How to Troubleshoot a Craftsman Snowblower

By Emily Beach

A malfunctioning snowblower can leave you facing hours of shoveling, or even prevent you from leaving your home at all when the weather is at its worst. Protect your back and avoid paying for a repairman by using basic troubleshooting techniques designed to put your Craftsman snowblower back in action.

Man clearing driveway with snowblower
credit: Elenathewise/iStock/Getty Images
Man using snowblower to clear his driveway.

Step 1

Replace defective spark plugs if your snowblower won't start. Remove the mounting screws that hold the snow hood in place, and then use a socket wrench to unscrew the spark plug. Insert a new spark plug by hand; tighten with a wrench.

Step 2

Fix fuel issues if the engine runs erratically. Check and make sure the tank is full, and refill it with fresh fuel if the existing gas is old. If you find water or dirt in the system, wait for the engine to cool down completely, and then remove the carburetor bowl and empty the fuel tank before refilling.

Step 3

Move the choke lever to the "Run" position if the engine stalls. Operating the unit in the "Choke" position can cause the engine to stall out.

Step 4

Remove ice, snow and other debris from the vent hole on the gas cap, because these obstructions can cause a loss of power.

Step 5

Turn the unit off and remove the spark plug wire if the snowblower vibrates excessively. Tighten all bolts to see if you are dealing with a simple loose connection. Contact a repairman if this doesn't remedy the problem.

Step 6

Address propulsion issues. Check the drive belt and replace it if it's worn or damaged. Adjust the traction drive cable according to the instructions in your manual. Replace the friction disc if you spot wear or damage.

Step 7

Inspect the auger while unit is turned off to determine why it won't discharge snow. Tighten or replace the auger belt if needed, and adjust the auger control cable according to the instructions in your manual. Replace any broken shear bolts, which could interfere with snow discharge.

Step 8

Turn off the unit if the discharge chute appears clogged. Disconnect the spark plug for safety, and then clean the chute and auger housing using the clean-out tool provided with your snowblower.