Ariens Compact 24 won't start in second season. - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 36 Old 12-21-2016, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
jfl
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Ariens Compact 24 won't start in second season.

I bought an Ariens Compact 24 (900021) last year. It was a mild winter in Maine so only needed it about 8 times. At the end of last season, I shut off the gas supply and ran it until it stalled out (I use a small can of regular unleaded with Stabil at each fill-up - in both my lawnmower and snowblower so it stays reasonably fresh.

I waited too long to start it this and discovered a couple of weeks ago that it won't turn over. I changed the plug, drained out all the gas from the carburetor and primed in some Mechanic in a Bottle. Let it sit for an hour and then filled the tank with TruFuel. With electric start, it cranks but doesn't begin to turn over. When I take the plug out and hand pull there is a spark and the light goes on with the electric start. I put a couple of eyedroppers of TruFuel directly in the spark plug hole, closed it up and hand cranked. I heard a little 'pop' but didn't start.

I made the mistake of purchasing from Home Depot and have been told that their out of state warranty service will be a minimum of 4 weeks. I need a snow blower now, so purchased a Toro PowerMax 928 from a local dealer who is an authorized Toro service center (no Ariens warranty service in my area).

I'll have the Toro dealer take the Ariens when they deliver the Toro (they work on small engines, but only factory warrantied for Toro and Stihl) and clean and possibly replace the carb (non-warranty of course). If it works, I'll either try to sell it at a big loss or maybe keep it as a backup for the Toro. Frankly I wasn't thrilled with the Ariens on packed snow and had to disengage a wheel for maneuverability which caused traction problems. The Toro looks like its big brother and has power steering.

I've contacted Ariens repeatedly throughout this for suggestions and they've been no help, other to say that if I have it worked on by a non-authorized service center, I may void my warranty. Very helpful. So better to have nothing for a Maine winter.

Lessons learned:

1) Always buy from a local dealer who is an authorized service center for your brand.
2) Always make sure your machine starts early (September) so you have time to do something about it
3) Use TruFuel and get a new bottle of Stabil each year. The Toro dealer says high octane gas is ok, but once burned...

I've since read a number of posts about this model being a hard-starter. My brother-in-law had a late model Ariens that had an engine failure just after the warranty expired. Wish he told me about that before I bought mine.
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post #2 of 36 Old 12-21-2016, 08:01 PM
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Shouldn't be hard to start at all. Just prime twice or three times, turn choke to full, pull cord, and bam. Let it sit for about 30 min or so and go out and try to start it again. If no go, I'm betting the carb is gummed up. Do you have starting fluid? Try any of that in the spark plug hole? I know you said you put gas or that tru fuel crap or whatever it is, but starting fluid is completely different. If I lived closer I'd come over to help and might have even bought it off of you for whatever you paid for it, maybe minus a hundred or two. It's a good machine. I like you learned my lesson about purchasing from a local dealer instead of a retail outlet. Costly mistake. None of the manufacturers, can really be of anymore help if there is not a service dealer nearby that you can take it to and to whom they can work with. That being said, you have to wonder what Ariens is doing that makes dealers out there not want to carry and work on the Ariens line of products as they are some of the best out there. Toro and Honda are everywhere, do they offer better incentives to their dealers? I'd love to hear.
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post #3 of 36 Old 12-21-2016, 08:33 PM
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Some interesting comments/issues. Congrats on the new Toro, hope it serves you well. I personally have had good experiences with Ariens customer support. I am not sure what Sta Bil you are using, I would stick to either Marine Sta-Bil or Star Tron enzyme fuel treatment these 2 are tried and true for preventing ethanol issues.

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post #4 of 36 Old 12-21-2016, 08:47 PM
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You didn't try very hard. Did you use the wall plug in electric start feature. It was probably flooded.

Did you try removing the plug, using starting fluid in the cyl ?
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post #5 of 36 Old 12-21-2016, 09:18 PM
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It really isn't Arien's fault you left gas in it over the summer. Theirs a lesson learned here. Don't do this to the new Toro, or it will do the same thing to you, next season. You can go all thru this forum, and the same thing is happening to other people with other brands. Carb problems are pretty rampid this season.




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post #6 of 36 Old 12-21-2016, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfl View Post
I've contacted Ariens repeatedly throughout this for suggestions and they've been no help, other to say that if I have it worked on by a non-authorized service center, I may void my warranty. Very helpful. So better to have nothing for a Maine winter.

Lessons learned:

1) Always buy from a local dealer who is an authorized service center for your brand.
2) Always make sure your machine starts early (September) so you have time to do something about it
3) Use TruFuel and get a new bottle of Stabil each year. The Toro dealer says high octane gas is ok, but once burned...

I've since read a number of posts about this model being a hard-starter. My brother-in-law had a late model Ariens that had an engine failure just after the warranty expired. Wish he told me about that before I bought mine.
Sorry to hear. I had similar problems (although not resulting from the same cause) with a Compact 24 that turned out to be carburetor related and required multiple trips to the dealer for service. In the end, we got the thing running, but the level of service from both the dealer and Ariens wasn't the glowing first class experience many on here have had. And, although I wouldn't necessarily call it a "hard starter," it never did run very smoothly without surging. Even the dealer couldn't get it quite right. Just a lemon in a bushel of apples, I suppose.
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post #7 of 36 Old 12-21-2016, 11:06 PM
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Did you remember to turn on the gas valve?
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post #8 of 36 Old 12-22-2016, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motor City View Post
It really isn't Arien's fault you left gas in it over the summer. Theirs a lesson learned here. Don't do this to the new Toro, or it will do the same thing to you, next season.
I don't get it. A lot of folks here have said they leave gas in their machines all summer as long as they use stabil.

Both dealers I work with told me to do the same as well.
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post #9 of 36 Old 12-22-2016, 08:46 AM
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First uyou have to be careful what gas you put in. Anything with alcohol in it will tend to pull water into the fuel system...... avoid it if you can. Second, if you use fuel with alcohol in it - you have to use the correct stabilizer and even then it's no guarantee for long periods of time. Once the fuel absorbs water - your pretty much done until you get it out of the carb/tank. If you leave it sit long enough with water things start to corrode and then trouble starts. SO, the long and short of it is avoid alcohol or run it out of gas at the end of the season and don't let it sit. Fuel formulations these days do not do well over 6 months or so...... they break down fast. Keep 'em clean and you wont have troubles!




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post #10 of 36 Old 12-22-2016, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matto View Post
I don't get it. A lot of folks here have said they leave gas in their machines all summer as long as they use stabil.

Both dealers I work with told me to do the same as well.
That is the old common wisdom..now out of date, but not everyone knows it is out of date yet.
Its really changed a lot in the past 5 to 10 years or so..

Now it is MUCH better to drain the gas completely every Spring, and leave it empty until Fall..
Its because of the 10% Ethanol added to most gasoline..its horrible stuff for small gas engines.
Stabil wont help..

If you can, see if you have a gas station near you that sells ethanol-free gas:

Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada

and get gas that for your lawn mowers and snowblowers..its MUCH better for them.

So yeah, what it boils down to is that the poor-starting this time, after a summer sitting with "bad gas", is technically "your fault"..
even if you didn't know you were doing anything wrong...and the fault of the gas, not a defect with the machine itself.

I just checked the owners manual, and it does say to use a "quality fuel stabilizer" for long-term storage, and it does not mention draining the gas!
That's poor advice IMO..
They probably assume the average user wont know how, or wont want to be bothered, to drain the gas, so the "general purpose" recommendation is "add a gas stabilizer"..but its MUCH better, these days, to drain the fuel completely for storage..Ethanol in gas is a major problem, its causing many many lawnmowers, tractors, and snowblowers to not start. That's our Government screwing things up..

IF you can find the Ethanol-free gas, and you are sure that is what you have, *then* its probably ok to just add stabil and keep the gas in the tank for the summer..
But I do that, I use ethanol-free gas with Seafoam added, and I *still* drain the gas for the summer!

Your snowblower was probably fine..it was just the gas.
and yes, the exact same thing can happen next Fall to your new Toro, if you dont drain the gas in the Spring.

Scot


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Last edited by sscotsman; 12-22-2016 at 09:27 AM.
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