A snowblower makes clearing snow easier, but what happens when the snowblower pull cord refuses to recoil?

We understand how difficult this can be. So, we will give you solutions to the most prevalent causes of the problem.

We will also explain how your snowblower works and whether you may use it even if the pull cord is broken.

What is a starter recoil on a snowblower?

A pull-rope is used to turn gas-powered engines with two to four cycles. The best way to understand how the starter recoil works is to show how it looks inside. Each part serves a purpose in cranking the snowblower, and the recoil is where it all starts.

The starting recoil is located on top of the motor, beneath the housing. It sits in groves, so it catches as it turns the flywheel when the rope is pulled. The fast-turning action is what starts the engine since the mechanisms operate together.

Something is almost certain to break in any piece of machinery over time. The rope will either lock up or not retract if the starter recoil locks up or the spring breaks. It is impossible to start the engine if this problem occurs.

Parts

Check the plate, rope, springs, pulley, and clutch, among other things. This is a general repair guide; consult the owner’s manual for more specific information about your model.

1. Pulleys

The pulley is where they draw rope and the recoil spring are kept. The pull rope wraps around the pulley’s exterior. The wound recoil spring is attached to the pulley on the inside. If the pulley is cracked or broken in any way, it can cause a malfunction, such as jamming. Remove the starter, inspect the pulley for any signs of damage that could be causing it to become stuck, and replace if necessary. Pull the starter rope all the way out and slide in a small screwdriver to lock the pulley against the starter housing. Remove the rope, then the screwdriver, rotate the pulley to release any tension on the recoil spring. Loosen the center bolt to remove the friction plate and the old pulley, then position the new pulley with the housing post.

2. Springs

After pulling the rope to start the engine, the recoil spring retracts it back into the starter. If the rope does not recoil, the spring must be manually recoiled or replaced, depending on the cause of the problem. Take the starter off of the engine. Remove the starter housing’s center bolt, cap, and pulley. Examine the recoil spring. If the spring is broken, it must be replaced; otherwise, it may recoil. Because the spring only goes in one direction on the locking tabs, this is a simple task. Check that the spring ends are appropriately bent to fit into the slots on the pulley and then on the starter housing. Take off the starter rope. Insert one end of the spring into the slot on the pulley and wound it up on the inside, making sure it does not burst out.

3. Starters

The starter kicks the engine into gear, allowing it to run on its own. When you pull the rope, centrifugal force causes the pawls within the starter to move outward, locking onto the flywheel and starting the engine. The rope is subsequently retracted by the recoil spring. Replacing the starter is the quickest and easiest way to get your engine running again without fixing the starter itself. To replace the starter, unscrew the nuts holding the starter in place and pull it out. Set up the new starter.

4. Starter Springs

After pulling the rope to start the engine, the recoil spring retracts it back into the starter. If the rope does not recoil, the spring must be manually recoiled or replaced, depending on the cause of the problem. Take the starter off of the engine. Remove the starter housing’s center bolt, cap, and pulley. Examine the recoil spring. If the spring is broken, it must be replaced; otherwise, it may recoil. Because the spring only goes in one direction on the locking tabs, this is a simple task. Check that the spring ends are appropriately bent to fit into the slots on the pulley and then on the starter housing. Take off the starter rope. Insert one end of the spring into the slot on the pulley and wound it up on the inside, making sure it does not burst out.

5. Plate

The friction plate, also known as the drive plate, is a part of the housing for the springs and pawls inside the starter. Because many are made of plastic, this part might wear out or even break over time. Remove the starter from the engine to test its operation. A broken one should be obvious right away. Pull the cord to test the pawls’ operation. There could be a problem with the plate if they aren’t coming out and retracting properly. Remove the plate and the middle bolt, and the cap. Inspect the inside for any damage, foreign objects, or dirt buildup that could impair the plate’s effectiveness. Reinstall the springs and pawls after cleaning or replacing the plate. Return the starter to its original position and tighten the bolt.

6. Ropes

The rope enters the starter housing and is linked to the pulley within the pulley. As the rope ages, it may become frayed and begin to snag on the inside of the starter, causing more and more damage to the rope and causing it to become hung up and not retract. The rope will eventually snap. Remove the starter from the engine to insert a new rope. Cut the old rope under the knot at the pulley and pull it out. The tension on the recoil spring must then be reset. Rotate the pulley in the appropriate direction 5-6 times to ensure proper recoil spring tension, then put a small screwdriver through the pulley into the starter case to secure it.

7. Clutches

The starter clutch replaces the spring-loaded pawls that lock onto the flywheel, which are contained with the pulley and recoil spring inside the starter housing. Instead of using roller bearings, the clutch is positioned to the crankshaft. The rope, pulley, and recoiler are still attached to the starting housing. To gain access to the starter clutch, remove the starter and the fan shroud. The clutch should then be removed using a pry bar. To prevent movement, use the pry bar and lock it in place with the fins on the flywheel. Use channel locks to loosen the clutch slowly, then thread it off. Install the replacement clutch and secure it with channel locks before removing the pry bar. Replace the fan shroud and starter cover.

What happens when you turn on the snowblower?

First, you must understand how the snowblower works by familiarizing yourself with its parts and what happens when you turn it on.

Most importantly, you should focus on the starter rope or pull cord.

In most cases, your machine’s blower housing has a small hole in it. You probably don’t notice it because the pull cord handle is in the way.

You have to tug on the pull cord to start the engine, so you’re probably not paying attention.

Regardless, that small hole feeds the pull rope to its full length, and because you’re doing so quickly, the motion starts the engine for you.

A rewind spring, rope, and other parts can be found inside the blower housing.

The housing

The housing shape might be circular or rectangular, as indicated by the vented holes that surround it. The flywheel will get air this way.

The pulley, rewind spring, and starter rope are all held in place by the housing. All of these contribute to the pulling mechanism.

The rewind spring, pulley, and starter rope

The starter rope is usually coiled onto the pulley, even though the rewind spring exerts tension on the entire system.

The rewind spring is relatively small and narrow, and it is usually securely coiled. Access to the spring is provided by a small screw located in the center of your pulley.

The spring might engage the little tab inside the blower housing when it is inserted.

When the pulley is turned on, the spring is twisted very tightly, ensuring that it has the rebound needed to reattach the pull cord to the pulley.

The primer bulb

There is also usually a priming bulb that must be pressed to inject small amounts of gasoline into the carburetor.

After that, grip the starter handle and pull it to feel the strain.

Pull hard on the starter rope now, and the snowblower should start.

If it does not, you should hold the pullcord as it recoils into the housing.

Why doesn’t the pull cord recoil, and what could be the cause?

There could be several reasons why the snow blower’s cord does not recoil.

One possibility is that you took it out without yanking it but with enough force to spin it around the motor.

Second, it did not return, indicating that something went wrong with the pulley system, rewind spring, or pulling mechanism itself.

Of course, you should inspect all components to ensure that they are in good working order. This can be done before attempting to utilize the pull cord.

Regardless, you are aware of the immediate issue: the snowblower pull cord does not return back to its original position.

The cord went with you

If you pull out the snowblower’s starter cord and it remains slack in your palm, you should give it a gentle twist.

If it comes off in your hand, the cord may have snapped somewhere within the rewind spring or pulley.

Follow the solutions for the two issues listed below to resolve this.

The pulley system messed up

The pulley system on your snowblower is designed to house the cord when it is not in use, but it can become jammed at times.

When this happens, it can be inconvenient and cause your snowblower to stop working.

The pull cord, for example, could have become kinked or tangled in some way. This frequently occurs when you tug on the pull cord while trying to start the snowblower.

What you should do

You can remove the housing system and inspect the pulley system to ensure that nothing is stuck. If it is, you can securely remove it by following the steps below.

  1. Remove the top of the housing and inspect the pulley. If there is any damage, the part may need to be replaced. You can easily accomplish this by totally removing the starter rope.
  2. Then, insert a screwdriver to secure the pulley in place.
  3. Remove the rope and screwdriver completely. It should take the strain off your rewind spring.
  4. You may then need to rotate the pulley by hand. However, this does not always work.
  5. Remove the old pulley by removing the middle bolt if you need a new one.
  6. Replace it and check that it is aligned with the housing post.

The rewind spring failed

After you pull the cord, the snow blower’s rewind spring handles the rest of the job.

As a result, if the pull cord does not return to the housing unit, this could be the cause. If it breaks, you must replace it.

This is the most typical problem. However, keep in mind that other things can happen as well.

What you should do

If the problem is with the rewind spring, you can try manually recoiling the cord.

To do so, take the following steps:

  1. Rewind the Pull Cord: Remove the housing unit and manually turn the pulley to rewind the pull cord onto it.
  2. Pull the Chord: Re-close everything and try to pull the starter cord.

After untangling the cord, you may encounter two different problems. If the rope is slack, the spring may need to be replaced.

If the snowblower pull cord does not recoil, try recoiling the spring, assuming it is not broken.

This step, however, can be hazardous, especially if it does not lock into place.

As a result, you should take the snowblower to a small engine repair shop and have a specialist look at the problem.

How to lubricate the starter recoil

Before reassembling the recoil, there are a few things you can do to keep it running smoothly. Because the part is important to start the engine, it is a good idea to spray lubricant on it.

Spraying lubricant on the metal parts will protect them from rubbing together, which will cause wear and tear over time. If the metals continue to rub, the spring may slip or break again soon after replacement. It is always preferable to take care of everything in maintenance when everything is disassembled.

Another advantage of lubricating the moving parts occurs while the machine is stored. Rust and corrosion will be eliminated from the elements.

Is it possible to use a snowblower while the pull cord is out?

When the snowblower starts up while the pull cord is out, most people ask if it is still safe to use the equipment.

Because a snowblower usually does not cut anything, you are not jeopardizing the safety of the pull cord itself.

However, because you go behind the blower, you may trip over the outstretched pull cord.

As a result, it is advisable not to operate the machine if the pull cord is not in place.

Some models, on the other hand, will never work with the pull cord outstretched.

If it does, the snowblower will very certainly have an emergency shut-off option.

How much does a recoil spring replacement cost?

Replacing the recoil spring on a snowblower is a do-it-yourself project, or you may take it to a small engine shop. Doing it yourself will cost you the spring pieces and maybe the pull rope. The pull rope costs about $5 on average, while the spring can range from $5 to $25.

Taking the snowblower to a mechanic will increase the cost of the parts by 10-20 percent. They also charge per hour for a job that takes roughly 30 minutes to change the spring and pull the rope. They often charge between $65 and $75 per hour for labor.

You come out considerably ahead when you add up the typical prices if you take your time and handle the project yourself. The average cost of doing it yourself is $30. The average cost at a small engine repair business is $75.

Is it true that freezing temperatures might cause the spring to malfunction?

Yes. If moisture gets into the housing chamber and ices it, the starting recoil spring will be affected. Thawing it out using a heating source, such as a blow-dryer, is a quick remedy.

How long will the spring inside the starter recoil last?

It is determined by where and how long it is held. If the machine is stored in a damp environment, the spring will rust and fail quickly.

Is it necessary to replace the pull rope at the same time as the spring?

No, not always. It’s a good idea to inspect the rope, but there’s no need to replace it if it’s in good shape. However, if there is evidence that anything needs to be replaced, it is best to do so while everything is open.