Snowblower not very effective when it won't start in cold weather. - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-18-2016, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Snowblower not very effective when it won't start in cold weather.

I have a 15 year-old Toro Powerlite 3.25 which I love.
In the last two years however it has developed a strange symptom: it won't start when it is in cold air.
I prime the crap out of it (anywhere from 3-10 pumps), choke it fully and pull and pull and pull... (and pull, and pull...)
Then, I give up and bring it inside my house for 30 minutes.
Prime it again (only 2-3 times), and BOOM it starts right up in 4 or 5 pulls.

This morning I did this routine (brought it in, let it warm up, started it) and let it idle for about a minute. Then I put it back outside on the porch for an hour (thinking it just ran, there's good fuel in the carb, everything should be good) When I went out to start it up again, right back to the beginning. No start regardless of choke and priming.

It's now back inside the house and I'm 100% sure it will start in a half-hour but it's pretty frustrating. Anyone have any ideas what cold air is doing?

Thanks for any insights, ideas.

Peter
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post #2 of 24 Old 01-18-2016, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petermbooth View Post
I have a 15 year-old Toro Powerlite 3.25 which I love.
In the last two years however it has developed a strange symptom: it won't start when it is in cold air.
I prime the crap out of it (anywhere from 3-10 pumps), choke it fully and pull and pull and pull... (and pull, and pull...)
Most likely your primer hose and or the primer bulb is cracked and should not be difficult to repair but you need to purchase a length of new hose and or a new primer bulb at the dealer. Good Luck

Snow Removal Apparatus I own:
Ariens ST1530DLE, and good ole arm powered scrapper.
The 15 HP is a new Ducar engine sold
by Princess Auto in Canada.
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post #3 of 24 Old 01-18-2016, 12:05 PM
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hello peter, welcome to SBF, the rear cover needs to be removed to do the job

current machines
1-toro2450E-38419. 1-toro3000E-38435. 1-toro 3650E-38445
2-toro 521E-38052. 1-toro xl824pt 38086
1-.............,TORO XL 624ps..............
1-............, TORO XL 824ps..............
william
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post #4 of 24 Old 01-18-2016, 12:07 PM
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ALOHA from the paradise city.

Long LIVE THE POWERSHIFT!! MAY IT NEVER RUST IN PEACE!!
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post #5 of 24 Old 01-18-2016, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petermbooth View Post
I have a 15 year-old Toro Powerlite 3.25 which I love.
In the last two years however it has developed a strange symptom: it won't start when it is in cold air.
I prime the crap out of it (anywhere from 3-10 pumps), choke it fully and pull and pull and pull... (and pull, and pull...)
Then, I give up and bring it inside my house for 30 minutes.
Prime it again (only 2-3 times), and BOOM it starts right up in 4 or 5 pulls.

This morning I did this routine (brought it in, let it warm up, started it) and let it idle for about a minute. Then I put it back outside on the porch for an hour (thinking it just ran, there's good fuel in the carb, everything should be good) When I went out to start it up again, right back to the beginning. No start regardless of choke and priming.

It's now back inside the house and I'm 100% sure it will start in a half-hour but it's pretty frustrating. Anyone have any ideas what cold air is doing?

Thanks for any insights, ideas.

Peter
I vote for checking the primer bulb and hose as well. Also, check the spark plug make sure its got the correct gap. When's the last time you changed the plug?

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post #6 of 24 Old 01-18-2016, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Great ideas!

The only work EVER done on this think was replacing the drive belt on the side.

I will change the plug and look at the whole priming system (bulb and hose).

Why would either of these things be affected by cold temperature? Is the idea with the priming bulb that when it's cold it can't create the vaccum it needs to pull the fuel?

Why would the plug be affected by the cold.

BTW, as I predicted, it started right up (when inside) and ran fine as I plowed my entire driveway.

Oh, I'm also selling a Crafstman snowblower for a friend. My son and I made a pretty funny video for the CL ad.

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post #7 of 24 Old 01-18-2016, 02:05 PM
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[QUOTE=petermbooth;869401]
I will change the plug and look at the whole priming system (bulb and hose).
Why would either of these things be affected by cold temperature? Is the idea with the priming bulb that when it's cold it can't create the vaccum it needs to pull the fuel?
Why would the plug be affected by the cold.


The spark plug change suggestion is very valid since it will greatly increase your ignition spark as opposed to an old one.
As for the primer and hose getting cracked over aging has nothing to do with the temperature and those engines will simply not start without them in cold temperature. The choke only enrichens the gaz mixture to a point like helping the engine to run once started in the cold.

Snow Removal Apparatus I own:
Ariens ST1530DLE, and good ole arm powered scrapper.
The 15 HP is a new Ducar engine sold
by Princess Auto in Canada.
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post #8 of 24 Old 01-18-2016, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petermbooth View Post
The only work EVER done on this think was replacing the drive belt on the side.

I will change the plug and look at the whole priming system (bulb and hose).

Why would either of these things be affected by cold temperature? Is the idea with the priming bulb that when it's cold it can't create the vaccum it needs to pull the fuel?

Why would the plug be affected by the cold.

BTW, as I predicted, it started right up (when inside) and ran fine as I plowed my entire driveway.

Oh, I'm also selling a Crafstman snowblower for a friend. My son and I made a pretty funny video for the CL ad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlDIMmS4aFg

I'm afraid that all that abuse you put on that starter during that video scares me away from it. You shouldn't run the electric start for more than 5 seconds max, and then a couple of minutes rest to cool down.

Old plugs wear, the gap widens, they get carboned up, and that can inhibit its ability to provide a clean hot spark to ignite the vapour in the cylinder. The manual probably mentions checking the plug annually, and replacing it. I don't think its necessary to replace a plug annually, but at least check, gap, and if its major dirty, then replace it.

Just out of curiosity, how old is the fuel in you machine?

I get about 3 years on a plug, then I change it, because I hate standing out in the cold trying to start a snowblower with a possibly bad or tired out plug.

I do however change oil every year, lubricate parts that move, and paint the parts that don't to avoid having things rust, seize and generally malfunction at a time when making repairs is no fun.

Work fascinates me.
I can watch somebody work for hours...
2008 Craftsman 944.528391 (It's a Husqvarna ST227P)
27", B&S 305cc 13.5 ft/lb Torque 9.5 hp

Last edited by skutflut; 01-18-2016 at 05:09 PM.
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post #9 of 24 Old 01-18-2016, 05:15 PM
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Various things could be going on. Check the simple/obvious first. Plug and hoses/primer will elimiante those. If the problem still exists - drop the fule bowl and clean the carb and the jets (use a wire) and put a new fuel bowl gasket on there. Once you have it back together see how it does. You may need to adjust the carb after that. It sounds like your either flooding it, or not getting enough fuel. Look at your plug in a no-start condition.... is it wet? If so your way to rich.
If you just want to cheat and not deal with hard to start use starting fluid..... I have one machine with a small hole drilled for just that purpose. She is cantekeous in the cold - but warms up and runs like a dream. Always keep a can handy - it's the best tool in your toolbox some days.



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post #10 of 24 Old 01-19-2016, 10:51 AM
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With two stroke motors that have a lot of hours or age, a common source of starting problems is worn crank shaft seals. The colder the temp. is the more the seals will shrink and get less flexible moving away from the crank shaft. These get worn and or hard from heat and age wear. When starting they allow air to be sucked into the crankcase on the up stroke of the piston and this leans out the fuel mixture or it doesn't suck fuel from the carb. and on the down stroke they leak the fuel /air mixture out by the seal instead of forcing it through the transfer port to the top of the piston to be ignited. Any seals that are 15 years old have hardened/worn and are not providing a good seal.

Last edited by 33006; 01-19-2016 at 10:55 AM.
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