44 thoughts on “Don’t buy a Craftsman snowblower with a Briggs & Stratton motor

  1. Had the same thing happen to me and the oil leak was certainly not subtle…. I thought I threw a rock into the engine or something….there was a huge spray of oil coming out.  I shut the unit off immediately and luckily found the plug. I filled it back up with oil and snugged the plug in place..  Easy fix.  And now I know to check the plugs…  Not really sure why there are 2 of them and would be really interested to know the engineering behind that one.  Now I have to pull the engine off because all the screws that hold the engine on the mounting plate have backed off..  More of a pain in the ass but you can be certain some lock tight will be in order…LOL

  2. Thanks so much for your Video — this literally just a happened to me, Oil was spraying everywhere and I thought I blew the engine. I just checked and noticed a yellow cap is missing !!!! No notice, no warning … a disaster for sure !!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Dark and stormy night…checked previous to use while in garage, let it sit for an hour to use tractor as it was heavy snow outside.. Used it again and 30 minutes later it was gone. I am not an idiot, I checked it, may have come loose when I brushed snow off it…it can happen

  4. I have two of those,  I use them to snowblow  10 big accounts , driveways  with 10 cars parking.  they eat 16" of snow like nothing,  blow snow 30+ feet far and 10 feet high. this is my 7th year with them, and still working like new!!!

  5. Same thing happened to mine today. . Didn't notice the cap fell off until the engine blew. 205 cc briggs & stratton is a great motor had it since 2007 on my simplicity and start on first pull each time but when it isn't getting oil how long do you think it's going to last.

  6. Had this happen yesterday to my father's Simplicity with the 1350 Snow Series Briggs and Stratton engine.  Less than 10 hours on the machine, the plug found its way off while out working through some snow.  With all the gusting winds and blowing snow he didn't notice the plug had come out.  Machine ran for another 3-4 minutes and then began loosing power and eventually quit.  I went down today to take a look at it – it's not seized, but it has no compression at all, won't even try to run.  An .020 over piston and ring set is $64 and like another $40 for the connecting rod.  I won't even bother ordering till I see what shape the crank journal and cam's are in – if those are wrecked (and I'd be surprised if they arn't) then the cost of machine work for the hone and overbore plus parts exceed the cost to re-engine.

    It's a shame as it was a real nice starting, quiet, powerful engine.

  7. I'd add that yes, technically, this is a user error, a cap came off.  However, these caps are not used in the regular maintenance of this machine. it has a separate oil fill/check as well as drain plug location.  Neither my father not I ever noticed these prior to today – yes, I know they are bright yellow. 

    Is that the machines fault?  Technically no, but I would argue that parts shouldn't be working themselves off the machine.  These should be a metal plug (like the drain plug) on these models that do not utilize them at all – torqued a bit tighter so that only a determined effort would open them.  Briggs saved a buck by using a cheaper plastic cap for all models.  In turn, the end user pays the price if one of these backs off and goes unnoticed – when you're in a cloud of blowing snow that is entirely possible.  This thread is proof that this is not an isolated incident, several have chimed in to report the same issue. 

    For us the future maintenance routine on this machine will involve check these keeps whenever the oil is checked – an expensive lesson resulting from a cheap (and wrong in this application) part.

  8. My Ariens dealer told me today he had 4 customers with blown Briggs engines this year for this exact issue. Briggs has since replaced those yellow 'screw in' plugs with permanent white plugs that don't unscrew. This should have been done in the initial design. With the vibration of these engines,one can see how these may eventually loosen up and leak or fall out all together. While I agree it is the responsibility of the owner to check these, I still think its a bad design and has since been rectified. I'd like to know how many commentators here actually checked these plugs on a regular basis or even new this was an issue before seeing this post? 

  9. Happened to my father in law as well (his engine was on the John Deere 1028E), it is an extremely poor design…easy for those that have not had it happen to them to blame the operator…nonetheless a piss poor design. Which explains why they ultimately changed it I guess.

  10. That machine is 3 years old?  It looks like it has never been run.
    If the yellow cap fell out and you kept going until the engine seized up, how come you still have the cap?  That was lucky!
    Why is there no oil anywhere on the machine after it "gushed out".  

  11. I worked for Sears as a tech for 5 years and I have this to say.

    1. Shame on sears / the technician for not covering this under warranty! There was a year or two where a LOT of these plugs were left loose from the factory and came out during operation. If you checked the oil when you started, it would show ok but when that plug comes out, under operation, the oil leaves in a hurry !!

    Thought it may be a good idea to check these plugs before use or pre and post season use, experience will tell you that once they are tight they stay that way. There are lots of engines that are 15 years old that have these plugs in them that have never been checked and they are ok. These engine failures are a direct result of an over site / error by briggs and Sears should make good on covering this.

    2. The title of this video was obviously derived from anger / frustration and isn't very well thought out. Briggs engine are THE ONLY engine that I would use on a Craftsman snow blower…. If you purchase a Craftsman and it does not say
    "Briggs" then it's either a Powermore or some other piece of crap no name engine ( I think they use something called OTC) …

    Briggs snowblower engines are great. They are the best option for a snow engine unless you go to something more industrial. They pulled an asshole move by not covering every one of these under warranty… but they still are the best option.

  12. wow we just got ripped off too pissed with sears not a chance in hell will I buy a god dam thing again from them, but now that I think about it they are already dead or at least pulling out of Canada, maybe that's why we where offered CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Do NOT BUY FROM SEARS!!!

  13. This shouldn't be happening anymore, since virtually no one is using B&S engines on blowers any more.
    Everyone is using rebranded LCT or Loncin.. All made in China. This includes Ariens, Toro, Husqvarna, Cub Cadet..

  14. The exact same thing happened to me with this model snowblower. The plug came out while clearing with no obvious oil coming from the machine until it simply seized. The plugs are craps as they were tight at the start of the season and the unit was only used 5 times. You boys below that think you know it all need to step down off your pedestal, I suppose crap never happens to you.

  15. The exact same thing happened to me about a week ago. It's a stupid design flaw to have 2 useless oil caps that serve no purpose whatsoever, especially plastic caps that vibrate loose quite easily. I'm in the market for a new snowblower. It won't be a craftsman that's for sure.

  16. I bought one in December, 2015 and checked it today and I see they now have a metal plug inserted into the hole on either side of the engine.

  17. this is not a Sears issue IMO. You had this for 3 years…….simple check overs would have resulted in you finding the issue and tightening the plug. Plug is there as this is a utility engine and that same plug that was loose is my engine oil fill. People have to start taking ownership of there lack of effort in looking over there power equipment. I'm sorry for your loss but this is the operators fault.

  18. Well just think about it craftsman and Briggs was at a bad time for that year model, those models were nothing but flaws, but there quality has gotten better, I was just at Sears and looked at there snowblowers they have improved a lot I promise

  19. Maintenance is what's a question here. After operating for 3 years it gave out due to an oversight. Perhaps when you drained your oil out of those drainage holes (those two ports you referred to as being useless) you simply forgot to tighten them. Human error couple with the human condition of being unwilling to accept personal responsibility. If I was B&S I would investigate your claims. BTW…have they contacted you?

  20. Same thing happened to the B&S 1550 Snow Series (342 cc) engine on my 30" Craftsman snow thrower after 7 years use (purchased new in 2009). One of the two yellow plastic caps vibrated loose and fell off, causing loss of engine oil. Engine ruined. Costs CDN$625 (before labour) for a new one. The two yellow caps are on upward facing access tubes that have no obvious purpose. They are not used to drain oil from the engine (there is a separate drain tube lower down for that purpose) and they are not used when re-filling the engine oil (re-filling is done through the dip stick tube). This is – or at least least was – a serious design flaw with the engine.

  21. i have a B&S 24in craftman 2006 model it runs awsome i bought mine in 2006 also has plastic just make sure everything is tight every year i mataine mine in the fall before the snow comes….

  22. That's an older design which has been corrected. It's the owners responsibility to check to make sure those "Drain plugs" are always tight, which it states in the instructions.

    So, very good info. on Two very good snow blower brands, Briggs & Stratton (Among the very best) & Craftsman (Definitely a very good brand). Nothing wrong with mixing brands either, fyi.

    But, sorry, it was human error, yours in this case, for not properly maintaining the blower. Even if you didn't read the maintanance info. it's common sense to make sure EVERYTHING is tight, cables are properly in calibration, & fluid levels are correct-among a few other things, before each use, & after seasons end & begin.

  23. Did you see the letters in bold that say "Make sure all screws, caps and lids are secure prior to use"? And much to your Suprise the engine blow before you realized it was out of oil… Lol. It doesn't even hold a litre of oil, and under heavy operation being down 3-400 ml would be enough to have it seize tighter than a nuns C*#t. I've had the same machine for 11 years and never turned a wrench on it. Maybe put some more effort into learning some mechanical aptitude, real complicated things like making sure an F'N oil cap is tight, and less on YouTube videos that make you look like like a Retard. Briggs and Stratton should be making a video about people like you!!

  24. Look guys, I can swear by Craftsman snow blowers powered by B&S engines because of my long enough experience with them. My first snow blower was a 28 inch Craftsman that I bought new for $ 525.00 in the year 1976 in Winnipeg and I used it for few winters in very heavy snowfalls and when I moved, brought down to Toronto and used it until last winter. It gave me the best service a machine could give out, despite no electric start. My maintenance was minimal – belts and the like and general servicing. Last year I disposed it for $100 – not bad eh! A few weeks back I bought a new 27 inch Craftsman machine with a Briggs & Stratton at a delivered cost of $1,350 that will arrive on the 23rd of December and hopefully this machine will “outlast me”. Now that I am aware of this issue, I will be cautious about those yellow plugs on the engine block and might apply some kind of glue on the threads and then firmly tighten them back into place to prevent from coming loose.

    Most snow blowers these days come with Chinese engines – that also include some models of Craftsman machines one has to be aware of. They may be good but needs proving its worth that will take time.  It is a good idea to remove the wheel in the summer and lubricate the axle and refit the wheels to prevent them from seizing up – because whenever the tyres need changing, it will be a hell of a problem to remove the wheels.   
    Good luck with your machines in this and may winters to come.

    Cheers!

  25. you are a dipstick, you never notices all the oil in the snow, and did not check everything you need to on every piece of equipment that you operate. It is your fault for destroying the piston and sleeve. My old man has the same one , and has used it flawlessly for many years, and he clears a shit ton of snow with it.

  26. Yes…..Having a drain plug for your engine oil is a design flaw……..you sir, should work on your maintenance skills.

    They are bright yellow for a reason. You are to check them before each use. Just as tire pressure, shear pins, fuel level, cable operation should also be checked. This is nothing more than poor operator maintenance.

    An unfortunate situation for you, but entirely your fault.

  27. I have a Brute 1450 series 29" 14.5 TP B&S bought new in 2009. I always took care of it and verified all screws and caps before and after use….so don't tell me it's the user's fault because I don't buy that excuse. This is a big flaw in the motor design. Last week I lost the yellow oil fill cap on the right side while snow blowing. By the time I realized what was going on it was too late….the motor ceased. Now I'm going to buy a different style and will stay away from B&S motor…..even if the flaw has been corrected.

  28. So you tell us not to buy Briggs and Stratton due to operator error? The title of this video should read, "this will happen to you if you don't read the operators manual." You can hear the ignorance in this mans voice when he describes the oil fill cap as "this flimsy little yellow cap thingy." Enough said

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