Winter can be a beautiful season, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. One of those challenges is keeping your driveway and walkways clear of snow. A snow blower can be a useful tool in this regard, but it’s not a perfect solution. A common problem that homeowners face is when their snow blower stalls out when the auger is engaged. It can be frustrating and leave you stranded in the middle of clearing your driveway.
In this article, we’ll dive into the reasons why your snow blower may be stalling when the auger is engaged and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to fix the issue. So put on your work gloves, grab your tools, and let’s get to work fixing this problem!
Why does a snow blower stall when the auger is engaged?
Snow blowers are designed to make the task of removing snow a lot easier and more efficient. However, they can sometimes be temperamental and stall out when the auger is engaged. There are several different issues that can cause this problem.
First, a clogged or broken auger can cause your snow blower to stall. If the auger is clogged or broken, it will put a strain on the engine and cause it to stall out.
Second, fuel issues can also cause your snow blower to stall. If there isn’t enough fuel getting to the engine, it will stall out when the auger is engaged.
Third, drive belt problems can cause the snow blower to stall. If the drive belt is loose or slipping, the auger won’t be able to spin properly, causing the engine to stall.
Finally, shear pin issues can also cause your snow blower to stall. If the shear pin is damaged or broken, the auger won’t be able to spin, and the engine will stall out. In the next section, we’ll discuss step-by-step how to fix these issues and get your snow blower running smoothly again.
Clogged or broken auger
A clogged or broken auger is a common reason why a snow blower may stall when the auger is engaged. If the auger is clogged with snow, it won’t be able to spin properly, putting a strain on the engine and causing it to stall. A broken auger, on the other hand, won’t be able to spin at all. Here are the steps you should follow to fix a clogged or broken auger:
- First, stop the engine and unplug the spark plug.
- Next, remove the snow blower’s housing to gain access to the auger. Check the auger for any debris or snow buildup. If it’s clogged, use a broom or a small shovel to remove the snow and debris from the auger.
- If the auger is broken, you’ll need to replace it. Refer to the user manual for instructions on how to remove and replace the auger.
- Once the auger is cleared or replaced, reattach the housing and spark plug.
- Start the engine and engage the auger. If it still stalls, move on to checking for other issues.
By following these steps, you can fix a clogged or broken auger and ensure your snow blower is functioning properly when clearing your driveway of snow.
Fuel issues can also cause snow blowers to stall out when the auger is engaged. There are several different fuel-related issues that can cause this problem, including:
- Empty fuel tank: If the fuel tank is empty, the engine won’t be able to run, and the snow blower will stall out.
- Bad fuel: If the fuel in the tank is old or contaminated, it won’t burn properly in the engine and can cause it to stall out.
- Clogged fuel filter: If the fuel filter is clogged, it won’t allow enough fuel to pass through to the engine, which can cause it to stall out.
- Bad carburetor: The carburetor is responsible for mixing air and fuel in the right proportions to keep the engine running. If it’s not working properly, the engine won’t get the right amount of fuel, and it can cause stalling.
To fix fuel-related issues, start by checking the fuel tank to make sure it’s not empty. If the fuel is old or contaminated, empty the tank and replace it with fresh fuel. Check the fuel filter and carburetor to make sure they’re not clogged or damaged. If you’re not sure how to do this, refer to your snow blower’s manual for instructions.
It’s also a good idea to clean or replace the spark plug, as a dirty or worn spark plug can cause stalling as well. By addressing these fuel-related issues, you’ll be able to ensure that your snow blower runs smoothly and doesn’t stall out when you need it most.
Drive belt problems
One common issue that can cause a snow blower engine to stall when the auger is engaged is drive belt problems. The drive belt is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the auger. If the belt is loose or worn, it won’t be able to transfer the power needed to spin the auger, and the engine will stall out. Another issue that can arise with drive belts is that the belt can slip off its designated pulleys.
The cause of this can be a misaligned pulley or a worn-out belt that needs replacement. If you suspect drive belt problems, start by inspecting the belt and pulleys. Check to see if the belt is cracked, worn, or frayed. Tighten any loose bolts or replace any damaged parts. If the belt looks good, check the tension of the belt. The tension should be just right – not too loose and not too tight. If it is too loose or too tight, you may need to adjust the belt tension accordingly.
If the tension is correct, but the belt is slipping off its pulleys, check the pulleys for any damage or wear and replace them if necessary. In some cases, a misaligned pulley may also be the culprit. Adjust the pulley location to ensure that it is correctly aligned with the belt. In any case, always remember to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the maintenance and repair of your snow blower.
Keeping the drive belt in good condition is essential for the smooth operation of your snow blower and for preventing any stalling issues when using the auger.
Shear pin issues
If your snow blower is stalling when the auger is engaged, a damaged or broken shear pin could be the culprit. The shear pin is a small metal pin that connects the auger to the drive shaft. It is designed to break when the auger encounters a hard object, such as a rock or chunk of ice, to prevent damage to the engine or other parts of the snow blower. To check if the shear pin is damaged or broken, first, locate the pin under the snow blower housing. You may need to consult your owner’s manual for the exact location.
Once you have located the pin, inspect it for damage or breakage. If you notice any signs of damage, such as a bent or sheared-off pin, it will need to be replaced. To replace the shear pin, first, purchase a replacement pin that is compatible with your snow blower. Then, shut off the engine and disconnect the spark plug to prevent any accidental starts.
Locate the holes on the auger and drive shaft, and insert the new shear pin into the holes. Make sure the pin is fully inserted and secure. If replacing the shear pin doesn’t resolve the stalling issue, there may be another issue at play, such as a clogged or broken auger, fuel issues, or drive belt problems. Check each of these potential issues using the steps outlined in our previous sections to get your snow blower up and running again.
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How to fix a snow blower that stalls when the auger is engaged
Now that we’ve covered the reasons why your snow blower may be stalling when the auger is engaged, let’s move on to the steps you can take to diagnose and fix the problem.
Step 1: Shut off the engine and unplug the spark plug
Shutting off the engine and unplugging the spark plug is the crucial first step in fixing a snow blower that stalls when the auger is engaged. Here’s how to do it:
- Turn off the engine: The engine must be turned off to prevent any accidental starts that could be a safety hazard. Turn off the engine switch or key and let the snow blower cool down for a few minutes before proceeding.
- Disconnect the spark plug wire: Unplug the spark plug wire or remove the spark plug entirely. This will prevent the engine from starting up while you’re working on the snow blower, further avoiding any safety hazards. Make sure to wear gloves while working on the snow blower to prevent any accidental cuts from sharp parts.
By shutting off the engine and disconnecting the spark plug, you’re taking the necessary safety precautions and ensuring that you can work on the snow blower without any accidents. Now on to the next step!
Step 2: Clean or replace a clogged or broken auger
To fix a snow blower that stalls when the auger is engaged, the second step is to clean or replace a clogged or broken auger. Here’s how to do it:
- Step 1: Turn off the engine and unplug the spark plug to prevent accidental starts.
- Step 2a: If the auger is clogged, remove any debris or snow buildup from the auger housing. Use a scraper and a wire brush to clean it thoroughly. Be careful not to damage the auger blades in the process.
- Step 2b: If the auger is broken, you’ll need to replace it. Start by checking the owner’s manual for instructions on how to do this. Typically, you’ll need to remove the bolts that hold the auger assembly in place, then remove the broken auger and install the new one. Make sure to use the correct size and type of auger for your snow blower.
- Step 3: Once the auger is cleaned or replaced, reassemble the snow blower. Start the engine and engage the auger. It should now spin properly without stalling the engine.
Cleaning or replacing a clogged or broken auger is an essential step in fixing a snow blower that stalls when the auger is engaged. Neglecting this step can cause further damage to your snow blower and create more problems down the line. It’s best to take care of this issue as soon as possible and get back to clearing snow safely and efficiently.
Step 3: Check for fuel issues
When a snow blower stalls out when the auger is engaged, one common culprit can be fuel issues. These are some steps you can follow to identify and fix fuel-related problems:
- Check the fuel tank: Fuel-related issues can happen because of bad gasoline. If the gas has been sitting for a long time or has water in it, then the engine may stall when the auger is engaged. Check the fuel tank for any signs of water or other contaminants in the gasoline.
- Replace the fuel filter: A clogged fuel filter can also cause fuel issues. If you suspect this may be the problem, replace the fuel filter and check to see if the problem is fixed.
- Clean the carburetor: The carburetor is responsible for mixing fuel and air to keep the engine running. When it gets clogged with debris, it can cause the engine to stall out. You can try cleaning the carburetor to see if it resolves the problem.
By following these simple steps, you can identify and fix fuel-related issues causing your snow blower to stall when the auger is engaged. If you’re not comfortable doing these repairs yourself, it’s always a good idea to take your snow blower to a professional for an inspection and repair.
Step 4: Check for drive belt problems
A loose or worn out drive belt is one of the most common causes of a stalled snow blower. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to check and replace the drive belt. Here are the steps to take:
- Start by disconnecting the spark plug and removing the belt cover to expose the drive belt.
- Check the drive belt for any signs of wear, cracking or fraying. If the belt is showing signs of wear, it’s best to replace it with a new one.
- If the drive belt appears to be in good condition, check the tension. A loose drive belt will cause the auger to slip, preventing the snow blower from throwing snow. To check the tension, press down on the center of the belt with your finger. It should have some give, but not so much that it is loose.
- If the drive belt is loose, locate the tensioning rod or pulley and tighten it until the belt is taut. Refer to your snow blower’s manual for specific instructions on how to adjust the tension.
- After adjusting the tension, spin the auger with the belt cover off to ensure that it is spinning smoothly and without any friction. If everything is running smoothly, replace the belt cover and give the snow blower a test run.
If you’ve followed these steps and the snow blower is still stalling out when the auger is engaged, it’s best to consult a professional for further diagnosis and repair. A qualified technician will be able to identify any underlying issues that may be causing the stalling and can help make the necessary repairs to get your snow blower running properly again.
Step 5: Check shear pin for damage
Step 5: Check Shear Pin for Damage If you’ve checked all the other potential causes and your snow blower is still stalling when the auger is engaged, then it’s time to check the shear pin. The shear pin is a small metal pin that connects the auger to the drive shaft. Its purpose is to shear off if the auger hits a hard object, thereby protecting the engine from damage. However, if the pin is damaged or broken, it can cause your snow blower to stall out. To check the shear pin for damage, follow these steps:
- Shut off the snow blower engine and unplug the spark plug.
- Locate the shear pin on your snow blower. It should be near where the auger meets the drive shaft.
- Check the shear pin for any signs of damage or wear. If it is broken, there will be a noticeable gap between the auger and the drive shaft.
- If the shear pin is damaged or broken, replace it with a new one. Make sure to use the correct shear pin for your specific snow blower model. Refer to your snow blower manual for more information.
- Reassemble any parts you may have removed during the inspection process, and restart your snow blower. Test it to ensure that it is running smoothly.
Remember, if the shear pin is damaged or broken, do not attempt to use your snow blower until it has been replaced. Running your snow blower with a damaged shear pin can cause serious damage to the engine and other parts of the machine. With a new shear pin, your snow blower should be ready to tackle the next snowstorm with ease.
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In conclusion, a snow blower that stalls when the auger is engaged can be frustrating, but it’s not an insurmountable problem. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can diagnose and fix the issue. Remember to always shut off the engine and unplug the spark plug before working on the snow blower to ensure your safety.
Checking for a clogged or broken auger, fuel issues, drive belt problems, and shear pin issues are all important steps that you can take. And don’t forget to perform regular maintenance on your snow blower, including oil changes and blade sharpening, to ensure it’s always working properly when you need it most. By keeping your snow blower in tip-top shape, you can make quick work of snow removal and take back your winter days.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can a snowblower stall if there is not enough oil in the engine?
Yes, a snowblower can stall when there isn’t enough oil in the engine. The oil lubricates the engine and keeps the moving parts from grinding against each other, which can cause it to overheat and stall.
2. How often should I change the oil in my snow blower?
You should change the oil in your snow blower at least once a year, ideally before the start of each winter season. Check your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how often you should change the oil.
3. Can a dirty air filter cause a snow blower to stall?
Yes, a dirty air filter can cause your snow blower to stall. The air filter is responsible for filtering out dust and debris and keeping them from entering the engine. If it gets clogged, the engine won’t be able to get enough air, causing it to stall.
4. How do I know if my spark plug needs to be replaced?
You should replace your spark plug if it’s worn, damaged, or if it fails to create a spark. You may also notice that your snow blower is difficult to start or is running rough.
5. Can a loose gas cap cause a snow blower to stall?
Yes, a loose gas cap can cause your snow blower to stall. The gas cap helps to maintain pressure in the fuel system, and if it’s loose, it can allow air to enter, disrupting the fuel flow and causing the engine to stall.
6. Can a faulty carburetor cause a snow blower to stall?
Yes, a faulty carburetor can cause your snow blower to stall. The carburetor is responsible for mixing fuel and air before it enters the engine, and if it’s clogged or damaged, it can disrupt the fuel flow, causing the engine to stall.
7. How do I check the oil level in my snow blower?
You can check the oil level in your snow blower by removing the oil dipstick, wiping it clean, and reinserting it into the oil fill tube without screwing it in. Then, remove the dipstick and check the oil level. It should be between the high and low marks on the dipstick.
8. Can a dirty fuel filter cause a snow blower to stall?
Yes, a dirty fuel filter can cause your snow blower to stall. The fuel filter is responsible for removing dirt and debris from the fuel before it enters the engine. If it gets clogged, it can disrupt the fuel flow, causing the engine to stall.
9. How do I know if my fuel is stale?
You can tell if your fuel is stale by smelling it or looking at it. If it smells varnish-like or if there’s a yellow or brownish tint to it, it’s likely stale. In general, fuel that’s been sitting for more than a few months is considered stale and should be replaced.
10. Can a blocked gas line cause a snow blower to stall?
Yes, a blocked gas line can cause your snow blower to stall. The gas line is responsible for delivering fuel from the tank to the engine, and if it’s clogged, fuel won’t be able to flow properly, causing the engine to stall.