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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. New on this forum/not very experienced with snowblowers. I have an Ariens SnoTek 20 from Home Depot (~3 years old, though very little use the first year). A month or two ago, before any storms hit, I changed the oil. As part of the recommended process, I ran the snowblower before changing the oil, and it ran completely fine/normal. After changing the oil, I haven't had any reason to run it until today. When I tried starting it this morning, it wouldn't start - tried multiple times, non-electric start, electric start. Checked the oil and the dipstick indicates it's full. Added gas. At a loss for what else to try. Most of the advice I've seen online relates to scenarios where gas was left in the machine during the off-season, which I didn't do (drained it the last time I used it last winter).

Any advice on what seem like likely culprits in this case?
 

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Is the fuel shutoff on?
Is there a key switch...and is it on?
is the spark plug wire connected
is the throttle in the correct position?
is traction or auger engaged? Alot of machines have safety interlocks.

If all of these conditions have been met, id then be looking into fuel and spark.
 

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Read your owner's manual first to make sure you are doing all the correct steps in preparation for starting.

Start w/simplest first. Got spark? Y/N. If no spark check switch etc..
If spark is fuel on? Y/N. If fuel on are you using your primer and choke properly? Etc
Narrow your problem down and take the necessary steps from there.
We'll be here if you need us.
 

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Did your oil change involve tipping the machine at all? If you tipped it up to grease the drive system you might have got the carb float stuck, flooded the engine or caused some junk to get into the carb.
 

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I wonder if jds90 got the old girl going again?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all. I did get it working, with an electric start (I know I said in original post that I'd already tried that - turned out I didn't do it correctly, so when I tried again with correct steps, it worked). Pull cord still won't work - wonder if that possibly signals a carburetor problem, or if a carburetor problem would manifest just as much with an electric start? Either way, was able to tackle the task at hand (the New England blizzard) yesterday evening and this morning, using the electric start. Thanks again for all answers!
 

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If it starts with electric it should start with a rope. Do you feel resistance? If you don't the pawls are hung up are not engaging.
 

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Thanks all. I did get it working, with an electric start (I know I said in original post that I'd already tried that - turned out I didn't do it correctly, so when I tried again with correct steps, it worked). Pull cord still won't work - wonder if that possibly signals a carburetor problem, or if a carburetor problem would manifest just as much with an electric start? Either way, was able to tackle the task at hand (the New England blizzard) yesterday evening and this morning, using the electric start. Thanks again for all answers!
Well, what was the problem that it wouldn't start? Was it simply a matter of proper choking and priming to get it to start? And what do you mean it won't start with the pull rope? Is the pull start not engaging?
And welcome to the forum, from the Keystone state.
 

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I have a SnoTek (5hp) which the original owner broke the pull string on. He cut off the end, and knotted it up, so the string is short. Pull it, you get maybe 1 to 1 1/2 revs of the engine. It wouldn't start. It was headed for the scrap pile. Replaced the short rope with the correct length, starts on first pull. I got another blower to play with.
 

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I had a blower that started like clockwork with the electric starter but wouldn't start with the original cord. I removed the starter due to breaking it's mounting brackets. Now it starts like clockwork with the cord.
 
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