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Ariens Snow Blower problems

Discussion in 'Snow Removal' started by Flightsport, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Flightsport

    Flightsport Registered User

    Mar 13, 2011
    Last winter I bought an Ariens snowblower from Home Depot (I know, but it was over $300 cheaper than our local dealer and then add a military discount...). It ran great last winter. I stored it for the summer in my shed and added Stabil to the fuel. It started up first pull this winter. However, I find two problems that I need help with.

    1. After warm-up, when reducing the choke, the motor begins to run very rough and will only stay running on half choke. Additionally, the motor always back fires when shutting down. It seems the engine might be running too rich. Not sure what the problem is. Is this a home owner level tweak or should I bring it in?

    2. Also, perhaps even more annoying than the above: After fueling it at the beginning of the season (topped it off), it now reeks of gasoline. So much so that I cant keep it in the garage where I want it. (garage is under the house in half the basement). I have run the motor for over an hour, hpping this would help evaporate any fuel that may have dripped during the top off. I've also scrubbed the motor down with an orange based degreaser. No help. Suggestions?

    See video of my snowblower here:


    Could the two issues be related? Any help would be appreciated.

    Below is a link to a picture of my snowblower, minus the better headlight I guess Ariens put the crappy, flimsy headlight on the compact models plus the Deluxe 28. Would much prefer the "in dash" design, as seen below:

    Deluxe Series 28 in. Two-Stage Electric Start Gas Snow Blower (921022)-921022 at The Home Depot

    Mike, Plymouth, MA
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  2. Country Boy

    Country Boy Bovi-Sapiens

    Mar 18, 2010
    I am an Ariens certified tech, and I work at an Ariens dealer (about 6 blocks from the Ariens factories). What most likely happened is that your carburetor is gummed up and the inlet needle is no longer seating. Most likely its not a warranty issue because it would have been caused by bad fuel. I had a few this year that had similar problems, and I had to pull the carb, disassemble and soak it in cleaner, then reassemble with a new needle and seat. Its best to store these units without any fuel, or if you want to leave fuel in it, put Sta-bil in it, then let it run a couple minutes, then shut off the fuel and let it run dry. Modern fuels have over 358 additives in them, mostly for smog reduction. Add in ethanol (if you have it in your area) and you have a noxious brew that only has a shelf life of about 30 days. Sta-bil helps a bit, but it doesn't work perfectly either. If you can, purchase high test (93 octane here) fuel with no ethanol. Don't purchase more than you can use in 30-60 days. Don't store units with fuel in the carburetor. If you must use ethanol blends, only use E-10, and use a product like StarTron or Marine Sta-Bil which have enzymes that help keep the ethanol from ruining your fuel system. Using blends greater than E-10 is illegal in small engines, and will probably just ruin your engine anyway.

    If you feel comfortable disassembling the carburetor, then I'd fix it myself. If you aren't, or think it might be warrantied, then take it to a Briggs & Stratton authorized dealer (the engine is warrantied by Briggs, not Ariens).

  3. Flightsport

    Flightsport Registered User

    Mar 13, 2011
    Country Boy! Thanks very much for the help with this. You may be right about the gum from the fuel, but in just ONE season?? I ran thing thing maybe a half dozen times last winter. Would that be enough to gum up the needle? The gas around here (Mass) took 5 seasons to kill the carb in my Toro lawn mower, also a Briggs I think. Would this also affect the over powering gas smell? Also, you mentioned the cap/air vent might affect the choke, but would the bad carb float also explain the inability to run with choke off? Thanks for the tips!

    A country boy can survive!

    Mike, Plymouth, MA
  4. Country Boy

    Country Boy Bovi-Sapiens

    Mar 18, 2010
    If you can't run it with the choke off, then the main jet is most likely plugged up with varnish, dirt, or deposits from the fuel. Fuel can gum up a carb in no time, as I have found out at work. We had a customer purchase a new chainsaw in May of last year and buy a new gas can, oil, etc at the same time. He filled the can up on the way home, and by September, his new saw wouldn't start, and when it did it ran like crap. I pulled the carb, only to find it filled with a white goo that was plugging up the jets and had damaged the main nozzle. The goo was from the ethanol and moisture from the air reacting with the aluminum, causing accelerated corrosion. Had to replace the carb on that one, and he now dumps the fuel out between uses (it spends a lot of time sitting).

    The modern engines are running so lean to meet emission standards, that they simply can't handle dirt and bad fuel like they could years ago. The passages are so tiny and the jets so small that the slightest foreign substance in there can cause issues, even a single drop of water. That, and I personally think that they are using cheaper materials to build the carbs these days (never had an old carb corrode like the new ones do). I have a box on the shelf in the shop where I have been collecting carbs that were replaced last year, and its pretty much full now (about the size of a workboot box). If you want to help protect yourself, make a habit of turning off the fuel when you are done blowing snow. Let the unit run for about 3-5 minutes at mid idle to melt any snow or ice on the engine and to dry it off, and then shut the fuel off and let it die. Top off the tank when it cools down, and then its ready to go for the next storm. Part of the reason snowblowers have such a problem with moisture in the fuel is because they tend to sit a lot, and because they tend to operate in very wet environments. Winter is a bad time for condensation to form, especially when you have a partial tank of fuel. The temperature in winter varies, and that causes condensation to form in your fuel tank in the air space above the fuel. If the tank is full, condensation doesn't form.

    The overpowering gas smell is most likely caused by the carb running over. You may not see it because the air box that surrounds the carb has a bottom that catches the fuel and lets it evaporate before it reaches the ground. I bet if you pull the top cover on the air box you will see fuel pooled in the bottom. You can take the top off by removing the two screws (or thumbscrews) on the top between the muffler and choke control. Then, carefully pry the choke knob straight up and off (the shaft is plastic, so don't bend it too much side to side). You can then lift the cover off and to the side, but be careful of the wires hooked to the key switch and the hose going to the primer button. That will get you access to the air box and the sparkplug when you want to change it. You'd probably be best off bringing the unit into a shop this time as its still under warranty. That way, if it would be something like a faulty needle or something, they can warranty it and get it taken care of. If the unit wasn't under warranty, I'd just tear it apart and fix it myself. I doubt that it will be a warranty issue, however.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  5. Flightsport

    Flightsport Registered User

    Mar 13, 2011
    Country boy. Thanks again for the great advice. I am bringing the unit up to a Briggs repair station tomorrow. Hoping its warranty work, as the gas issue eating the carb jets, wouldn't be covered under warranty. I should have mentioned, the issue of the engine not being able to run with the choke off, and the back-firing at shut down, is how it has always been, since picking it up at home depot. The gas smell is new this season. Let me know if you have any other thoughts. Mike
  6. Country Boy

    Country Boy Bovi-Sapiens

    Mar 18, 2010
    Its possible there is a problem with the carb that was there day one. I've seen small bits of plastic from the tank get into the carb from time to time when I set up new machines. Only had one out of 50+ new ones this year with a running issue, only one last year as well. We run every single machine that leaves our dealership to make sure it is working properly before it gets to the customer. That's one good reason to buy it from a dealer over a box store. I don't fault you for wanting to save $400, but personally, I'd have seen if the dealer could at least meet halfway to that price. Was that a new machine or a "refurbished" one? We had a guy last year with an Ariens snow blower that had issues with the drive, only to find out it had no warranty because it was sold, broke, was returned, fixed by Home Depot, then resold as refurbished. Ariens only warranties the unit to the original purchaser, and once a unit is registered, its locked to that name. You have to watch out for that with Home Depot.

    Hope you get your blower back soon and get to have fun with it again! When they are running at peak performance, they are really fun to operate. I finished setting up an Ariens tractor and blower that we are selling on consignment and I decided to play with it a bit in the snow. I was pulling in 40" x 10" of snow at a pretty good clip, and the tractor barely even grunted. The snow was flying over 50' across the back parking lot into the neighboring house's backyard. I had to force myself to park the tractor back in the warehouse because I had a few other blowers to get out today. The girls up front were laughing at me tooling around in the lot with it. :)
  7. ewstan

    ewstan New Member

    Jul 19, 2012
    I have a two year old Ariens Model 920013 Compact 22E with the Subaru SX17 engine. While searching for the source of a strong gas smell I found that the hose from the primer button was not connected to the engine. There is a small brass tube fitting in the end of the hose that appears to fit into a small hole in what I believe is described in the IPL as an insulator IPL Fig. 6, item 540. Would appear that the brass fitting should be attached to the insulator.

    Can anyone help me out?

  8. mhaygreen

    mhaygreen New Member

    Apr 14, 2013
    removed post
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  9. brainos

    brainos New Member

    Sep 1, 2013
    I have also some problem when i use first time. Than talk to my friend. He is expert about this. So talk with expert.
  10. hollaswe

    hollaswe Registered User

    Oct 28, 2013
    I think you should contact with the service provider if it is in the date of warranty. Or you can repair it from an experienced snow blower repair man.
  11. Mrossik

    Mrossik New Member

    Feb 11, 2017
    I have a Aries TS824 snowblower that is giving me trouble. It runs fine and has plenty of power while on level ground, but if the right side is elevated by a hill, it stalls out. If I turn and go back the other way with the left side elevated it runs fine. It has fresh gas, new oil, and new spark plug.
    I would really appreciate any advice on what I should check next.
    Thank you in advance for any reply
    Mike R.
  12. Flightsport

    Flightsport Registered User

    Mar 13, 2011
    hi. Take the carb off. break it down into as many components as you can. use an egg tray to hold parts. Then bathe all parts in Gumout carb cleaner. Spray out the carb body, all micro ports, etc. Make sure the carb float still works (sit it in a bowl, make sure it floats). Replace the carb gasket if there is one. Usually, with fuel issues like this, taking apart the carb, then putting it all back together works wonders. Good luck. Mike
  13. Mrossik

    Mrossik New Member

    Feb 11, 2017
    Thank you I will give that a try
  14. z445guy

    z445guy Active Member

    Mar 10, 2017
    Hi everyone, to help eliminate storage problems with your small engines , true usein the ethanol free stuff to store your equipment I been doing it this way for a few years and no problem , my two stroke stuff I run try fuel all year and no problem at all with anything