Gas Snowblower: Won't throw snow far enough

If your snowblower isn't clearing pavement well, first turn off the snowblower and clear any snow that's built up in the chute. A clogged chute won't throw snow very far.

If the chute isn't clogged, check the augers and auger drive system. A damaged auger blade can't push snow through the shoot, and broken shear pins keep sections of the auger from spinning. A worn, stretched auger belt won't spin the auger fast enough to throw snow off the pavement, so replace the auger belt if it's worn. If the belt is okay but the cable isn't keeping the belt snug on the pulleys, adjust the auger drive cable. A broken gear case can also prevent the augers from spinning at the right speed, so replace the gear case if the auger shaft doesn't spin at the right speed.

If you didn't tune up the snowblower at the start of the season, the engine might be running rough and lack the power to throw snow. And if the chute doesn't pivot, you could end up blowing snow into the wind-and right back onto the driveway. Repair or replace the chute control assembly so the chute pivots. If your snowblower has a 4-way chute control, repair or replace that control if you're not able to control the chute. Adjust or replace the chute deflector cable if it isn't controlling the chute.

These videos also offer tips on why a snowblower won't throw snow.

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 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
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.

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

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 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
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 4-way chute control assembly

Replace the snowblower 4-way chute control assembly

When you move the snowblower joystick on the snowblower 4-way chute control assembly, the joystick turns the snowblower chute rod, which then rotates the snowblower chute control gearbox. Replace the snowblower 4-way chute control assembly if it won't rotate the snowblower chute rod.

How to replace a snowblower 4-way chute control assembly

If your snowblower chute is stuck, it could mean a broken chute control gear box, chute rod or control joystick. The parts are all part of the 4-way chute control, and this repair guide and video show how to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
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Replace the snowblower chute control gearbox

Replace the snowblower chute control gearbox

The snowblower chute gearbox moves the discharge chute left or right as the joystick rotates the chute rod. If the chute control gearbox is damaged or stripped and the discharge chute won't move, replace the snowblower chute gearbox.

How to replace a snowblower chute control gearbox assembly

A stuck snowblower chute could mean the control gearbox is damaged or stripped. This snowblower repair guide and video show how to replace the chute control gearbox assembly in 4 easy steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more
Adjust or replace the snowblower chute deflector cable

Adjust or replace the snowblower chute deflector cable

Examine the chute deflector cable if the chute defector isn't moving properly. Sometimes the cable just needs to be adjusted. But if the chute deflector cable is damaged or broken, replace it.

Repair the snowblower chute control assembly

Repair the snowblower chute control assembly

Examine the chute control assembly for the cause of a problem with this component. The owner's manual usually shows how to properly assemble and adjust the chute control assembly. Replace the chute control assembly if it's damaged or defective.

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.