small engine trouble
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:23 AM   #1
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Default small engine trouble

So I've got a 4 year old snowblower. Today is very cold, zero degrees. I keep the snowblower putside and covered. I have used it three tines this year and used around two tanks of fresh fuel in it.I went to pull start it this afternoon and I couldn't budge the pull starter. It has an electric start so I used that. After a few seconds it turned over and started. It ran for a minute or so then began running rough and stalled. I couldn't get it to run for more than ten seconds after that. I checked the air filter and its clean. Oil level looks perfect. Tank is full of gas. I am thinking I've got ice somewhere in the carb or fuel line from condensation since its been outside and we had a week where it went from 50 down to 10. Anyone with small engine knowledge know what I should do? I don't really have a place to bring it in amd warm it up.

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Old 01-04-2014, 12:27 AM   #2
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Do you use Sea foam in your gas? Ethanol kills modern carburetors. Sea Foam counters it. I need to rebuild my Snow blower and Lawn mower carbs this spring. Ethanol sucks.

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Old 01-04-2014, 12:29 AM   #3
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I just put some in today before I filled the tank. I had to shovel two driveways while my snowblower stared at me

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Old 01-04-2014, 12:31 AM   #4
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Does it have a fuel filter.?

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Old 01-04-2014, 12:37 AM   #5
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I'm not a small engine guy but it could be water. Frozen water.
Did you let it sit all year with fuel in the tank? Condensation is not your friend.
It should be drained and run untill it stalls from lack of fuel at the end of the season. Then add fresh fuel. Every season.

There are others here with much more knowledge and experience than me, so hang in there and get some professional advice.

Heck, I didn't even stay in a Holiday Inn last night.
Wish I did. You know. There was that very attractive divorcee a couple of seats down at the bar, and....

But I digress. I think it's just long term storage.

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Old 01-04-2014, 12:39 AM   #6
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I don't think it has a fuel filter. I've stored it for 4 summers with no trouble yet. This is the coldest weather we've ever had that I can remember.

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Old 01-04-2014, 12:45 AM   #7
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how old is the gas?

moe than a couple of weeks?

gas that has higher ethanol content goes bad much quicker that it did years ago before they started putting the ethanol in it. i breaks down much quicker with the ethanol in it and will act pretty much just like yours is doing. drain the tank, flush the carb and fuel lines with carb cleaner, add new gas with an ethanol treatment and it should be good to go.

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Old 01-04-2014, 01:01 AM   #8
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Sounds like you have an ice build up under the cover. If you pulled it and it seemed seized up, that could be snow or ice build up under the cover which just happens to be where your ignition is also. Best advice is to remove the cover, use a hair dryer to melt out the ice and dry your ignition and put it back together. Next time you use it, when you are done, let it run for 5 min or so at idle to dry out and do that every time. That with some fuel stabilizer (I use Seafoam, but there are others) added to any gas you put in a can will save you many problems.

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Old 01-04-2014, 10:22 AM   #9
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Hint: Don't buy any gas for your small engine that has alcohol in it.

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Old 01-04-2014, 11:50 AM   #10
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^^Any idea where to get non-alcohol blended gas?^^

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