If your snowblower owner’s manual or electric starter has stopped working, it’s time to dive in and perform some repairs. The starter is an essential part of a snow blower repair and is the machine that makes starting it up much easier than pulling on a recoil cord. However, with regular use of a gas snowblower after a snowblower repair and during winter storms, the electrical components that comprise the starter can begin to degrade over time. This article will walk you through the steps for repairing an electric starter on a snowblower. We’ll explain how to safely access your snowblower and snowblower and snowblower and snowblower and snow blower repair and all the starter components, perform tests to find the problem, replace worn parts, and reassemble everything to get your machine back in working order. Following the outlined process should get your snowblower starting with the push of a button again in no time.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Your Snowblower Repair
Before beginning any repair work on your model snow blower engine, the snow thrower, or snow blower starter, it’s important to take some safety precautions. The snow blower or thrower or snow thrower starter is connected to your snow blower or snow thrower’s battery, which supplies electrical current. You’ll want to avoid potentially dangerous shocks.
Start the repair by disconnecting the battery’s negative terminal using a wrench. This cuts off the power flow so your tool can work safely. Wear thick work gloves to guard your hands in case you accidentally touch any live wires or other charged components. Remove any jewelry like rings that could cause a short if they bridge across terminals. Safety glasses are also a good idea, as small parts of equipment may fly or break loose as you disassemble fasteners.
Keep any chemicals, fuels, or liquids secured away from the repair area. A clean, well-lit space equipment part keeps you focused on the job. If at any point you feel unsure about working with electric parts, it’s okay to enlist help or take it to a serious repair shop. Your safety should always come first. Taking just a few minutes to properly disconnect the battery and wear protective gear dramatically reduces the risks involved in repairing the starter. Carefully following the step-by-step instructions below will allow your snow blower to start running smoothly.
Gather Tools and Supplies
Before diving into car repairs or garage maintenance this season, take some time to search for, collect, and store all the right parts and supplies. Being prepared will help the next maintenance job go quicker and ensure you have the additional parts you need to replace.
Start with basic hand tools – a set of combination wrenches ranging from 7mm to 15mm will likely cover the various starter bolts. You’ll also want Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers, preferably the models equipped with magnetic tips for hard-to-reach areas. Consider needing pliers for removing or bending tabs. Wire cutters may come in handy as well if terminals need replacing. A socket set is a handy addition if your starter has any nuts.
Inspect replacement parts ahead of time, like new brushes, if they are worn. Extra wiring, terminals, or a starter solenoid should be on hand in case issues arise. An electrical contact cleaner will help eliminate corrosion. Extra rags are useful for wiping down components. A light will illuminate dark engine areas. Lastly, some penetrating oil may assist in removing rusted fasteners.
Taking an inventory and gathering all relevant equipment, tools, new parts if needed, and cleaning supplies before starting the machine repair allows smooth progress through each step of small engine repair. Being well equipped and prepared makes light work of the additional parts and moving parts of the machine in the repair job.
Drain Fuel and Disconnect Battery
Prior to digging into the next snowblower repair and mower maintenance season and replacing your snowblowers, the next snowblower repair and mower maintenance season, and replacing your front mower and snowblower starter, some initial preparations must be made. First, the fuel will need to be drained from your front mower and snowblower to eliminate possible fire hazards during your winter snowblower repairs, mower replacement, and mower maintenance season.
Remove the spark plug from the gas cap and tip the machine sideways or upside down over an appropriate container. Allow all gasoline to fully empty, then dispose of it properly. Give any residual gas a chance to evaporate before moving forward as well. Next, locate the battery, usually found in a compartment under the control panel or engine housing. Unhook the negative or ground terminal first using your wrench. Please remove it from the post and set it aside out of the way.
Take care to avoid shorting the positive terminal to any nearby metal components. Wrapping it with tape acts as an additional safeguard. With the fuel and battery disconnected, you’ve eliminated any live power sources that could cause injury. Taking just a few minutes to drain the engine of fuel and disconnect the fuel and battery before starting repairs has big safety and maintenance benefits. It removes fire risks and protects you from electrical shocks while working closely with starter components. Proper tool preparation goes a long way.
Remove the Starter Housing Cover
Now it’s time to get your hands on the drive system, starter, and engine itself. The first step is removing the small engine repair and its protective cover. This housing shields the engine to protect the mechanism and fuel well from dirt, oil, and debris but must come off to view the components inside the small engine repair itself.
Locate the starter, which is usually found mounted on the engine block below and behind the snowblower’s auger. It will have several mounting bolts or screws holding its plastic or metal cover in place. Using your Phillips or flat-head screwdriver, loosen each fastener about a turn so they can be removed by hand. Keep track of screw order and orientation, such as long vs short. Store them safely in a parts tray as you work.
Gently pull the cover free once all screws are released. Check that no wiring is still attached inside before fully removing it. Set the cover aside in a clean spot. With the housing off, you now have clear access to examine the starter’s guts. If needed, use your rag and contact cleaner to wipe away built-up residues inside the bare component area. Removing the protective cover in a careful, organized fashion is an important first step to gaining visibility on potential problems within the starter mechanism. Staying neat prevents losing small parts.
Inspect Starter Components
Now, it’s time to inspect the naked components for signs of wear or damage. Check the following key areas:
Examine all electrical connections and equipment like wires, spark plugs, and terminals for corrosion, breaks, or cracks in the insulation. Wiggle components to note any loose connections that may cause intermittent power issues.
Inspect the drive gear and make sure its teeth fully engage and protect the flywheel inside the engine housing when the engine is manually rotated. The gear should spin freely without the wheels catching.
Closely observe to adjust the ground brushes, usually rectangular carbon blocks that contact the ground and control the armature coil. They should be around 1/4 inch in length; shorter indicates the need for replacement.
Give the armature coil a visual once-over as well. Look for damage, pits, or excessive oil or carbon buildup that acts as insulation between coils. Such issues require maintenance or armature replacement.
Check and replace any oil solenoids or engine starter relays for cracked oil and casings, or replace any oil terminals with non-conductive oil corrosion or oil buildup that needs cleaning.
Pay attention to engine mounting points and hardware fastening the engine and starter – corroded or missing bolts could cause power losses, too. Don’t forget the auger belt, auger housing, and scraper blade.
Snow Blowers Test Starter Operation
Now, it’s time to perform some tests to help identify if the problem is electrical or mechanical in nature. Reconnect or replace the unit with or replace the negative battery terminal and see if you can replicate or fix the unit or repair or replace the original issue.
First, try pressing or turning the starter switch as you normally would. Listen for clicks or grinding that would signal a bad solenoid or faulty connections preventing current flow. If you hear nothing, go under the machine and observe the drive gear. Manually rotate the flywheel clockwise and see if the gear spins with it or moves stuck. This helps diagnose a seized or broken gear. If no mechanical faults are noticed, the issue is likely electrical. Use a multi-meter set to continuity or resistance to test wires and check for broken or high-resistance connections anywhere in the starter circuit.
Gas Snow Blower Supplementary Tests
You can also test individual components, like removing spark plugs and measuring across solenoid or relay terminals. Replace or adjust anything showing open or shorted readings. Pay attention to results and noises during these function checks. They will help pinpoint whether the replacement of mechanical or electrical parts is necessary to restore proper starter operation. Don’t hesitate to perform tests multiple times if puzzling. Take caution handling any live electrical connections while diagnosing. Your observations will reveal the core repair or replacement tasks ahead.
If visual inspection shows the brushes are excessively worn down, it’s time to replace them. Brush replacement is one of the most common starter repairs. The brushes sit inside small metal brush holders or slides. Use a screwdriver to pry the old brushes out of their slots and replace them, taking care not to damage the holders. New replacement brushes can be purchased individually if a full starter overhaul is not needed. Make sure the brushes are the right size and slide easily into place without binding.
You may also want to clean the brush contact area on the armature with an electrical contact cleaner and fine-grit sandpaper. This removes oxide layers that cause the poor brush-to-armature connection. Reinsert the fresh brushes fully so the carbon ends are even with or slightly protruding from the holder. Gently rock them to ensure smooth sliding without catching. If brushes were not the culprit, inspect brush holders for signs of crackling or loose springs preventing proper contact pressure. Replace defective holders, too, for reliable starts. Taking just 10-15 minutes to swap in new brushes or repair their setup can work wonders in restoring starter performance. Proper brush maintenance is critical.
Clean or Replace Armature
A damaged armature is another common culprit behind starting issues. If excessive carbon is coating the coils, cleaning may help. However, severe pitting or deterioration generally requires replacement. Use a rag dampened with an electrical contact cleaner to wipe away grime from between each coil. Scrub stubborn spots with fine-grit sandpaper (800-1000 grit). Rinse and dry thoroughly. Inspect coils closely for cracks, deep pits, or other physical damage that render cleaning ineffective. A new armature may then be necessary.
When installing a replacement, ensure that the mounting hardware is in good shape without fatigue. Press or slide the armature firmly into position and reattach any wires to the proper terminals. Reinserting the armature is the reverse process – align terminals and push it into place, pressing the spring clip to lock it securely. Test operation afterward. Proper cleaning restores conductivity, while replacement rectifies mechanical faults inhibiting starter function. Either option can revive a problematic armature.
Replace the Drive Gear or Solenoid
In some cases, intermittent starting issues can point to a faulty drive gear or throttle solenoid as the root cause. Both components are susceptible to wear over time.
If the gear was spotted sticking during flywheel engagement tests, it needs replacing. Loosen mounting bolts and slide off the old component, inspecting teeth for cracks or excessive wear flattening. Install a new gear by aligning its shaft hole and sliding it into place. Check that teeth fully mesh with the flywheel all around before securing bolts. Solenoids also weaken with age, preventing sufficient current flow to start the engine. They can be tested individually with a multimeter.
Solenoid Swap Procedure
To swap the solenoid control part, disconnect the wiring, then remove mounting nuts or bolts. Install the replacement control unit and reconnect power cables to identical terminals. Whether it’s a few corroded teeth on the drive gear or failed solenoid internals, swapping in a replacement part cures mechanical and electrical switching faults. Be diligent in resituating any wiring harnesses and safely fastening replacements to avoid future issues. Test operation to verify the repair resolved initial problems.
Service or Replace Starter Cable
If the starter cable was found worn or corroded during diagnosis, this critical component needs attention. Proper cable integrity is key to reliable power delivery. Inspect the cable thoroughly, bending it at connections to detect any wire breakage underneath. Use a wire brush or electrical contact cleaner to remove corrosive buildup. Sandpaper lightly anywhere insulation is cracking to prevent shorting. Apply dielectric grease to rubber connector ends to protect against future moisture ingress.
If damage is too extensive, replacing the cable may be warranted. Measure and cut the new cable to fit, terminating each end correctly. Make sure terminals are tightened fully. A starter draws heavy amperage, so cable condition is essential. Taking time to service frayed cables or properly install replacement ensures clean current flows right to the solenoid. One small repair can make a big difference in performance.
Replace/Tighten Mounting Hardware
Vibration from repeated use can cause starter mounting bolts and nuts to loosen over time. This allows unwanted movement that interrupts smooth electrical connections. Inspect all hardware, securing the starter in place. Try loosening, then re-tightening each one, applying a thread-locker if needed. Check for worn threads, too. Replace bolts that spin freely or shear their heads, which can cause intermittent power losses. Having the starter come loose internally may damage gear alignment as well.
New hardware must be the same size, and threading must fit mounting holes accurately. Do not over-tighten; it should be just enough to be snug without straining the materials. Often, a single loose fastener is the root of sporadic no-start issues. Fixing mounting issues prevents unwanted vibrations from disrupting key circuits over the long haul. Taking 15 minutes to examine hardware condition and addressing any faults found is a simple preventative step that pays dividends down the road.
Reconnect the Battery and Refill the Fuel
Before initiating final testing, reconnect the machine’s battery cables safely. Red to positive, black to negative post. Use 10mm bolts correctly tightened to prevent overheating. Next, fill the gas tank to the proper level with fresh fuel stabilized for seasonal storage. Old gas can gum internal moving parts, especially when unused for months.
Stabilized fuel adds agents preventing ethanol breakdown and moisture absorption in gas left in the tank. This protects key components like the carburetor from varnishing and corrosion during the off-season. Pay attention to filling to avoid over-filling, which may cause leaks or spills that attract pests. Screw the gas cap on securely to prevent tampering or siphoning when the snowblower is parked away until next winter arrives. Proper fuel level and stabilized gasoline ensure reliable starting after prolonged rest periods. It also protects costly engine parts that last longer with fresh, treated fuel ready inside for that first post-storage outing.
Now comes the moment of truth – does the snowblower repair work as intended? With fuel refilled and battery connected, attempt to start the snowblower repair engine. Cycle it on and off a few times, listening for new sounds or vibrations that could point to remaining faults. Ensure old issues like grinding or clicking are not still occurring. Watch for proper flywheel engagement when the starter is activated. Spin blades by hand, too, and check smooth rotation without catching or flat spots in either direction.
Make Final Checks
Move the gas snowblower, snowblower, and controls like the choke and throttle through full ranges to check unimpeded motion and return springs. Inspect for oil and coolant levels, fuel leaks, and belt tension as well during checks. Take the snowblower outside for a short test run to drive control and validate operation under load. Brake and steering also effectiveness should feel normal once more. Thoroughly testing corrected problems from diagnosis and addressing new issues found is important for customer satisfaction next snowstorm season. No doubt repairs fixed persistent starting issues for reliable used snowblowers for now and future service.
With winter snowstorms around the corner, taking the time now to thoroughly service your snowblower’s starter system will ensure it starts running smoothly and doesn’t clog when snow flies. The sections covered have addressed many common electrical and mechanical faults that lead to intermittent starting or no-start conditions. From solving common problems along with brushes, gears, cables, and solenoids to cleaning and testing every component, following this full snowblower repair and single-stage snowblower repair and part guide should help identify any issues requiring maintenance or replacement. With these preventative measures complete, your snowblower starter should deliver dependable performance, clearing snow all winter long without frustration or delay. Remember to note the model number and pay attention to the shear pins and clogged chute.