Fix a Snowblower that Won’t Start | Snow Blower Help

December 6, 2019 | by Fred (email) |

Thank you so much for joining us at One Project Closer for this Snow Blower Help trouble-shooting guide on How to fix a snowblower that won’t start. This post is sponsored by the Home Depot Prospective Campaign. Post may also contain affiliate links. Opinions (and typos) are 100% our own, and we appreciate you supporting our site in order to continue to provide free content to our readers. 

It’s a frustrating thing… to have a snowblower and not be able to use it. If you’re in this situation, there is hope… Here’s some things to check.

Snowblower Start-up Maintenance

fix a snow blower that won't start


Check for Bad Gas – Many people don’t add stabilizer at the end of the season and the gas goes stale / collects moisture. If you’re in this situation, the solution is to drain the gas tank, and refill it with new gas. Manufacturers recommend filling the tank with new fuel and adding stabilizer prior to storage. This will maintain freshness for about 9 – 12 months. It used to be the case that draining the tank was the best method for storage. However, due to the ethanol fuel blends, this has changed.

Check that the Gas/Oil Mixture is Correct – If you have a two-stroke snow blower, you need to be sure the gas/oil mixture is correct. Our Toro snowblower takes a 50:1 mixture. Other blowers will take 40:1 or 30:1. Check the owner’s manual. Most 2-stroke oil cans will give you instructions to get the proper mix.

Make Sure You’re Using the Electric Start Option – Most mid-to-high end snow blowers come with an electric starter and a pull starter. The only time you should use the pull starter is if the snow blower has already been running and you’ve turned it off briefly to clean it or add gas.

Check the Choke – Just like a riding lawn mower or gas string trimmer, you may need to choke the engine increasing the fuel to air ratio. There’s usually a slide lever somewhere on the blower used to control the choke level.

Prime the Engine – Most snow blowers have a primer button on them to prime the engine. This is very important, particularly if you previously ran the lawnmower out of gas.  Priming the engine moves fuel through the fuel lines and into the carburetor.  Our Toro snowblower recommends pressing the primer button twice. We’ve found it actually requires more like 8-10 pumps to get going. Be careful not to over-prime, however, since it can flood the engine. Prime the least number of times required to get it started.

Check the Throttle – For starting, the throttle should be set to full-open to get the most amount of fuel flowing to the engine. Some snowblowers have throttle control, and will usually indicate the ‘start’ position on the throttle selection lever.

Check the Blades for Lock-up – Ensure that the blades can move freely. Make sure the snow blower is off and disconnected from power, then check whether the blades can be moved by hand. When in neutral, locked blades shouldn’t prevent a lawn mower from starting, so this is rare.

While you’ve outside fixing your snowblower in the cold, be sure to bring your Ridgid 18V Heated Jacket with removable hood. I love this jacket for working in the snow. It has three heat settings and three different zones, so as you get working and warmed up, you can reduce the heat or target where you are still cold. might be a great holiday gift for that special person in your life (or yourself)!

Snowblower Engine Checks

If you’ve made it this far in the list and you still aren’t getting it started, it could be something a little more complex. Consult the owner’s manual for assistance with these.

Check/Replace the Spark Plug – You should be able to find a replacement spark plug at the local big box.

Check/Replace the Fuel Filter – Some snow blowers will have a small fuel filter on the fuel line. This can become clogged over time and constrict fuel flow to such a great extent that it won’t run.

Check/Replace the Engine Air Filter – If the snow blower has a dirty engine air filter, it can degrade performance. We’ve never seen an air filter prevent a snow blower from starting, but it’s still something to check.

Check/Clean the Carburetor – If you let untreated fuel sit in the snowblower from last season, there’s a chance the carburetor needs to be cleaned. The carburetor may be gummed up or rusted due to moisture. The number one problem for small engines (like on a snowblower) is problems with a restricted carburetor.

(photo: joebeone)

P.S. Our friends over at Charles and Hudson give us some more Blizzard Preparation Tips … worth a read on a cold Winter day.

163 Responses
  1. Keith says:

    I already got hit with this storm (for the most part) and did my snow blowing the old fashioned way, I shoveled it! Was no fun since I got 18″ overnight but I limited it to a single path to my truck!

    We are expecting another 4-6 inches tonight and more throughout the week, so I am WISHING I had a snowblower right now!

  2. Karen says:

    Just curious about the rationale behind always using the electric start. I have a brand new snowblower with ES and haven’t heard of this recommendation before.

    • Gail Waitley says:

      My Toro Power Max snowthrower will start electrically but not with the recoil starter. I was able to use the pull start in the past. Any ideas?

  3. Fred says:

    Karen, after re-reading what I wrote I realized I made it seem like there is a danger in not using the electric start. That’s definitely not the case.

    However, when it’s very cold outside,the manufacturer intends the electric start to be the primary start method. I’ve heard of folks spending 30 minutes getting a blower started when it’s 10 degrees outside and they didn’t know it could be plugged in.

    One additional tip I didn’t mention here is to not run the blower completely out of gas when you are mid-work. Emptying the tank clears the fuel lines and will require extra priming to restart the blower, which can make it more difficult if you are trying to use the pull start.

    Again, nothing to really fret over – it will still restart, just might take extra effort.

  4. Randy says:

    I am having trouble getting a 357cc engine to start. The engine is on a Cub Cadet snow-blower. It is definitely getting a spark, as there are flames that can be seen from the exhaust and out the rear of the carb. I was told it could be a timing issue, and we checked the gears inside the crankcase to make sure they were all aligned- they were. Cleaned the carb out as well. Have no idea why it will not turn over. Also, it looks like it has something to do with incomplete combustion, as there is fuel coming out of the exhaust manifold area, as well as out the rear of the carb. The only thing I can think of that may be wrong would be an electrical issue- mainly having to do with the ignition. Any ideas would be appreciated.

    • ed aleksiejan says:

      you may need a new ignition coil. you may be getting a spark, but if the coil is gone it will not run. Try the spark plug first. If it does start and dies on you under load, it might be the govenor.

    • brenda says:

      I have a Aries deluxe 30 it will not start there is no spark could it be the plugs or spark plug

  5. Valerie says:

    Our 2 cyl Toro snow blower was flooded. Now it blows white smoke and won’t start. What can we do to get it running again?

    • Butch says:

      Take the spark plug out.put a rag around Spark wire head .Pull the rope or electric starter. The Problem ,carb Float or needle seat .clocted muffler or cyclinger rings

  6. Valerie says:

    We have a 2 cyl Toro that was flooded. It was running good until that happen. Now it won’t keep running. What can we do to make it run again?

    • R0NNIE says:

      model s620 w/32:1 mixture fresh gas and oil it will not start or run and how do I adjust the carb mixture carb as two adjusting screws #1 & #2 how many turns

    • Butch says:

      take spark out and pull the rope 15 time W/spark away from the spark plug hole. 1 and one Half turns out to get started.

  7. Fred says:

    Valerie, how did you flood it? Did you over-prime the engine? Usually this problem will work itself out if you just wait a while…

  8. Rob says:

    I have an Ariens ST824 snowblower that I was using 2 weeks ago during a big storm in NY. After using it for about an hour, it started to choke and eventually died. I tried to re-start it usign the manual recoil and the ES but it wont restart. THe tank is full of new gas and we’re looking at another 10 inches later this week. I let it rest for a few days but it still wont start. What should I do?

  9. Nelson says:

    Gf’s brother purchased a toro 180(Recoil)..It had been sitting for about 2 months(with gas)…We finally get our first hit of snow and he attempts to finally use it: Anyways it turns on no problem but he starts seeing blacks smoke and turns it off right away…3 days later he calls me and we cannot get it to start! Spark Plug cleaned, squirt some oil into spark plug hole and still nothing! What I do notice it that upon pressing primer, no gas, as there is a clear tube behind primer button….I can press primer button 15x and nothing happens(no smell, no gas seen in tube behind primer button) something plugged as he turned off machine as soon as he turned it on?

  10. Lori says:

    I have a 10-yr-old Toro CCR2450 Snowblower. It was tuned up every year, except last year it was not used and was stored empty in a garage. Started it up this year, and it’s blowing a ton of white smoke out of the exhaust. Any idea what the problem is?

  11. Fred says:

    Lori, not 100% sure, but whenever our lawnmower blows white smoke it’s because you’re burning oil at too high a rate. If its a 2 cycle lawnmower, I would check the fuel mix (and if you left fuel in it, probably empty and change). If it’s a 4 cycle, I would probably change the oil, spark plug, and air filter, and make sure especially that the oil isn’t over filled.

    Good luck

  12. Kim says:

    Hi, I have a Yard Machine snow blower that i can’t get started. When I try to prime it, the pimer is just moving air – now fuel. How can I fix this?

    • Butch says:

      Toro’s have to have 50 to one mixtures or you scor the cyclinder.The toros will run and good on other mixture and will only last a few years,What happens the connecting rod bearing goes and the wrist pin bearing goes, then the piston inside cyclinder wall shifts and scors the the cyclinder wall. Take a compression test 140 to a hundred sixty pound. It will not run with out good compression,

  13. Lee says:

    I have a Craftsmen snow blower and it won’t prime, I’ve tried blowing out the fuel line and have emptied the gas tank and put in new gas. When I prime it all I here is are and no gas, I pulled the plug and looked in there just to verifie that was the case and it was dry as a bone.

    • Cheryl says:

      My husband is having the same problem with his craftman snow blower it won’t prime either any suggestions on how to fix this problem please reply

  14. Mike H. says:

    I have a Craftsman single-stage 179cc snow thrower and the electric start won’t catch. It revs but never turns over the engine. I have the key, primed it, and have the throttle and choke set correctly. After a few attempts with the electric, I pulled the cord and it fired right up on the first try. It seems the engine runs just fine but the electric start won’t turn over the engine.

    The electric start does not sound abnormal, weak, or bad, It all seems fine, except the part where the engine doesn’t start!

    Thanks in advance for any advice, thoughts, or comments!

    • chet says:

      its definitely the starter. it will run and turn over and it will go like heck if you take it off and hook it to juice but if you try to get it to turn over the motor and it wont its because its weak and bad. replacing the starter will fix it

  15. chris says:

    I have an old Montgomery Ward snow blower that I cant get to start. I used it last winter and it ran like a champ. It was getting a little rusty so I decided to paint it over the summer. while I was painting it I tipped it back so i could get paint some hard to reach spots. I didn’t notice any oil leaking at the time but I left it tipped up over night and found oil on the floor in the morning. it looked like oil was coming out of the exhaust. I figured I could just flatten it out and the oil would drain out of the cylinders and back into the oil reservoir no harm no foul. I went to start it this winter and I cant get it to stars. I got one sputter out of it with the first or second rip but after that there was nothing. however when I ripped it, oil did spit out of the exhaust. I would appreciate any advice, thank you.

  16. Fred says:

    Chris, we’ve had this problem with a lawn mower. I’m assuming this is a 4-cycle snow blower. Here’s our best suggestion (use at your own risk)….

    Change the air filter, change the spark plug, make sure engine oil isn’t overfilled (or underfilled), put in new gas if you have stale gas.

    Most likely culprit is the spark plug is covered with oil…. could also be that the carburetor is gummed up if you didn’t let it run out of gas last year…

  17. paul gellman says:

    i just bought a toro…power clear 210r snowblower….no electric starter..just a coil…can you give me some tips on getting this started…i am kicking myself for being cheap and not getting the model with the electric starter…should you only prime twice? it seems that i need at least 3 pulls to get it started..and sometimes it doesnt even start..and i am afraid that i have flooded the engine…any advice?? have the right mixture of gas and oil…

  18. Fred says:

    Hey Paul – starting a 2 cycle engine is a trick, especially when its cold. Here’s what you should do: (1) follow the priming instructions included with the unit. Generally speaking, the manufacturer knows how much to prime it. Turn the choke all the way up (full choke). Pull the cord until you hear the engine make a few turnovers beyond the initial pull (the engine may still stop). Move back to half choke and pull again – engine will probably start. If it doesn’t, move to full choke and pull again until you get that first few turnovers… once you get that, move back to half choke and then pull. Repeat until the engine starts. Once it’s going at half choke, move the engine to no choke and let it warm up for a few minutes before using.

    Over priming can flood the engine, but that’s usually not the problem, unless you’ve primed it a lot more than recommend.

    If this doesn’t work after 10 or so pulls, you might try priming a bit more. Obviously, good gas and good oil are key – make sure you mixed at the proper proportions.

    As for kicking yourself, we’ve been there. Electric starters are a real nice feature on these devices.

  19. Jim Koenig says:

    What is wrong when you push the button on an electrisc start and nothing happens not a sound. My blowere started running rough the last time out so I shut it down drained the gas and mixed up fresh gas. It is a one stage toro. The first couple times I pushed the electric start it sounded normal but just would not catch then after trying the electric start for a while it just quit all together. Still can’t get blower started even with rope. Don’t hear it firing at all.

  20. Rob McK says:

    I have a 1988 Toro 824 when starting with the pull start, the motor starts.
    hwever the rope recoils hard, almost pulls my arm off. What causes this,
    how do i fix it. Luckily I use the elec. start most the time.

  21. Bill H. says:

    Just got a new 2-cycle electric start snowblower, but can’t get it started. I have in on full throttle, choke in proper spot and primed it several times, then have the electric starter on for 30 secs or more, but it won’t turn over. Any ideas? It’s brand new never been used.

  22. Dawn O says:

    My yard machines wont start, I can’t pull the start cord more than a few inches and it stops cold.
    The electric starter is not working either. My partner tried to just replace the starter but the gears seem to be locked.
    I have no problems taking it apart (it’s broken anyway right?) so I’ll give it a try if anyone can suggest fix.

    • Ray says:

      I have the same issue, did anyone find a solution for this yet? It started up just before the winter but now nothing the electric starter works but won’t crank…can it be the starter?

  23. Gorden says:

    @ Jim Koenig, I have an older Artisan brand 8 HP snow thrower that will not start. It has an electric start and after using it for about 5 minutes, the starter motor heats up and the relay shuts off the starter button. I have to wait about 10 minutes for the starter to cool down before I can use the ES again. There may no problem with your ES except you may have to wait for it to work again as I do. Hope that helps.

    Fred, my spark plug has good spark (checked and confirmed), I replaced the gas, opened the choke, turned up the throttle, then tried various combinations of choke and throttle and it still won’t start. I also poured 1/2 ounce of gas into the spark plug hole which will run the engine for a second then it quits. The only other thing I can think of is the primer button is not pushing gas through but the primer look good (no tears or holes). Sometimes I can hear gas sucking in and out of the primer when I push it. Any other suggestions I haven’t considered would be appreciated. I’m going to try again in an hour hoping that perhaps I’ve flooded the carb.

    Thanks. 🙂

  24. Fred says:

    Gorden, yuck! OK – well, probably one of two things then – fuel line could be clogged or a fuel filter on the line could be clogged if it has one. Carburetor could also be gummed up – that’s usually a repair shop fix unless you’re adventurous. Google for “clean carburetor” and you’ll find some videos and instructions. Let me know how it turns out.

  25. Steve says:

    I bought my snowblower from a friend that moved to a warmer client (lucky him). We just got hit with 17in overnight. This morning, I go out to start it up to do battle with massive amount of snow, and it wouldn’t crank. I read the directions which said prime with 2 pumps. I did that several times, almost to exhaustion. I came inside frustrated and found your blog. I tried priming with 8 pumps and it started right up! The snow has been cleared from my driveway and I was even able to help my neighbor across the street because his snowblower 2x the size of mine died. Thanks for the sound advice!

  26. Bill D says:

    Great time for my Toro snowblower to quit – the blizzard of 2011. Used it last night and worked fine. Got up today and electric starter just whirls – doesn’t catch. Tried recoil but there isn’t any tension in cord at all. Resorted to manual labor. Any thoughts on problem with snowblower?

  27. tony says:

    i have a ariens model 922024 i was using it for about 4hrs and it shut off and wont start . i bought carb kit and rebuilt it thinking it was something with the carb . i check for gas flow and its has good gas flow , i check for spark to the plug and its ok . please can you help!!!

  28. Fred says:

    tony – can’t say from what you’ve written here. Go through the list and look at everything – make sure you’re using good gas. No reason it shouldn’t start…

  29. alex wadolny says:


  30. Samson says:

    Hey, I am running into some problems, which I am not sure if it s common thing for New users…

    I got my snow thrower a year ago, used it, twice, tested it, it works. let it ran out of gas on last use, to ensure there is no gas left in it for Summer.

    This winter, I refilled it with gas, it works twice. The third time (now) it just won’t start, I was dumb enough to buy it with out electric start (as last year, it cost 200 bucks more and my experience with my 12 year lawn mower at the time, tells me I didn’t really need the electric starter…)

    Any suggestions?
    When I yank at the manual start, it would some time start a bit, but eventually dies after a few seconds. Some times, it just gives off a ‘bang’ like a Pistol. Its not like it didn’t work this entire winter, it just won’t start right now.

    Should I continue pulling at the manual start?

  31. Joe Cutler says:

    Hi, I have an 80’s Simplicity 524 Snow Buster with a 5hp Tecumseh engine. I just had the engine rebuilt last year..i got it started in Oct. and turned it off..when i went to restart it I couldn’t get the engine to turn over..I checked everything..i bought a new ignition switch which didn’t work and replaced my gas primer hose b/c i found it had a slice in it…didn’t work. I find when I push the primer button it blows air out which i can feel but doesn’t sound like it’s sucking gas in….any recommendations? Thanks

    • Samson says:


      I think that the fact air is coming out is a good sign. At least the rubber is still soft enough and didn’t age.

      have you check the Spark plug??

      • Joe Cutler says:

        Thanks for responding…yes i checked the plug..i didn’t see a spark..i thought maybe by getting a new ignition switch it would fix the problem b/c the connector on it was loose and actually ended up falling off. I just figured that when i primed it and that I could feel the air coming out that maybe that was the problem. I can usually figure these problems out but this one has me in a bind…really trying to avoid spending more money on this..for what i’ve spent on it including rebuilt engine I could have bought a new one….Thanks


      primer bubble needs to be replaced-cracked

  32. tom says:

    i have an older snow blower…20 yrs at least ( probably a montgumery wards or sears)….been running every year but getting harder to start….has an electric starter and pull cord….found the primer tube has come off the engine but do not know where it goes back on….i might need to change gas and spark plug as well

  33. Joe Cutler says:

    I found that as i prime the snowblower before trying to start it that air was coming out from above the filter bulb…i found a small hole and covered it with duct tape to see if it would work..i found that the primer bulb became resistant to being pushed down…i’m at a loss..

  34. lorraine says:

    We got the snowblower in 2009. Came winter, very cold would not start. tried everything. Hand shoveled. In 2010 started the blower in July worked like a charm. Big storm 2011 in Colo, yesterday. Tried blower again will not start. What is this this a wanbe lown mower. I am so mad, it get cold and will not work. This thing is new. started once in the summer. Tried elec start, no go. pumped several times, no go. HELP

  35. Anne says:

    Last snow storm I ran my snow blower out of gas, because job was done didn’t fill till today. It will not stay running. Checked oil, spark plug etc. When I prime it it runs for about 10 seconds then stops. Will not start again until I prime it again. Any ideas?

    • D0N says:

      Exact same thing is happening to me. Could there be some water in the gas? I have done checklist but have not drained the gas tank yet. Suggestions?

  36. David Terry says:

    I have a 2 year old Toro snow blower that won’t start.
    4 Stroke engine.
    No fuel left in tank over the winter.
    New plug.
    Fresh gas.
    Fuel filter OK
    Float seems OK
    Will only start if I pour gas directly into the carburator.
    Won’t continue to run after that gas is used up.
    Any thoughts?

  37. mike says:

    my 5 hp troy bilt snowblower will start and run however i have to run on half choke to blow snow if i take choke off the machine bogs and stalls

  38. tom says:

    my powerlite toro snowblower will start right up ,run for 5 mins till hot ,then just shuts off ,wont restart till it cools down ,new plug ,fuel ,basic cks done ? any idea,s

  39. John Marchuk says:

    I have a 5hp craftsman snow blower the problem is the electric starter that can be replaced but when I tried the pull start it won’t pull what could be the problem when the starter went I was able to use the pull start but when I tried to use it again it would not pull what could be the problem.


    • Two things may be happening. Can you pull it once and it doesn’t retract? If so either it’s spring related (too weak, disconnected, or broken) or the retractable pawls are not retracting. If you can’t pull it at all then you need to check if you can turn the motor over by hand. Pull the belt housing off and see if you can turn the motor.

    • Pull the spark plug and it should turn over a lot easier by hand (no compression).

  40. bigredmachine says:

    I actually don’t own a snow blower, but these hints are great. I think some of them can apply to my tiller and mower which I am so ready to use….had enough of Winter already.

  41. MissFixIt says:

    We have a super old 80s Sunbeam snowblower thats been out of service forever. Its old but I swear we can get it running. After the snow we’ve been getting I think this post is worth a share to someone I know who could maybe fix my retro blower.

    • bill kline says:

      have a sunbeam 3 hp gas snow blower. When I put in the gas and oil they leaked out and I am trying to remove the plastic shroud–can not get it removed. any suggestions.

      Thank you

  42. poiboybf says:

    Thanks for the info! It seems like snowblowers should be simpler than they are… someone could make a lot of money with a truly dependable, low maintenance blower.

    • I would almost think the opposite. I have a Toro 2-stroke single stage blower from 1978. It is so reliable that the only thing I’ve ever done to it was put mix gas in it and replace a starter gear in 2003. Toro has gotten no money out of me for repair parts except for a $10 plastic gear.

  43. mark says:

    What is a recommended fuel stabilizer? Sea Foam?

  44. ozzie santiago says:

    I have a single stage snow blower, when I am cleaning out the driveway the snow blower is always getting plugged up. It does not have to be a wet snow, its a dry powder snow and it still plugs up and I always have to unplug it. The inside part of the snow blower is clear and the shoot where the snow get thrown out is wide open. What do you think causes this?

    • Fred says:

      Ozzie, honestly it would be hard to diagnose without seeing it. One answer could be that the snowblower is simply junk. Another could be that there’s a problem with the blade slipping when under a heavy load. I have seen at least one instance where a snowblower blade simply slipped around its axle when put under load – it had to be tightened to perform properly. Hard to know if this is what’s happening for you. Does the snowblower stop when it gets clogged or does it keep running but stop spinning the blade?

  45. Theresa says:

    I have a Toro Power Clear that mysteriously lost its ignition key assembly – I am not making this up. Between last winter and this winter it seems to have been damaged. Is there an way to start the blower with an ignition key. If I look in the hole I see the wires where it was supposed to be attached but thats all I see…hmmmmmm…

    • Fred says:

      Strange. I’m no expert on hot-wiring a starter. This is a case where getting the replacement part is probably your best bet. If you want to get adventurous you could look into what two wires need to be connected to send juice to the starter, but this doesn’t sound like the best or safest idea to me.

  46. mark says:

    Sea Foam® worked great. 4 pulls after pouring it in and it started.

  47. Carol says:

    I change the Spark Plug. I plug it in and it tries to start for only about a second and then nothing.

    • Carol says:

      We needed the electric starter replaced. It burned out. Total repair cost $288 starter, cleaned the carburetor, labor and $40 to pick it up with his truck and bring it back. Words to the wise: We had a hard time starting it the last time and the button was pushed down too long. Never hold the starter button down. Only push it for short seconds, holding it down only burns the starter out.

  48. Adrian Utsch says:

    I have a Toro 828 Power Shift Snowblower. I bought it used. It must be from the 80’s and has worked great for five years until this year. Anyway, I am up in Maine blowing snow from Nemo and it worked fine but the temps have been about 15 degrees with driving wind and I noticed ice build up everywhere on the thrower. When I use the electric start I hear a whining sound that i have never heard before and the engine is definitely not cranking. When I tried the manual pull starter it won’t budge. I am wondering if the cold conditions could have somehow frozen up the motor so it won’t crank? if so is there somewhere to look to chip away ice or is it possible that my motor/engine has died after working fine for me earlier today?

  49. Andrew Macdonald says:

    I have a used Craftsman 524 Trac. My nephew and I used it to clear away Nemo this morning. I’ve never used an electric start, so I used the pull-rope. It started right up and ran well for me. I handed over to my nephew and went in whilst he continued clearing the driveway. He stopped it and came in to warm up, then went outside a couple of hours later. He said it started right up and ran, but then it just stopped. He says he didn’t hit anything. I noticed that the pull-start doesn’t engage anymore – it pulls out easy without turning the engine. We then tried the electric start – it doesn’t work, why I don’t know.
    I’m of the opinion that I need to replace the flappers on the starting wheel. Could it be anything else?

  50. Rocinante says:

    I have a fairly new Troy Bilt 3090XP. The engine sputters when the choke is closed and in full running position. It doesn’t sputter when I turn the choke a little to increase the fuel-air ratio. Is this caused by stale gas? I am using gas with stabil, but it is about a year and a half old.

  51. HANDYMAN51 says:

    I use regular gas with Sta- Bil. Is there a benefit to using an ethanol blend? My blower has an electric start. The seller ( I got it used) told me that I shouldn’t hold the starter button more than several seconds each attempted start in order to keep from burning out the starter. Iowa’s been relatively calm as related to snowfall this year. Sorry to all of you in the Northeast who’ve been slammed!

  52. AB says:

    Just purchased a MTD Single Stage 2T5 snow thrower. Filled it with gas, the oil that came with it, primed as directed, pulled the auger control to the handle, turnedchoke on, pulled the starter handle and NOTHING. I can hear the auger turning but nothing else. When priming all I can hear is air. I don’t see a throttle, there is no cap on the muffler, I tried with the auger handle pulled and released. The ignition key is in. The gas was purchased the same day I purchased the thrower. Got a nice amt of snow and I am frustrated. I have primed several times today several hours apart. PLEASE HELP!!!!!

    • admin says:

      Is there a fuel cut-off valve somewhere? If not, there could be some other problem with the fuel line being clogged…. Not sure though – check troubleshooting sections of the owners’ manual as well.

  53. Teri Curtis says:

    I have an old Briggs and Stratton snow blower. I can get it to start, just can’t keep it running. After reading some other comments I’m wondering if it’s just not getting enough fuel. But, would it start if it wasn’t? I know absolutely nothing about fuel lines and such. Please help!

  54. HANDYMAN51 says:

    My previously reliable 2 stage, 4 stroke MTD blower seemed to have a serious problem when I last used it. It started fine. The auger wouldn’t turn, some knocking sounds occurred, then a burning smell plus some black smoke was emitted from the beast. I quickly shut it down. I couldn’t turn the auger by hand, and I noticed there was a moderate amount of ice at the base where the 2nd stage ( ?) powers the snow on out the chute. Any ideas?

  55. joseph says:

    toro snowblower-i can start it manually, but the electric motor, which is working, does not turn over the snowblower. any suggestions?

  56. Kaz says:

    Hi I have a snowblower that I left outside while running to get a sparkplug, it rained like heck while gone and I have not been able to Get it going. I have changed the oil blown out the oil pan and filled with new oil. Drained gas and refilled. New spark plug. Only other thing I can think of is the carburetor. Any suggestions?

  57. Linda Holladay says:

    When i přímé its all air?? I have a toro ccr lightweight.i over přimed ii think cause gás was coming out somewhere.oops.

  58. Jim says:

    Have a mtd snowblower that will only run by pushing the primer button.if you stop pushing its stops running.any ideas

  59. Scott says:

    I have a recently purchased Toro Power Max HD 926OXE Snowblower only 3weeks old. I finally got around to using it with the snow that has arrived and it just won’t start?I filled tank with Fresh Premium Gas with Sta-bil too and it just will not start.I tried a few times with the Electric Start Button and it tries to start from the sound of the Starter makes but it just doesn’t start whats wrong.I set the Choke,Primed the engine,Key in ignition,Throttle set and Fuel Shutoff set open.When I Push Electric Start Button nothing?

  60. Have a craftsman two cycle snowblower. I choke it and it will run. Idle the the choke halfway. Still running. Soon as i star blowing snow it dies out. Start right back up. Start blowing snow it dies out again. Whst the problem? HELP PLEASE

  61. mike says:

    Can i use some starting fluid to get my Craftsmen 179 cc 22 inch pull and electric start snow blower ?

  62. Steve says:

    Our Troybuilt blower is brand spanking new. It started right up the last two times, but this storm, it would not crank over. It has electric start. The gas is not old. Any suggestions? Would it be a smart idea to plug in the electric start, when there is a storm coming and could the bitter cold have an effect on starting the engine? It was stored outside. Any answer would be greatly appreciated! Steve

  63. Kevin P says:

    My Toro blower is acting up. I tried priming it 3 times then the electric start, after about 12 tries, the sound was different. It is now making a grinding noise when I hit the start button. I stopped. Any idea why it went from trying to start over to grinding?

    • Et says:

      I’m having the same problem. Any ideas?

    • steve gone says:

      It sounds like the starter gear has stripped. I had to replace mine on my Toro after engaging the starter too long when attempting to start it. I later was told that you are only supposed to engage it for 5 – 10 at a time seconds when attempting to start it. Releasing at that point and then trying again after 15 seconds or so. I replaced the gear myself after watching a guy on youtube. He did his on his work bench – I did mine in the family room. I would recommend using your work bench. Replacing the gear on the starter took less than 5 min after it was removed. The headache was getting to the bolts and removing it. I think the starter gear kit was about $25

  64. Dawn says:

    To prepare the gas for my snowblower I am supposed to add a fuel/oil additive to the gasoline container, mix, and then fill the snowblower gas tank. Recently, for some reason, I mixed up the process and filled the engine with gas then added the entire bottle of the additive directly into the gas tank of the snowblower itself. When I realized that I did this, I then tipped over the entire snowblower to empty all of the gas that was in the tank to start over. Now my snowblower will not start. Have I ruined the engine to the snowblower? Can I do anything to get it started? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  65. Ken says:

    My snowblower runs good starts when cold but when warmed up it will not start.It is a Toro 3hp single stage.

  66. aaron Robertson says:

    I have a brand new 2 stage snowblower that I only use one time 2 years ago. Of course I didnt do the right thing and stored it properly each year. I pulled it out today because we got hit with a good amount of snow and naturally it want start. When I press the primer I dont hear any gas moving to the carberator, I just hear air. Any suggestions?

  67. aaron Robertson says:

    I have a brand new 2 stage snowblower that I only use one time 2 years ago. Of course I didnt do the right thing and stored it properly each year. I pulled it out today because we got hit with a good amount of snow and naturally it want start. When I press the primer I dont hear any gas moving to the carberator, I just hear air. Any suggestions?

  68. Kari says:

    I have a Simplicity Snow Away 8 had it for about 18 years. First year as a single mother and first time can’t get it started. Well – it will run for about 10 seconds and then die. I didn’t drain gas last year (didn’t know I had to – lesson learned for next year) and from what I read I need to “clean the carb”. Is this an easy enough thing to do myself with the owner’s manual? I’m pretty handy – just not so mechanically inclined.

    Are there service people that will look at it and repair it on site? and if so what can i expect to spend?


    • Ed O'Gorman says:

      If you go to a website called donyboy73 he has a channel which has numerous
      videos showing in exact detail how to fix small engines.There are some that show you exactly how to clean a carburetor.It is very simple if you are any way handy.just follow his detailed videos.It would probably be a Tecumseh or a Briggs and Stratton carburetor.Good luck.Ed.

  69. DWalsh says:

    My snowblower stopped running after blowing snow for about one hour. I tried pulling the cord to restart it BUT the cord could not be pulled at all. I tried turning the blades but they would not turn either. I could not see anything stuck in the blades nor has I hit anything unusual while blowing the snow.

    Any suggestions on what to try next? Thanks!

  70. zeke says:

    I have a 20 year old toro snow blower. I used it 2 years ago but when I went to start it today it was really hard to pull and it did start once and stopped.but it is just hard to pull. anyone have any ideals?

  71. joe says:

    does anyone have a suggestion of my problem? I have a 1997 mtd gas single stage snowblower. It was given to me and I changed the gas and spark plug and it will not start. im getting fuel and spark. does anyone think it might be the ignition switch?

  72. Gregg says:

    I just bought a used snow Trac 10 hp snowblower from a guy. I prime it 4 or 5 times and open choke and put switch to rabbit and hit electric start and fires up right away AS LONG AS ITS PLUGGED IN. When not plugged in when i push electric start button engine will not even turn over. Am i doing something wrong or suggestions as to what might be wrong.

    • MK says:

      That’s normal, there’s no battery. therefore nothing to charge. Elec start requires plug in at least on mine. Let it run for a while, then if it’s warm, you use the pull start.

  73. Jerry says:

    I have an old snowtrac blower with a 5hp tecumseh it ran great till it lost spark. ive tried to figure out why is has no spark but i at a loss. I have changed the plug and wire but nothing, maybe a magnito? im almost ready to buy a replacment motor with a little more power. any help would be great!

  74. Beth J. says:

    I have a Cub Cadet TimeSaver 528SWE, that’s wont’s work.
    The starter cord is locked up. Do you know what’s wrong with my snowblower and could my engine possibly be seized?
    Thank you in advance for any words of wisdom!

  75. Beth J. says:

    My Cub Cadet TimeSaver 528SWE Starter cord is locked up.
    Why is this?
    Is my engine seized?
    How do I fix this without breaking the bank?
    Thank you?

  76. Anthony says:

    Hi 8 have a MTD snowblower with a Tuecusmh 10.5hp. My question is would a intake or exhaust valve not seating properly cause the engine to shut down after getting hot. It runs 5 to 8 mins then slowly quits. Had it at a shop and they replaced the coil,spark plug,carb,gas tank,cap and line. They said they done all they could and threw up there arms. The shop mentioned the valves not seating properly could be the problem but said it would cost alot to fix the motor is like new and starts with the first pull of cord. Any ideas would be helpful please.

  77. tom says:

    I have a craftsman briggs and Stratton 5.0 22 inch 4 cylinder snow worked for a minute then would not turn I may have messed with it too much..when I try to start it, electric start, it just winds..any help?

  78. tom says:

    I have a craftsman briggs and Stratton 5.0 22 inch 4 cylinder snow worked for a minute then would not turn I may have messed with it too much..when I try to start it, electric start, it just winds..any help??

  79. allen says:

    pull the spark out , if its wet ,engine flooded . if its dry not getting gas
    how long have you had it ?

  80. Gary Bayn says:

    I have 2010 EF700 series Yardmachine snow thrower with electric start. When I engage the starter it makes a kind of grinding noise like the starter gear is not engaging. It does it more and more every time I use it. Can the starter be repaired or do I have to replace the whole starter?

  81. Gary Bayn says:

    Also, what size socket do I need to romove the spark plug?

  82. Carlos Flores says:

    I added too much 2 cycle oil to the mix did I damage my snowblower what can I do to fix it

  83. jim says:

    I have a craftsman snowblower model number 5/22 it ran today for one HOUR and quit and will not start

  84. torrey says:

    toro ran fine last week but wont start now changed spark plug

  85. Tom Andresen says:

    I have a Craftsman Snowblower (older)…..when I pull the start cable, it runs for 10 seconds and then dies. I drained the tank as best I could and put gas in the carburetor. How would I be able to determine if there is a clog in the fuel line, and if there is, how do I fix it?

  86. brahime, O says:

    My snow blower started smoking after I turned it on I shot it off, added oil and after that it won’t start electrically and the pull cord won’t work either, any idea how to fix the problem? thanks

  87. Butch says:

    Lot of times you tilt any engine the dirt from within the tank gets in the carbChec. the oil in Muffler is from worn rings when tilted. check spark take spark plug out and a rag over the spark plug hole.Put spark plug back on spark plug wire and pull to see if you have spark.Look close at the the plug to see if spark is within the spark plug gap.if Sparks on inside wall of the Plug,the plug is shorting out

  88. Steve says:

    I have an Ariens 8hp snowblower. sometimes when it is really cold (0 degrees) the electric start does not work, it just whines and does not catch. I can start it with the pull start and after it is warm the electric start works fine. Is there something i can do to “thaw” the electric start?

  89. dom says:

    Had my CUB CADET snow blower for only 3 years, used it about 15 times and got problems. It takes about 6 to 8 presses on the electric start button to get it started. First year 1 to 3 presses and as you can read it got worse. Last year when it got started white smoke came out and it sputtered. Now its worse, alot of white smoke comes out for about 50 seconds and sputters more during the 50 seconds but then the white smoke and sputters goes away completly(until I start it again another day) and it works perfectly fine and does a great job removing the snow. Why does white smoke come out and engine sputters only when I start it but then goes away? Will this do any damage to the engine or get it plugged up eventually? Why is it getting worse? I did change oil and put in fresh gas but this still happens and getting worse.

  90. Adam says:

    I have a 30″ yard man snowblower it’s 3 years old I used it Sunday it worked fine then I went to start it Monday morning and it started for a few seconds and shut off when I try to pull the pull cord it only comes out a couple inches and stops dead electric start doesn’t work I pulled off the pull cord cover and the plate only turns a little then stops and the same the other way then stops is something jammed inside ? any ideas?

  91. Terry Leonard says:

    I have a Yard Machine snow blower with a 5.5 hp tecumshea motro the engine model is LH195SP 65717D. I have replaced the coil, carb, spark plug, fuel filter and still it won’t fire it doesn’t sound like it is getting a spark to fire. I took the plug out and couldn’t see any spark but WHY it has a new coil on it. While trying to get it started it did fire once but didn’t start so I replaced the carb and still nothing. There isn’t much left that I can see t. What can you offer on what my probelm is

  92. Terry Leonard says:

    I have a Yard Machine snow blower with a 5.5 hp tecumshea motro the engine model is LH195SP 65717D. I have replaced the coil, carb, spark plug, fuel filter and still it won’t fire it doesn’t sound like it is getting a spark to fire. I took the plug out and couldn’t see any spark but WHY it has a new coil on it. While trying to get it started it did fire once but didn’t start so I replaced the carb and still nothing. There isn’t much left that I can see t. What can you offer on what my problem is. Oh and I did replace the stop switch also.

    • Jerry says:

      I had a similar problem with an older tecumshea 5 hp it would get spark the odd time i but not enough to start the engine. I changed the points and condenser and that fixed my problem

  93. Cliff K says:

    I have a 24 inch MTD Yard Machine snowblower with electric start. When I plug the starter cord into the outlet to start the machine it trips the garage electric breaker. The machine does start with the hand pull. Any suggestions on a home repair?

  94. Cliff K says:

    I have a 24 inch MTD Yard Machine snowblower with electric start. When I plug the starter cord into the outlet to start the machine it trips the garage electric breaker. The machine does start with the hand pull. Any suggestions on a home repair?


  95. Jim Donohue says:

    Help, my single stage MTD snow thrower’s recoil starter won’t turn the flywheel. I removed the starter from the engine and the rope comes out freely. When I reattach to the flywheel, I can’t pull it up far enough and it gets stuck there. The fly wheel does turn by hand but only halfway before it stops. In other words it is not turning and returning to original position.

  96. I have a snow blower that won’t stay running.When I remove the gas tank it runs fine,I put the gas tank back on it will not run at all.Can anyone help.

  97. Jim says:

    I have a yard machine with a 1350 Briggs and Stratton and I can’t get it started new fuel primed it and it just turns over started for about 3seconds and died and won’t start back up why.

  98. Cheryl says:

    My husband is having trouble with the craftsmen snow blower it won’t prime any suggestions on what is going on it’s new

  99. Lyndon says:

    craftsman 24″ snow thrower model 247.889751. I filled it with gas and oil. Hit the electric starter. ALl I got was a grinding noise. Engine didn’t turn over or sputter at all. I replaced spark plug. Same thing. Any suggestions?

  100. Paula says:

    Hi when the I use the primer button I don’t think it’s working it’s to easy to push .it says to push it 3 times and when I go to start it doesn’t work so I end up shoveling

  101. Steve says:

    Troybuilt snow blower with electric start just spins . Starts with pull start but 80yrold Dad doesn’t have enough strength. Another storm coming and could use some suggestion..thank you.

  102. Joseph Smough says:

    Great job collecting questions! 🙂 Don’t bother with this forum if you want any answers as there isn’t a single one! Wah, wah, wah!!!

  103. chuck says:

    snow blower will only run if I spray starter fluid in air intake hole Any ideas

    still nothing spry starting fluid in runs than dies. ugh Any ideas besides a big hammer. lol

  104. rodney says:

    i have a snapper snow blower it use to run fine i hit something in the drive way and now it wont start got spark and gas the gas is new also new plug

  105. tony s says:

    Have an old Toro powerlite snowblower. Believe engine is seized. Can I save the snowblower to work again. Tried the marvel mystery oil trick leaking out engine. Did I throw a rod or break engine do I need a replacement or scrap the whole snowthrower.anyone have any suggestions. Let me know.if a new engine is needed can a rebuilt be bought and where.

  106. Saira says:

    I have craftsman 179cc dual stage snow thrower. 2y old.
    Doesn’t start. Even with electric start it cranks but engine doesn’t run. Nothing with manual start. Engine doesn’t crank. Thanks

  107. Wasif moolji says:

    My toro 2 cycle snow blower is not starting I put new gas and oil 50:1 rations specified and attempted to start manually. I hear the engine clicking with each pull
    It’s a cold start and I don’t have the wire for electric start option.
    Where can I buy the wire in chicago northwest suburb area to try for electriC
    Start. Had no problem last year

    With manual starting attempt my toro two cycle snowblower cranks but the engine fails to start. I had no problem last season . For electric start option I need the wire to plug in I lost original . Where do I buy a new one.Its quite cold in my area and
    therefore it is first cold start attempt a manual one that is not working out.
    Any suggestions?

  108. Marcus says:

    I have a 21″ Craftsman snow thrower with manual start that won’t start. I believe the problem is in the fuel line as the primer button does not feel to be pushing fuel into the engine? Any ideas?

  109. Brian says:

    I have 179cc craftsman snowblower ..cleaned carb and fuel line , still not starting . tried electric start also . No luck . Spark plug? Bad gas ? Any suggestions? Thank you

  110. Dean says:

    Lots of good advice here. I’m not going to wade through all the replies, etc., to note what worked for me on the Yardman, so I’ll list them here.
    1. Took cover off the carb/linkage. Linkage was corroded, so WD-40 and a bit of brushing with a toothbrush over the parts was in order. Linkage lube efforts all the way back to, what I believe, is the governor linkage. Everything then moved freely.
    2. Sprayed carb cleaner in the carb throat.
    3. Suspected that there was water frozen in the hose and primer hose near the carb, so used a hair blower (not too close if on high) as a precaution. (Remember, most people don’t start or attempt to start snowblowers until freezing temps. Like many, I never drained the gas so there was probably condensation.)
    4. Popped the spark plug and poured in a dollop of new gas. Replaced and pulled the rope.
    Started right off. Runs like a champ.

  111. gord davis says:

    Had snowblower tuned up new plug oil change carb kit float etc Ran like a top during blizzard conditions yest
    aerday but today wont start.

  112. wayne says:

    Just empty your fuel tank, refill with premium gas, Buy some sea foam throttle body cleaner and squirt a 1/4 of it in the tank. Shake things up a bit and give it a chance. It will clean out your carb.

  113. Wayne says:

    Have gas and spark.Will not start w/electric starter. The bowl is full but the primer doesn’t seem to pump gas only air

  114. Tony Barajas says:

    I started my snow blower using my electric start and ran it blowing some snow. While using it it ran out of gas. I filled it up with gas and tried starting it with my electric start and it didn’t work. I was able to start it with the pull start. Can you tell me what may have happened to my electric start. It doesn’t work anymore. Nothing happens when I push the electric start button. It is an MTD Pro snow blower.

  115. William W LaVeck says:

    I have a 21″ two stroke Craftsman snowblower, single stage. It will not start. I have replaced the gas line and put in a new spark plug. I checked for spark. I checked the switch and it tests OK. I also replaced the gas. I can get it to run if I spray starter fluid or carb cleaner in to carb. When it starts, it will run non stop. I will let it run for 10 to 15 minutes. Then when I turn it off. It will not start. I must if did this 6 to 8 times.

  116. Jo Ott says:

    Snow blower with electric start only clicks when I try to start it. It has fresh gas and was given a tune up What could be my problem?

  117. Annie says:

    I have a snowblower belt issue. The new, right sized belt won’t let the snow blower start. We have been using these same belts on it for years. It starts without the belt just fine

    Any idea what could be causing this?

    Thank you!

  118. Duff says:

    My 4 cycle Toro snowblower has worked fine until last night when I hit a piece of wood that stopped the machine while clearing driveway. It will not restart since. I immediately tried to restart and for the last 12 hours with no luck. It was not a huge piece of wood but it stopped the blades when it stopped it.

  119. Marge says:

    My electric snowblower MTD 31A-030=706 was stolen and then returned but it won’t start. It is electric the cord works it is heavy duty that lights up to show it is OK I am 85 yrs old have no idea what to do could you give me a quick answer as to reasons it won’t start and should I seek a repairman.

  120. Bhaskar says:

    Hi – I have Arien 2 stage snowblower. I had tuned it at the beginning of the season (Dec 1st week) through professional. It worked fine. I was away for sometime. Tried earlier this week in heavy snow. It started 1 pull easily. But after few minutes it stopped. My friend who has same model warned me that due to wet snow – machine will stop. I have to clean blades and restart. But it is NOT restarting since it stopped even by electric power. Observed a black round knob fell when it stopped working (i am not too sure from where the knob came out or if it the reason !!). Any advise

  121. Doug Barrett says:

    Hi there. My ten year old Honda 724 snowblower will not start.Has a new plug and battery.Lots of fuel. When I tried to drain the gas it would not come out. Perhaps it’s a fuel problem. Help Doug

  122. John says:

    Hi, I have a craftsman 2stage snowblower and the choke will not move. I used it yesterday the snowblower worked just fine after replacing the spark plug. Why is the choke button locked. I cannot move it

  123. Thomas Kramer says:

    I have a 2 cyl toro snow blower 38587 W/ b&s engine wont start. Gas is clean,has a spark,cleaned carb. still nothing.did not ck compression yet.I tried starting fluid still nothing, what do you think

Leave a Reply