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post #1 of 21 Old 01-13-2015, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Craftsman snowblower

Hi folks,
I got a new Craftsman snowblower this year, and have used it twice so far with no issue. I can't find the model number, but it's a 27" dual stage 208hp.

So this morning, I had a bit of difficulty pull-starting it, but nothing out of the ordinary. I figured it just wasn't fully primed, but plugged it in and started it electrically with no issue. As soon as I started to engage the auger, I could hear the engine start to die, headlight dim, etc. I released the lever, and the engine came back to life. I could engage the drive (forward and reverse) with no issue. I fully engaged the auger, and the the engine quit. There was no hesitation, strange noise, etc.

Now, I can't get it started again. When I try pulling on the cord, I can tell that something is wrong -- something that is supposed to move won't, so that I can't pull the cord at all. I haven't tried starting it electrically in case that just makes things worse. At that point, given that it was dark outside and I had to get to work, I just left the thing to deal with later and shoveled my way out.

I really have no knowledge of small engines and this is my first snowblower. I'm aware of shear pins (and have spares), but this doesn't sound like that's the issue here. Any suggestions on what to look for or try?

thanks.
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post #2 of 21 Old 01-13-2015, 10:29 AM
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My guess is that water melted and then refroze at the base of the impeller. When you engaged the auger/impeller you were essentially applying a very strong brake to the motor.

If it spins a little but then hits a point where it stops you may have broken a connecting rod.

Try the electric start. Try pulling the spark plug and looking down the hole to see if the cylinder is moving when you pull the rope. If you have a warranty, use it. (Make sure the auger is not somehow still engaged).

Most people are going to do whatever they want. What I find entertaining is how people justify what they do.
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post #3 of 21 Old 01-13-2015, 11:06 AM
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Get it in a warm shop and thaw it out. Remove the bottom skid plate and make sure the motor is turning freely with the lever disengaged. Make sure the auger is free of obstruction and spins.

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post #4 of 21 Old 01-13-2015, 11:24 AM
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Stupid question, but did you check the oil?




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post #5 of 21 Old 01-13-2015, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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No, I didn't check the oil. I'll try to get it someplace warm (don't have a garage, just a tent-shelter thing) and follow all suggestions posted so far.

Thanks all!
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post #6 of 21 Old 01-13-2015, 12:48 PM
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Is there a warranty?


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post #7 of 21 Old 01-13-2015, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Is there a warranty?
I assume so. I just bought it from Sears (Canada) in October.
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-13-2015, 02:23 PM
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Don't try the electric start until you know the engine will spin. I'd try thawing it out first and then trying to pull start it. If it doesn't turn over (spin by hand) using the electric start might only damage the starter and or flywheel.
I'd do some simple stuff to see if I can get it running unless you have an easy way to transport it and are close to a Sears store.

What you don't want to do is something that would void the warranty. Hopefully you just have some frozen water in there causing this.

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post #9 of 21 Old 01-13-2015, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiss4aFrog View Post
Don't try the electric start until you know the engine will spin. I'd try thawing it out first and then trying to pull start it. If it doesn't turn over (spin by hand) using the electric start might only damage the starter and or flywheel.
I'd do some simple stuff to see if I can get it running unless you have an easy way to transport it and are close to a Sears store.

What you don't want to do is something that would void the warranty. Hopefully you just have some frozen water in there causing this.
Thanks. I definitely want to avoid making things worse. I'll poke around a bit over the next few days.
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post #10 of 21 Old 01-20-2015, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Just an update for those interested...

Late last week I checked the oil, and it was fine. I also tried using the electric starter, but that didn't work either -- whatever was jammed was not budging. So, I called Sears and arranged for a local shop to do the repairs (closest Sears service centre is a 2 hour drive).

But, yesterday it was close to 10 degrees C (about 50 F), so figured it was a good opportunity to test the theory that something was frozen (like I said, I don't have a heated garage/shop). Started right up with no issue. Tested the auger, drive, etc. successfully. Stopped and restarted a couple of times.

So, no immediate issue with my new snowblower. I am a bit concerned that this could happen again though -- seems like a design flaw if a snowblower can't start in cold weather.

Should I be concerned, or is this the kind of thing that just happens every once in a while?

Thanks all!
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