Snow Blower Stalls When Auger Is Engaged – Troubleshooting Steps

In Brief: Snow Blower Stalls When Auger Is Engaged

If your snow blower stalls when the auger is engaged, there are several possible causes. The auger could be obstructed by stones, or damaged. The auger belt, gearbox, or bearings could also be damaged or worn. Work through the step-by-step troubleshooting guides to identify and fix your snow blower problems.

One common problem that many snow blower owners run into is engine stalling.

When your snow blower’s engine starts fine but stalls when you engage the auger, the problem will probably be in the auger assembly.

However, several problems could cause your engine to stall when the auger is engaged.

This troubleshooting guide will take you through all the steps you need to perform to identify and fix this problem.

Snow Blower Stall When Auger Is Engaged – Troubleshoot Guide

Before performing any troubleshooting and maintenance on your snow blower, ensure that the safety key is removed from the ignition and that you have read the safety instructions in the owner’s manual.

Clear Obstructions and Check for Damage

Most of the time, the auger stalling the engine when engaged comes down to something blocking the auger from turning.

Step 1: Clear Snow & Ice

Clear out all the snow and ice in your snow blower’s scoop. If you find frozen parts, use some warm water to melt the ice away.

Step 2: Inspect For Stones

One common problem is small stones jamming the auger. Go from moving part to moving part, checking for small stones or compacted dirt lodged in between them.

Step 3: Check For Damage

If there does not appear to be anything lodged in, inspect the auger itself for damage. Look particularly for bent or cracked blades, or rust.

If there is damage to your auger, you will need a new auger assembly. Check out this video to see how to replace an auger assembly yourself:

Check Shear Pins

When the auger hits an immovable object it risks catastrophic damage. To avoid this, the auger is secured with shear pins that will break quickly and stop the auger.

Step 1: Inspect Shear Pins

Locate the shear pins on your snow blower.

They will be on the auger shaft. Refer to your owner’s manual for guidance on where to find them and how many there should be.

Step 2: Check For Damage

It should be quite obvious if the shear pins have broken. Even if there is only a small amount of damage, you will need to replace them.

Step 3: Replace Shear Pins

Shear pins cost a few dollars each and can be installed easily. Simply remove the old shear pins, thread the new ones through the existing holes, and secure them in place.

Make sure you also check for damage to the auger, as broken shear pins indicate that the auger has struck a rock or something else that could do it damage.

Check Gearbox

The gearbox transfers the power from the driveshaft to the auger and impeller.

Step 1: Listen For Gearbox Problems

The best way to identify a gearbox issue is to listen for grinding or jumping sounds when the snowblower runs.

Remember to clear the auger area before putting your safety key back in the ignition, and to remove it again before carrying on with subsequent steps.

Step 2: Locate The Gearbox

Refer to your owner’s manual to locate the gearbox on your machine. It will probably be at the center of the auger assembly, but how you remove the assembly differs from model to model.

Order a replacement from the manufacturer or a manufacturer-approved supplier.

Step 3: Replace The Gearbox

Remove the auger assembly, take it apart, then install the new gearbox. While this step can take a while, it is not as complicated as it might seem.

Check out this video to see how to replace your snow blower’s gearbox:

Check Auger Belt

The auger belt drives the auger.

Step 1: Locate The Auger Belt

Refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions. You will need to remove the housing that covers the belt assembly so that you can inspect it.

Step 2: Test The Belt

Run the belt around the pulleys with your hand and check that it is tight enough, turns smoothly, and does not slip.

Step 3: Inspect For Damage

As you run the belt, inspect it for damage. Frayed edges, stretched sections, and burn or scorch marks could all cause auger drive problems.

Step 4: Replace The Auger Belt

If you spotted any damage or the belt did not run properly, you need to replace the auger belt. While you are doing so, it is prudent to also replace the drive belt.

Check out this video to see how to replace the auger belt and drive belt on your snow blower:

Check Bearings

Finally, you should check the auger bearings for wear.

Step 1: Locate Auger Bearings

Again, you will need to refer to your owner’s manual to locate your bearings and gain access to them. Often, you will have to detach the front and back half of the snow blower for this kind of work.

Step 2: Inspect Auger Bearings

Look for damage, wear, and rust. If the bearings are looking old or have too much give in them then you will need to replace them.

Step 3: Replace Auger Bearings

Make sure you get the right part by referring to your owner’s manual or by contacting the manufacturer.

Check out this video to see how to replace auger bearings on a snow blower:


We hope this guide has helped you to discover the reason that your snow blower stalls when the auger is engaged.

If none of these steps have helped you to identify the problem, you may need to take it to a professional for a full diagnosis.

If you have any questions or comments about this guide or snow blower troubleshooting in general, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

About Linda Johnson

Linda has been working with power tools since she was 13 years old. As DIYer she works on wood and metal to develop artworks that she puts on sale. She loves traveling.

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