With the prices of gas increasing these days, you want to consume the fuel and not lose it through a leak in your snowblower. Not only are you wasting money with a fuel leak, but also opening yourself up to dangerous conditions.
A gas leak can be dangerous when the snowblower is placed near flammable sources. Breathing in gas vapors can leave you feeling nauseous, confused, and with a headache. When you see or smell a fuel leak, you must ventilate the area and fix it right away.
You will find a Cub Cadet snowblower begins leaking gas from a stuck carburetor float or float needle; a bad carburetor bowl gasket; cracked or degraded fuel lines, fuel filter, fuel pump, primer bulb, or fuel tank; or a bad shut-off valve or gas cap seal.
Before you start looking for a fuel leak, make sure you are working in a ventilated area. Protect your skin and eyes. Follow all safety precautions outlined in your Cub Cadet operator’s manual.
Reasons a Cub Cadet Snowblower Leaks Gas:
- Bad carburetor bowl gasket
- Stuck float
- Stuck float needle
- Cracked fuel lines
- Failed fuel tank
- Bad fuel shut-off valve
- Degraded or damaged fuel filter
- Bad fuel cap seal
- Weak primer bulb
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
9 Reasons Your Cub Cadet Snowblower Leaks Gas
Bad Carburetor Bowl Gasket
The carburetor bowl is the place where a little gas is stored after it leaves the gas tank. The bowl can be found on the bottom of the carburetor. It is common for your carburetor to begin leaking where the bowl attaches to the carburetor.
There is a gasket used to create a seal between the bowl and the carburetor. This gasket looks a lot like a thin rubber band.
Because it is located close to the engine, the stress from heating up and cooling down can cause the gasket to become dry, brittle, and prone to failure.
The gasket will no longer be able to create a good seal when this happens and the carburetor will begin leaking.
Replace the carburetor bowl gasket:
Replacing the o-ring gasket on your Cub Cadet carburetor is a simple process. First, you need to purchase the correct gasket. To ensure you get the right one, get the model and spec details off of the engine.
Don’t confuse these numbers with the model and serial number of the Cub Cadet snowblower. With this information, you can buy the correct gasket at your local small engine dealer or online.
- Once you have the replacement gasket, shut off the fuel supply to the snowblower. Use the fuel-shut-off valve located at the bottom of the fuel tank or hose pinch pliers to crimp the fuel line if your model snowblower doesn’t have a fuel shut-off valve.
- Wipe around the carburetor so you don’t introduce any dirt to the carburetor when you remove the bowl.
- Unscrew the screw at the bottom of the carburetor and drop the bowl down.
- Remove the old gasket and install the new gasket.
- Reinstall the bowl and tighten the screw.
- Turn the fuel back on. Wipe down the carburetor bowl and make sure there are no more leaks coming from the carburetor.
Stuck Carburetor Float
If the leak on your carburetor isn’t coming from the carburetor bowl gasket area, then the next place to look is around the opening of the carburetor by the air intake port.
When the carburetor float gets stuck, too much fuel can be allowed into the carburetor resulting in excess fuel flowing out of the carburetor.
The float acts like a gatekeeper. It regulates how much gas is allowed to be stored in the carburetor bowl.
Old fuel is most often the culprit of a stuck float. It leaves behind a varnish that can cause crusty buildups in the carburetor.
The carburetor will need to be removed, disassembled, and cleaned. Any broken parts must be replaced. If you are a little mechanical and don’t mind working with small parts, use the steps at the bottom of the page to clean your Cub Cadet carburetor.
Stuck Carburetor Float Needle
When checking for a stuck float, take a look at the float needle. This is what really keeps the gas flowing into the bowl with the help of the carburetor float. The float needle can become stuck as well.
You can attempt to “unstick” the float needle by gently tapping the carburetor with a rubber mallet or the rubber handle on a tool. This is only a temporary fix and may work for a time or two.
Eventually, you will need to remove the carburetor and rebuild it.
Dry & Cracked Fuel Lines
Fuel lines will become dry with age. Check the lines for signs of cracks or punctures that can result in a gas leak.
Another place to look is at the ends of the fuel lines where they are secured to fuel components. The clamps can puncture the line.
Replace a snowblower fuel line:
- Turn off the fuel supply using the fuel shut-off valve located at the bottom of the fuel tank. If you don’t have a shut-off valve on your snowblower, use pinch pliers to crimp the fuel line to stop the flow.
- Remove the clamps securing the fuel line in place. Remove the fuel line.
- Install clamps and a new piece of fuel line of the same diameter and length as the line removed. If you find pinch-style clamps used on your snowblower, you may want to switch to a worm gear clamp which is less likely to puncture the fuel line.
- Turn on your fuel flow.
Deteriorating Fuel Tank
Your snowblower may have a fuel tank made of one of these two types of material: high-density polyethylene or metal. Both types can develop a fuel leak.
A metal tank on a Cub Cadet snowblower can rust with time. These areas of rust can develop a hole and begin to leak fuel.
The best thing to do when you find your metal tank leaking is to replace it with a new one. Sometimes this isn’t possible because the tank is no longer being manufactured.
In this case, you can try to patch it using a product like JB Weld. Read more about cleaning a metal gas tank here.
If you find your polyethylene fuel tank is leaking at the seams, replace it with a new one.
Leaking Fuel Valve
The fuel shut-off valve on your Cub Cadet snowblower is located under the fuel tank. It is made of plastic or metal. Both types of valves can fail and start leaking. Replace a valve when you find it is leaking.
Note: Not every snowblower will use a fuel shut-off valve. In this case, you will need to use fuel pinch pliers to crimp the fuel line if you need to stop the flow to perform any fuel repairs.
Cracked or Old Fuel Filter
If your Cub Cadet uses an inline fuel filter, it may begin to leak gas due to age or damage. Old gas sitting in your fuel filter will cause the plastic to begin to degrade, soften and leak from the seams.
It’s best to replace the fuel filter annually to keep dirt from entering the fuel system and avoid leakage due to the age of the filter. A filter that is leaking must be replaced with a new fuel filter.
Be careful removing an old filter as the plastic may be soft and the filter can break off. Your fuel filter may be attached to the fuel tank or inserted between the fuel lines.
Bad Gas Cap
It can be difficult locating where the leak on your Cub Cadet is coming from. It gets increasingly difficult when the gas evaporates leaving no evidence of a leak other than the strong gas odor in the air.
Gas can seep out of your snowblower through the gas cap when it is no longer sealed tight to the tank. Sometimes you will spot gas around the fuel cap, but if you’re not looking for it you may miss it before the fuel evaporates.
If you continually smell gas and can’t find a leak after checking the items above, check the fuel tank cap seal. Do this by carefully rocking your snowblower back and forth to splash gas up to the cap area.
Watch for a wet spot to develop around the cap area outside of the fuel cap. Replace the fuel cap when you find a leak.
Weak Primer Bulb
Some Cub Cadet snowblowers will have a primer bulb to prime the carburetor when starting the snowblower. The primer bulb can leak fuel when the bulb fills with fuel.
Other times, you will find a leak where the primer bulb connects to the fuel line or when the primer bulb becomes weak and brittle. Replace a worn primer bulb.
Steps to Clean a Cub Cadet Snowblower Carburetor
1. Spray Carb Cleaner to Minimize Carbon Buildup
Spray some carburetor cleaner in the air intake. Start the engine to see if it will run. If your snowblower fires up and still won’t stay running then we need to get inside the carburetor.
2. Gather Pliers, Screwdriver, Sockets & Ratchets
Get together tools so you don’t destroy parts while taking the carburetor apart.
3. Take Photo for Reassembly
These days most people have a handy camera on their phones. It’s a very good idea to take a picture of the carburetor so you can refer to it if you don’t remember how to reassemble it after tearing it apart.
You will want to make sure you get a photo showing how the linkage and springs go back on the carburetor.
4. Remove Throttle Cable & Choke Cable
Not every snowblower has a throttle and choke cable. If your snowblower does, remove the cables at this time.
5. Remove Springs
Slowly remove the springs so you don’t stretch them out too much. You may have to twist the carb a bit to get the springs off. Also, watch the gasket at this point so you don’t tear it. This is the gasket located between the engine block and the carburetor.
6. Remove Screw Off Float Bowl
The float bowl is where gasoline is stored inside the carburetor. It should have gas in it so have a rag ready to catch the gas. Remove the screw at the bottom of the bowl
7. Remove Bowl
Remove the bowl being careful to not damage the o-ring around it. Caution: Do not get any carb cleaner or any other chemical on the o-ring. It will stretch out and you won’t be able to reuse it.
8. Inspect the Stem for Clogged Holes
Inspect the stem for clogged holes. This stem hangs down from the center of the carburetor and has holes in it. If these holes get plugged from old fuel it will not draw fuel up to the jet.
If the holes are plugged, take a thick wire to clean them out. It’s easier to see what you’re doing if you use a flashlight. Once you get the holes clean you can rinse them with carb cleaner.
9. Inspect the Carburetor
Inspect the carburetor for hard crusty white buildup. This white buildup is fuel additives including ethanol. You need to try to get as much of the white power material out as you can. It’s nearly impossible to get it all out.
10. Reassemble the Carburetor
Reassemble the carburetor now that the carb is clean. Put it back together in the reverse order you took it apart. Remember to refer to the photo you took of the carburetor when reassembling so all parts are reinstalled in the right places.
11. Add Fuel Supply with Fuel Stabilizer
Add fresh fuel that contains a fuel stabilizer like Sea Foam or STA-BIL before you start your Cub Cadet snowblower. Pour the fuel into the tank and give it a chance to fill the bowl of the carburetor.
Start your engine. If you are starting with a pull cord, give the rope a yank. It may not start on the first pull, but it should start after several pulls and continue to run.
I go into more detail about fuel stabilizers and the one I like best is The Best Fuel Additive for Your Snowblower.
Still Having Problems with Your Cub Cadet Snowblower?
When you own a snowblower long enough, you are going to run into several issues with it. Things like dying, not starting, or the auger not moving are just a few items you may encounter.
I have put together a guide to help you quickly reference things that can cause these problems. You can find it at “Common Cub Cadet Snowblower Problems and Solutions“.
If you encounter a problem that is bigger than you feel comfortable troubleshooting, contact your nearest Cub Cadet dealer for assistance.