How Do I Start A Gas-powered Snow Blower?

So, you wake up one cold winter morning to find your driveway covered in a thick layer of snow. You know it’s time to bust out the trusty gas-powered snow blower that’s been sitting in your garage all year. But wait, how on earth do you start this thing? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to start a gas-powered snow blower, ensuring that you’ll be able to tackle that snowy mess in no time.


Before starting a gas-powered snow blower, there are a few important steps you need to take to ensure a safe and efficient operation.

Check the Weather Conditions

The first thing you should do is check the weather conditions. Is it safe to operate the snow blower in the current weather? If the snowfall is too heavy or if there are strong winds, it may not be suitable for using a snow blower. Additionally, ensure that the temperature is not too low, as extreme cold can affect the performance of the equipment.

Inspect the Snow Blower

Inspecting the snow blower before starting it is crucial to identify any potential issues that may need attention. Check for any visible signs of damage, such as loose parts or leaks. Inspect the blades and augers to ensure they are in good condition and free from any debris. Also, make sure that all safety features, such as shear pins and control mechanisms, are working properly.

Ensure Adequate Fuel and Oil Levels

One of the most important preparations for starting a gas-powered snow blower is ensuring that you have sufficient fuel and oil. Check the fuel tank and add gasoline if needed, making sure to use the correct type recommended by the manufacturer. Additionally, check the oil level and top it up if necessary. Refer to the snow blower’s user manual for the specific type and amount of oil required.

Safety Measures

Before operating a snow blower, it is vital to prioritize safety to protect yourself and others around you.

Wear Appropriate Safety Gear

Always wear the proper safety gear when operating a snow blower. This includes sturdy gloves, safety goggles or glasses, and non-slip footwear. Additionally, dress in warm and waterproof clothing to stay protected from the cold and wet snow. Wearing the right gear will minimize the risk of injury and keep you comfortable throughout the clearing process.

Clear the Work Area

Before starting the snow blower, clear the work area from any obstacles or debris that could get caught in the machine or pose a safety hazard. Remove any loose objects like branches, toys, or stones. Be cautious of hidden hazards, such as uneven terrain, curbs, or hidden obstacles buried beneath the snow. Clearing the work area will ensure a smooth and safe operation.

Avoid Loose Clothing and Jewelry

When operating a snow blower, it is essential to avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry that could get entangled in the moving parts of the machine. Tighten any loose clothing, tuck in scarves or long hair, and remove any dangling jewelry. By doing so, you minimize the risk of accidents and ensure safe operation.

Priming the Engine

Once you have completed the necessary preparations and safety measures, it’s time to start the gas-powered snow blower.

Locate the Primer Bulb

The primer bulb is typically located on the side of the engine or carburetor. It is a small, rubber bulb that helps to draw fuel into the carburetor for easy starting. Take a moment to locate the primer bulb before proceeding.

Press the Primer Bulb

To prime the engine, press and release the primer bulb several times. Each press should feel firm as you pump fuel into the carburetor. This process helps to ensure that there is enough fuel for a smooth start.

Repeat the Priming Process

Depending on the temperature and the engine, you may need to repeat the priming process a few times. In colder weather, the engine may require more fuel to start, so do not hesitate to give it a few extra pumps.

Setting Up the Choke

The choke is an essential component for starting the snow blower’s engine, especially in colder temperatures.

Locate the Choke Control

The choke control is usually located near the primer bulb or on top of the engine. It is a lever or knob that adjusts the flow of air to the carburetor.

Move the Choke Lever to the ‘Choke’ Position

Before starting the engine, move the choke lever or knob to the ‘Choke’ position. This restricts the amount of air entering the carburetor, creating a richer fuel mixture for easier starting in cold conditions.

Adjust the Choke as Necessary

Once the engine has started and warmed up, gradually adjust the choke to the ‘Run’ position. This allows more air to flow into the carburetor and ensures a proper fuel-to-air ratio for optimal engine performance.

Engaging the Ignition Switch

Now that the engine is primed and the choke is set, it’s time to engage the ignition switch and start the snow blower.

Locate the Ignition Switch

The ignition switch is typically found on the control panel or near the engine. It is a switch that activates the ignition system and starts the engine.

Turn the Ignition Switch to the ‘On’ Position

To start the snow blower, turn the ignition switch to the ‘On’ position. You should hear a clicking sound or see a light indicating that the engine’s ignition system is active.

Pull Start the Engine

With the engine primed, the choke set, and the ignition switch on, it’s time to start the engine using the pull start mechanism.

Stand Behind the Snow Blower

To safely start the engine, position yourself behind the snow blower. This will allow you to have better control and minimize the risk of coming into contact with any moving parts.

Grab the Starter Handle

Locate the starter handle, which is usually located near the engine or on the side of the blower housing. Firmly grip the handle with one hand, ensuring a secure hold.

Apply Steady Force while Pulling the Starter Handle

Using a smooth and steady motion, pull the starter handle towards you. Apply a reasonable amount of force, but avoid excessive jerking or pulling. The engine should start within a few pulls. If it doesn’t start after a few attempts, refer to the troubleshooting section or consult the manufacturer’s user manual.

Allowing the Engine to Warm Up

Once the engine has started, it is essential to allow it to warm up before beginning the snow clearing process.

Let the Engine Idle for a Few Minutes

After the engine has started, let it idle for a few minutes. This will allow the internal components to warm up and the oil to circulate properly.

Gradually Disengage the Choke

As the engine warms up, gradually disengage the choke by moving the choke control to the ‘Run’ position. This adjustment will help optimize the engine’s performance for efficient operation.

Operating the Snow Blower

With the engine warmed up and the choke disengaged, it is time to operate the snow blower and clear the snow effectively.

Move to the Desired Clearing Area

Carefully move the snow blower to the desired area where you intend to clear the snow. Take note of any potential obstacles or hazards in the surroundings.

Position the Snow Blower Correctly

Position the snow blower in a way that allows for optimal snow clearing. Ensure that the discharge chute is facing away from people, buildings, and vehicles. It is important to pay close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions on positioning and adjusting the snow blower for the specific model you are using.

Engage the Auger and Impeller

To start clearing the snow, engage the auger and impeller by using the appropriate control or lever. These components are designed to break up and move the snow, directing it toward the discharge chute.

Clear the Snow in Steady Passes

When operating the snow blower, it is essential to clear the snow in steady passes. Avoid forcing the machine to go too fast or attempting to clear too much snow at once, as this can strain the engine and reduce efficiency. Take your time and allow the snow blower to do the work.

Adjust the Distance and Direction of Snow Discharge

If your snow blower has an adjustable chute, you can control the distance and direction of the snow discharge. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the snow is being discharged away from any cleared areas or obstacles. Always be mindful of your surroundings and the safety of others while operating the snow blower.

Maintenance and Troubleshooting

To keep your gas-powered snow blower in optimal condition, regular maintenance and troubleshooting are essential.

Regularly Check Fuel and Oil Levels

To ensure smooth operation, regularly check the fuel and oil levels of the snow blower. Refill the fuel tank when necessary and change the oil according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Adequate fuel and oil levels will help prolong the lifespan of the engine and maintain its performance.

Clean Snow Blower After Use

After each use, it is important to clean the snow blower thoroughly. Remove any remaining snow or ice from the machine using a brush or plastic scraper. Pay close attention to the discharge chute and auger area, as these can become clogged with snow or debris.

Inspect and Replace Spark Plug

Regularly inspect the spark plug of your snow blower and clean or replace it as needed. The spark plug is responsible for igniting the fuel in the engine, so a faulty or dirty spark plug can affect the overall performance and starting of the machine.

Refer to Manufacturer’s User Manual for Troubleshooting

If you encounter any issues with your gas-powered snow blower, consult the manufacturer’s user manual for troubleshooting guidance. The manual will provide specific instructions and solutions for common problems, ensuring that you can address any issues effectively and safely.

Storing the Snow Blower

When the snowfall has ended, and you no longer need to use the snow blower, it is important to store it properly to maintain its condition.

Drain Fuel and Oil

Before storing the snow blower, drain the fuel and oil from the machine as recommended by the manufacturer. Unused fuel can deteriorate and cause engine problems if left for an extended period. Properly dispose of the fuel and oil according to local regulations.

Clean the Snow Blower Thoroughly

Before storing, clean the snow blower thoroughly to remove any debris or moisture that may cause corrosion or damage. Wipe down the surfaces, clean the discharge chute, and inspect all components for any signs of wear or damage. By keeping your snow blower clean, you ensure its longevity and efficient performance during the next snow season.

Store in a Dry and Safe Location

Finally, store the snow blower in a dry and safe location. Ideally, this would be a covered area, such as a garage or shed, to protect it from the elements. Proper storage will prevent unnecessary wear and tear and keep the machine in optimal condition for future use.

By following these steps and safety measures, you can confidently start and operate a gas-powered snow blower to effectively clear snow during winter. Remember to always prioritize safety, carry out regular maintenance, and consult the manufacturer’s instructions for any specific guidelines regarding your snow blower model. Stay warm and stay safe while tackling the snowy winter conditions!