How to clear a snowblower jam

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The most common snowblower performance problem is clogging or jamming in the auger or discharge chute. This occurs when ice or snow buildup restricts proper functioning.

How do you know if your snowblower is jammed?

If the snowblower drastically reduces the amount of snow exiting the discharge chute, it’s likely snow and ice buildup have clogged the auger or discharge chute. The motor may or may not continue working when a jam is present.

***Make safety your first priority. Never put your hand near your snowblower’s auger. Thick work gloves provide little protection against sharp and powerful snowblowers. Every year, thousands of people suffer serious injuries as a result of unsafe snowblower handling.***

Here’s how to clear a snowblower jam:

1.    Turn off the snowblower, disengage the clutch, disconnect the spark plug and wait 60 seconds before proceeding with clearing the jam.

Waiting for this short period is critical, as there may be moving parts in a snowblower, even after the snowblower has stopped working.

2.    Use the clearing tool, a small shovel-like tool, to gently break up the snow and ice until the jam is cleared.

If you have an older snowblower model without an accompanied on-board clearing tool, consider purchasing a clearing tool.

Broom or shovel handles may also be used but avoid using thin broomsticks or twigs that may be susceptible to breakage.

Snow Clearing Tool 01366445

3.    Reconnect the spark plug, reengage the clutch and turn on the snowblower.

Here’s how to keep a snowblower from clogging or jamming:

•    Before every snowblower use, spray a non-stick lubricant such as our favorite, Snow Jet, on the chute, auger and other parts that come into contact with snow or ice.

Ariens no-stick snowblower spray

•    Slow the pace at which you’re moving the snowblower, if attempting to clear wet and heavy snow.


Related information
Snowblower Maintenance Tips
Snowblower Repair Help
How to prep a snowblower for winter
How to prevent a snowblower accident
How to find the right snowblower

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