Why is My Snowblower Making a Noise (Grinding, Squealing & Rattling)?

Why is my snowblower making a grinding noise?

Your snowblower is making a grinding noise because of a loose or broken belt. A worn-out starter gear or a blocked auger is another reason your snowblower makes a grinding noise.


snowblower making noise


Loosen or broken belt

When a machine makes a grinding sound, one of the most typical causes is a loose or broken motor belt. A grinding noise will be produced if the drive belt on your snow blower breaks, which will cause the drive system to become inoperable. Every snowblower has a motor belt; however, its position and inspection procedures may vary by model.


Worn-out starter gear

When you turn on your snowblower, the engine will make a grinding noise if the starter gear is worn. Prior to doing anything further, ensure the starter is getting electricity by inspecting the cord leading to it. If you press the switch to start the snowblower and nothing happens, the starter may not get enough power, making a grinding sound.


Blocked auger

The auger blades are a crucial part of the snowblower since they are responsible for gathering snow and propelling it down the chute. A snowblower can’t function properly if dirt and snow are stuck on the auger blades. When your snowblower starts making a grinding sound begins, as soon as the blades begin to rotate, the auger blades are likely jammed with frozen ice or other debris.

Immediately if this happens, stop your snowblower and wait for the auger blades to stop spinning before examining it.


How to fix a snowblower that is making a grinding noise?

You can fix a snowblower that is making a grinding noise by replacing the motor belt. Cleaning the auger or replacing the motor starter is another method you can use to fix a snowblower that is making a grinding noise.

Replace the motor belt

When your snowblower starts making a grinding noise, check to see if the belt is broken or loosened. If it is loosened, you can simply retighten it. However, if it is broken, you need to replace it. Here is how to replace it;

  1. Pull the wire straight up and away from the spark plug.
  2. With a socket and ratchet, take off the bolt that holds the snowblower’s belt cover to the frame.
  3. Pull the belt cover off.
  4. Take the belt off of the pulley on the auger.
  5. Turn the belt 90 degrees so it slides over the bolt on the pulley and pulls it out.
  6. Put the new belt on the pulley.
  7. Ensure the belt is fully in the pulley groove and not on the outside of the belt keeper or break tab.
  8. Put the cover panel back on.
  9. Put the wire back on the spark plug. Fill the gas tank and give the snowblower a try.


Clean the auger

Cleaning the auger of your snowblower is essential if your auger is blocked and it starts making a grinding noise. Here is how to fix it;

  1. Turn off and remove the spark plug to ensure the engine doesn’t start by accident.
  2. Break up the ice or any debris around the auger blades with a shovel.
  3. Even after you take the spark plug out, you should never use your hands to clean the auger blades.
  4. Use a clearing tool or broom handle.
  5. Once you have cleared the ice and other debris from around the blades, you can reconnect the spark plug and try using your snowblower again.


Replace the starter

A faulty starter that is grinding should be replaced immediately to avoid further problems with your snowblower. Here is how to replace it;

  1. Remove the switch and motor by unscrewing them from where they are attached to the frame.
  2. Take the cover off the motor.
  3. Install the shims and heat shield that came with your application. The shims are needed so that the drive gear and the ring gear can move freely.
  4. Start mounting the bolts to make sure they fit right.
  5. Make sure the starter motor is in the right place.
  6. Check your repair manual to know how tight to make the screws.
  7. If you can, use a screwdriver to pull out the pinion gear and make sure it fits correctly with the ring gear.
  8. Use a feeler or wire gauge to measure the clearance
  9. Ensure that every electrical connection is clean and secure.

Why is my snowblower making a squealing noise?

The reason your snowblower is making a squealing noise is because of frozen machinery or a damaged belt. A jammed impeller or a worn-out auger bearing is another reason your snowblower is making a squealing noise.


Frozen machinery

Though snow blowers don’t typically come with built-in heaters, it’s possible to get warm while using them, especially if you let them run for a long period. During operation, the snow blower’s heat can cause some of the snow to meltdown; however, once the machine is shut off and cools down, the water can freeze in some of the moving parts. This causes the snow blower to create a squeaking noise because the frozen liquid prevents it from rotating or working properly.


Damaged belt

If your snowblower belt is damaged, your snowblower won’t function at its peak and will cause your snowblower to start making a squealing noise. When the snowblower has a damaged belt, the drive belts or auger belts are mostly the ones that are damaged. The auger belt is more prone to suffer extensive wear and tear because it is located at the center of operations.

It’s important that you examine the auger belt because of this reason. You will need to remove the belt cover to inspect the auger belt for damage or improper positioning.


Jammed impeller or auger mechanism

The auger and impeller are integral parts of the snow blower. They will create a squealing noise if they get jammed, which could indicate that the mechanisms are failing. The auger is the blade mechanism housed in the auger house (the mouth of the snowblower) that draws snow into the snowblower and propels it upwards and down the chute.

The snow is drawn into the auger and slams into the spinning impeller in the center of the auger house. The snow is pushed up the chute and out of the machine by the rotating impeller. If there is ice in the impeller or dirt, it can cause it to jam and start making a squealing noise.

When this happens, you should turn off the engine first, check for any dirt or ice and remove it.


Worn-out auger bearing

When you switch on an auger with a failing bearing, it will create a lot of nasty squealing noise or oscillations. This will occur when the auger house meets the impeller, which is located below the chute. Auger bearing replacement is a vital thing you must do to avoid further problems with your snowblower.


How to fix a snowblower that is making a squealing noise?

You can fix a snowblower making a squealing noise by replacing the auger bearing. Heating up the snowblower or changing the belt is another method you can use to fix a snowblower that is making a squealing noise.

Replace the auger bearing

Replacing your auger bearing is essential if your auger is failing and causing it to squeal. Here is how to replace it;

Note: “To do this, you’ll need a 3/8-inch socket, a 7/16-inch socket, and a 9/16-inch socket.” However, ensure that you check with your owner’s manual for the correct tool and for each process.

  1. To remove the belt cover, unscrew the three screws with a 3/8-inch socket or nut driver.
  2. Set the auger down and use a 7/16-inch socket to unscrew the auger pulley bolt.
  3. Set the brake free and take the pulley and belt off.
  4. Remove the screws that are holding the auger assembly together.
  5. Unscrew the three screw on the right side of the auger housing.
  6. Remove the auger assembly.
  7. Remove the bearing assembly, unscrew the bolt with a 9/16-inch socket.
  8. Pull the spacer tabs back remove the flange and bearing.
  9. To install the new auger-bearing spacer, move the washer from the old spacer to the new one.
  10. Place the bearing in the new spacer and snap on the flange.
  11. Make sure the washer is on the auger shaft, and then slide in.
  12. Thread the bolt to secure it.
  13. To reinstall the auger assembly, put the shaft through the hole on the left side of the housing and line up the assembly on the right side of the housing.
  14. Screw the three screws back in.
  15. Line up the left flange, and then thread the screws.
  16. “Place the auger pulley on the shaft with the drive belt looped around the auger pulley. Align the belt on the drive pulley and under the brake.”
  17. Slide the washer on, and then thread the bolt to hold the pulley in place.
  18. “Make sure the belt is in the right place, then put the belt cover back on and screw it down.”
  19. Congrats! You can start using your snowblower.


Heat up the snowblower

Frozen liquid would effectively stop the snowblower from turning or working right, which would make it make a squealing sound. The simplest way to fix this issue is by heating up the snowblower:

  1. Wait until it gets warm enough outside to heat up your snowblower, which will cause any frozen liquids to melt.
  2. You could also put it out in the sun.
  3. Put your snow blower in a warm place, like a heated garage or basement, and cover it with a blanket or tarp to help it warm up.
  4. Wait until any liquids that might have frozen are no longer frozen, and then test the machine.
  5. Prepare a few buckets of hot water and pour them down the chute over the back of the impeller/blower fan.
  6. This should melt any ice that has built up behind the impeller and housing.
  7. Then, run the auger while the engine is still going.


Changing the belt

If the belt of your snowblower is worn-out, you need to replace the belt to stop your snowblower from making a squealing noise. Here is to change it;

  1. Turn off the engine and remove the wire from the spark plug.
  2. Remove the bolts on the right side of the unit that holds the belt cover.
  3. Take off the cover.
  4. Press the clutch lever down to let go of the pulleys’ tension.
  5. Using a socket wrench, take off the round pulley at the end of the auger.
  6. Take off the drive belt and throw it away.
  7. The new drive belt should be put on the pulleys.
  8. Install the auger pulley by wrapping the new drive belt around the grooves on it.
  9. Use a socket wrench to put the auger pulley wheel back in place.
  10. Replace the belt cover and tighten the screws to keep it in place.
  11. Put the wire back on the spark plug.
  12. Start your engine!


Why is my snowblower making a popping noise?

The reason your snowblower is making a popping noise is because of the valve adjustment is incorrect. A clogged carburetor or a bad spark plug is another reason your snowblower is making a popping noise.


Valve adjustment

Valves in the engine of your snow blower open and close in a certain order. A cam and pushrods (OHV) engine move the valves. The valves are set to open by a certain amount called “valve lash,” which can be changed. And a mechanic should check it every three years.

But people often forget about valve lash until a popping noise occurs. Readjusting the valve lash will solve this problem.


Clogged carburetor

Carburetors do a lot of work; therefore, it’s crucial that they’re reliable gauges. Even a slight deviation from the ideal air (oxygen) to gas ratio can cause serious damage to the engine. Once your snowblower starts making a popping sound, it is a result of dirt or debris in the carburetor.

You can fix this by removing, stripping, and cleaning the carburetor.


Bad spark plug

A bad spark plug can cause your snowblower to start making a popping noise. When the spark plug is bad or dirty, it will affect the efficiency of your snowblower. Changing the spark plug is an easy fix that you can do to stop this issue.


How to fix a snowblower that is making a popping noise?

You can fix a snowblower that is making a popping noise by replacing the plug. Cleaning the carburetor or adjusting the valve is another method you can use to fix a snowblower that is making a popping noise.

Replace spark plug

If the spark plug in your snowblower is bad, you need to replace it to stop the snowblower from making a popping sound. Here is how to replace it;

  1. Disconnect the spark wire plug.
  2. To take the spark plug out of the cylinder, you’ll need a deep socket and a ratchet.
  3. Change the spark plug.
  4. Check the manual that came with your snowblower to find out how to set the gap.
  5. Put the gap gauge between the spark plug’s electrodes.
  6. The gap gauge should fit snugly between the electrodes. When you pull it out, you should feel only a little resistance.
  7. If the space between the electrodes is too big, tap the electrode lightly on a clean, hard surface or use a small hammer.
  8. If the gap is too small, you can widen it by using the bender on the gap gauge.
  9. Screw the spark plug into the cylinder.
  10. Hand-tighten the spark plug until it’s snug, and then use the ratchet and deep socket to tighten it another 14 to 1/2 turn.
  11. Don’t tighten too much because the spark plug’s steel base can strip the cylinder head’s softer aluminum threads.
  12. Put the wire back on the spark plug.


Clean the carburetor

A clogged carburetor will make your snowblower make a popping noise. Cleaning the carburetor is the best fix that you can do. Here is how to clean it;

  1. Turn off the engine
  2. Remove the cover to get to the carburetor
  3. To pull the gas line, use pliers.
  4. Remove carburetor fasteners
  5. Remove carburetor Bolts
  6. Remove carburetor links
  7. Turn the carburetor sideways to help the choke and governor levers come off. Remove idle jet (if applicable)
  8. Take the gas bowl off.
  9. Remove float & valve.
  10. Take out the screw on the air/fuel metering adjuster (count turns to remove).
  11. Use a wire brush strand to clean emulsion tubes and jets.
  12. Use a lubricant spray to clean the carburetor.


Adjust the valve

Adjusting the valve lash in your snowblower is essential to prevent your snowblower from making a popping noise and other problems. Here is how to adjust it;

  1. Remove spark plug
  2. Remove cam cover
  3. Put something blunt that isn’t made of metal inside the cylinder (pencil)
  4. Hand-turn the engine until the pencil reaches the top of the cylinder (valves are now closed)
  5. Slip the right gauge between the valve and the rocker (check the engine’s specifications for lash), and the gauge should push back. If not, change.
  6. Loosen adjuster lock nut
  7. Turn the adjuster as needed while checking the resistance of the gauge.
  8. Again on the second valve (lash spec may be different)
  9. Change the gasket on the cam cover.