Toro Power Clear 418 Snowblower Will Not Start - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 120 Old 01-02-2017, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Toro Power Clear 418 Snowblower Will Not Start

Hello. For the last 5 years or so, I've had a Toro Power Clear 418 snowblower.

Before this year, I used ethanol-free gasoline from a BP gas station near my home, and the fuel stabilizer Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment. According to the instructions for the Star Tron fuel stabilizer, I was supposed to 1) pour the proper amount of the fuel stabilizer into the snowblower's gas tank, and then 2) add the gasoline into the gas tank. The fuel stabilizer and the gasoline would mix inside the gas tank. So, this is exactly what I did.

During these years, I never changed the engine oil inside the snowblower.

During these years, the snowblower had some starting problems here and there, but the snowblower always worked properly.



This year, I could not find any gas stations containing ethanol-free gasoline. So, I used some gasoline from a Shell station near my home. This gasoline contained up to 10% ethanol.

Once again, I poured the proper amount of the Star Tron fuel stabilizer into the snowblower's gas tank, and then added the gasoline into the gas tank. The fuel stabilizer and the gasoline mixed inside the gas tank.

Well, the snowblower did not start. When I pressed the button on the electric starter, I heard engine noise. But, when I released the button, the noise was gone. Pulling the recoil starter produced no engine noise whatsoever.

I used a disptick to see how much engine oil I had. There was a small amount. So, I added some more oil. However, the oil I added may have been old oil. Still, the snowblower did not start.



So, I went to a Home Depot store. The guy at the store told me 1) that the Star Tron fuel stabilizer should first be poured into a gas can, and 2) that the gasoline should then be added to the gas can. The fuel stabilizer and the gasoline should first mix inside the gas can, not inside the snowblower's fuel tank. Next, I should pour the stabilizer-gasoline mixture into the snowblower's fuel tank. When I told the guy that I had been doing things the "other way" for years, he told me that the "other way" could have caused problems all those years and that those problems could have accumulated to prevent my snowblower from working now.

He did suggest that I change the engine oil immediately. So, I bought some new engine oil and went home. I was able to pour out the old engine oil very easily. The oil was not sticky at all. I then poured the new engine oil into the snowblower. The snowblower still did not start.

The guy also told me that I could be having problems with the sparkplug or the carburetor.



Prior to 1 or 2 years ago, before very summer, a friend and I would turn the snowblower over and pour the gasoline out of the fuel tank. That way, there would be no gasoline inside the snowblower during a hot summer. However, 1 or 2 years ago, I bought a cheap device that can suck the fuel out of the snowblower's fuel tank. This device saved me the trouble of turning over the snowblower.

But recently, I found out that, when gasoline is poured into the snowblower's fuel tank, the gasoline travels into the carburetor, which is connected to the fuel tank. When we were turning the snowblower over, we were pouring out the gasoline from the fuel tank and the connected carburetor. However, when using the sucking device, it's possible that I sucked the gasoline out of the fuel tank but did NOT remove the gasoline from the carburetor. So, some gasoline could have remained in the carburetor for 1 or 2 summers.

I loosened a screw on the carburetor to drain some gasoline from the carburetor (hoping that I was draining some old gasoline), and I tried to start the snowblower again. The snowblower did not start. So, I drained the rest of the gasoline from the carburetor and, by extension, the fuel tank.



So, why is my snowblower not starting?

Could the carburetor be damaged from gasoline being inside the carburetor during 1 or 2 summers?

Should I remove the sparkplug and check the sparkplug for damage? I don't have a torque tool. So, if I remove the sparkplug, I'm not sure that I'll be able to reattach the sparkplug properly.

I've heard that it may be a good idea to remove the sparkplug and insert gasoline or engine oil into the sparkplug hole. Should I do that?

I'm asking these questions because all the repair shops in my neighborhood are booked for 1 month and I hope I can fix the snowblower myself.



The guy at Home Depot told me that I should have checked my snowblower in September. I told him that I had read somewhere, that running a snowblower when the outside temperature was above 40 F, was a very bad idea. He told me that, running the snowblower for only a minute in that high a temperature, would be OK. However, September and October can still be warm months. If I had left the gasoline in the snowblower during September and October, the snowblower could have been damaged.



Anyway, I appreciate any help. Thank you.












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post #2 of 120 Old 01-02-2017, 11:24 PM
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Start by removing the sparkplug and checking for condition, and does it spark while pulling the cord. Try a new one.

Could be the carburetor, yes; accumulated deposits from improper storage for many years. Would need to be overhauled or replaced.

You could also be suffering from low compression due to improper engine maintenance; ie running with low, dirty oil for an extended period.

Anyhow you don't need a torque wrench to install a sparkplug, thread it in as far as you can by hand then compress the sealing ring slightly with an additional 1/2~3/4 turn. Don't go crazy, it doesn't need to be *tight* tight.

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post #3 of 120 Old 01-03-2017, 12:57 AM
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First of all the guy from HD was right; you mix the fuel with the stabilizer in the gas can not in the tank of the snowblower.
Second these machines need some maintenance; you should change the motor oil at the end of each season.
Third while the Toro company tells you to drain the tank and run it out of fuel, if the fuel is stabilized often you will not have trouble the next year if you don't.but there is some risk that you might.
Fourth I don't know who told you that you should not run a snowblower in warm weather
but they have no idea what they are talking about. A four stroke snow blower engine is no different than any other small engine . Running it in hot weather is fine. In fact I don't drain any of my 9 small engines except the out board and I run them all every 2-3 months. This keeps fuel from evaporating in the carb which is what causes problems.
You need to get someone to check the spark plug and clean out the carb.

1998 Toro 3000 GTS with Suzuki 47p 2 cycle
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post #4 of 120 Old 01-03-2017, 05:37 PM
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"I used a disptick to see how much engine oil I had. There was a small amount."

That doesn't sound too promising.I wonder how many hours it ran with a "small amount"of oil in it?

One needs to check oil levels and change oil regularly.Just thought I'd beat a dead horse once more.
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post #5 of 120 Old 01-04-2017, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mike C. View Post
I wonder how many hours it ran with a "small amount"of oil in it?
Perhaps not many. If my memory is correct, last winter (winter of 2015 - 2016), there was only 1 day on which I used the snowblower.
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post #6 of 120 Old 01-04-2017, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Yanmar Ronin View Post
Start by removing the sparkplug and checking for condition, and does it spark while pulling the cord. Try a new one.
The instructions for my snowblower say the following about servicing the sparkplug:

1. Stop the engine and wait for all moving parts to stop.
2. Disconnect the wire from the spark plug.
3. Clean around the spark plug.
4. Remove the spark plug from the cylinder head.

If you want me to check whether the sparkplug sparks when I pull the starting cord, then perhaps the wire should not be disconnected from the sparkplug. Perhaps I should simply remove the sparkplug from the cylinder head.

Or, perhaps I should 1) remove the wire, 2) remove the sparkplug from the cylinder head, and 3) reattach the wire to the sparkplug.

Also, how do I remove the wire? Do I turn the wire with my hands to unscrew the wire?

And, how do I remove the sparkplug from the cylinder head? Do I use my hands? Or pliers?
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post #7 of 120 Old 01-04-2017, 05:28 AM
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Jack, where are you located? Maybe a member can advise you on someplace reputable to take it in for a good once-over.

If you've not had a sparkplug out before you may be in over your head on this one... a proper socket wrench should have been included with the blower when new, you should use that, or of course a standard plug socket of the proper size and a ratchet. The wire should just pull off, it might be a little tight after all this time.

If you try to use a pliers you'll only make things much much worse.

Based on what you've said though I recommend professional assistance. Or maybe you have a neighbor who is small-engine savvy and can show you the ropes.

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post #8 of 120 Old 01-04-2017, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yanmar Ronin View Post
Jack, where are you located? Maybe a member can advise you on someplace reputable to take it in for a good once-over.

If you've not had a sparkplug out before you may be in over your head on this one... a proper socket wrench should have been included with the blower when new, you should use that, or of course a standard plug socket of the proper size and a ratchet. The wire should just pull off, it might be a little tight after all this time.

If you try to use a pliers you'll only make things much much worse.

Based on what you've said though I recommend professional assistance. Or maybe you have a neighbor who is small-engine savvy and can show you the ropes.

I live in Chicago, and I know some snowblower-repair shops. However, the snowblower is, of course, very heavy, and it would be a lot of trouble to load the snowblower into my car and take the snowblower to a repair shop. Also, the shops are booked up for a month.

There is a Jiffy Lube car-repair shop only two blocks from my home. I could walk my snowblower over there. Do you think that this shop could help me with the sparkplug issue?

Also, I don't think that there was a socket wrench included with the snowblower, but we may have a few socket wrenches at home.
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post #9 of 120 Old 01-04-2017, 10:42 PM
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You can pull spark plug and check for deposits and also spark using a tester they are cheap and handy to have. Better yet just change plug and check if it's got spark. If spark fill tank with fresh fuel and let it drain into carburetor bowl. Rock snowblower just in case blow float is stuck. Try starting it with electric start. Full choke. You will probably at this time smell fuel. Also try some starting fluid. If you don't smell fuel out of carb line could be plugged. Get back on results.

New Jersey, Toro 8/24, Ariens 5/22, small engine repairs
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post #10 of 120 Old 01-04-2017, 11:40 PM
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Where in Chicago do you live? I'm not super experienced with snow blowers, but if we're close, maybe I could help?

1998 Honda HS621, 1990 Toro 521
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