you’re certain your gas tank is complete of fresh fuel and your motor still won’t start, you can consider trying a have the right to of starter liquid. But beware, a lot of starter fluid has an ether base which makes it very flammable and can also destroy a 2-cycle motor because it strips crucial residual oil off of cranks and cylinder walls. It’s best to uncover a spray have the right to of non-Teflon, petroleum-base lubricant, such as WD 40, to use for starter liquid. To usage this, you will certainly have to accessibility the intake of the carburetor which is usually discovered behind the air filter. Give a pair of solid squirts into the throat of the carburetor and then try starting the engine. If it’s still a non-starter it usually indicates that the worry is via your ignition or spark plug.

Air Filter

While you’re taking off the air filter to gain to the carburetor, make sure to inspect it. If the filter looks dirty, try cleaning it out with some compressed air or a vacuum. If after that it still looks poor, go ahead and also rearea it. Look for the serial and also design # stamped somewhere on the motor or body of your machine, snap a picture of it and also then head to a hardware keep or a tiny engine repair shop with the air filter in hand.

Spark Plug

If you’re certain 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 accordingly size deep socket, usually 5/8 or 13/16, to remove the plug. Once out, dry off the plug through compressed air or a rag. Look for indicators of carbon construct up. If it looks bad, you deserve to grab some fine-grit sandpaper and clean it up, but the ideal bet is to simply go buy a new plug. It’s a less-than-$10 investment. I indicate you obtain an Iridium spark plug because they carry out much faster starts and last longer than conventional spark plugs. Once you’re ready to put the plug earlier in, make certain you inspect the gap on the spark plug. The gap on a spark plug is the distance in between the facility and ground electrodes. You deserve to uncover a simple spark plug gapper at a hardware keep. New plugs are typically not gapped effectively and it’s quite likely your old plug was never gapped ideal in the first location.


If you feel that in the procedure of trying to start the motor you flooded the engine through fuel, currently is not a negative time to pull that starter cord numerous times with the spark plug out. This will force any excess fuel vapors out of the cylinder and dry things out a bit in there. If you do this, make sure your ignition switch is turned off so that you don’t accidentally ignite any type of of those escaping vapors.

When to Throw in the Towel

If after going via every one of these procedures your snowblower still won’t begin, and your arm is probably falling off from pulling that starter cord, it just could be time to cry uncle and admit defeat. Find a dependable small-engine repair shop and carry your snowblower on in. Fair warning though, these shops are probably maxed out via various other machines in the exact same condition this time of year. You’ll probably need to retype to shoveling bereason your snowblower might not be prepared for a couple of weeks.

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The finest advice I deserve to offer is to take the time at the end of each season to drain your fuel tank and also add a little bit of fuel conditioner into the tank to save any type of fuel that continues to be from gaining stale and making the machine hard to start. Even through that done, it’s still an excellent idea to take your snowbreduced in eincredibly few years for a tune-up in the off seakid. That means you have actually much better odds of it starting when you really need it in those wee hours of a cold and also snowy winter.