Flames Coming Out Of Snow Blower Exhaust (What It Means)

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Flames Coming Out Of Snow Blower Exhaust

A snow blower is one of those essential winter tools we hardly take care of, but they require regular maintenance. Snow blowers are made of many components, some of which are the engine, exhaust, and fuel system. These three are essential parts of the snow blower as they all work together to power the machine, mainly to blow snow away.

Different types of snow blowers tend to power differently, but they all have one major purpose: to blow snow away. A snow blower is a handy and practical tool in your home; it aids in removing snow from where it is problematic. The inventor of a snow blower does deserve some credit.

One widespread reason flames are coming out of your snow blower exhaust is that there is an improper fuel-to-air ratio, and you must make adjustments to get it back on track. However, many other reasons exist, including failed fuel plump, clogged air filter, or malfunctioning spark plug.

If your snow blower is used frequently, you will likely encounter some common issues, such as incomplete combustion and flames coming out of your snow blower. There are many possible reasons behind this, and there are ways to fix it.

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Causes of Flames Coming Out of Snow Blower Exhaust And What to Do

Snow blowers can last several years or even decades, but for that to happen, you need to understand how it works and the potential causes of issues like smoke coming out from the exhaust.

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Although causes can vary depending on the snow blower you are using, let’s look at the common reasons that can happen to any snow blower below.

man with snow blower on the road
Photo by Lauren Hedges on Pexels.com

1. Bad Spark Plug

One very likely reason why a snow blower might backfire when you are trying to start it is a bad spark plug. The spark plug is a very essential part of the snow blower, and when it starts to malfunction, there is a high chance of flames coming out of the exhaust.

There can also be issues of incomplete combustion; this is because the spark plug is in charge of generating a spark of sufficient intensity to ignite the fuel to air in the engine, and it has to be done at the right time.

To solve this problem, you should replace the spark plug if it’s malfunctioning, and regular maintenance should also be done.

2. Incorrect Ratio of Fuel to Air

Another reason a snow blower can start to backfire and then produce flame from the exhaust because there has been a fuel-to-air improper ratio.

Maintaining the fuel-to-air ratio in a snow blower is essential; this mixture creates an explosive in the engine, so you need to make sure it is balanced. If the fuel-to-air ratio is not balanced, your snow blower will not work efficiently.

The wrong mixture of fuel and air can easily lead to smoke from the exhaust. So to correct this, you must balance the ratio or make adjustments where needed.

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3. Fuel is Old And Stale

One of the vital ways to maintain the snow blower is to check and change the oil constantly. When the fuel is bad and has been sitting in the tank for too long, it can lead to issues with the fuel-to-air ratio, which can cause the flame to come out of the exhaust.

You should check the fuel and refill the snow blower tank with new fuel. This is another step that can be taken to keep snow blowers in good shape for a longer time.

4. Clogged Air Filter

If your snow blower suddenly backfires, the air filter is one place you should consider checking out first. The air filter is an important part of the snow blower, it is meant to remove dirt, debris, and other contaminants from the air that goes into the engine, but if the air filter is clogged, it can restrict the proper flow of air.

To ensure the air filter is not the issue, clean the air filter properly and if you must, you can change it to prevent any future clogging from happening. You can also clean the carburetor, fuel filter, and fuel injectors thoroughly and replace any damaged parts as well.

5. Check The Fuel Pump

Flames coming out from the snow blower exhaust can also mean that the fuel pump has failed. Fuel pump issues can lead to more damage to the snow blower if it is not taken care of on time.

The fuel pump is an important part of the snow blower as it is what carries fuel from the tank to the engine, and when it becomes damaged, it can lead to incomplete combustion and further lead to flames coming out of the exhaust.

You can solve this by checking the fuel pump; if it seems damaged, it can be replaced. The fuel pump needs to be checked regularly, and also make sure that the fuel in it is always fresh and sufficient.

How to Maintain Your Snow Blower

Lack of maintenance can cause a lot of things to go wrong with your snow blower and one of them is just the flame coming out of the exhaust. The snow blower needs to be tuned up at least once every year, this should be in good shape.

If flames come out of your snow blower, you have to take note of its engine, fuel pump, air filter, carburetor, and air-to-fuel ratio, replace damaged parts, and make amendments where necessary.

Below are ways to keep it in top shape for a long time;

  • As mentioned earlier, inspect all the parts, including the nuts, screws, belts, and cords, and replace them where necessary
  • Change the spark plug
  • For fuel powered snow blower, change the oil and gas; the old one should be drained and refilled with a fresh one
  • Change the tires and chains if they do look old
  • Simply make sure that all the snow blower accessories are in working order. Replace worn-out or damaged accessories such as the power steering, electric starters, and headlights.
  • Lastly, if you can’t figure out why your snow blower backfires or has flames coming out of the exhaust after all this is done, you should get a professional to look at it.


Remember that no matter what type of snow blower you own, it will need maintenance at some point. Snow blowers are not that complicated to maintain, but flame coming from it is often an indication that something is wrong.

If flames start to come out from your snow blower, turn it off and allow it to cool.

Luckily, any of these causes can be the reason behind it, and when that is fixed, your snow blower should work just fine if it does not, do not hesitate to seek professional assistance.

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