How to Start a Snowblower That Has Been Sitting: A Helpful Guide

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It’s easy to buy tools, throw them in the back of your garage, and only reach for them when the right season approaches.

However, with certain tools and machines, such as snowblowers, letting them sit stagnant for months on end can lead to damaging effects, such as it not being able to start when you need it. 

So, it’s always important to take the time to try to start your snowblower before the snow begins to fall, especially if you’re concerned about whether it still works or not.

Below is the general process for safely and successfully starting up a snowblower that has been kept for a long time.

Step 1: Do a Maintenance Check

You would be surprised to learn that there are thousands of customers who call the manufacturer of their snowblower at the beginning of every winter season claiming that their snowblower is defective or has broken over the months it wasn’t in use. In most cases, the support agent they talk to reminds them that it’s essential to conduct regular maintenance on their machine to ensure it’s in the best condition possible before starting it up.

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There are four main things that you’ll need to look into if you’re trying to learn how to start a snowblower that has been sitting:

  1. Changing the oil
  2. Checking the tire pressure
  3. Changing the spark plug
  4. Greasing all of the fittings

Step 2: Check the Temperature of the Snowblower

Once you’ve conducted all of the appropriate maintenance, you’re going to need to check to determine whether your snowblower was stored cold or warm. If it feels cold, it’s important that you turn the choke on when you try to start it for the first time. When the choke is closed, the air supply to the carburetor is shut off which helps to create a less tainted mixture of fuel.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, with snowblowers that are stored in a heated or insulated garage and are warm, you won’t need to use the choke at all.

Step 3: Adjusting the Throttle

It’s important to remember that when you’re starting your snowblower for the first time of the season, you’re going to want to operate the machine at peak performance to ensure it has the power to push out all of the dirty fuel and buildup over the summer months. Ensure that the throttle is turned onto the fastest position, giving you the ability to burn through any excess fuel that might have been sitting in the tank over the past several months.

Step 4: Starting the Snowblower for the First Time

You’re going to need to start your snowblower twice in order for it to run effectively and as it should, for the first startup, you’re going to need to make sure that you follow the following steps in order:

  1. Close the choke
  2. Switch the ignition on
  3. Open the fuel valve
  4. Prime the carburetor
  5. Run out all of the stale gas

Depending on how much gas you left behind in your snowblower, you may need to let it run for about an hour or so; however, once it has used up all of the stale gas, you’ll need to replace it with fresh fuel, which is essential for the health of your engine.

Step 5: Check for Troublesome Signs

After you’ve finished the initial startup sequence, it’s time to do a visual inspection to see if there are any problems that need to be addressed like fuel leakage. If there are any visual issues that you think may be of concern, it’s best if you bring your snowblower into a repair and maintenance shop, as it may require 0020951-20nt parts.

Common Snowblower Problems

Step 6: Conduct the Final Startup

At this point, your snowblower should be sufficiently primed, cleaned, and filled with fresh fuel to get its engine going. All you have to do at this point is turn it on and engage the ignition. You should be able to plow through all of the snow on your property with ease, but it’s critical to make sure that when you finish snow blowing, you turn the entire unit off properly to avoid accidental startups.

Common Snowblower Problems

If you’re still left wondering how to start a snowblower that has been sitting, it could be as a result of a faulty or damaged part in your machine. A couple of common issues to keep an eye out for include:

  • Problems with fuel: Stale gas can wreak havoc on your engine and can lead to deposits on the carburetor.
  • Issues with the spark plug: Make sure that you look at the spark plug to find any cracks or deposits. It may also be beneficial to invest in a spark plug tester to let you know if the piece is faulty.
  • A to F mixture: Also known as the air-to-fuel mixture, you’re going to have to take a look at the choke. The majority of snowblower engines will need to have their choke closed, so the machine has more fuel than normal to startup.

Final Verdict

At the end of the day, not every snowblower owner is going to have the tools and know-how to figure out how to make their snowblower work again. With that being said, if you’ve followed all of the above steps and conducted a thorough inspection of your machine and it’s still not working, it’s time to rely on the help of professionals.

Learning how to start a snowblower that has been sitting is a simple process, as long as all you have to focus on is adding new fuel.

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