Common Problems of Gas Augers | Explained

Tool Set 2

Gas augers are a popular choice for anglers looking to drill holes in the ice, but they can often be plagued by common problems. Whether the trigger switch won’t work, the blades don’t spin, or the gearbox is faulty, there are many things that can go wrong with these machines. Fortunately, there are ways to troubleshoot and fix most of these issues. So if you’re having trouble with your gas auger, don’t despair – help is on the way!

Considered one of the main tools for ice fishing, gas augers are very popular among anglers. However, like any other mechanical device, they are also prone to certain problems which may render them useless.

Some problems are pretty generic in nature and can be fixed easily, while others may require the services of a qualified technician. The most common problems with gas augers include:

Trigger Switch Doesn’t Work

One of the most common issues with gas augers is that the trigger switch doesn’t work. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including dirt and debris build-up, a faulty switch, or even a dead battery.

Ice augers are used when the water is frozen, so it’s not surprising that dirt and debris can easily build up on the switch. If this is the case, simply clean the switch with a cloth or brush to remove the buildup.

Faulty switches are another common problem. If the switch is not working properly, it will need to be replaced. This is a relatively simple repair that can be done at home, but you may need to purchase a new switch from a hardware store or online retailer.

The Blades Don’t Spin

Another common issue with gas augers is that the blades don’t spin. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including a dull blade, a broken belt, or a seized engine.

A thorough check for electrical continuity can help you diagnose whether the issue is with the engine or the blade. If there is no continuity, then the problem is likely with the engine and will need to be repaired by a qualified technician.

More ofter build of dust, ice, or water in the area where the blade attaches to the auger can cause the blades not to rotate. Simply clean off the build-up and try again.

If the problem persists, then it’s likely that the belt has broken and will need to be replaced.

Faulty Gearbox

Gas augers are fitted with a gearbox that helps to transfer power from the engine to the blades. This gearbox can often become faulty, causing the auger to stall or fail to start.

Failure of the gearbox will give a foul smell coming out of the machine. Also, if you try to operate the auger, you will notice that the blades are not spinning as fast as they should be.

A faulty gearbox quite often leads to underpowered augers that don’t work as well as they should. In most cases, the gearbox will need to be replaced.

Non-Working Clutch

Many gas augers are fitted with a clutch that helps to protect the engine from damage. If the clutch is not working properly, it can cause the auger to stall or fail to start.

Gas augers have centrifugal clutches that are engaged when the auger is started. If the clutch is not engaging, it can be due to a variety of factors, including a broken spring, a seized-up engine, or even low oil levels.

If the auger engine is idle but the auger is still spinning, then the clutch is not engaging properly. This can be dangerous as it can damage the engine. The best course of action is to stop using the auger and contact a qualified technician for repairs.

Engine Problems

If you notice that the gas auger is making unusual noises or is not starting, then there is likely a problem with the engine. This could be anything from a faulty spark plug to a seized piston. The engine comprises many individual parts such as the cylinder, piston, carburetor, and spark plug. Any of these parts can fail, causing the engine to malfunction.

Carburetor problems are quite common and can often be fixed by cleaning the carburetor or replacing the carburetor gasket. If the problem is with the spark plug, then it will need to be replaced.

If you need to clean or replace the carburetor make sure to add a fuel stabilizer to the gas to help avoid this problem in the future.

Seized piston rings are another common issue. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including low oil levels, excessive heat, or a build-up of carbon deposits. If the piston rings are seized, then the engine will need to be rebuilt or replaced.

Keeping spare spark plugs on ice fishing trips is always a good idea as they are easy to go bad in the cold weather.

Blocked Fuel Line

If the fuel line becomes blocked, it can prevent fuel from reaching the engine. This is often caused by a build-up of dirt or debris in the fuel tank. The best way to clean the fuel tank is to remove it and flush it out with a hose.

Make sure to dry out the fuel tank completely before refitting it. A blocked fuel line can also be caused by a faulty fuel filter. Fuel filters should be replaced every few months to avoid this problem.

Dull Blades

If the blades on your gas auger are not cutting as well as they used to, then it’s likely that they are dull. Over time, the blades will become blunt and will need to be sharpened or replaced.

Every 2-3 years, it’s a good idea to have the blades on your auger professionally sharpened. This will ensure that they stay in good condition and continue to cut through the ice effectively.

Over Loaded Auger

If you try to cut through too much ice at once, then it can cause the auger to stall. When cutting through thick ice, make sure to take your time and only cut a few inches at a time.

If the auger stalls, then you will need to wait for the blades to stop spinning before restarting the engine. This is to prevent damage to the auger and the engine.

Ice augers are meant to cut through ice. Using them for any other purpose, such as drilling holes in wood or concrete, can damage the auger and void the warranty.

Operating an auger without proper safety gear is extremely dangerous. Always wear gloves, eye protection, and ear protection when using an auger.

Never try to repair a gas auger yourself unless you are a qualified technician. Always take it to a professional for repairs.

The Wrong Type of Oil Is Being Used

If you notice that the auger is not starting or is running rough, then it’s likely that the wrong type of oil is being used. The oil needs to be specifically designed for use in 2-stroke engines.

Being air-cooled, 2-stroke engines need a higher quality oil so that they don’t overheat. The wrong oil can cause the engine to seize or fail.

If you’re not sure what type of oil to use, then consult the owner’s manual or take it to a qualified technician for service.


Ice augers help in making holes in the ice so that you can fish but like any other machine it is not without its problems. The most common issues are with the engine, carburetor, spark plug, and fuel line. These problems can often be fixed by cleaning or replacing parts. Apart from engine problems, other issues can include dull blades and an overloaded auger. Be sure to use the correct type of oil in the auger and always consult the owner’s manual before performing any maintenance. Happy Ice Fishing!