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I have a brand new MTD snowthrower (30" 357cc DS) that I bought on clearance last spring. When I started it up today to warm it up pre-season, it ran for about 10 seconds, then started to sputter, then smoke came out of the side, then oil spurted out the bottom onto the tire, and a poof of flame came out the side! I quickly removed the ignition key and unplugged the ignition. Oil is all over my back left tire, and the oil in the filling tube has a whitish residue now.

So I'm a new snowthrower owner. I've used one before, but I always used my neighbor's. Perhaps I did something wrong in the set up? I didn't put any oil or gas into it until this week. I used the right kind of oil (5w-30) and went through the start up sequence exactly as specified in the manual. (Yes, I'm one of THOSE kind of guys... Not mechanically intuitive!)

I've tried to do some reading on other forums, but I'm still not sure how to troubleshoot it. I can take it back to Menards if it's a warranty issue. Does it just need a fuel additive to stabilize? Did I put in too much oil? Where do I start without voiding the warranty?

Any help would be appreciated.
 

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White stuff in the oil usually indicates water. Perhaps they had it sitting outside before you bought it and some water got in the engine? Overflowing oil usually means it is over filled or some other problem with the engine. I wouldn't think you would have an issue with a brand new engine, but you never know.

I never use fuel additives and don't really have any issues. If you were to have problems from that it would be from leaving the fuel in for a long time or using old fuel to begin with. Maybe if the oil had water in it so did the gas?
 

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Sorry Shryp I started to post but someone showed up and I posted a bit later.

Ok I would change the oil with regular 5w-30 and be careful not to overfill if you have a yellow screwed plug at bottom of engine just fill to the rim, or if you have a dipstick then fill carefully to the top marks hopefully it says full. The whitish suggest it may have mixed with water so oil change is a must.
The smoke you saw was probably due to oil that squirted on your muffler hence where you saw the blue flame. I'm explaining this going blind but correct me if I'm astray. You should empty all your gas from your tank and replace with new preferably non-ethanol. Who knows how this gas was in the tank before you bought it. If you can remove the gas from the carburator do so as well and then start it.
Good Luck and please tell us how you made out.
 

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I have a brand new MTD snowthrower (30" 357cc DS) that I bought on clearance last spring. When I started it up today to warm it up pre-season, it ran for about 10 seconds, then started to sputter, then smoke came out of the side, then oil spurted out the bottom onto the tire, and a poof of flame came out the side! I quickly removed the ignition key and unplugged the ignition. Oil is all over my back left tire, and the oil in the filling tube has a whitish residue now.

So I'm a new snowthrower owner. I've used one before, but I always used my neighbor's. Perhaps I did something wrong in the set up? I didn't put any oil or gas into it until this week. I used the right kind of oil (5w-30) and went through the start up sequence exactly as specified in the manual. (Yes, I'm one of THOSE kind of guys... Not mechanically intuitive!)

I've tried to do some reading on other forums, but I'm still not sure how to troubleshoot it. I can take it back to Menards if it's a warranty issue. Does it just need a fuel additive to stabilize? Did I put in too much oil? Where do I start without voiding the warranty?
Any help would be appreciated.


Personally, I would load that blower back on the truck, take it back and let them deal with it. If you went "by the book" and there's a problem I would think it would be covered by the warranty.
 

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If there is water in the cylinder, there could be other problems. If you can, return it. Otherwise, start by removing the spark plug and make sure everything if dry.
 

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Solution?

So I called MTD customer service, which identified the problem as having too much oil in the engine. They recommended I drain the oil back to an appropriate level and let it run for a few minutes. (I had put in 1 quart, which was less than the oil tank's capacity, but MTD said sometimes the stores will put in oil, so you don't start at empty. I specifically checked the oil guage beforehand, and it had been empty, but whatever...)

So I drained the oil until it was under "Full" and above "Empty" per the oil guage. Still smoke. Still smelly.

At that point, I took it to the warranty/repair shop to have them look at it. They said it was basically fine, ran it for a good while, cleaned it up, and charged me $20. So I'm hoping that this clears it all up...literally! I'll repost if it turns out it was something more than just user error / too much oil.
 

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Hope this turns out well for you, nice machine at a clearance price. Too bad they charged you anything at all. Was it your fault? Well maybe, but hooking you for $20 seems crappy on their part. Good luck!
 
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