Here is somethings to check before starting the snowblower engine.
Hi, this winter has been tough on all of us, and when we need to go out to run our snowblowers in -20 it is hard to do physically, and hard mechanically on the snowblower. We need to take our time so as not to cause damage to the equipment.
First ICE: check that the ice is not frozen in the augers second stage, that is the propeller in the back behind the two large augers that eat up the snow. If it is frozen you will need a pipe or crowbar to chip the ice off and free you second stage impeller.
Second Shear Pins: Check if the shear pins are intact from the last time you worked the snowblower, these pins are bolts designed to break off when you hit a hard object like ice, they are located roughly midway on the auger shaft on each of the two augers. These are meant to break to prevent damage to the engine, you can check by trying to spin the augers, if they spin freely you will notice the shear pins are not there on the shaft. Replace them with genuine shear pins. You may need to clean the shaft to find the old pins that may be partly left in the shaft. Punch out the old remaining shear pin and replace it with a genuine shear pin.
Third Oil: check your oil level, top up your oil if needed, you will see hatch marks on the dipstick like this xxxxxx this indicates the oil level up to the last x is how much oil is needed to run you engine safely.
Finally Start your Engine: Now you can prime your engine several times, set the choke, key and throttle, plug in the starter and push the button, if you have a pull start, pull slowly a few times, then start the engine. The engine will likely need the choke on for a bit of time, 30 to 60 seconds with the choke fully on, if it is really cold you may need to do this more than once to keep it running. Once you have it running move the choke into the halfway setting then wait a bit before you move it to the run setting, run your engine for 10 minutes, then slowly move out to the work at hand.
Keep an eye out for hockey pucks, dog toys or any other object that may get logged into your auger.
Warming up your engine will help in the performance!
Have a safe winter, and help out when you can.