Honda Falls Short

For the last three years I have tried in vain to sell my Honda snow blower at our yearly neighborhood garage sale. I did all but say take it away free. No one is interested in a snow blower in July. As luck would have it, I had to use the damn thing each year. This week was a great workout for me and the machine. During moments of an intense use of expletives during the job, I decided to write a little story about Mr. Honda and his machine.

I inherited the machine from my son when he moved to Texas. Up to that time I used a fairly reliable Toro machine. When the Honda became available I jumped at the chance to own it. By then the machine was clearly four or five years old, but it was a Honda, who can argue that it wasn’t the smart thing to do.

I have owned the thing since Mike left which is now ten years, add to that the five years he owned it and the machine has a few hours on it. Some years it stays idle because the snow is easier to shovel than to blow. This machine is bigger, wider, heavier, and has more horsepower than the Toro. Because it is heavier it is harder to handle. The engine is superb, starting on one or two pulls at the most. I have had to use the electric start feature only a few times over the years mostly because I left the gas in the tank over the summer and it gunked up the spark plug. Otherwise the engine is fine, it runs like a champ, and has power to spare. So why am I writing an article about what I don’t like about it. Because as a snow thrower it stinks for several reasons:

1.) The throat of the spout plugs easily because of the shitty transition between the impeller and the exhaust chute. When it plugs and is no longer throwing the snow, I am pushing it in front of the impeller. Pushing a huge wad of snow is a workout I can do with out, and would rather push that same wad with a simple shovel thus saving the world from global warming by reducing my carbon footprint. To clear the plug I must bounce the machine by moving the handle up and down vigorously thus further causing the frame to bend and the scraper to wear.

2. The frame supporting the impeller is flimsy and has twisted out of place from repeated impacts against frozen water to clear snow. The twisted frame has caused the plastic scraper that meets the concrete to wear prematurely thus causing two problems:

A.) The machine is harder than hell to push because the scraper is mis-aligned and dragging hard against the pavement. One should not have to “push” a snow blower, it should propel itself.

B.) That mis-alignment causes the scraper to wear unevenly, and in short time the steel frame has worn away on one side. Steel on concrete causes it to be harder to push. Over the years the worn edge holding the scraper has also worn down to the point where I can’t replace the plastic scraper anymore.

This all sounds too complicated even to me to be worth writing so many words about when shitty design is just as good way to describe the situation.

Honda would have been much better served by saving it’s fine engine for use in a scooter or some other vehicle rather than in this shit pile of steel and plastic it calls a snow blower. The problem is that at this stage in life I don’t want to waste my fixed income on a new snow blower, and it make sense to keep it. I am asking that the damn thing be parked along side my casket with a sign saying “free.” If no one takes it then I ask that it be dumped on top of my casket before they pile the dirt on.

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