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Snow Blower Repair & Maintenance Guide

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Posted December 17, 2013 In

Winter is on its way, and some areas have already seen snow. Are you and your snow blower ready to tackle the season? Fall is the perfect time for a snow blower tune up or necessary repairs!

Briggs & Stratton® snow blowers are built to withstand the toughest winter weather, but they need regular maintenance and sometimes small engine repair to reach peak performance. Ensure you’re ready to tackle snow removal with ease by following these snow blower repair and maintenance tips from Briggs & Stratton.

Prepping your snow blower (or snow thrower) early will ensure that you’re ready for the first snow of the season. Let’s face it, nobody wants to get stuck working on a frozen snowblower engine outside in subzero temps surrounded by snow drifts. With a few quick steps now, you’ll save yourself some chilly frustration later.

Before taking a stab at any engine maintenance project, carefully study your Briggs & Stratton operator’s manual. Make sure your workspace is well-lit and well-organized, and ensure you have all the necessary tools, parts, and other maintenance materials on hand. To pick up replacement parts and maintenance kits, check out Briggs & Stratton’s online store.

My Snow Blower Won't Start: Snow Blower Repair

Snow blower won’t start?  There are several common causes for a snow blower failing to start. First, make sure to read your Briggs & Stratton snow blower manual to ensure you've followed necessary steps to start your unit.

If you’re still having issues with your snow blower, answer the following questions to try to determine what may be wrong:

  • Is the safety key in place?
  • Have you primed the engine according to the manual directions?
  • How are the oil levels in the snow blower?
  • Are the spark plugs fouled?
  • Is the gas cap clear of snow or ice?
  • Do you have fresh gasoline fueling your machine?

Fuel can go stale if left in your snow thrower engine, causing buildup that impedes engine performance and possibly shortening the lifespan of your snow thrower.

Did your snow thrower stop or jam while you are midway through snow removal? Ice, snow or debris can get lodged in your snow blower and prevent it from expelling snow. Before starting any snow blower repair, turn off your unit, bring it to the garage, and let the snow melt. This should clear up a clog. Restart the snow thrower outdoors to check that it is working. Be sure to reassess the snow blower checklist above, as well.   

If your snow blower still isn't working, contact a Briggs & Stratton service dealer for assistance. Complete recommendations for snow blower repair and safety precautions to take can be found in your Briggs & Stratton snow engine manual.

Snow Blower Maintenance 

Whether moving a light dusting of powdery snow or huge drifts from the season’s roughest storm, your Briggs & Stratton-powered snow blower will serve you well with a little bit of regular maintenance before and throughout the season.

Avoid snow blower problems with this snow blower maintenance checklist:

  • Regular oil changes
  • Replace spark plugs when necessary
  • Proper storage, including fuel stabilizer
When storing your snow blower, add fuel stabilizer like Briggs & Stratton® Advanced Formula Fuel Treatment & Stabilizer to ensure that gas does not get stale and cause damage to your engine. Be sure to tighten any fasteners, nuts, or bolts that may have become loose during snow removal. You should also make sure to thoroughly clean and hand-dry your unit to avoid corrosion. To ensure that no moisture gets in your machine, consider using a snow blower cover or tarp. 

At the end of each season, store your snow blower filled with fuel and add a fuel treatment. Keeping the tank full will minimize accumulation of moisture that causes carburetor-clogging rust. If your snow blower is equipped with a fuel shut-off, always switch off the fuel flow whenever you transport your machine. This will protect the carburetor from flooding and help prevent fuel spills.


Be sure to carefully wash and hand-dry your snow blower at the end of the winter. Road salts can damage your snow blower the same way they corrode a car’s exterior.

Again, be sure to consult your Briggs & Stratton manual and a licensed dealer for recommendations and safety tips specific to your snow blower.

Find Snow Blower & Small Engine Parts 

You can find any snow blower parts necessary for your small engine repair and maintenance at our online engine parts store or at any authorized Briggs & Stratton snow blower dealers.

Not yet ready to tackle a do-it-yourself engine tune-up? Check with your local Briggs & Stratton dealer or retailer. They have trained personnel who will be happy to perform your between-season snowblower tune-ups and are well-equipped to anticipate developing problems before any serious issues arise.

the choke on my blower won't stay open. Tried to download your manual but it won't open.

Asked by: tiny0600
Please try the manual again. We were having server issues that have since been resolved.
Answered by: Nicole_BriggsStratton
Date published: 2014-07-02

How do I replace a broken rope in the pull starter of my Craftsman snowblower?

Asked by: Ron73
Here are directions for replacing the rope:
Answered by: Nicole_BriggsStratton
Date published: 2014-06-13

Have a 250cc Briggs and Stratton on my snowblower Ariens over revs all of a sudden . Governor shot Only 2 years old

Asked by: Caser
It may just be the linkage, not the governor itself. Surging can also be caused by a clog in the carburetor. To locate any information on your engine, you will first need the model type and code. Please see the following FAQ for assistance in locating these numbers: Once you have this information you can find information on your engine here: Select engine as your product type and follow the directions for entering the model type and trim into the search fields.
Answered by: Nicole_BriggsStratton
Date published: 2014-04-14

My snoblower won't start. It ran fine last season but will not start. I put in fresh gas,changed the plug and throughly cleaned the carberator but it still will not start. Any suggestions? The starter cranks and the motor turns fine but will not start.

Asked by: Rickster523
Check the valve clearances. It may be that the engine has too much compression and is not turning past the compression stroke. Here is a link that will help you with this:
Answered by: Nicole_BriggsStratton
Date published: 2014-04-10

snow blower won't start; checked oil, gas, stabilize, spark plug, and start up procedure. This is the 3rd season; unit was poorly put together when I got received it, wires were lose, all controls needed adjustment; Never has ran like a deer.

Asked by: TonyT
I would highly recommend it being checked out by an authorized Briggs & Stratton service dealer for the no start condition. You can find a dealer here: As for the loose wiring and control adjustment, please contact John Deere with your concerns.
Answered by: Nicole
Date published: 2014-03-06

Ariens B&S engine model 120000 stored empty shut fuel switch. fresh gas won't run stalls constantly. fuel stabilizer even though the gas was new, changed plug gapped per spec checked the oil level also wants to run with choke in start up otherwise stalls

Asked by: leggo
Check the fuel cap. There should be a gasket on the cap that allows for venting. If it does not vent properly the unit will be come vapor locked causing the engine to stall/shut down.
Answered by: Nicole
Date published: 2014-03-05

The auger belt has come off twice now. Currently it is jammed between flywheel and spring. What can I do?

Asked by: Dominick
Please take the unit into an authorized service dealer for repairs. You can find a dealer near you here:
Answered by: Nicole
Date published: 2014-02-27

Where is the spark plig on a snapper snowblower Mfg No. 1695964 - Dual Stage Snowthrower, 11.5 TP, 27 Inch. How do I know if a bad spark plug is the cause of the Snowthrower not starting?

Asked by: Eileen
The spark plug is under the snow hood. To locate any information on your engine, you will first need the model type and code. Please see the following FAQ for assistance in locating these numbers: Once you have this information you can find information on your engine here: Select engine as your product type and follow the directions for entering the model type and trim into the search fields.
Answered by: Nicole
Date published: 2014-02-18

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