Troubleshooting why your snow blower’s auger won’t turn

Troubleshooting why your snow blower’s auger won’t turn

There’s nothing more frustrating as a snow blower owner than when you venture out into the cold to clear your property after a winter storm and your machine doesn’t work. Not only are you stuck with a whole lot of snow to clear and nothing to clear it with, but now you’ve got to figure out what’s wrong with your once-trusty snow blower.

If the problem is that your snow blower’s auger is no longer turning, there are a few potential causes and we’re here to help you troubleshoot the issue. Thankfully, a few of the causes can be fixed if you have the proper replacement parts on hand. Check out this list of snow blower replacement parts so you know which ones you should keep in your garage or shed, just in case.

Here are six parts that may be the cause of your snow blower’s auger trouble:


The snow blower’s auger is driven by a belt that is engaged by the auger control lever on the machine’s handles. If the auger belt becomes worn down or breaks, the auger will fail to turn when the control lever is engaged, and the defective belt or belts will need to be replaced[1] .

Shear Pins

Snow blower shear pins are made to break (or shear) in half to avoid causing further damage to the machine if a chunk of ice or a rock becomes lodged in the auger housing.

Found along the main auger shaft, shear pins attach the augers to the shaft and when the shear pins break the affected augers will no longer turn. If you find that one of your snow blower’s shear pins is the cause of your auger issues, you’ll have to install a new pin or pins[2]  to get the auger working again.

Auger Assembly

If you’ve checked the shear pins on your snow blower and they appear to be intact, then inspect the auger blades and auger assembly.

Your snow blower’s auger blades can become damaged or bent and may need to be replaced. On certain snow blower models, auger blades are separate from the assembly and can be changed out individually when necessary. However, some auger blades are attached to the assembly, meaning if a blade is damaged then the entire assembly may have to be replaced.

You might also need to replace the entire auger assembly[3]  if it has become worn out, so check the whole of the assembly for wear and tear.


Your snow blower’s gearbox is in the auger housing in the middle of the machine’s two auger blades and uses gears to power the auger shaft. If the snow blower’s drive shaft has power and the shear pins aren’t broken, then the gears may be causing the issue and should be inspected.

Other key indications of a problem with the gearbox are the sound of grinding coming from the auger housing or the feeling of the augers jumping while operating the snow blower.


Your snow blower’s bearings help the auger shaft spin properly and smoothly within the auger housing. If the bearings become loose, worn down or seized, the auger may not rotate correctly, and you’ll need to have new bearings installed where necessary.

Auger Cable

The auger drive cable engages the auger when the control lever is used. If the auger cable stretches or breaks, then the augers won’t turn.

In some cases, your snow blower’s auger cable can be tightened if it’s just been stretched so it’s worth giving that a try. However, if the cable is broken then a new one is needed for the snow blower to work again.

Jaidan Ammar

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