SCARBOROUGH (WGME) — Snowblowers can be a lifesaver, especially when mother nature gets cranking.

To protect your snowblower when the snow is too deep, there is actually one part on most snowblowers that is designed to fail.

A broken snowblower can make Maine’s long winter seem even longer.

“When you’re going through the snow you don’t always know what’s underneath the snow, so if you get a log or a rock or anything like that in there instead of breaking the gears inside the auger, it will just break the pin,” Manager of Yerxa’s Power Equipment Chris Yerxa said.

Unlike most of the power equipment in your shed, snowblowers have a part that is specifically designed to fail.

“That’s your shear pin right there, and that is designed to break instead of breaking gears inside of the gear box,” Yerxa said.


Usually, you know right away when a shear pin breaks.

“So if these aren’t moving and they are plowing snow then most likely you have a broken shear pin that needs to be replaced,” Yerxa said.

It’s a fairly easy fix, with your snowblower turned off, you put the new pin right through the hole where the old one broke.

Attach the clasp or nut, and you’re good to go.

If you’re in the middle of a storm and the engine is running rough, the spark plug may be to blame.

You need to ratchet the sparkplug out and clean it.

If it’s really bad you’ll see a lot of carbon build up.

“If that’s the case and you’re in the middle of a storm and you want to get going real quick you can just grab a piece of sand paper and sand the insides of that, sand it off so that it gets a better spark, and that can get you going in a jam,” Yerxa said.

Experts says your spark plugs should be changed once a year.

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