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Service & Maintenance Question

    William Downs
    ST230P Auger Belt broken after light usage
    Service & Maintenance Question posted February 24, 2015 by William Downs, last edited February 24, 2015 
    5055 Views, 23 Comments
    Question:
    ST230P Auger Belt broken after light usage
    Details:

    I live in Boston, MA area and bought an ST230P 1/25/2015.  Biggest problem I am having is that the auger belt broke after about 10 - 15 hours total operation. (Worked great until belt broke).  Searched up and down all local dealers and belt manufactures for replacement with no luck.  Closest I could get was a rubber v-belt with same dimension.  This belt broke after about 5 minutes operation.

    I believe the cause of belt wear on my machine is the belt guide on the idler arm opposite the idler pulley.  The guide pulls the belt off the auger drive pulley to tension it when the lever is pressed to engage auger. Unless it was installed wrong?

    Anyone else experience similar problems with auger belt??

    Answer

     

    • Eugene Rounds

      I believe the cause of belt wear on my machine is the belt guide on the idler arm opposite the idler pulley.  The guide pulls the belt off the auger drive pulley to tension it when the lever is pressed to engage auger. Unless it was installed wrong?

      The belt guides are only to keep the belts coming off the pulleys. The idler pulley is pulled inward toward the center of the belt loop to engage the belt. If the idler is pulling the out then something setup incorrectly.

      I don't have the size of the auger belt and I wasn't able to cross the Husvarna part number.

      • William Downs

        See attached picture, really tough to see idler arm.

        The idler pulley does pull in to engage belt.  At the other end of the idler arm is a v-shaped guide that the belt is routed around and keeps the belt off of the auger pulley.  Engaing the auger lever pulls the idler in AND pushes this guide out to tension to the belt.

    • Steven Butz

       I have the same model and had my auger belt break after less than 3 hours use.  This happened at end of January.  Now it will be at the dealer until mid-April as there are no belts available for replacement.  Very frustrating to pay nearly $1200 and not have a usable product that I now have little faith in.

      The thrower was outside of its 30-day return window so now I am stuck in Milwaukee without a snow thrower, and out over $1000!  The customer service line told me the belt can be under stress if the chute clogs with ice and usage of the blower is halted.  This puts continued tension on the belt and can break it with restarting.  This was not the case for me as it broke during use and I store it in a heated garage.

      As an FYI, the repairs on my machine go farther than just the belt.  So maybe it is a mis-adjustment on the tensioner.

       

    • mike warman

      I have the same machine. I am also breaking belts. Going on #5 as we speak. Bought my machine in November. Not happy

    • Show/Hide RepliesAnonymousposted February 22, 2016
      This has been deleted by the author
      • William Downs

        I tried calling manufacture last year when I was having problems and didn't get any answers. 

        I returned mine since it was still under warranty at Lowes and bought an Ariens.

    • Oscar von Bredow

      We experienced a similar issue.  We purchased our ST230P snowblower on Oct 15, 2015 and registered it on Nov 3, 2015.  The auger belt broke within the first 15 minutes of its first use during a major snowstorm on Jan 21, 2016.  We were snowed in and couldn't get out for 4 days.  When we finally got out, the Husqvarna dealer didn't have any belts.  We bought several from local automotive dealers and they shreaded.  We then ordered several online and they didn't work.  The Husqvarna dealer finally got some belts and we went out and purchased those only to find out that they also didn't fit properly.  On Feb 8, I called Husqvarna only to find out that service bulletin B1500013 had been issued to replace the pulleys and belts.

      I feel that Husqvarna should have notified its registered customers to alert them to this issue and not leave them stranded when they need the unit the most.  I was on the phone twice with customer support including the escalation department and got nowhere.  They indicated that they do not notify customers when they issue  service bulletins and felt that I was a unique case and that no one else is having that problem.

      We purchased what we thought was a dependable and durable product and are sadly mistaken.  I will most likely never purchase another Husqvarna product in the future.  I hope that they change the way they operate and act more proactively in the future with their valuable customers.

      • Eugene Rounds

        Thanks for the SB number. When it release date it is for 02-2015 so it is something just release to the dealers. Hopefully they can resolve most of the users problems before the next major snowfall.

      • Chuck Tobias

        I'm having the same problem with the same snow blower.    I had my auger belt fixed 3 times at a dealer and still having problems with the auger belt.  I called Husqvarna and was advised I was the only one having the problem.  I requested a new model from Husqvarna since this is product was a failure and was told no.  After checking the internet I see I'm not the only one with this problem.  I'm very disappointed that Husqvarna won't stand by their product.  I think its time for legal action or maybe a class action lawsuit for everyone loss.

        • Barry Gold

          Sorry to hear you are having problems.  I was having issues with my ST224 until I realized my auger/impeller assembly was freezing up.  Since then the machine is working fine, yesterday I cleared 6 inches of wet heavy snow without a problem.  Rather than rewrite my comment please search for it under my name.

           

        • Raymond Di Tucci

          Sounds like your on to something! if this isn't a design flaw I ask you what is?  To have literally hundreds if not thousands of customers and users experiencing the same belt issues, I'm not aware of any other brand or any other model that this occurs on. Go to Amazon and look at all of the reviews and comments on this issue.

          This is truly shameful where the customers have to post this on the Husqvarna answer army site and yet no one from Husqvarna has the courage or decency to follow up on this issue with the users. This warrants an investigation at the very least.  Its bordering on fraud, perhaps their thinking is if we don't respond then we cant say we know about any machine issues.   Do yourself a favor and buy something good, anything is better than this piece of crap. Chalk this up to a lesson learned.  Sure it looks great but it cant hold a candle to anything out there, what good is a machine you cant rely on to do what its supposed to do. An old Latin proverb comes to mind; "Caveat Emptor" let the buyer beware. 

           

           

           

    • Raymond Di Tucci

      I can only describe myself as one disappointed customer, I bought the Husqvarna ST230P last year in December 2015 to use in the Greater Boston area. I purchased it because I needed something better than my 5 hp Murray snow thrower that I had been using for the last 20 years.  Thus far I have replaced 3 shear bolts and 3 auger belts. Husqvarna support is non-existent.  I paid $1,150.00 for what I thought was a good quality machine, but was I ever wrong.   I have to say that never replaced a single belt or shear bolt in the 20 years I had that 5hp Murray and, I regret giving it away, but I needed something stronger which the ST230P is, but definitely not a quality product when you need to be at its constant beckoning replacing auger belts at break neck pace. My regret is that I should have listened to my neighbors and gone with an Ariens, they are built tougher and don't have this flaw.   The other thing that pisses me off is their supply chain, I was able to pick up one belt at Lowes when I bought the machine but after that I wasn't able to find them anymore as they were all sold out.    I had to order auger belts through Husqvarna as their local distributer near me was out too and wouldn't be getting more for months, go figure.  So I ordered directly from Husqvarna in January and the belts arrived in August, what that tells me is they have poor customer support and don't really care. Lets think about this for a minute, what good is a snow blower that doesn't work in the winter? What good is a snow blower in the summer for that matter?   Who needs a heavy, $1,150.00 paper weight taking space in a garage. While the machine was down which was a good portion of the winter, I had to physically remove the snow by hand in a 100' driveway.    When my frustration reached epic levels, I had my mechanic take a look at the machine and he set me up with the best fix so far, he used a "Gates" high speed rated Kevlar "V" belt. The size was a 38" x 1/2" model number 6838 - 4L380. This appears to be an exact fit on the machine and the same size as the original Husq auger belt, but maybe better made.   So I ordered a bunch at approximately $9.00 each, so far they have worked fine but no telling how long they will last before they too get eaten up by this horribly designed albatross.  I too will never buy another Husqvarna product for as long as I live, and I intend to voice my unhappiness with this product and the company at every opportunity.

       

      • Barry Gold

        I read your review, as well as most of the other reviews.  I had a similar problem, but discovered a major reason why this problem was occurring.  First off, I bought an ST224 for $799 plus tax and $25 delivery charge 3 years ago.  The first year the machine worked perfectly. The second year it was working fantastically, and cleared 100X40 driveway and sidewalk after the worse snowstorm in NY in the last 30 years - I had approx. 28 inches in driveway with even bigger drifts.  The problem started the next day when I tried to use the machine to clear some residual snow that the city snowplows left in front of my driveway.  The impeller and auger would not spin and I burned through my auger belt.  If you are not very thorough in clearing the snow around the auger and impeller it freezes up and prevents the auger from turning.  The belt spins but the auger/impeller do not; consequently, the belt shreds and burns.  Luckily, I was able to obtain a replacement belt from Sears mail order which came within 2 weeks, also Husqvarna sent me both an auger and drive belt at no charge. Since replacing the auger belt the machine is working fine. 

        Please pay attention to this next paragraph as it is important. Last week I used the blower again, as NY had another snow event.  The depth was approx. 9 inches where I live, but I had drifts in my driveway that measured 22 inches without exaggerating.  The machine cleared everything perfectly.  However, the next day I noticed that the snow near the auger/impeller melted and then froze because my garage is not heated. I knew not to start the machine because I would have destroyed another belt. In the last few days the temp. has risen above freezing and the snow has melted freeing the auger assembly.  My suggestion to you and everyone else who has this type of machine is first turn off the machine, then take out the key, and then remove the spark plug cable so the machine can not possibly start.  Next, get down on your hands and knees and using the plastic clearing stick that came with the machine completely remove any snow or ice that will prevent the auger/impeller from spinning.  After this, start the machine and run it for 4-5 minutes to make sure the snow/ice are removed from the auger/impeller assembly.  I hope this works for you because I know how frustrating it is to have a snow blower that is out of commission when you need it.

      • Joe Wadsworth

        I couldn't have said it better myself!  Kudos to you for being so direct. I, too, will never buy another Husqvarna product again after the issues I've had with the ST227P snow blower, which I purchased from Lowe's in 11/14.  We had virtually no snow the winter of 2014-2015 so it I only used it once in early spring 2015 and then 3x during winter 2015-16 and once in early 2017.  It's literally been used a total of 5x since I purchased it! It is stored in a heated garage and I even have a custom cover for it. I take good care of my tools and equipment.  When I pulled it out to get it ready for winter 2017-18 the blasted thing is stuck in reverse!  Not to mention the chute has never worked right since I bought it either.  Pissed is an understatement, that's $1000 down the drain, I'll be lucky to get a third of that if I try to sell it.  Thanks for sharing the alternate belt info, that is a life-saver!

        • Raymond Di Tucci

          Joe, I feel your pain.  You should mail that piece of crap directly to Husqvarna postage due and have them deal with you directly. It’s truly shameful that they treat the paying public like fools.  The amazing thing is that they’re still selling this crap as if nothing was the matter. 

    • Eugene Rounds

      Tnx Barry for your insight into basic operations. This would help preventing damage from some those de-icing chemicals that users may encounter during operations.

      This something many people don't realize that equipment should cleaned after use. Personally I don't see snow blower in my area but do see many riding mower with problems related to not clearing the deck of debris that promotes rusting of belt engagement pulley swing arms. Some are so caked with debris that take large object like a crowbar just to break it up so I can even remove the parts so I can remove the rusted parts.

      There is device use Dixie Chopper mowers that would prevent most of this. This is a fan on each of the spindle pulleys which blow off all the clippings while in operation. Very well thought out design in my opinion.

      • Raymond Di Tucci

        I just want to respond to the last two entries and be very clear that the snow blower is kept in a heated garage, and I take particular pride in making sure the machine is cleaned after each use, I like to take care of my stuff.  As for the belt failure, it manifested itself under various different circumstances. The first time it broke a belt I was trying to clear snow at the bottom of the driveway that the plows threw on the mouth of the driveway the piles were heavy wet snow, and about 18 to 20 inches high and was moving at the slowest speed on 1st gear.   A machine of this size and at approx. 11.6 horsepower as the ST230P is, it should be able to handle that with minimal effort, but the belt failed.  The second time I was removing snow from the driveway, the snow was medium weight, not fluffy but not super saturated either, this time I wasn't going any faster than 2nd gear. The third time it failed was when I was clearing a sidewalk, again at 2nd gear and the snow was somewhat heavy but less than 6" in total depth.   I don't know if the belts are designed and sized too small for this machine or if they are just poor quality, I'm not a mechanic or mechanical engineer, but there is definitely something there.  I do know that something is a miss with this machine and I suspect its a design flaw when it was engineered. It's truly a pain to have to replace belts on this thing constantly.   I wish I could get my money back and go with something else to make my life better, and not have to waste time, money and effort on what  should have saved me time, money and effort in the first place.   Its my sincere hope that someone at high up at Husqvarna reads this and takes an interest because its truly sad otherwise. 

             

        • Eugene Rounds

          Raymond, Just speaking experience on some the other equipment it could very be a design problem.

          Here last year I working a pair HU625HWT trimmers. First problem was the drive belts being sent to me were too short though were to speced at 3/8 x 43.2 they were 3/8 x 42.7. I finally had to modify the unit to accept an 3/8 x 43" belt; still was a little too tight but work out.

          Second problem was with the spindle assembly. Older units didn't have the following problem. The problem is that the current spindle journals OD where the bearing ride are too small allowing the shaft to slip in the bearing's ID. This leads to rapid wear of the spindle shaft's bearing journals allowing the trimmer to flop around. I had to send out two of the shafts to machine shop to have them knurled as to prevent this. Totally un-needed if only the shafts were properly sized to start with.

        • William Downs

          you're posts are making me revisit the pain I went through on this unit 2 years ago!!

          I was able to return mine for full refund at Lowes and then I bought an Ariens; no issues since.

          The problem with ST230P is design of the idler arm (#16 on attached drawing).  When you engage the lever to run the auger, the idler pulley on top is pulled in toward the belt (as it should).  The bottom end has a V shape for the belt to ride (not really shown in diagram but you should be quite familiar based on all the belt changes) in and it pushes out against the belt to tension the belt when you engage the lever.  This is where the belt is shaved down and breaks quickly.

          Can't believe they are still selling these they way they are!! customer support wasn't interested in helping; too bad you couldn't get rid of yours...scrap it and buy an Ariens!

           

           

    • Oscar von Bredow

      I sent a letter to Husqvarna Forest and Garden at 9335 Harris Corner Parkway, Suite 500, Charlotte NC 28269 on February 12, 2016 and didn't receive anything back, not even an acknowledgement of receiving the letter.  They don't seem to care about their reputation.

       

    • Raymond Di Tucci

      Oscar, I'm not surprised at all.  They don't believe in customer service, its a "love them and leave them" attitude.   They literally screwed me with this product, I wasted $1,150.00 on this product with nothing to show for it other than angst and grief.  

      Their products had a good reputation in the past, but that has changed and not for the better unfortunately.   Lets think for a minute, here we are posting on "their" website "the Husqvarna Answer Army" has anyone from Husqvarna reached out to you or even bothered to read these posts?   This is crazy, and its truly shameful.    The last post I read talked about a class action lawsuit and I'm starting to think that's the way to go here. 

       

       

       

    • Barry Gold

      Keep me informed if there is a class action law suit. I think it abnormal for the impeller/auger to constantly freeze up, maybe it is a design flaw.

       

    • J P

      My husband and I purchased the ST230P snow blower in Dec 2015. It was this year Jan 2017 the auger belt started slipping off.  My husband fixed it four times before the BIG storm yesterday here in the Northeast.  He went to use the snow blower and it slipped again.  I work for the Big Box store where it was purchased and found out there was a notice from Husquvarna about this "Known" issue with the auger belt slipping off.  My coworker informed me that if you go back to where it was purchased they should have taken care of the issue by giving you a new belt.  I was told the factory put in the wrong size belt.  In reading one of the posts for the 38" X 1/2" size auger belt it needed my husband was able to purchase a belt, off the shelf, from Tractor Supply. He got the most available one today and finished our driveway.  The Tractor Supply stores have a kevlar belt but were out, we will definitely purchase that one.  So do not dispare, try replacing your Auger Belt if it is slipping it was Human Error not design problems.  I hope this will help you.

      • Raymond Di Tucci

        All I can say is good luck to you and your husband.  I had replaced my belts 4 different times with original husq and then replacement belts from Gates that are Kevlar.  The issue is in the design of this machine that keeps burning them.  Not sure if the pulleys or clutch are the culprit but I've never experienced anything like this in my 53 years life. The company should have informed all of its customers of the issue and done the right thing.  I don't have the time to deal with this issue so I went out last and bought an Ariens.  Just used it for the first time on Tuesday with about a foot of heavy wet snow, it was throwing it across the street, with no effort at all.  The belts didn't break and it worked as you would expect from a snow blower. 

        Again I wish you good luck! 

         

        Ray Di Tucci