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Discussion Starter #1
So my dad bought a new 24 in. Craftsman snow blower about 4 months ago. He put gas in the machine at that time. Probably just regular gas with no additives. He has started the machine monthly. That's the only use it's had due to lack of snow. The problem is that now it won't run. If I use starting fluid it will start as soon as I stop squirting it dies. I'd rather not take the carb off if I don't have too. Any ideas?
 

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This "might" work. Try draining the gas in the tank... put it in your car... Buy some NEW highest octane they have at your local gas station.

Fill the tank about 1/2 way with the new high test gas. add a good amount of Sea Foam... try re-starting the blower with the starter fluid...

If you can get it started run it a good long time!

In the future always use premium High Octane has in small engines with a good stabilizer that helps combat the ethanol.
 
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Sound advice, though there are conflicting opinions about whether high-octane might actually be a little bit worse for low-compression engines like these.

But new gas, with stabilizer, at a minimum, is a good idea. Seafoam in the gas would also be good, if available.

Just to ask the simple stuff, if the machine has a fuel shutoff, is that open? I just wouldn't have expected it to have the carb clog up completely in the span of a month.

Will it continue to run if you start it with starting fluid, then turn the choke on? That should help try and draw in additional fuel. If it still won't run at all, then maybe it's getting almost nothing from the carb, vs not-quite-enough.

You could remove just the carburetor bowl, as a middle-ground approach, not as involved as removing the entire carb. Gas should come out, draining the tank, when the bowl is removed, so have a container under it. You could then spray some carb cleaner into what's accessible. And if no gas continues flowing, when the bowl is removed, then gas is not getting to the carb for some reason.

He should be using stabilizer in his gas, going forward, to help avoid these sorts of problems. And if there *is* a fuel shutoff, you can also close the fuel shutoff, and run the engine until it dies, to ensure that no gas just sits in the carb, degrading.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Redoctobyr thanks for the suggestions.
There is no fuel shutoff, when I use the starting fluid it will only run as long as I'm spraying. I tried choke on and choke off. No love. I'll try some seafoam and see what that does. And as far as the gas, ya I told him to use nonethanol for here on out.
 

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So it sounds like you're getting no/very-little fuel from the carb. Either the carb is very gummed up, or gas is not reaching it for some reason.

The "non-invasive" test is to remove the fuel line from the carburetor, and see if gas comes out. Hopefully it does. This tests the fuel line & filter.

The "somewhat-invasive" test is to remove the carb bowl, and see if gas keeps coming out. This also tests the needle valve. But it also gives an opportunity to spray components with carb cleaner.

Non-ethanol gas is good, if available. But even then, using stabilizer is still a cheap & good idea, though it's less critical than if you were using ethanol gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It definitely seems like it's not getting gas. I just find it hard to believe it would gum up the carb in such a short amount of time. Gas still smells fresh. I'll go tinker with it tomorrow and see what happens
 

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Could be the carb is just dried out and the membranes are stuck.... My neighbour's lawn mower does this every spring.....
I've found that a good way to get her running is to put in some new gas (drain the old).... Then fill a small spray bottle like one used for a sinus spray......(squeeze bottle)

Shoot the gas into the carb while trying to start it.... once it starts, use the choke and continue spraying in gas until it finally starts to suck gas from the tank....

I've used this method for yrs.... Works most of the time..! Good luck.....

If it don't work....pull carb and clean..
 

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just wondering if spraying starting fluid is a good idea. read somewhere that it burns so hot it could do some damage. other members......is that true?

i agree with taking bottom of bowl off or drain if so equipped to see if gas is filling bowl. if not , disconnect fuel line and see if that is clogged. you may be able to spray some carb cleaner up the fuel line with the straw.

seems very unusual problem for a new machine. first thought was if the fuel was ON but you said there was no shut off valve.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So I removed the carb drain screw and gas did come out. I guess the carb it getting gas. Interesting thought about the starting fluid possibly being a bad idea. My original thought was to add some fresh gas with seafoam then spray the starter fluid until it decided to run on its own. Anymore thoughts on the starter fluid?
 

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If that screw is in the center of the carb bowl, that might also be the main jet. If you remove that, spray it with carb cleaner, and maybe run a small copper wire through all the holes, that might help it flow better. Using a single thin copper wire strand means it's less likely to damage the jet, or open the holes, vs using steel wire. But I've seen people talk about using the wire from a bread twist tie. Do it gently, regardless.
 

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Any chance the spark plug might be fouled, or defective so that there's enough spark to ignite the starting fluid, but not the fuel? Could also be a dead bug somewhere in the carburetor. I know spider nests (the small cocoons that hunting spiders make for shelter) often play havoc with propane grills.
 

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You may not be able to get gas without ethanol, so you may just have to learn to deal with it. I use the green STA-BIL to combat the alcohol and also the red to combat gum. I put 1 oz of each in a 1.5 gallon gas can along with 1 oz of seafoam every time I fill my can.

I would take off the gas tank and clean it out well. I would then attach the gas line to the tank and pour some fresh gas in the tank and make sure that the gas is coming out of the gas line clean. It's a good to learn how to clean your carburetor. With gas the way it is, you will have to do it sooner or later. The only downside of removing the carb to clean it is that you may need a new gasket unless you are very careful. You can make your own with a roll of gasket paper and a sharp knife, but that's one more thing on the list.

There are many good vids on cleaning your carb, just look for one with your engine. You just need a small wire, an old toothbrush, a can of carb cleaner, and a bit of patience.

I would guess if the problem was electrical (anti-theft switch, spark-plug, etc) that it wouldn't run with the starter fluid.

LMHmedchem
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm headed over to the folks shortly to see if I can get this thing running. I'm gonna confirm that I have spark, clean the jet, and add some seafoam In some fresh nonethanol gas. (Readily available in my area). Any advice on taking that plastic shroud off. It seems everything is connected to the piece covering the carb. The choke, throttle, key, and primer. Also do you guys think it necessary to add fuel stabilizer to non ethanol Gas? I've never used the stuff in my blower, chainsaw etc... and haven't had an issue
 

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Sure, just rub it in, that you can get ethanol-free gas :)

All gas goes bad, but ethanol-free stays good a lot longer. Most will probably say there's no need for stabilizer with ethanol-free, and they're probably right. But for the minor cost involved, I'd probably use it, if I had it already. It won't hurt anything, even if it's just extra insurance against problems.
 

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You need to treat the non ethanol gas the same as the ethanol gas.
I always use Sta-Bil Marine 360 and double dose it.
 

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It must still be under warranty. Don’t mess with it. Talk to where it was purchased (considering the Craftsman brand, it may not be Sears) and press them. Get verbal.
 

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Is that sort of thing covered by warranty? I hadn't even considered that. But if you let the carb gunk up with old gas, for instance, I wouldn't have expected that to be covered under warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Co snow. I'd imagine it's still under warranty as it's only 4 mos old. However I'm not sure where it was purchased nor do I want to deal with the logistics of getting it to a shop (the folks are out of town). Anyways I think I'm gonna push this project off till tomorrow since football is on and it's beer 30. I'm still interested in advice on getting that shroud off if anyone wants to chime in
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Redoctobyr, my guess is that a fuel issue would not be covered. In my opinion though the thing is brand new with gas that is really not that old. It should run. My ariens doesn't have this issue
 

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I don't know anything about the specific engine or shrouds, sorry. If you post some engine details, and/or pics, maybe someone will chime in with info about what needs to be removed.
 
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