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Old 01-26-2012, 12:13 PM
 
123 posts, read 326,292 times
Reputation: 68
Default snow blower maintenance

Back in September I purchased a brand new Craftsman 26" gas snow blower from Sears. We used once in October which was fine but when I tried to use it last week it didn't work. I called Sears and they told me because I didn't drain the gasline out of the snow blower and did not use the machine in 30 days thats why it won't start. They told me to do the following:

1. drain the remaining gas with a turkey baster
2. Add carburetor cleaner mixed with gasline back to the engine and leave it over night.
3. It should start the next day, even if it gets a little smoky at the begining.

My question is, is this normal to maintain a snow blower? I never owe a snow blower before. Also they told me to add fuel stableizer in the future if I don't decide to drain the gasline.
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:35 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 1,664,522 times
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It is plausible....and in the absence of something else, it could be the problem.

But probably not likely, especially in a new piece of equipment where all the the 'plumbing' is fresh and unlikely to have 'varnish' from stale gasoline.

I prep my 8 y/o machine in Spetmeber, and then it sits until the first snow...might be December. Starts right up. For that matter, it sat frtom March to September with just stabilizer in the gas, and started on the first pull in September.

If you are handy, give it a SMALL shot of ether (cold car starter) through the carb and see if it pops right off. If you are handy, you can turn the carbeurator jet in, count the turns exactly, then take it all the way out and let a little fuel run out to 'clean' the pathway. Otherwise, tell sears to come service it UNDER THE WARRANTY. Surprised they would even mess around with telling you to drain fuel, etc. Two or three months of sitting idle is not likely to have created 'deposits' sufficient to block the fuel from gettng into the engine.
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,785 posts, read 22,159,751 times
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See if you can find gas without ethanol added in your area, that's best for all small engines - try adding some Sta-Bil stabilizer to the fuel you use in this blower.

Keep in mind that many snow blowers don't have an air filter so you need to do something to cover the open air intake to keep "stuff" out. I think if I had one I would find a small K&N air filter, a pod type that goes right on the carb with a hose clamp, and put that on as a precaution.

What do you snow-birds usually do about the open intake? Cover it or not worry about it?
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:09 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,142 posts, read 21,562,311 times
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I've run Snowblowers for decades. At the end of the season I tuck it in the corner of the shed. When it is about time for the snow to fly; I haul it out, top off the gas tank with fresh gas and stick it in the garage. Might be a week, might be 2 months before I start it again. Never had one not start when I needed it. Sometimes the gas is 8 or 9 months old in the tank when I fire it up. Might smoke a bit the first time running in a season, but they always run. I used to use Sta-bil, but the last 15 years I haven't bothered, I've NEVER drained a tank. I call BS to Sears explanation. It should be under warranty, have them fix it for you.

M3 Mitch, I don't do a thing to the intake. About 1/2 the snowblowers I have owned in the past have had air filters. Present one does not.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Alaska
5,154 posts, read 9,052,078 times
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I've owned our snowblower for at least 15 years and my experience is similar to Bydand's. Some years, I even remember to change the oil some years and usually never drain the gas tank (some years it gets a shot of Stabil). While the first start of the season always takes a few more pulls on the starter rope, it has always started even with all the abuse.

First thing to check is to see if you might have flooded the engine. Put the choke on and pull on the starter rope (or push the starter for electric start), to see if you get it to turn over. If nothing after a dozen pulls, remove the spark plug, reattach the line and ground it against the engine. Pull the cord to see if you get a spark. If no spark, call Sears and have them fix it. If there is a spark, you likely flooded it and just need to work at it to get it started.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Greeley CO, and Bend Or.
853 posts, read 1,048,097 times
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Stabil, Store, no issues
Sears is nuts
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:24 PM
 
976 posts, read 1,533,980 times
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I purchased a Sears snowblower in Dec 09, just one week before a major snowstorm. I used it once that season. In June 10, I removed the snow blower from the shed and ran the engine for 15 minutes. I didn't encounter any problems with the old gas. I added fuel stablizer and put it back in the shed and haven't touched it since.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,870 posts, read 5,001,535 times
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It's not the gas unless you put in some very old gas that had water in it to start with.

If you need to drain it remove the hose from the bottom of the tank and drain into your container.

Try priming it until gas is dripping out of it and start as normal.


At the end of the season I top off the tank and put it in the barn for the summer, in the fall I prime it and it starts on the first pull.
Gas with ethanol will help to keep any water problems at bay what you want is un-oxygenated gas but it's not a deal breaker.

If your going to use a fuel stabilizer try sea~foam, I've had very good luck using it in the past.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:50 AM
 
1,548 posts, read 1,900,404 times
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Quote:
If you are handy, give it a SMALL shot of ether (cold car starter) through the carb and see if it pops right off.
___DO NOT DO THIS____ ether can bend the valves in a combustion engine!!!you can do the same with some carburetor cleaner instead.Best thing to do is use "Stabil"at the MFG. recommended amount. At the end of winter drain or sypon out the gas tank and run the engine out of gas in the carburetor,they used to have a bush button drain on the carburetor bowl but to save a few penny's they seldom do this anymore.there are many videos on YouTube showing how to clean and adjust a carburetor.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:51 AM
 
2,253 posts, read 1,664,522 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qlty View Post
Quote:
If you are handy, give it a SMALL shot of ether (cold car starter) through the carb and see if it pops right off.
___DO NOT DO THIS____ ether can bend the valves in a combustion engine!!!you can do the same with some carburetor cleaner instead.Best thing to do is use "Stabil"at the MFG. recommended amount. At the end of winter drain or sypon out the gas tank and run the engine out of gas in the carburetor,they used to have a bush button drain on the carburetor bowl but to save a few penny's they seldom do this anymore.there are many videos on YouTube showing how to clean and adjust a carburetor.
Hence the advice....'Handy" (aka knowledgeable) and "SMALL" (as in a tiny amount which will not create a severe explosion in the cylinder (which is what potentially bends the valves) and will do no harm.

Best advice is still to call Sears and have them come fix it, rgeardless of their explanation of 'why' and 'what'. A new machine should not have these issues.
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