Snowblower Runs For 10 Minutes And Then Dies

Don’t let your snowblower keep you stuck indoors this winter! If your snowblower is working for only 5, 10, maybe even 15 or 30 minutes and then shutting off, it could be due to a number of factors, which I will list below.

  1. Not enough ventilation for the fuel tank. When the gas cap is closed, it may form a vacuum and starve the engine of gas until the snowblower stalls.
  2. A coil is old / rusty or loose, remember, if a coil gets hot, it will stop working.
  3. Carburetor and / or fuel lines are clogged or loose.
  4. Air intake filter may be dirty or wet, causing it to freeze and block the air intake.
  5. Spark plug is cracked, the leads are too far apart or the spark plug is not working correctly. When the air expands in the plug boot, it can push the wire off enough to stall. After it cools, it pulls the wire either back on or at least on enough to jump the gap. If this is the case, you may notice that your snowblower works fine at colder temperatures and only stalls when it’s warmer outside.

Possible fixes:

  1. To help the increase ventilation, loosen the gas cap or drill a small hole in it to assist with air flow.
  2. Check coils to see that they are attached correctly and are not rusty. Replace as needed.
  3. Clean out the carburetor and fuel lines.
  4. Clean / replace the air intake filters.
  5. Squeeze the leads of the spark plug closer together using a pair of pliers, make sure the wire fits securely.

Good luck! Let us know if any of these fixes worked for you or if you found another solution!

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.


  • travart: Thank you for all your tips! My snowblower (2003 MTD 30” 10.5HP) would go for 15-20, then stop dead. I went through them all and it’s purring like a kitten again. I tried;
    1. Carb clean. Bought the carby cleaner and You Tubed how to do it. Man it revs much harder now!
    2. Fuel cap. The black rubber insert had skipped a hole. I simply lined it up to the middle hole and screwed it back on.
    3. I found the kill switch key was loose and kept cutting the engine. Ended up just cutting the cable and disabling it. The throttle has a kill switch on it when it goes to ‘stop’ anyway.
    4. New spark plug
    5. Refitted all of the springs on the carb. A few had jumped their holes.
    After all of the above it absolutely screams along! It almost runs too fast, so I never turn it to full throttle anymore. I just ran it for an hour and cleared the 6-8 foot snow banks on either side of the driveway. It didn’t miss a beat.
  • Vale: Thanks for letting us know Travart!

Add Your Own Comment:

By clicking 'Submit' you agree to the Site Terms
By entering this site you declare you read and agreed to its Terms, Rules & Privacy and you understand that your use of the site's content is made at your own risk and responsibility. Copyright © 2006 - 2018 DIY Forums