12 mo old Craftsman snow blower not starting - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-03-2016, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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12 mo old Craftsman snow blower not starting


Last Feb, my friend and I bought a new Craftsman snowblower to deal with the masses of snow that came down last year. Now, last week, we wanted to start it up to make sure we are prepared for the next snow but the blower would not start.
We called Sears and asked what we could do and if this was covered under warranty. We were asked if we had done proper maintenance (which we have not), and were told to do the maintenance steps first (mainly change engine oil and spark plug), and if the snowblower still does not work the warranty would kick in for the repair.
So, we called a local guy for maintenance who has a good reputation but he said that this was all manufactured in China (basically, that we bought a blower that is not high quality and will break again) and that we would have to turn to Sears for maintenance as it needed special parts.

This being our first snowblower, we wonder if it is possible that a blower will not start up after 12 mo if maintenance was not immediately done or if maybe we got a faulty unit and should insist that Sears repairs the unit? And was that guy right about only Sears can do maintenance for Craftsman blowers and that we will have a hard time finding a non-Sears repair service?

Thanks so much for your input and help!
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-03-2016, 08:48 PM
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I'm going to assume you just stop using it last year and put it away. Can't leave untreated gas in equipment. I'd say the gas went bad and junked up the carburetor, common. Your reputable mechanic should have recognized this and rebuilt your carb, no idea what that costs to get done. I believe ALL small engines are made in china so that was a cop out excuse. Take it to any small engine place, not sure I'd go to sears. Not warranty work, sorry, it's neglect. Good luck and I could be wrong.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-03-2016, 09:09 PM
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I'd start with draining as much of the old fuel out, and then fill your gas can with one gallon of gas. Treat that one gallon with your preferred carb cleaning fuel treatment that you would use for your car. Follow the directions.

If you feel adventuresome, dropped the fuel bowl retaining bolt, to remove as much of the old fuel that you can. Yours may have a dedicated fuel bowl drain bolt, it should be off to the side of the bowl.

I would also ensure that you have a spark. Steps: pull the wire, remove the plug, reinstall plug into wire, lay it on the engine away from any fuel, pull rope, you should a healthy blue spark. If you do not see a spark, replace the plug.

If these steps don't get you running, then it will involve a little more thorough cleaning.

We are here for you, but you will need to post up the model number that is located on the back of the unit, as a sticker. And the ability to take and post pics doesn't hurt either.

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post #4 of 10 Old 02-03-2016, 09:34 PM
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Maybe get several books from library about small engine repair. Youtube also has some info. Doesn't matter if it's Craftsman, Toro, Honda, Ariens, Nothing is maintenance free.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-03-2016, 09:49 PM
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to the forum Snowcrawler & Taylor

What snowblower is it, model number ?? What engine ??

Most people rarely change spark plugs and their machines start just fine.
My guess would be bad gas. I'd drain or siphon all the gas out of the tank and try to drain the carb. Carefully remove the bowl and dump that gas, wipe it clean, reinstall and then fill up with gas fresh from the pump.

If you have anything over a couple months old just put it in your car and get fresh for the blower.

This in a bit more involved than you need but it's good info and shows how to remove the bowl.

Make sure the windows are up before the snow plow goes by !!

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post #6 of 10 Old 02-03-2016, 10:06 PM
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I'd also guess that the gas has gone bad.

Fuel stabilizer doesn't completely excuse you from taking care of the fuel system. But adding stabilizer to the gas can every time you buy gas is cheap insurance, and can help save a lot of grief. Gas with ethanol (which is most gas in the US) goes bad quickly if not stabilized. This can then gunk up the carb, and then the engine won't start.

I use Marine Sta-Bil (the blue stuff), I've had good results with it. I would suggest using stabilizer all the time once you get the engine running again.

Running the carburetor dry at the end of the season is a good idea to reduce the risk of problems from gas sitting in the carb and going bad. You can close the fuel shutoff, if it has one, and run the engine until it stalls. Or drain the gas from the tank, and run the engine until it stalls. I would still use fuel stabilizer.

Change the oil if you'd like, but old oil won't prevent the engine from starting. Do check the oil level, at least, just to keep the engine healthy. I would check for spark (I likely wouldn't bother replacing the spark plug). As others said, the issue is almost certainly bad gas causing problems with the carburetor.

I wouldn't consider this a warranty issue. The good news is that once you get this fixed, preventing it from happening again is pretty manageable.

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post #7 of 10 Old 02-04-2016, 06:14 AM
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hello Snowcrawler & Taylor, welcome to SBF!! hey snowcrawler my brother has an older toro, he text me a couple weeks ago saying that his machine wouldn't start and how much would it cost for a new one. I told him it would cost about $700 to replace or he could go get some fresh gas. he elected to get some fresh gas, he didn't drain the old gas out he just poured fresh gas in. it took a little time but when the fresh gas made its way through his toro started up

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post #8 of 10 Old 02-04-2016, 09:36 AM
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believing in simple steps first and in agreement with others - fresh gas but with Seafoam added to it - there is a spray Seafoam that saved me with an old 2 stroke blower, so get to the carb, spray Seafoam directly into it, let it sit over night and then try starting - quick test for carb problems used to be spraying WD-40 directly into the carb - propellant is butane, so it will ignite easily, not be overly explosive like starting fluid and provide some lubrication
something to try - good luck
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-04-2016, 09:40 AM
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Like everyone else, I too believe the problem is that the gas has gone stale. If it evaporated and was untreated it may have left gum and varnish in the carb that could block jets.

An easy way to verify that you're seeing a fuel starvation issue would be to obtain a can of ether (aka "quick start"), spritz a bit into the intake and give'er. If it starts and runs for a second before stopping you definitely have a fuel quality (stale) or delivery issue.

But before going crazy debugging a new machine:

- have you verified there's fuel in the tank?
- have you verified that any fuel shut off valve is open?
- if the carb has a drain feature, press it a bit to see if fuel comes out?
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-04-2016, 06:33 PM
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you can buy ethanol free gas, stays cleaner for small engines
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