How To Start A Snowblower

Have you ever found yourself staring at your snow-covered driveway, wondering how you were going to clear it all away? Well, luckily for you, I’ve got a simple solution – a snowblower! But I bet you’re wondering, how do you even start a snowblower? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. In this article, I’ll walk you through all the steps and give you some handy tips on how to start a snowblower with ease.

Starting a snowblower may seem like a daunting task, but trust me, it’s easier than you think. First things first, you’ll want to check the fuel levels and make sure you have enough gas in the tank. Next, locate the choke lever – this will help you start the engine more easily. After that, find the primer bulb and give it a few pumps to get the fuel flowing. Now, it’s time to pull on the starter cord gently. You’ll feel some resistance at first, but with a firm pull, the engine should come to life. Keep in mind, every snowblower is slightly different, so it’s always a good idea to consult the manual for specific instructions. So, stay tuned and get ready to become a snowblower champion in no time!

How to Start a Snowblower

Winter can bring beautiful snowy landscapes, but it can also bring the arduous task of clearing all that snow from your driveway or walkway. This is where a snowblower becomes your best friend. However, it’s essential to take the necessary precautions and properly operate your snowblower to ensure your safety and avoid any potential accidents. In this article, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of starting and operating a snowblower effectively and safely.

How To Start A Snowblower

Safety Precautions

Before starting your snowblower, it’s crucial to take some safety precautions to ensure a secure working environment:

Clear the area

Before starting your snowblower, make sure the area you are going to clear is free of any obstacles, such as rocks, branches, or other debris that could damage your machine or cause accidents. Snowblowers work best on a clean, flat surface, so take the time to clear any potentially problematic items.

Wear appropriate clothing

Dressing appropriately is key to ensure your safety while operating a snowblower. Wear warm, layered clothing and insulated boots to protect yourself from the cold weather. Additionally, always wear safety glasses or goggles to shield your eyes from flying debris, and use hearing protection to mitigate the machine’s noise.

Check fuel levels and oil

Before starting your snowblower, check the fuel levels and ensure they are sufficient for the task at hand. It’s a good practice to always keep the fuel tank full to avoid any interruptions while clearing snow. Also, check the oil level and condition, and ensure it is at the recommended level and clean. If necessary, top it off or change it before starting the machine.

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Inspect and Prepare the Snowblower

Inspecting and preparing your snowblower is essential to ensure it’s in good working condition before tackling the snow. Here are a few steps to follow:

Check the spark plug

Inspect the spark plug and ensure it is clean and properly connected. If it appears dirty or damaged, clean or replace it accordingly. The spark plug plays a vital role in starting the snowblower, so make sure it’s in optimal condition.

Check the tire pressure

Ensure the snowblower’s tires are properly inflated by checking their pressure. Having correctly inflated tires allows for enhanced maneuverability and prevents the machine from getting stuck in the snow.

Inspect the auger

Inspect the auger, which is the rotating mechanism responsible for collecting and discharging the snow. Look for any damage, such as bent blades or loose parts, and make the necessary repairs or replacements before operating it.

Priming the Engine

Priming the engine prepares it for starting by supplying it with a mixture of fuel and air. Follow these steps to prime your snowblower’s engine:

Locate the primer bulb

The primer bulb is typically located on the side of the engine or near the carburetor. It is usually a soft, rubber bulb that you can press with your thumb and fingers.

Press the primer bulb multiple times

Press the primer bulb multiple times until you feel resistance. This action will draw fuel into the carburetor, which is necessary for starting the engine.

Adjusting Choke and Throttle

Properly adjusting the choke and throttle ensures a smooth start and optimal engine performance. Follow these steps to adjust them correctly:

Locate the choke and throttle controls

The choke and throttle controls are usually located near the engine or on the snowblower’s handle. Familiarize yourself with their respective positions before starting the engine.

Move the choke to the ‘Start’ position

Move the choke to the ‘Start’ position, which is typically indicated by an icon or symbol. This setting enriches the air-fuel mixture, making it easier to start the engine in colder temperatures.

Set the throttle to the desired speed

After setting the choke to the ‘Start’ position, set the throttle to the desired speed. Throttling up can help the engine warm up faster and provide better throwing power for the snow.

How To Start A Snowblower

Starting the Engine

Once you have primed the engine and adjusted the choke and throttle, it’s time to start it up. Follow these steps:

Pull the starter cord

Grasp the starter cord handle firmly and pull it briskly. This action will start the engine. If the cord does not pull easily, check for any obstructions or mechanical issues that may hinder the startup process.

Repeat if necessary

In some cases, the engine may not start on the first attempt. If this happens, release the starter cord and let it recoil fully, then pull it again. Repeat this process until the engine starts successfully.

Release the throttle and choke

Once the engine starts, allow it to idle for a few moments to warm up. Then, slowly release the choke and adjust the throttle to the desired speed for clearing the snow.

Operating the Snowblower

Now that the engine is running smoothly, it’s time to operate the snowblower effectively and efficiently:

Engage the auger and drive controls

Engage the auger and drive controls by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually, you will have separate levers or buttons for the auger and the drive system. Engaging both simultaneously will allow the snowblower to collect and throw the snow while moving forward.

Clear the snow in an orderly pattern

Start clearing the snow in an orderly pattern, typically starting from one edge of the driveway or walkway and moving in a straight line towards the opposite edge. Overlapping your passes ensures that the snow is thoroughly removed.

Avoid throwing snow towards people or objects

Be mindful of your surroundings and ensure that you are not throwing snow towards people, buildings, or vehicles. Aim the discharge chute away from any objects to prevent potential damage or accidents.

Maintenance and Storage

Proper maintenance and storage are crucial for the longevity and optimal performance of your snowblower. Follow these steps:

Clean snow and debris from the snowblower

After each use, remove any snow and debris from the snowblower, paying special attention to the chute and auger area. Cleaning the machine ensures its proper functioning and prevents clogs or damage.

Check and change the oil regularly

Regularly check the oil level and condition of your snowblower and change it as recommended by the manufacturer. Clean oil helps to keep the engine running smoothly and prevents premature wear or damage.

Store the snowblower in a dry place

When not in use, store your snowblower in a dry, protected area, such as a garage or shed. A dry environment prevents moisture buildup, which can lead to rust or other damage.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Sometimes, you may encounter issues while operating your snowblower. Here are some troubleshooting tips for common problems:

Engine fails to start

If the engine fails to start, check if the fuel tank is full and the spark plug is clean and connected correctly. Also, make sure the choke and throttle settings are appropriate for the weather conditions.

Auger or drive controls not working

If the auger or drive controls are not working, check for any frozen debris or obstructions in the chute, auger, or drive system. Clear any snow or ice buildup and make sure all levers and buttons are engaged properly.

Excessive vibration during operation

Excessive vibration can be a sign of loose parts or damage. Check all bolts, nuts, and components to ensure they are tightly secured. If the vibration persists, consult a professional for further inspection and repairs.

Professional Assistance

While snowblower maintenance can be performed by the owner, there are instances where seeking professional assistance is necessary:

When to seek professional help

If you encounter severe issues with your snowblower or have concerns about its operation, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance. They have the expertise to diagnose and fix complex problems or provide guidance on proper machine operation.

Choosing a reputable service provider

When selecting a professional service provider, consider their reputation, experience, and customer reviews. A reputable provider will offer reliable, efficient service and ensure your snowblower is in good hands.

Maintenance tips from professionals

When you seek professional assistance, take the opportunity to learn from their expertise. Ask them about maintenance tips and best practices to keep your snowblower in excellent condition and maximize its performance.


Starting a snowblower may seem daunting at first, but by following the proper procedures and taking the necessary safety precautions, you can confidently operate your snowblower and efficiently clear away snow. Remember to always wear appropriate clothing, check fuel levels and oil, and inspect your snowblower before starting it up. By following these guidelines and practicing regular maintenance, you can make snow removal a breeze and enjoy a safer, snow-free environment during the winter season. Stay warm and stay safe!