A first time owner can be frustrated by need for snowthrower shear bolts. The snowthrower shear bolts secure the snowthrower auger to the clearing blade. If the snow clearing blade gets caught on something the snowthrower shear bolts break to preventing damage to the drive cylinder and the snowthrower engine. Unfortunately, the shear bolts need to be replaced before the snowthrower will work again. Replacing snowthrower shear bolts for the first time is not easy if you are unfamiliar with the process. A little preparation can make a lot of difference if you have a broken snowthrower in with a half plowed driveway.

snowthrower shear boltsThe first thing any snow thrower owner should do is to make sure that they have extra shear bolts. You never know when they will break and you do not want to be stranded in the middle of a snow storm without your snowthrower working. The type/measurement of your snowthrower shear bolts can be found in the owner manual or manufacturer's web site. Snowthrower shear bolts can typically be purchased from a local hardware store. You can also buy snowthrower shear bolts online in bulk and save them for later use. For homeowners with gravel driveways, extra shear bolts are always a good idea.

Things You Will Need

Replacement shear bolts
Hole punch or Screwdriver

Step 1

It can sometimes be difficult to tell if you have broken a snowthrower shear bolt. If you suddenly start having trouble clearing snow, you stop to decide if you have a broken shear bolt. First get the machine to a covered area like a garage or porch. You need a dry area to work on your machine as well as one that is warm enough to take off your gloves.

Step 2

Turn off the snowthrower. If you have an electric snowthrower, unplug the machine. If your snowthrower is gas-powered, unplug the spark plug. You do not want the snowthrower accidentally starting while you are working on the machine.

Step 3

snowthrower augerNow clear the snow from the snow clearing or auger blade. If there are branches or a rock stuck in the blade, they need to be removed. After the blade free of all obstructions, check to see if the blade spins free from the driver cylinder. If it does spin, one or more shear bolts have broken off and will need to be replaced.

Step 4

Rotate the snowthrower auger to line up to holes in the drive cylinder. The holes can be difficult to line up without strong light or if the old snowthrower shear bolts are still stuck in the drive cylinder. If the old bolts are still stuck in the drive, use a hammer and punch to knock the old bolts out of the drive cylinder.

Step 5

Insert new snowthrower shear bolts into the auger and through the cylinder. Screw the nut into place and make sure it is tight. Try rotating the auger blade again and now it should resist movement because of the drive cylinder. Plug your machine back in and start it back up. If the snow blade rotates with the drive cylinder you are ready to start clearing snow again.

Tips & Warnings

Never use a normal bolt as a snowthrower shear bolt. If something get stuck in your snowthrower blade and the bolt does not break, result can not only damage the snowthrower but harm the operator.