Snowblower repair

DIY Snowblower Auger Repair: Get Your Snowblower Running Like New Again

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Is your snowblower auger no longer turning?

Winter is here and you rely on your snowblower to clear your driveway and sidewalks. But what do you do when the auger, the part of the snowblower that moves the snow, stops working? Don’t call a repairman just yet – you can fix it yourself with a few simple tools and some know-how.

Step 1: Troubleshoot the problem

Before you start tearing apart your snowblower, you need to figure out what’s causing the auger to stop working. Here are a few things to check:

  • Is the auger belt broken or loose? If so, that’s an easy fix. Simply replace the belt or tighten it.
  • Is the auger gearbox jammed or frozen? If so, you may need to replace the gearbox.
  • Is there a build-up of ice or debris in the auger? If so, you’ll need to clean it out.

Step 2: Replace the auger belt

If the auger belt is broken or loose, you’ll need to replace it. Here’s how:

  • Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent the snowblower from accidentally starting.
  • Locate the auger belt and release the tension by moving the tensioner arm.
  • Remove the old belt and replace it with a new one.
  • Reinstall the tensioner arm and adjust the belt tension as necessary.

Step 3: Replace the gearbox

If the gearbox is jammed or frozen, you’ll need to replace it. Here’s how:

  • Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent the snowblower from accidentally starting.
  • Locate the gearbox and remove the bolts that hold it in place.
  • Carefully remove the gearbox and replace it with a new one.
  • Reinstall the bolts and adjust the belt tension as necessary.

Step 4: Clean out the auger

If there’s a build-up of ice or debris in the auger, you’ll need to clean it out. Here’s how:

  • Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent the snowblower from accidentally starting.
  • Locate the auger and remove any debris or ice that’s accumulated.
  • Use a wire brush to scrub away any stubborn buildup.


First, thing to do if your snowblower auger no longer turns, is turn off the snow blower and troubleshoot. You should troubleshoot beginning with the easiest things to look at like checking for a broken shear pin. The shear pins are used to keep your auger attached to the drivetrain which turns the blades. You should also check for something jammed or pinned under the blades. Once you identify there is no jam, then you can begin disassembling to gain access to the parts of your snowblower.

Chances are if you have had your snowblower for more than 4 years, you’ve replaced some shear pins and shear bolts. The bigger problem comes from having gone through the little amount of replacements that came with your snowblower when it was new. Or if you’re like me and purchased your snowblower from a Home Depot in a shady location, they never gave you the replacement/extra shear pins. Either way, my situation is that since my snowblower is 8 years old it is hard to find the replacement pins at Lowes or Home Depot. For example, the packages will read: Replaces 300/500/600 series, and my mines is a Troy Built 726 oe. Or you might even see replaces Troy Built Shear Pins for models prior to 2005.

Long story short the last few purchases have been of incorrect sizes; often too wide, or a little too short.

Shear Pin too big, no problem
Get help fixing shear pins that are too big

Help, Shear Pin Will Not Fit Into Hole on Auger

So you have ordered or picked up some shear pins but they are too big. No problem, you can widen the hole in your auger to allow for the fit of the new shear pins. I got a few videos below to show my tips and tricks for working with a shear pin too big that won’t fit the holes in the augers. Just for clarity, shear pins are designed to break when overstressed to prevent auger damage. They are a great protective mechanism especially, if you’re like me and you help your neighbor who has an unpaved driveway with rocks and gravel, etc.

Make sure you align the impeller to the auger holes

Align the holes in the auger with the impeller

How to access the impeller by removing the thrower assembly.

Accessing the impeller to replace shear pins

Why do I keep breaking shear bolts?

Shear bolts or Shear Pins break for a variety of reasons. Your not on a paved driveway or sidewalk. Your collecting tiny stones, chunks of ice, moving too fast, etc. Once you break a shear pin, your snowblower auger will not be turning anymore. First things first, what surface are you running your snowblower on? I was a good neighbor for many years when I lived in a rural location. I’d snow blow my neighbor Paul’s 50 yard driveway which was all dirt, rocks, and gravel. Not only did I go through tons of shear pins, bolts, you name it, but at one point the snowblower got stuck on a rock and my forward momentum caused me to crack my iPhone screen.

Also, do you have skid plates on? Those would’ve helped me doing my neighbor’s driveway. I removed them so my snowblower could fit in my trunk and I never put them back on since the day I bought it.

Inflate your snowblower’s tires

Now that you’ve addressed the problem of your shear pins being too big, make sure your tires are inflated and ready to go ahead of your next snow fall. To do this, remove the wheel locks and slide your wheels off the axel. This creates convenience for space, if you have limited space and would like to inflate your tires without moving the entire snowblower. For example, you could bring just the tires to the gas station to inflate them. Or this might work for you if you have a tiny garage or shed. The tires do not require a lot of air and this can be done from a standard bicycle pump. It’s great if you have an air compressor but totally not necessary.

How to remove snowblower wheels to inflate tires

In closing, the last thing I will say about Shear Pins and Shear Bolts, they are a pain when they don’t break off clean and they are a pain if you can’t find the correct replacement sizes. But the solutions are simple:

  1. Widen the current hole so the new shear pins fit
  2. Drill a brand new hole so the new shear bolts fit

Just make sure your drilling straight and not on an angle as this will impact how the shear pin passes through the hole or not! Now you’re on your way to getting your snowblower auger turning again. Good luck.


By troubleshooting the problem, replacing the auger belt, replacing the gearbox and cleaning out the auger, you can get your snowblower running like new again. With a little bit of know-how and a few simple tools, you can save yourself the cost of a repairman and have your snowblower running smoothly in no time.

Dr. L

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