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Snowblower Won’t Start After Sitting? Easy Troubleshooting Tips

    Red Snapper snowblower in a garage floor with bottles of fuel cleaner, 2-cycle oil and fuel stabilizer.

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    Winter’s chill can often leave us unprepared and scrambling to bring our trusty snowblowers back into action. Whether it’s due to unexpected weather shifts or simply the hustle and bustle of life, many of us have found ourselves in a situation where our snowblower won’t start after sitting for an extended period.

    We understand that life can sometimes throw curveballs, leaving little time for maintenance. We’re here to provide solutions and tips on how to bring your snowblower back to life. Even if you haven’t drained the fuel or taken preventative measures during storage.

    There is an easy way to overcome common challenges that many snowblower owners face when they dust off their trusty winter companion after years of dormancy. And you don’t need to take it apart to clean it manually.

    We were able to use this method to get a snowblower to re-start after it had been sitting for over 17 years. Read on to see how this nifty trick works.

    Why Snowblowers Won’t Start After Sitting

    Snowblowers left unused for extended periods often refuse to start due to the combination of stale fuel and the natural degradation of various components. Stale fuel can lead to clogged fuel lines and carburetor jets, making it difficult for the engine to ignite.

    Additionally, internal engine parts may suffer from corrosion and wear when not in regular use, further hindering the snowblower’s ability to start and function optimally. These factors, combined with the accumulation of gunk and debris, can turn a once-reliable snowblower into a stubborn, non-starting machine.

    Easy Way to Revive a Neglected Snowblower

    In this guide, we’ll unveil a step-by-step process that not only gets your snowblower up and running but also ensures those clogged fuel lines are cleared efficiently. Say goodbye to the winter woes and hello to a snowblower that’s ready to tackle the drifts and flurries with ease. Let’s get started on reviving your winter workhorse!

    Tools Needed to Re-Start a Snowblower

    1. Mechanic in a Bottle Fuel Cleaner: A concentrated cleaner to dissolve gunk and deposits in your snowblower’s fuel system.
    2. Fresh Gasoline and Appropriate Oil Mix: High-quality fuel mixed with the correct oil ratio, if applicable, to power your snowblower.
    3. Safety Gear (Gloves, Safety Glasses): Personal protective equipment to ensure your safety while working on the snowblower.
    Red Snapper snowblower in a garage floor with bottles of fuel cleaner, 2-cycle oil and fuel stabilizer.

    Where to Get What you Need

    Whether you choose to visit your local hardware store, explore online retailers, or seek assistance from a helpful neighbor, obtaining the tools and products mentioned in our guide is easily within reach. Let’s begin the journey to bring your snowblower back to life.

    Mechanic in A Bottle

    Briggs & Stratton 2-Cycle Easy Mix Motor Oil

    How to Start a Snowblower That has Been Sitting

    As we venture further into this tutorial, we’re going to break down the process of reviving your snowblower into clear, manageable steps. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and take a closer look at each crucial step to ensure your snowblower is ready for action this winter.

    Important Safety Information: Before attempting to revive a neglected snowblower, always prioritize safety. Ensure you are in a well-ventilated area, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and follow these precautions:

    1. Work in a Well-Ventilated Area: Do this in an open, well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes. Do not do in a garage even if the doors are open. Take the snowblower outside away from the house.
    2. Wear Safety Gear: Use safety glasses, gloves, and any other necessary protective equipment.
    3. Fire Safety: Be cautious with flammable materials and store them properly.

    Now, here are the steps to revive a neglected snowblower with clogged fuel lines:

    Red snowblower that won't start after sitting with a bottle of Mechanic in a Bottle on top
    1. Assessment: Check the overall condition of the snowblower, including the fuel lines, spark plug, and air filter.
    2. Empty Old Fuel: Drain any old, stale fuel from the gas tank.
    3. Mechanic in a Bottle Fuel Cleaner:
      • With the snowblower in a dry, well-ventilated area, add about 8 ounces of Mechanic in a Bottle fuel cleaner to the gas tank.
      • Let it stand for 30 minutes. This will help break down and remove deposits in the fuel system. Gently rock the blower back and forth a few times to let the cleaner work.
    4. Starting and Running:
      • Attempt to start the snowblower after the 30-minute waiting period. Refer to your manual for this step which typically involves turning the key to the start position, throwing back the choke, and pulling the crank to start the engine.
      • Your blower will likely not start on the first few cranks. You will need to pull several times.
      • If the blower comes on, allow the concentrated cleaner to clean out the fuel lines by running the snowblower for about 10 minutes.
    5. Adding Regular Fuel:
      • Turn off the snowblower.
      • Add fresh, high-quality gasoline mixed with the appropriate 2-cycle motor oil in a ratio suitable for your snowblower (if applicable).
      • Attempt to start it again, and let it run for 30 minutes this time.

    Video Tutorial for a Snowblower That Won’t Start

    Watch this video to see how we got a blower that had been sitting for many years to start. We’ll walk you through the entire process, providing valuable tips and insights to make the revival process a breeze.

    In the previous steps of our tutorial, we covered how to prepare your snowblower and apply the necessary fuel cleaner. Now, we’ll delve into troubleshooting tips if your snowblower still refuses to start.

    Note: These are more advanced steps. Only do these if you have the experience and find a good resource to guide you.

    1. Check Spark Plug: Inspect and clean or replace the spark plug if it’s fouled or worn out.
    2. Air Filter: Examine the air filter; if it’s dirty or clogged, replace it with a new one.
    3. Fuel Line Inspection: If the snowblower still doesn’t start, visually inspect the fuel lines for cracks, blockages, or disconnections. Replace any damaged or clogged fuel lines.
    4. Carburetor Cleaning: If the problem persists, consider removing and cleaning the carburetor. Use a carburetor cleaner spray to remove any varnish or deposits.
    5. Consult a Professional: If you’re unable to get the snowblower running after trying these steps, consider consulting a professional mechanic or small engine repair specialist.
    1. Spark Plug Wrench: A tool for removing and inspecting the spark plug, a crucial component for ignition.
    2. Carburetor Cleaner Spray: Used for cleaning the carburetor and removing varnish or deposits.
    3. Fuel Stabilizer (optional): Helps prevent fuel degradation during long periods of snowblower inactivity.
    4. Silicone Spray (optional): Lubricant for moving parts to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation.


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    How to Properly Store Your Snowblower

    Properly storing your snowblower after winter ensures it will be ready to go when the next snowy season arrives. To do this, consider using a fuel stabilizer if you plan to keep fuel in the tank over the summer; this prevents fuel degradation and clogging.

    Alternatively, you can empty the tank manually or run the snowblower until all the fuel is used up to avoid any stale fuel issues. Additionally, store the snowblower in a dry, sheltered area, and remember to disconnect the spark plug to prevent accidental starts. These steps will help prolong the life of your snowblower and make winter preparations hassle-free.

    Consider using STA-BIL Storage Fuel Stabilizer for your snowblower. It’s a reliable choice to prevent fuel degradation during storage, which can help ensure your snowblower starts smoothly when the next winter season arrives.

    STA-BIL Storage Fuel Stabilizer


    Regular maintenance and proper storage are key to keeping your snowblower in good working condition. Mechanic in a Bottle can be an effective solution for addressing clogged fuel lines due to stale fuel. It works even if the blower has been sitting for 10+ years!

    However, if these steps and products do not resolve the issue, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance to ensure your snowblower is safe and ready for use during the winter season.

    By Master Influencer Magazine Home Improvement Staff

    Published 4:10 PM EDT, Tuesday September 05, 2023


    Snowblower, Mechanic in a Bottle, DIY, Power Engines, Tutorial Video; Outdoor Equipment, Snow Removal.

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