Has your snowblower stopped working? one of the most common causes is your shear bolts, and the part is designed to fail.
Snow throwers typically use a part called a shear bolt or a shear pin- a bolt that exists to save the snowblower from catastrophic damage. This part will sacrifice itself in order to prevent greater damage from occurring.
You can tell that the shear bolt has broken when your motor is running and the auger should be engaged but does not spin. A test to confirm this- The auger spins freely on the shaft when the motor is not running.
Inspect the shear bolts on the auger shaft. If they are missing, or if only half the bolts remain, then it time to replace them. Line up the holes on the auger with the holes on the drive shaft, and insert the replacement shear pins. Do not over tighten, these are designed to be a little loose! It is recommended to follow your specific manufacturer’s instructions- check your operator’s manual that came with your snow thrower.
If you are absolutely desperate, a regular bolt can be used, but this can come at great expense. If a situation occurs where significant force against the auger is encountered, kiss you snowblower goodbye. The resulting mess will be very expensive and time consuming to fix. The risk of using a regular bolt is probably not worth it. Best bet is to keep a couple of extra shear bolts for your snowblower on hand at all times. Remember, breaking a shear bolt will probably only happen while you are using the machine – which is the time you are most likely to need it to move snow.