Gas Snowblower: Won't clear snow well

A snowblower won't clear snow well if the auger isn't spinning fast enough or sections of the auger don't spin. Then the auger housing and chute can clog with snow. If the snowblower isn't picking up snow well, first turn off the snowblower and clear the chute and auger housing of any clogs or snow build-up.

If the chute is clear of snow or when sections of the auger won't spin, the likely cause is broken shear pins. Replace any broken shear pins you find. Replace the auger if it's damaged.

Adjust or replace the skid shoes to keep the housing at the proper height and allow the snowblower to move easily.

You may need to tune up the snowblower engine when it won't spin the auger fast enough. Adjust the belts and auger drive cable if the engine runs well but the auger doesn't spin fast enough to clear snow. Replace the belts or auger drive cable if damaged. Replace the snowblower gear case assembly if it won't spin the auger.

gas snowblower

These repairs may help solve your gas snowblower problem

Adjust or replace the snowblower belts

Adjust or replace the snowblower belts

A worn or loose belt can slip or squeal when the snowblower is in use. Physically examine the belt and pulleys. If the belt is worn, replace it. If the belt is sound, adjust the pulleys to tighten the belt.

December 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a snowblower auger belt

A squealing or slipping snowblower auger belt is a sign that the belt is wearing out. This DIY snowblower repair guide and video show how to replace the auger belt.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the snowblower shear pin

Replace the snowblower shear pin

Shear pins fasten the augers to their drive shaft. They're designed to break if the auger hits a large foreign object or hard-packed snow, to protect the motor and transmission from damage.The auger won't turn if the shear pin isn't intact, so replace it if it breaks.

January 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a snowblower shear pin

If your snowblower hit something hard and the auger stopped turning, the shear pin might have broken. This snowblower repair guide explains how to replace the shear pin in 15 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
Read more
Adjust or replace the snowblower skid shoes

Adjust or replace the snowblower skid shoes

The skid shoes control the height of the auger housing. They wear down over time. Adjust the skid shoes as needed to maintain the proper height of the auger housing. Skid shoes are reversible; turn them over if one side is worn out. Replace them when both sides are worn out.

December 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a snowblower skid shoe

A snowblower shave plate and auger scraping the ground is a strong indication of a worn skid shoe. This DIY repair guide shows how to replace both skid shoes in 4 easy steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
Read more
Do a snowblower tune-up

Do a snowblower tune-up

A tune-up restores the snowblower to its peak operating condition. A tune-up includes changing the oil, cleaning the engine, replacing the air filter, checking the ignition system, inspecting the carburetor, testing the battery, adjusting the throttle and choke controls, and adjusting and lubricating all moving parts.

December 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a snowblower spark plug

If your snowblower won't start, the spark plug could be fouled or damaged. This DIY repair guide shows how to set the gap and replace the snowblower spark plug in 3 quick steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the snowblower auger drive cable

Replace the snowblower auger drive cable

The auger drive cable is a control cable that connects the auger control lever on the control panel to the engagement lever in the auger drive system. When the auger won't engage, the cause is often a damaged, worn, or broken auger drive cable. Inspect the cable and replace it if it's worn or damaged.

December 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a snowblower auger drive cable

If your snowblower auger isn't turning, it's possible the auger drive cable is damaged or broken. This snowblower repair guide and video explain how to replace the auger drive cable in 15 minutes or less.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
Read more
Clear the snowblower chute and housing

Clear the snowblower chute and housing

Snow and ice can build up inside the chute and housing, restricting the exit path of the snow being cleared. Shut off the snowblower and clear built-up ice and snow.

Replace the snowblower auger

Replace the snowblower auger

Hitting rocks or other foreign objects hidden beneath the snow damages the auger. Broken or bent auger blades won't move snow into the impeller and out through the discharge chute. Replace the auger blades if damaged after hitting a large object that breaks the shear pins. Inspect the auger blades regularly and replace the auger if you find bent or damaged auger blades.

Replace the snowblower gearcase assembly

Replace the snowblower gearcase assembly

The auger drive system uses a gearcase to rotate the auger shaft so that the augers can move snow. Replace the gearcase if the auger won't spin properly or at all.

Adjust the snowblower auger drive cable

Adjust the snowblower auger drive cable

If the auger doesn't stop when you release the control lever, the auger drive cable is too tight. If the auger doesn't rotate when you engage the control lever, there's too much slack in the auger drive cable. In both cases, adjust the auger drive cable so it starts and stop the auger correctly.

Symptoms for gas snowblowers

Choose a symptom to see related snowblower repairs.

Main causes: stale gas, clogged carburetor, clogged or broken fuel line, dirty spark plug, bad rewind starter, incorrect valve lash
Main causes: broken shear pins, worn or loose auger drive belt, auger drive cable failure, damaged auger, bad gear case
Main causes: loose drive clutch cable, damaged drive clutch cable, worn friction disc, scraper blade scraping the ground, engine problems
Main causes: punctured tire, damaged rim
Main causes: snow build-up in chute, chute drive mechanism failure, bad chute control assembly
Main causes: clogged chute, damaged auger blades, broken shear pins, worn auger belt, damaged gear case, engine problems
Main causes: dirty carburetor, stale fuel
Main causes: clogged chute, snow build-up in auger housing, broken auger shear pins, auger drive belt needs adjustment, auger cable problems
Things to do: replace the spark plug, change the oil, rebuild the carburetor, adjust valve lash, adjust or replace the belts
Repair guides for gas snowblowers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your snowblower.

December 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a snowblower spark plug

You need a spark to fire up the engine of your snowblower, and that spark comes from a spark plug. You can replace one in minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
December 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a snowblower stop switch

Replace the stop switch on your snowblower if your engine won't start.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
December 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a snowblower skid shoe

To prevent damage to your snowblower auger, replace the skid shoes when both sides of the shoe are worn. It's an easy repair that you can handle yourself.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
Articles and videos for gas snowblowers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your snowblower.

November 1, 2014
How to lubricate a snowblower auger shaft video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

This video shows how to how and where to lubricate the auger shaft on a snowblower.

November 1, 2014
How to adjust a snowblower shift cable video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

This video shows how to adjust a snowblower's shift cable.

November 1, 2014
How to adjust snowblower skid shoes video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

See how to periodically adjust the skid shoes on a snowblower so they are flush with the ground.