How To Troubleshoot: ARIENS Snowblower Won’t Start 4 reasons

Snowblowers usually don’t see much use until the winter season rolls around. But what happens if you grab your Ariens snowblower only to find that it won’t start?

Your Ariens snowblower won’t start if its safety key is not pushed into the slot. Besides that, a worn-out spark plug or dirty carburetor will create a no-start condition for the engine. Lastly, a broken flywheel key also stops the engine from starting as a safety precaution and needs to be replaced.

You’ll want to get your Ariens snowblower running to deal with the snow around your home. So, read this guide to discover what might affect it and how to fix each possible problem.

Why Won’t An Ariens Snowblower Start?

When winter rolls around, but your Ariens snowblower won’t start, troubleshoot it for the following issues:

Safety Key Not Pushed In

About this: When your Ariens snowblower won’t start, you must first check the safety key. Snowblowers like yours will have a plastic safety key pushed into place whenever you want to use the machine.

Removing the safety key will immediately break the electrical circuit in the snowblower, preventing it from running or even starting in the first place.

The safety key is a safety feature that acts as an emergency stop. For example, suppose you run over something and need to stop the machine immediately. In that case, pulling the safety key out will do just that.

safety keysnowblower won't start

How it failed: As you read above, your Ariens snowblower won’t start because the safety key isn’t pushed in. In some cases, the safety key might not even be there at all.

However, the safety key might appear to be pushed in from a distance, even though that’s not the case. Even if the key is slightly loose, it will prevent the snowblower from starting.

What to do: The only solution to this problem is to fully push the safety key in. If the key is missing, you must purchase a new one to start your snowblower.

Unfortunately, you can’t bypass the safety key if yours goes missing.

Connect with an Appliance Repair Tech

Click here to use the chatbox to speak with one of our technicians.
No in-home service calls. No appointments.

Also, please note that snowblower safety keys are not universal. So when you purchase a replacement, double-check to ensure that it’s compatible with your particular Ariens snowblower model.

Worn-Out Spark Plug

About this: Ariens snowblowers use small combustion engines to generate power. These engines function using similar concepts to the combustion engine in your car. As such, one of its most critical components is the spark plug.

The spark plug is designed to deliver strong electrical sparks into the combustion chamber continuously. In doing so, the spark plug ignites the mixture of fuel and air to produce an explosion.

That continuous process is how the engine produces power to run your Ariens snowblower.

How it failed: Another reason your snowblower won’t start is the spark plug has become worn out. That’s especially true if you’ve been using the same spark plug in your snowblower for an extended period.

Spark plugs naturally experience plenty of wear. That’s because of all the sparks it creates and the explosions around it in the engine’s chamber.

When the spark plug starts to wear out, it loses its ability to produce any sparks. Without those sparks, the snowblower engine can’t start.

What to do: You must solve this problem by replacing the spark plug with an identical replacement. That’s unavoidable, as spark plugs must be replaced during the snowblower’s regular maintenance.

As a short-term fix, you can get the snowblower started by cleaning the existing spark plug with a brush. However, this is only a short-term solution while you wait to purchase a new spark plug.

Spark Plug for ARIENS Snowblower
Buy on Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
03/07/2024 12:45 am GMT

Dirty Carburetor (snowblower won’t start)

About this: Earlier, you read how the spark plug ignites a mixture of fuel and air inside the engine’s combustion chamber. That fuel and air mixture is controlled by the carburetor, which ensures the mixture is balanced.

The carburetor ensures that the mixture doesn’t have too much air (making it a lean mixture) or too much fuel (making it a rich mixture). Both conditions can make the snowblower engine work much less efficiently.

snowblower won't start

How it failed: Once you troubleshoot and rule out the spark plug, the next engine component to check is the carburetor. There’s a strong possibility that it’s clogged or dirty due to improperly burned fuel.

When that happens, you’ll find a sticky residue building up inside the carburetor. That residue results from too much air in the mixture, which removes moisture from the fuel.

That buildup can prevent the snowblower engine from starting if it gets too severe.

What to do: A dirty carburetor can be cleaned very quickly by using a carburetor cleaner. It’s best to use a cleaner that’s created specifically for the purpose of cleaning a carburetor, as it’ll have the necessary chemicals to get the job done right.

Spray the cleaner inside the carburetor and remove all build ups until the carburetor is perfectly clean. That will restore its ability to work correctly and start the snowblower.

Be sure to avoid using other substitutes often promoted online, like using household cleaning products. Again, only carburetor cleaners will have the necessary chemicals to be effective.

Broken Flywheel Key

About this: Ariens snow blowers come with built-in safety features. One is the flywheel key connecting the engine’s crankshaft and the flywheel.

The flywheel key is designed to break if anything suddenly stops the flywheel from turning. Doing so protects the engine from damaging itself during an emergency stop.

However, once that happens, the flywheel key is no longer useful and must be replaced with a new one.

How it failed: The final reason to consider is the flywheel key has broken off. As you read above, that only happens when something jams the flywheel, like a foreign object getting stuck inside the snowblower.

The flywheel key breaks off and prevents the snowblower engine from starting.

What to do: You can solve this problem by replacing the broken or ‘sheared’ flywheel key. Doing so will enable the engine to function normally and start when needed.

However, you must also determine what broke it in the first place. That way, you can remove that problem, so it doesn’t continue affecting your Ariens snowblower and break the new flywheel key as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Need a bit more help with your Ariens snowblower? Check out these questions and answers to know more.

Are Snowblower Safety Keys Universal?

No, snowblower safety keys are not universal. So, you must purchase a replacement that’s compatible with your Ariens snowblower if you want it to fit.

How Do I Know If My Snowblower Spark Plug Is Bad?

You’ll know your snowblower spark plug is going bad when the engine starts experiencing problems. Those include misfires and difficulties starting the snowblower. It’s best to replace the spark plug when those symptoms start to show.

What Maintenance Is Required For A Snowblower?

You must maintain your Ariens snowblower by inspecting its components, changing its fuel if it’s been sitting for too long, and replacing spark plugs regularly. Doing so will maximize the snowblower’s lifespan and ensure it works when you need to use it.

What Can I Use Instead Of Carburetor Cleaner?

Brake cleaner is an alternative to carburetor cleaner, as it has the necessary solvents to remove dirt and other buildups in the component. However, it’s always best to stick to using carburetor cleaner unless you have no access to it.

How Often Do Snowblower Spark Plugs Really Need To Be Replaced?

You should replace the spark plug in a snowblower after every 100 hours of use. That ensures your snowblower engine will operate optimally. However, you should change it sooner if the existing spark plug shows wear symptoms. Protection Status