How to Replace a Snowblower Auger Drive Belt

The auger drive belt is essential to a functioning snowblower. Read on to learn what a snowblower auger drive belt is, and how to replace one when necessary.

What is a Snowblower Auger Drive Belt?

Most snowblowers are classified as either single stage or dual stage. Single stage models use one auger to collect and throw the snow, whereas dual stage snowblowers use an auger to collect the snow and an impeller to throw it. A cogged or non-cogged v-belt or a flat belt is the component that rotates the auger or impeller.

On a single stage snowblower, the belt is looped on to a single drive pulley, which drives the belt, and under an idler pulley which applies tension to the belt. When the bail arm is engaged, the idler pulley tightens the belt around the drag pulley and the auger rotates.

A dual stage snowblower often has multiple drive pulleys, with one or more belts used to drive the auger and impeller. If the belt or belts are worn, stretched or broken, the auger and impeller won’t be able to rotate.

Auger drive belts are usually unique to each snowblower model. You should enter the full model number of your snowblower in our website search bar to find the specific belt or belts you need.

How to Replace a Snowblower Auger Drive Belt

Before you replace the belt, make sure the engine has cooled. To prevent the engine from accidentally starting, remove the start key from the ignition if applicable, or remove the wire and boot from the spark plug.

If replacing the belt on a dual stage model, we recommend performing the procedure with little or no fuel in the tank. 

On most single stage snowblowers, the auger drive belt is located behind a side access cover, unthread the screws or bolts securing the cover and pull the cover off. Depending on the model, you may be able to push the idler arm down to free the old belt from the brake and auger pulley, then unhook it from the drive pulley. Some models may require the auger pulley to be uninstalled to fully remove the belt. To do this first secure the auger, then unthread the nut securing the auger pulley. Detach the pulley and remove the old belt. Install the new drive belt by aligning it on the detached auger pulley, if applicable, then loop it onto the drive pulley and under the idler pulley. Reposition the auger pulley along with any washers. Then thread and tighten the nut to secure. If detaching the auger pulley was not required, you can simply push the idler arm down, then loop the new belt around the drive and auger pulleys, keeping it under the brake. Confirm that the new belt is seated properly. Reposition the belt access cover and secure it with the screws or bolts.

Replacing the auger drive belt or belts on a dual stage snowblower will usually require additional disassembly. The belt or belts are normally located directly in front of the engine under an access cover. Unthread the bolts securing the cover and pull the cover off. Depending on the model, you may need to remove a belt guide as well. On some models, you can now detach the auger drive belt from both the drive pulley and the idler pulley. To fully remove the old belt, you may need to tip the snowblower forward so it rests on the auger housing, then unthread the mounting bolts to release a frame cover. Remove any additional retainers as required, then depress the drive lever and secure it. To detach the belt from the auger drive pulley you may need to lift up a drive plate to pull the old belt free. To fully remove the belt or belts on some models you will need to separate the blower housing from the frame. Unthread the housing mounting bolts. If necessary detach the deflector cable from the shoot. Pivot the frame away from the blower housing, detach and rest the rear portion of the snowblower on its handle bars. You can now remove the old auger drive belt or belts, if still intact. Align the new belt or belts on the auger pulley. Re-join the two halves of the snowblower together. Align the new auger drive belts onto the drive pulley and secure the blower housing to the frame with the bolts and washers. If applicable re-attach the deflector cable to the shoot. Depending on the model, you may be able to feed the new belt under the drive plate and through the housing, then loop the belt onto the auger drive pulley. Release the drive lever and replace any additional retainers. Realign the frame cover and replace the mounting bolts to secure. If applicable, return the snowblower to its upright position. Align the new belt on the drive pulley and the idler pulley. If required, reinstall the belt guide. Reposition the belt cover, then re-thread and tighten the bolts. With the new auger drive belt installed, return the start key to the ignition, or reattach the spark plug wire in boot. Refill the fuel tank if required and your snowblower should be ready for use.

Watch our video on replacing your snowblower auger drive belt for a visual guide, or visit Repair Clinic for more snowblower repair tips.

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