Why won’t it throw snow?
That’s what my wife and I were left pondering, after our snow blower unexpectedly stopped throwing snow during a recent storm clean-up effort.
Engine was running great, all controls felt OK, everything looked good. The machine being a 2-stage unit, it has the usual blades plus an auger behind them, and none of it wanted to turn anymore, regardless of how hard we squeezed the activating handle.
A little more investigating revealed the culprit: a broken auger belt.
After an extensive search for a replacement, a new belt is finally sourced from a local shop, and I go ahead and start the job.
Two minutes later the work comes to a halt, as I quickly find a nasty little cut in the blower’s second belt.
So it was back to the repair shop for a new traction belt. Now with 2 new belts in hand, I go ahead and start the job (again).
The Repair Job
New traction belt quickly gets installed, then I move to the original bad guy, the auger belt. Having previously seen a couple online videos on how it’s done, I was curious to see if I had to split the machine in two, as the first video showed, or if I could take the shortcut shown in the second video.
The shortcut was a no-no. With simply no room to install the new belt around the large auger pulley, out came the four bolts that hold the front and back of the blower together, and the blower easily swung apart. New auger belt now installed, I go ahead and bolt the two halves back together.
One More Bit of Maintenance
One last bit of maintenance was replacing the spark plug. I couldn’t remember the last time I replaced it, and if you can’t remember when the last time you replaced something, it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and replace it.
New spark plug gapped and installed, it’s time for the test: I top off the gas and take it out to a pile of snow in the driveway that didn’t get to be dealt with, since the belt broke before my wife could get to it. Yes, my wife, she was man-handling the thing since I was at work, having my own snow-removal fun.
And how did the blower do? Excellent. It’s now running better than it was in a couple years, throwing high and far, and feeling strong . Success was mine!
Guess I need to add one more inspection item to the yearly maintenance/check-up: the belts. Lesson learned.