Ariens snow blowers are some of the best snow clearing machines on the market and have been popular for years when it comes to snowfall. However, that doesn’t mean it’s immune to problems. Sometimes, your snowball can become unreliable, for instance, when the machine won’t start.
In this article, we will discuss some tips that you can try when you find yourself in this satiation. But before you even start the troubleshooting tricks below, experts recommend that you pull out the owner’s manual or download a copy from the manufacturer’s website.
Note that although nearly all blowers are made of just about the same components- gas tanks, valves, carburetors, valves, fuel lines, and switches- the configuration tends to vary from brand to brand.
So, the manual will help locate and identify them. Otherwise, you can get the necessary tools from any auto-supply store if you don’t already have them on hand.
Ariens Snowblower Won’t Start
Here’s what to do:
Check the Switches and Valves
First, you need to make sure that all the valves and switches are in the correct position. Modern snow blowers are typically designed with many buttons, switches, and valves and all of them need to be in the right position for the machine to operate.
In this case, your manual may indicate that the fuel shut-off valve is in the “Open” position, the throttle in the “High” position, the choke in the “Full” position, and the run switch set to “On”.
Other models even use images instead of words. So, inspect carefully to ensure all of valves and switches are set according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Else, they could be the number one reason why your snow blower is not starting.
Check the Gas Tank
Here, you might want to drain and replace old oil in the gas tank. The fact that snow blowers are meant to stay idle for months means that the gas could easily have developed gummy residue, which can make starting the machine difficult.
So, take out the old stuff using a small siphon pump. Then, fill the tank with fresh gas and try starting it again. If that doesn’t work, check out the next step.
Adding Fuel Stabilizer to the Gas Tank
Even after draining and refilling the gas tank, residue from old gas could be clogging the carburetor. That means it has to be dissolved. To do this, consider adding a fuel stabilizer. This is basically a gasoline treatment product that helps to liquefy residue.
While doing this, do it at the rate prescribed on the container. Once you’re done, try starting the machine. In case the machine doesn’t start immediately, keep cranking by pulling the starter cord repeatedly. This will help get the fresh fuel and stabilizer through the carburetor. If the snow blower isn’t starting yet, leave it for an hour so that the fuel stabilizer can dissolve the residue. Then try again.
Prime the Engine
The point here is to force the fuel into the carburetor. Gas engines are typically slower to start in cold climates. So, it makes sense to give it a little boost of fuel.
To do this, start by priming the engine by pressing the flexible primer bulb- this is the small rubber or silicone bulb that’s often located near the carburetor. Do this 3-5 times to force a small amount of fuel into the carburetor where it can easily ignite.
Try to start the machine right after priming. Your snow blower may not have been in operation for months, so it can take three or more attempts before it kicks on.
Cleaning and Replacing the Spark Plugs
Remember, several key things must be present for this type of machine to run as expected: proper amount of compression in the engine, fresh fuel, and a spark to ignite the fuel. To cater to the third requirement, your snow blower’s spark plugs must be in good working order. So if the machine refuses to start the right way, cleaning (or replacing if necessary) could do the trick.
Get a spark socket and a socket wrench to remove the plugs. Clean any built-up carbon deposits from the electrodes, usually found on the threaded end of the spark plugs. You will require a wire brush and a carburetor cleaner to do this. After that, dry the plugs and put them back.
If your snow blower won’t start even at this point, then you might want to do more for the plugs than just cleaning. Closely check the porcelain sleeves for cracks. If you spot any crack, simply replace the spark plug with a new one.
Examining the Fuel for Damage
Over time, fuel lines that run from the gas tank to the carburetor can harden and become less flexible, which makes them more likely to crack or leak fuel. A fuel line leak can prevent gas from reaching the carburetor and keep the snow blower from starting. If you notice that your fuel line is hard, kinked, or cracked, be sure to replace it with a new one.
Cleaning the Carburetor
If the steps above haven’t gotten your snow blower going, you may need to clean the carburetor more aggressively to dissolve gunk and residue. The main purpose of the carburetor is to combine fuel and air in a precise ratio for efficient combustion; therefore, if it’s clogged with residue, it can’t play its role.
Go through your owner’s manual for guidelines on how to access the carburetor, located beneath the air filter. After removing the air filter cover and the filter, you should be looking at the carburetor (a metal case with a cylindrical opening).
Calling a Service Technician
Nothing good results yet? Unfortunately troubleshooting beyond this point may involve disabling parts of the machine. In case the machine is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer or the store where you purchased it for further instructions.
However, if it’s an older machine, consider taking it to a small engine repair. Alternatively, stores that sell snow blowers, lawn mowers, and such equipment often also offer repair maintenance services. Having a service technician repair your faulty snow blower could cost you as low as $75 to upwards of $300, depending on the problem.