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Erika Douglas

Craftsman Snow Thrower Auger not turning

Model Number: 917.881.050

The augers will not turn when the auger control lever is pressed down all the way. I used the snowblower two days ago, and all was fine, and this problem just started happening today.

Previously, I did notice that the snow blower would not continue to blow snow when holding just the traction drive control lever down, after pressing the auger control lever. One should be able to hold just the traction drive control lever down and also have the auger control lever remain locked down automatically. This did nnot seem to be working as well anymore. However, if I held both control levers manually I could continue to blow snow.

Now, the auger control lever will not work at all. I am not sure if there is a problem with the auger control lever itself, or the auger belt, or something else. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Thanks
Chuck

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Craftsman , Electric Snowblowers , Snow Removal Equipment
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21 Answers from these members:
Joseph Perez
I know how important it is to have a good working snow thrower especially during this time of year. While you are waiting for an expert answer, I did manage to find a link that describes a similar problem that you are having. I am also adding a second link in where you can enter your model number and your owners manual will pop up. I hope my links are useful.
by Joseph Perez Earned 1,645 community points in Craftsman
January 10th, 2011
Answered in 6 minutes
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Erika Douglas
Thanks for the links. The shear pins were the first thing I checked, as I have replaced them before. They are both still there and intact.

Thanks
Chuck
by Erika Douglas
January 10th, 2011
Answered in 54 minutes
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Mark T
Thank you for your question.

I am sorry you are having a problem with your snow blower. If the auger is not working I suspect the problem is in the belt area. I recommend checking the belt condition first. I have provided you with two images below to aid in the repair. Use the second image to access the belt. If it is broken or worn, the belt should be replaced first. The instructions for replacing the belt are in the images below. Once the belt is on use the instructions in the first image to adjust the belt. Once the belt is adjusted correctly, I would expect the auger would work correctly.

Now for the lever not staying locked. At the bottom of the first image has the instruction for accessing this mechanism. The spring is the main component for this to work. If the spring is missing it can be ordered from our parts website

Sears Parts Direct

.

I hope this is helpful.

Please let me know if you need further assistance.



If you do not feel confident repairing this problem yourself, then you can have it repaired at your home by a Sears technician. Here is a link for the website:

Sears Home Services

.

Thank you for using Manage my life.

Mark T.
by Mark T Earned 1,840 community points in Electric Snowblowers
January 11th, 2011
Answered in 18 hours
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Manage My Life
Mark: I am having a similar problem with the auger not turning on my Craftsman Snowblower, Model No. 247.889571. I found that the belt had slipped off the drive wheel. The problem was initally caused by an extension cord getting wrapped in and subsequently stopping the auger. I removed the cord and noted that none of the shear pins had broken. I replaced the belt on the pulley. Everything seemed to work fine last night. This morning I started the blower and found that the auger doesn't turn. In addition to your suggestions, can you please send me the diagram for replacing the belt, just in case I didn't do it correctly. I ordered a new belt just in case the installed one is streatched.
Thank you.
Paul
by Manage My Life
January 12th, 2011
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Mark T
Here is what I have written on a model that is similar to yours. I recommend checking the belt first. I have provided you with the instructions for checking the belt. If the belt seems to be fine start the engine and have, someone pull the auger lever while you watch the augers from a safe distance. If the impeller is spinning and the augers are not I recommend checking the shear bolts. The shear bolts are made to break if the auger comes into contact of something hard. The second image shows how to replace the shear bolts. If the shear bolts are ok, the problem would be a sheared gear in the front gear box. To replace this gear you have to completely disassemble the front of the snow blower. A service technician usually does this type of repair. I hope this is helpful.
by Mark T Earned 1,840 community points in Electric Snowblowers
January 12th, 2011
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Erika Douglas
Thanks for the information Mark. Since I posted this I was able to get my auger to work again. Here is what I did.

I noticed that when I press down on the auger control lever, that there is more tension in the auger cable, which then raises the handle below to activate the auger. At first the auger was not turning when I pressed the auger control lever all the way down. Then, I manually lifted the handle, which activates the auger, all the way up. When I did this I heard a loud pop and the auger began turning again. This was strange because I had checked several times to be sure nothing was stuck in the auger or impellers. I also checked to make sure the shear pins were intact.

Do I need to replace the auger cable? Is it possible that it is wearing out and losing some tension, enough to cause it not to lift the handle quite far enough? What are some other possibilities?

On the issue of the handle, I notice a spring in the traction drive control lever, on the left. Should there be a spring in the auger control lever, also? Looking at the parts diagrams, it does not seem like there is one in the auger control lever, but I could be wrong.

Thanks
Chuck
by Erika Douglas
January 12th, 2011
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Mark T
Thank you for your reply. I suspect the auger idler was stuck. That was the noise you heard when is finally engaged. I recommend lubing all of the pivot points for the engagement assembly. Please make sure to only lube the pivots, not the belt, or the pulley. If you accidently get lube on the belt, it will slip. I have provided you with a few images that show how to adjust the belt and rods. I do not think the spring is stretched. I would lube the pivot, adjust the belt, and try the operation before replacing the spring. I hope this is helpful.
by Mark T Earned 1,840 community points in Electric Snowblowers
January 13th, 2011
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Erika Douglas
Thanks for the information again. Very helpful. However, I am having a worse problem which started today. I am going to call Sears tech support to schedule a repair appt. However, I would like to hear your opinion on this. Today, when snow blowing, the snow blower stalled in the middle of me using it. I hauled it back to my garage and started it again with the electric start. About 30 seconds later it quit again. I took the oil fill cap off and noticed that smoke was coming out the place where you fill it with oil. I checked the oil level and there was no oil in there! I added a small amount of oil, yet the level did not come up. I then noticed that there was oil dripping down the side of the snow blower and that there was a puddle underneath it. I am really scared that the engine may have seized up! Before using the snow blower today, the oil level was above the "add" line. I check it regularly. What could have caused this type of sudden leak? Please let me know what you think may be the cause for this. This has me really worried.

Thanks
Chuck
by Erika Douglas
January 14th, 2011
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Mark T
Sorry to hear you are now having this problem. This engine usually does not have problems. If the oil is running out when you are filling it, I recommend seeing where it is coming from. I have seen the drain plug come out and I have seen the other oil fills come out. Usually the engine has more than one oil fill be cause this engine can be used on other equipment. If the plugs are ok, look for holes in the engine block. If the oil is coming out of a hole in the block, there was an internal failure. You should be able to get by with replacing the short block. However, this type of repair is not cheap so please consider the condition of the snow blower before having it repaired. I cannot really think of anything that would have caused the failure besides running the engine low on oil but you stated the level was fine when you started it. Thank you, Mark.
by Mark T Earned 1,840 community points in Electric Snowblowers
January 16th, 2011
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Erika Douglas
Thanks for the information again Mark. Since the puddle of oil was on the floor after I got into the garage, I wonder if the second start did it in. I will check the oil plug. I do not see any holes in the engine block. About how much would the short block repair run? I have recently verified that I am unable to pull the manual pull cord, to try to turn the snowblower over. This leads me to believe that it is seized. Is there any hope? In terms of the 5 year warranty for tech. support and such, is anything covered that might help me in this situation. This is particularly upsetting to me because the snowblower is not even 5 years old yet.

Thanks
Chuck
by Erika Douglas
January 16th, 2011
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Mark T
I have checked the warranty on the snow blower and it has a 2-year warranty. If you have purchased an extended warranty for five years, it should cover the repair. The cost of the short block is about $350.00 plus the labor. If you have the extended warranty, the tech will most likely try to replace the whole engine if one is available. This is what I would have done because of the time involved installing the short block. I did not like doing long repairs in Illinois winters . Please let me know how this works out.
by Mark T Earned 1,840 community points in Electric Snowblowers
January 16th, 2011
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Erika Douglas
I verified with customer service today that I do have the extended 5 year warranty. Would a tech normally have a new engine available on a call? If not, is there any way I can make sure they do, just in case? Thanks. Chuck
by Erika Douglas
January 17th, 2011
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Mark T
I am glad you have the extended warranty. We have a process for ordering engines that requires the service technician to verify the problem. Then he will call the tech line to see what is available. If the engine is available, it will be ordered and sent to your house. I know it seems over board but due to the cost of engines and shipping, we have to do it this way.
by Mark T Earned 1,840 community points in Electric Snowblowers
January 18th, 2011
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Erika Douglas
I thought I would give an update on this. I verified that the oil plug was indeed gone. I am not sure how. Perhaps is vibrated loose, over time. The tech came and declared the engine seized, and ordered a new engine for it. Two weeks later he came back and installed the engine, and I am up and running again. In total it took 3.5 weeks. One slight annoyance, though, is the fact that the new engine has no hookup for the light on my snow blower. The tech mentioned that the engines they can order do not have a mechanism to connect the light wires to. Is this true? Is there another way I can hook up the light wires to a power source? This is annoying and inconvenient since the snow blower has a light, but now I cannot use it. Given my schedule I am doing the snow blowing in the dark most of the time.

Thanks
Chuck
by Erika Douglas
February 10th, 2011
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Mark T
I have an idea of why the head light is no longer functional, and it would require some parts. I’m going to bring this to the attention of our customer service team to help address this for you. You should be contacted if you haven’t yet. They should be able to resolve the problem fore you. If you have any other problems or you do not hear from them please let me know.
by Mark T Earned 1,840 community points in Electric Snowblowers
February 12th, 2011
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Erika Douglas
Thanks for the reply Mark. What parts do I need? I haven't heard from the customer service team yet. Thanks, Chuck
by Erika Douglas
February 15th, 2011
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Mark T
The technician should order and install alternator part number 791743 and the mounting screws part number 691183( two are needed). This should make the head light functional again. I will forward the information again to our customer support team. Please let me know, if you have any problems getting this repaired. If you still have the extended warranty you might want to call and set up service again.
by Mark T Earned 1,840 community points in Electric Snowblowers
February 15th, 2011
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Manage My Life
Hi I am a newbie. I hit a newspaper with my Craftsman Snowblower model number 536.887251. Broke the belt and damaged something else. The Impeller will turn by hand but the auger will not. I tried to turn the impeller by hand and it would not. I turned the Auger by hand and it turned but the impeller did not. I removed the auger and impeller from the snowblower and looked inside the gearbox. Both gears look fine. The auger shaft spins fine until I assemble it back to the gearbox with the auger attached nothing turns. Please help.
by Manage My Life
December 4th, 2011
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Mark T
I will be happy to assist you. When the impeller shaft turns the gear on the impeller shaft should turn the gear on the auger shaft. First, make sure that when you turn the impeller the impeller shaft turns. If it does not the pins in the impeller and shaft need to be replaced. Then make sure the augers will not spin on the auger shaft. If they do, the shear bolts are missing. If the auger shaft turns when you try to turn the augers by hand, the brass gear is sheared in the gearbox. Please reply below with more details if you need further assistance.

Thank you for using Manage my life.

Mark T.
by Mark T Earned 1,840 community points in Electric Snowblowers
December 5th, 2011
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Manage My Life
Hi Mark:
I have Craftsman 26'' 208cc* Dual-Stage Snowblower Model# 88970 (bought at 10/01/2011). I used the snowblower one weeks ago, I did notice that the snow blower would not continue to blow snow when holding just the drive control lever down, it only lock the auger control lever for less than 5 second, so I have to press both drive and auger control almost all the time. I am not sure if there is a problem with the auger control lever itself, or the auger belt, or something else. Thanks for any help you can provide.
Thanks!
by Manage My Life
March 12th, 2013
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Mark T
Anonymous,
I am sorry you are having a problem with the snow blower. I looked up the model number you submitted. This model has a lock that should hold down the auger lever so you can move the chute control. If the lever is not staying down, I recommend looking in the area of the lock. The image below shows the parts of the lock. Click on the image to see where and what the parts look like. If the unit is less than two years old, I recommend having a service tech come out and look at it.

Sears home service
by Mark T Earned 1,840 community points in Electric Snowblowers
March 15th, 2013
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