How to Fix a Snowblower

By Ian | Oct. 23, 2016 1:14 pm PST

Snow blower repair tips

Make sure your snow blower or snowthrower is maintained and ready to blow.

You don’t want to “blow it” when the time comes to break out your snow blower. Plan ahead: Don’t wait until the ground is covered in white to find out if your snow blower or snow thrower is in working order.

Consider taking advantage of our complete snow blower maintenance service that includes:

  • Checking the ignition, starter systems, carburetor, throttle and choke controls.
  • Cleaning the engine cooling fins.
  • Changing the oil.
  • Lubricating moving parts.
  • Inspecting and adjusting drive belts and chains.

If you do encounter some problems, below are four things you can fix yourself. Just remember to disconnect the spark plug and battery cables before repairing any power equipment. And don’t forget to wear safety glasses and gloves to protect against harmful chemicals and debris.

Here’s what to do if:

1. The scraper blades need replacing.

Constant use wears down the scraper blades, whose job it is to scrape the surface of snow and ice underneath your snow blower. The scraper blade is located in front of the auger. This feeds the snow to the impeller, which then blows the snow out. To fix the scraper blade, unscrew all the bolts holding the blade. Remove the damaged blade from the auger housing and then install a new blade.

2. The shear pin’s broken.

This is actually designed to break if the auger shaft is over-torqued — you don’t want the gear shaft to be damaged if you get something stuck in the auger. To fix this problem, lift the auger housing until the handle sits on the ground. The broken shear pin should fall out. If part of the pin is still in the shaft, use a small hammer to remove it. Install the new pin and tighten the bolt with a wrench.

3. The drift cutter got bent.

The drift cutters are mounted on both sides of the auger. They help you clear more efficiently by cutting into high snow and directing it into the auger housing instead of letting it fall on top of the snow blower. If one or both are bent, you can replace them with new parts. To do so, loosen the wing nuts, remove the bolts and slide the drift cutters off. To replace, just insert bolts into the new parts and tighten the wing nuts.

4. The skid shoes are damaged.

Skid shoes slide along the ground to protect the sides of the auger housing from damage and also allow you to adjust the clearance between the scraper blade and the ground. These can get damaged by going over a lot of stones, for example. You can replace them by doing the following: Lift the auger housing and use a block of wood to keep it off the ground. Remove the bolts and damaged skid shoes. Then simply install the new skid shoes and tighten them. Adjust them as high or low as you’d like, depending on how much snow you want to leave on the ground.

End-of-Season Tips

After a winter of hard work clearing your paths, your snow blower needs a little TLC. Before you put the machine into storage, follow these tips:

  • Visually inspect the snow blower or snowthrower for damage.

  • Always remove all of the fuel from the device before storing. You don’t want old gas to gum up the system.

If you do both of those, you’ll be ready for next winter without having to do a lot of work.

When it comes to snow blower repair, you can find the parts you need at Sears PartsDirect. And if you run into trouble, Sears Home Services technicians are always available to give you a helping hand.

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