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Snowblower Won’t Start? Why Is That Happening



by Bryan Mckenzie


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Won’t the snowblower start? Unfortunately, no one is safe from facing common issues with this equipment. Taking care of the most typical malfunctions of snowblower machines can save you from going to the repair shop. These machines feature plenty of moving parts, so it’s okay to have some issues with them from time to time. Most of these problems are easy to fix and even simpler to avoid by following a few rules. Let’s discover the details related to the proper functioning of these devices.


What to Do if Snowblower Won’t Start?

  1. Ensure you have enough fuel in the fuel tank. Make sure that it is supplied with fresh gasoline.
  2. Set the fuel shutoff valve to “ON.”
  3. Check your safety key.
  4. Try starting the machine in the “Full Choke Mode.”
  5. Check the throttle.
  6. Examine the spark plug. Check if it is dry or wet.
  7. Check the starter.

Snowblower Buyer’s Guide

Before figuring out how to deal with your snow blower not starting, it’s important to follow some safety rules. If you operate your snowblower wrongly, it can even cause finger amputation.

First, if your snowblower won’t turn over, you need to make sure that there’s gas in the tank and that the electric starter is plugged in. If the gas there is old (it has stayed inside for more than 30 days), you can have moisture build-up in the fuel system caused by ethanol. You need to use a gas siphon to drain the gas from the blower. After this, you have to refuel the machine with fresh stabilized gasoline and try again. If you have an electric starter, make sure that it’s plugged in and your battery is fully charged.


Why Won’t My Snowblower Start? Instruction to Fix It

A snowblower requires fuel, compression, and spark to begin working, so if you find out that your snowblower isn’t starting for whatever reason, make sure to go through these simple steps below to save your snowblower time, and energy.

Step 1: Check your fuel tank


A gas snowblower won’t start and function without any fuel. So, check whether there’s any fuel remaining in the tank by opening it up. To get the machine going again, make sure the fuel tank is full. Drain any old gasoline from the machine first. Fuel it as normal afterward.

You should check the wire condition if you have an electric snowblower. The most common reason for a machine not operating is a damaged or broken cable or plug. Replace it if it is broken.

Step 2: Set the fuel shutoff valve to “ON”

For the machine to function, you have to position the fuel cutoff valve correctly. If the gasoline shutdown valve isn’t turned on, the machine often doesn’t start.

First, check the switch. Turn it on if it’s in “OFF” mode. Maintain the machine’s “ON” position to guarantee proper operation.

Step 3: Check your safety key

Check the snowblower’s safety key. Snow blowers with new safety key switches are becoming more common. For added security, it’s typically a red toggle switch. If the machine doesn’t run, you should always check the safety switch. Try flicking the switch a few times to be sure it functions properly.

Step 4: Try starting it in the “Full Choke Mode”

While a snowblower is parked in a corner, the engine is more likely to get too cold. If the temperature drops below freezing, the engine can get stuck. To get the machine going, the choke is used in its full mode. You might need to prime the carbonator if the machine doesn’t start at very low temperatures. If the temperature is above the sub-zero levels, you can also choke the device without priming it first.

Step 5: Check the throttle

Tilt controls are available on some snow blowers. Make sure your snowblower has throttle control. Maintain a “three-quarters” or higher throttle setting.

Step 6: Examine your spark plug


  • If you’ve done all these actions, and the machine still doesn’t start, you need to look at the plug. The spark switch can be the source of various problems:
  • You can find a crack in the porcelain part. You must replace the spark plug as soon as you see a fracture in it;
  • It has an incorrect gap. For them to operate, the majority of the plugs must be correctly positioned. Adjust the gap to restart the blower;
  • The fuel tank is not connected to the spark plug. This happens often. Fuel can flood the plug if it is wet. To remove the fuel from the plug hole, you need to remove the plug and start the engine over and over again until the fuel is flushed out. Clean off any excess fuel with a dry towel, and then reinstall the plug.

Step 7: Check the starter

An inoperative starting mechanism is frequently the reason for a snowblower’s inability to start. Frequently, electric starters need to be replaced due to wear and tear. If this is your case, you might need to take your vehicle to a repair facility to have the starting switch replaced.

FAQ About Snow Blower Not Starting

These questions are often asked by owners of snowblowers online. I hope my answers will help you fix the issue.


What to do if you flood a snowblower?

If you see fuel on your spark plug, you have probably flooded your snowblower engine when trying to start it. Therefore, wipe the fuel from the spark plug and try starting your snowblower again. Adjust the space between the feeler gauge and electrodes to the correct size.

What do you do if my snowblower spark plug is bad?

You have to replace the defective spark plug to get the machine working again. Usually, it should be done each season. You need to systematically check a spark plug for the absence of fuel.

How do you start a snowblower after sitting?

Check that all of the switches are positioned correctly. Set the throttle to “High,” fuel shut-off valve to “Open,” choke to “Full,” and run switch to “On.” Check the spark plug for carbon deposits and use a carburetor cleaner to clean it if necessary. A snowblower needs to be drained and rebuilt if you didn’t use a fuel stabilizer before putting it away. Prime the engine and clean the carburetor.

Did You Manage to Start Your Snowblower?


You can diagnose and fix a broken snowblower by yourself if the problem is common. Alternatively, if you are not satisfied with the results, you can take it to a repair shop or the manufacturer’s service facility.

Repairs don’t always work on older equipment. It might happen that a new snowblower won’t start. In this case, it’s better to contact the shop where you bought it for a warranty repair or replacement.

Which problem did you have with your snowblower? How did you handle it? Leave a comment below.

Bryan Mckenzie
Hi there — my name is Bryan McKenzie. Before I’d got into gardening, I worked as a landscape designer at landscape design and consultation company in Jacksonville. I enjoy sharing the vast gardening experience I’ve accumulated throughout the years with like-minded green thumbs. Read more about me and my wife.
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