Snowblower Forum banner

1 - 20 of 56 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We had our first big storm of the season overnight with a foot of heavy snow. Once again I only got part of my work done before my Ariens broke down. ( 11.5 hp/28"/ Pro model) I'm starting my 7th winter with it and it breaks down constantly. Last week my third traction lever cable broke...the spring shaft always breaks in the same place. Today the actual lever broke off...it had broken off previously and had been welded which lasted two or three years. Last year it cost me over $400 parts and labor to fix broken and worn internal components. The throttle lever won't stay up at maximum anymore and I have to use a small bungee cord to hold it in place or the engine tries to slow down to near idle speed. There's no end to it. Even the metal top control panel has cracked in two.
I did a lot of research before buying it and figured it was worth the extra $700-$1000 compared to some Sears or Canadian Tire offerings. Big disappointment. I'll probably keep nursing it along until I can spring for a Honda. From what a couple of non-sales people at the Ariens dealership are saying, a lot of people are talking about moving to another brand ( mostly Honda ) next time.
I think Ariens must have made better blowers years ago. They seem to have established a great reputation but the quality has gone to seed in the name of profit. Despite being about twice the cost this Ariens isn't worth a dime more than my old MTD which was always broken down too. Their name doesn't mean much anymore. Sad to see.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,670 Posts
hello billy, welcome to SBF!! with snow in your location its a bad time to have your blower down hope you get it repaired soon. I don't think any of the makers of snowblowers builds them like they use to
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,205 Posts
Welcome to the forum, Billy. Hate to hear the bad stuff going on with your blower. That's gotta be a major bummer. We're here to help if we can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
I ran a mtd 10/29 for years. Ended up with 2 Honda snowblowers from an estate sale. I kept the hs928 tcd for myself, sold the hs724 tcd to my buddy. Keep an eye out for sales and kijiji you may end up with a Honda sooner than you think. Never looking back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the commiseration gentlemen. At least I got enough snow moved to get my car out before I broke down. I've got a new lever on hand that I had ordered as a backup after the first one had to be welded. I'm off out to buy a lotto ticket...I'll buy a big honking Honda if I win.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I feel your pain

I feel your pain Billy. I too spent $900 more to buy an Ariens Pro 28 over the Craftsman 30" which was my original choice. Both had the 420cc motor which I wanted. I bought the Ariens based on their reputation for quality and decided to spend more money for it. 50% more in fact!

The Ariens was DOA. It leaked oil all over my new garage floor after the first start up, so I took it back to Home Depot and bought the Craftsman. Never did get a chance to use it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
Throttle control lever sneaking down is common enough problem on Tecumseh engines (along with a whole host of other problems) The snowblower itself is built heavier and a little more elegantly than say a Craftsman/Husqvarna/Murray but still suffers from the same basic design flaws. I've probably worked on just about everything built in the last 25 years with the exception of those oddball MTD 4wd units Canadian tire sold for about 1 year about 15 years ago. If you truly want something better it's Honda or Yamaha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Must of been a lemon, every brand has them...

My neighbor has 3 ariens he uses during the winter to blow driveways all over town for about 12 people and never had any major problems and 2 of them are over 5 years old... The day I bought mine he came over and looked at it and said, "You bought the best young fella, for the price you can't beat an Ariens"

He loves them and from the looks of it wants to buy another one like my deluxe 28 :D
Every brand makes a lemon but everyone in this neighborhood owns an Ariens and all love them, just seen 3 new ones pass the house in the last week being delivered

Sucks to hear about your issues though but besides a Honda and maybe Toro, can't beat an Ariens
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
It is a lemon alright, but like I said, even some guys at the dealership are saying off the record that they're hearing a lot of negative feedback about Ariens. They're just as good as most of the other brands out there but you pay a premium price which gives you nothing more. I think they are probably decent as long as they don't have to work too hard. But where I live we get big storms with heavy snow and I've got a big area to clear. But remember, I bought the 'Pro' model with an 11.5 hp engine. For nearly $2500 after taxes this machine should be up to the task and clearly it is not. When you have to keep replacing control cables because the springs break, obviously the part is sub-standard quality. Same story for a traction lever that breaks off and a control panel that splits from the operator pushing against it. Ridiculous! Also, mine has the Tecumseh engine and I've had a few of them on various machines. In my opinion they damage themselves as well as a lot of other components because of excessive vibration.
I was an Ariens fan for about the first season and a half I had mine. It's been all downhill ever since. No testimonial will impress me unless I see with my own eyes what conditions the machine has been working in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,228 Posts
You said you were going to get a Honda, they make the best generators but when I was looking to purchase I looked them both over Honda and Yamaha and to me Yamaha had the better design and was $1100 cheaper. Mind you I might have been biased a bit because I previously owned a Yamaha for 30 years. It was pretty much trouble free with regular maintenance. I'm approaching sixty and not as strong as I use to be so I settled for a YS624.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
792 Posts
In my experience, nothing made in the last 10 years has been built with longevity in mind. There is way too much plastic used for critical parts and things that never should bend do. The paint looks great until he slightest bubble appears, then it peels off in sheets. The only improvements I can see are safety features. MH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
It is a lemon alright, but like I said, even some guys at the dealership are saying off the record that they're hearing a lot of negative feedback about Ariens. They're just as good as most of the other brands out there but you pay a premium price which gives you nothing more. I think they are probably decent as long as they don't have to work too hard. But where I live we get big storms with heavy snow and I've got a big area to clear. But remember, I bought the 'Pro' model with an 11.5 hp engine. For nearly $2500 after taxes this machine should be up to the task and clearly it is not. When you have to keep replacing control cables because the springs break, obviously the part is sub-standard quality. Same story for a traction lever that breaks off and a control panel that splits from the operator pushing against it. Ridiculous! Also, mine has the Tecumseh engine and I've had a few of them on various machines. In my opinion they damage themselves as well as a lot of other components because of excessive vibration.
I was an Ariens fan for about the first season and a half I had mine. It's been all downhill ever since. No testimonial will impress me unless I see with my own eyes what conditions the machine has been working in.
I live in eastern Canada, so we get lots here... Not worried about mine, 5 year warranty and positive after positive feedback from owners is why I bought it...

My dad owns a Husqvarna 27sb ls and has been rock solid as well besides one broken cable
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Well this is not good to hear being I just bought a new Ariens Pro this year, will use it for the first time tonight!

All I can add, ran my MTD for 17 years with out issues, when I compared my new Airens side by side to my old MTD the build quality/parts used was night and day with the Ariens coming out on top.

Not going to happy if the Ariens does not fair as well as 1/2 the cost MTD unit!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Well I called and ordered a new control panel this morning. ( $77Cdn + tax...and there will be at least an hour labor but I'll do that myself)Mine broke in two a few years ago in the area between the speed selector lever and the chute angle lever. I repaired it with pop-riveted aluminum strips but that has now broken through also. It isn't just aesthetic, that area supports both lever rods and the interlock mechanism. It needs to be rigid or there are lever rod alignment problems. I originally thought that it cracked as a result of me pushing against the back of the panel with my belly in hard going. On closer analysis that wasn't what caused it. Rather, the sheet metal is not thick enough to properly support the mechanism attached to the underside of that area. The fact that my aluminum repair has also cracked in two is proof of how much that metal span wants to flex.
I'll say this much: Out of necessity my skills as a mechanic have improved significantly in the six years I've had this snowblower. If I'd paid labor every time it's broken down I'd be in the poor house.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,860 Posts
Well this is not good to hear being I just bought a new Ariens Pro this year, will use it for the first time tonight!

All I can add, ran my MTD for 17 years with out issues, when I compared my new Airens side by side to my old MTD the build quality/parts used was night and day with the Ariens coming out on top.

Not going to happy if the Ariens does not fair as well as 1/2 the cost MTD unit!
You have nothing to worry about.
While Billy's experience is unfortunate, and "lemons" certainty do happen, a sample size of one is not statistically significant! ;)

Scot
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
You are correct but if you happen to be that one, then you have statistically experienced a 100% failure rate for that product.

You bought one and it was NFG so it's not likely you will buy another.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,860 Posts
You are correct but if you happen to be that one, then you have statistically experienced a 100% failure rate for that product.

You bought one and it was NFG so it's not likely you will buy another.
Completely true and reasonable..
but it still doesnt change the fact that Ariens are, overall, higher quality than some other brands, and your odds of getting a higher quality machine are much higher if you buy one of well-respected brands versus one of the brands known to be less reliable..

If you bought an Ariens that proved to be problematic, then "swore off" Ariens for life and went out and got a MTD or a Craftsman instead, that would not be a wise choice IMO..because you shouldn't look at your "sample size of one" and assume it relates to the whole population..because it doesn't..all it means is you were the unfortunate .01%..which can happen..but you should still go with the brands that have the best history, overall, based on thousands, even millions, of samples...

basically, if you were unfortunate to get a "bad ariens", buying *another* Ariens would still be much wiser than buying a MTD or a Craftsman.. not doing so based on only one sample is probably an example of a "logical fallacy" of some kind, but im not sure which one! ;)

Scot
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
[quoteWhile Billy's experience is unfortunate, and "lemons" certainty do happen, a sample size of one is not statistically significant!][/quote]

Scot, with all due respect to your elevated forum status, your logic assumes that we've now heard from all of the dissatisfied Ariens owners and that I'm a party of one. I believe that the people who work at the dealership get an accurate picture of customer satisfaction and they lead me to believe that the " sample size" of angry Ariens buyers is a lot higher than one. It just that not everyone is as ornery as I am. I don't believe in rewarding bad behavior and I'll go out of my way to air my grievances if I feel a company needs to be exposed. You can bet I will not be buying another Ariens snowblower. The leaves are hardly off the trees yet and already this season I'm up to over $150 in parts alone. The repairs over six seasons total enough to have bought a Honda or Yamaha in the first place.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,860 Posts
Scot, with all due respect to your elevated forum status, your logic assumes that we've now heard from all of the dissatisfied Ariens owners and that I'm a party of one.
actually, it doesn't assume that.
We dont need to know how many people are satisfied or dissatisfied to know that a sample size of one is not statistically significant! ;)
which is all I said..and its completely true.

The actual amount of satisfied versus dissatisfied customers is a completely different topic.

Scot
 
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
Top