Runaway Snowdog Update

13HP, Carburetor, Maintenance, Parts, troubleshooting -

Runaway Snowdog Update


Why does my Snowdog take off as soon as I start it?

Last year we wrote an article about Runaway Snowdogs… and how to prevent those unexpected take-offs of your machine in cold weather.

For those that haven’t experienced it, or don’t know what we’re talking about - there are times that if the proper safety precautions and pre-ride inspections haven’t been followed - the engine will rev up to full throttle immediately on start up, which causes the belt to engage almost immediately. This can cause the Snowdog to “take off” - into whatever may be in its path. And if there’s nothing in its path - then the open lake.

Since publishing that article, we learned that in addition to all of the potential causes we listed in the original article, one of the major causes of this problem is actually the governor linkage freezing up. If the governor is frozen in the wrong position, then consider the machined revved and ready to go like a greyhound at the sound of the starting gun. Thankfully, there are some easy solutions to this problem, and you don’t need to be a mechanic to implement them.


As we mentioned in our Runaway Snowdogs article - the first step is to make sure you have the kill switch tether securely attached to your arm. This way if the machine does decide to take off, it will only get a few feet before the kill switch is engaged.


We can’t stress this enough. It takes less than a minute to do this, and it’ll save you a lot of headaches. Before every ride, and especially if you’ve been out on a ride and your Snowdog has been sitting for more than a few minutes, check the throttle, choke and brake cables and make sure they can move freely. Then, make sure that the governor lever moves freely. Note that each different engine (10hp, 13hp, 15hp) may have a different lever/actuator arm. This little tab-like lever has a very short range of motion, so just make sure it moves from side to side a little bit.

And if you can reach it, try to move the actuator arm that connects that lever to the carb also. You can see it between the air cleaner box and the fuel tank on the other side. You may need a screwdriver or needle-nosed pliers to reach it and give it a wiggle.


Along with the 2023 Snowdog Sport models, Snowdog added an optional Carb Cover to help mitigate the buildup of ice and moisture around the carburetor. The Snowdog Carb Cover fits over the air filter box and right around the carburetor bowl, and has a nice snug fit. The carb cover will fit on any 13HP Briggs & Stratton Snowdog engine, whether it’s a Standard, Compact, Utility or Sport machine. We are still testing our 2023 Sport model Snowdog with the cover installed, and we’ll add further updates as we go. It’s important to note that even with the cover installed, it’s a good idea to do the pre-ride inspection every time. Safety first!

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