Snow blower status

So, after not getting a call back from the small engine place, yesterday, I called them first thing this morning.

Which was a good thing, because it turned out my number that I left with them somehow got separated from my name.

I was talking to the owner this time, and he’s the one who worked on the snow blower in the first place, so it only took a moment for him to remember which one it was – it’s a rather unique piece of equipment, compared to what they usually work on.

In talking about the kill switch, he suggested that his son, who would be the one coming to get the snow blower, might be able to just fix it at our place!

Which would have been awesome.

I had made sure to call before I made my rounds, and once it was confirmed someone would be coming, I went to drop the chain on the gate and open the doors to the shed the snow blower is stored in as part of my rounds.

It took a while for him to get here, and when he did, he pulled into the end of the driveway, where I had shoveled, then phoned to confirm he was at the right place. Amazingly, he had enough cell phone coverage to make the call!

He didn’t dare drive all the way in, though, because he figured he would get stuck.

He was probably right.

So he brought some tools and a new switch, and I met him at the shed.

This is the same shed we store the riding mower in, and he immediately recognized it. “So you’re the one who bought the Bolen!” He even remembered that I’d brought it in after breaking a belt on it, so we talked about it for a while. He was very happy to hear it has done well for us.

Then he turned his attention to the snow blower. He took the kill switch off completely, and was perplexed that the toggle was broken. I told him that it broke part way through my using the blower, and he agreed with me when I theorized it had something to do with the cold.

Before replacing the kill switch, he tried to get it running.

It wouldn’t start.

After a while, he noticed that the wire from the kill switch had dropped and was touching a piece of metal, grounding it – which would have prevented it from starting. So he bent that back so it wouldn’t happen again and tried again.

It still wouldn’t start.

At one point, he was even sniffing the gas tank and asked me how old the gas was. I told him about a month, at most. So that couldn’t be the problem.

After a while of trying different things, he checked the spark plug. It’s a new plug they’d put in, and I’ve used the snow blower all of 3 times, yet it was caked with carbon. We found a wire brush in the shed and he was able to clean it off. I asked why it would be like that so quickly, and he mentioned a few possibilities, none of which should have applied.

Eventually, he was able to get it started, but it wouldn’t stay started. He fiddled with it some more, but nothing worked. One thing that was happening that didn’t concern him at first, was a small leak of gas at the choke. This had happened to me before, after I’d over-filled the gas tank by accident. Usually, it just leaks a bit, but then stops. This time, as he kept trying to get it to run and stay running, it kept leaking even more instead of stopping, so that started to concern him. Then it would run as if in full throttle, even though the throttle was at its lowest setting – something else that it had not been doing before.

Finally, he just hoped to get it running long enough that he could take it to his trailer, but that didn’t happen. We had to drag it out manually.

We got most of the way there, when we paused and he went to turn his vehicle around, backing the trailer into the driveway and setting up his ramp. Then we manhandled the snow blower to the ramp, where he was able to hook up a winch to get it the rest of the way up the trailer.

Once it was strapped down, we headed back to the shed for him to pick up his tools. Just as we were leaving, he stopped dead in his tracks with an excited exclamation.

He had spotted my dad’s old chain saw in the corner; the one I’d brought to the shop to show his dad, when I dropped off the other chain saws. He had been away that day and missed it.

There is something especially cheering when dealing with people who so openly love what they do. He was so excited to see that old thing!

I had intended to follow after him after a while, to pick up the chain saws they fixed for me, but that would mean making two trips; one to get the chain saws, and another to get the snow blower when it’s fixed. Which doesn’t really make sense.

So I’ll wait for now.

I’m really happy with this place. They may be far away, but well worth the drive. He even commented on the distance, and thought for sure there was something closer; he was quite surprised when I told him I couldn’t find a closer small engine shop. The only one I did find didn’t answer the phone when I called, and never called back from the message I left.

I do hope they are able to find the problem and fix it quickly. It would be nice to be able to use our own driveway without the possibility of getting stuck!

Well, if I’m not heading out, I guess I’d better go and put the chain across the gate back up.

I really don’t want to go out there again. It’s only -21C out there – rather pleasant, in the sun. Right up until we walk past the shelter of buildings or trees, when we REALLY feel that wind chill of -31C! Since the trees stop at the fence line, that means reaching the gate post is like walking into a wall of wind. Brrr!

Ah, well. It is what it is!

The Re-Farmer

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