Traeger Auger Not Turning? Try These 8 Fixes

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Matt Richard

Your Traeger grill won’t function if the auger isn’t turning because the auger moves pellets from the hopper to the fire pot, creating heat.

Thankfully, if you’re experiencing this, your grill isn’t necessarily broken. You can follow the troubleshooting steps in this guide to fix your Traeger’s auger so it rotates and feeds pellets.

Key Takeaway

If your Traeger’s auger isn’t turning, check the display screen for error codes Er6 or Er7. Additionally, verify the auger isn’t jammed. You might have to disassemble the auger and clean it.

What Does the Auger Do in a Pellet Grill?

The auger in a pellet grill moves wood pellets from the hopper to the fire pot. It’s a rotating screw-like mechanism driven by a motor.

As the auger rotates, it pushes the pellets forward, allowing them to be ignited in the fire pot.

The grill’s controller determines the auger’s speed to maintain the desired temperature. The more you increase the temperature, the faster the auger feeds pellets and vice versa.

How to Fix a Traeger Auger Not Turning

FYI, it’s wise to rule out any electrical issues before attempting the troubleshooting steps below.

Step 1: Ensure the Auger Isn’t Jammed

If your Traeger auger isn’t turning, the most likely cause is that it has become jammed. An auger jam can occur due to ash and debris buildup.

To clear a jammed auger in a Traeger pellet grill:

  1. Turn off and unplug the pellet grill.
  2. Open the hopper lid and remove any pellets.
  3. Remove the auger from the casing and rotate it counterclockwise to clear the jam.
  4. Check for obstructions, remove them, and clean the hopper and chute.
  5. Plug in the grill, reconnect the motor, and ensure proper assembly.

After completing the above steps, turn it on and run it for a few minutes to ensure smooth operation.

Here’s a video from Traeger showing how to fix a jammed auger.

Step 2: Verify the Auger Motor Is Functioning

Perform the following steps to confirm that the auger’s motor functions correctly:

  1. Inspect the auger for any signs of damage or wear, such as cracks, dents, or loose parts.
  2. Look for any leaking motor oil, indicating that a seal is beginning to break down.
  3. Verify the auger motor pin is in place. It’s a nut and bolt that holds the auger to the auger motor.
  4. Listen to the sound of the motor when it is running. It should be smooth and consistent “hmm,” without grinding or squeaking noises.

If you notice any problems with the motor, you may need to order a replacement.

Step 3: Remove Wet or Low-Quality Wood Pellets

Low-quality wood pellets reduce the smoke flavor and can cause issues with your pellet grill. They crumble easier, which can clog the auger.

Additionally, wet pellets can yield the same issue. Wood pellets are highly sensitive to moisture and can become unusable if exposed to water.

Pro Tip

Store your wood pellets in an airtight container in a cool, dry area. This helps preserve their quality.

Step 4: Vacuum Excess Ashes From the Fire Pot

Inspect and vacuum the fire pot every 3 to 5 uses to avoid ash buildup that can interfere with your auger’s operation.

Excessive ash accumulation might choke the auger, restrict airflow, and ultimately reduce the efficiency of your smoker.

Step 5: Check the Display Screen for Error Codes

Although not every issue generates an error code, you should look for the following codes since they can impact the auger’s function.

Error Code “Er 6”

If “Er6” appears, check the auger connection. If it’s secure and the issue remains, you may need to replace the auger motor.

Error Code “Er7” or “Auger Overcurrent”

Er7 means the auger is jammed, often with wet pellets or another obstruction.

To clear a jam in the grill, follow these steps:

  1. While the grill is in Idle mode, press and hold both the DOWN and IGNITE buttons at the same time. You’ll see “Clr” flash on the display.
  2. For the next minute, the auger will move forward and backward to clear the jam.
  3. If you need to stop this sequence before it finishes, simply press and hold both buttons again.

Step 6: Ensure the Fan Is Rotating to Circulate Heat

The induction fan in your pellet grill is important for smoke and heat circulation. It also keeps wood pellets burning.

You can confirm the fan works by turning on your pellet grill and setting it to any temperature. Next, Look up under the hopper where the induction fan is located.

You should hear a humming noise and feel some air blowing from the fan. This means the fan is working and circulating the smoke and heat inside the grill.

If you don’t hear or feel anything from the fan, it may be faulty or disconnected. You can try to unplug and replug the fan’s connectors or check for loose wires.

If that doesn’t work, you may need to replace the fan.

Step 7: Confirm the Fuse in the Control Panel Isn’t Blown

The control panel is like the brain of your smoker. Inside the panel is a fuse, which protects the grill’s electrical system from overloading or short circuits.

If the fuse is blown, that could be why the auger isn’t turning. You can tell the fuse is blown if it’s black. In that case, you can replace the fuse.

Step 8: Verify the Hot Rod Ignites the Wood Pellets

The hot rod ignites the pellets to create heat in the grill. If the rod doesn’t ignite, there won’t be heat, which might indirectly affect the auger system.

Check the hot rod for any visible damage and replace it if necessary.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Future Issues

Follow the maintenance tips below to keep your Traeger grill functioning properly and avoid issues with the auger not rotating or feeding pellets.

  • Keep debris out of the hopper and store wood pellets in a sealed, dry container away from moisture.
  • Regularly inspect and clean the auger shaft to prevent pellet buildup, which can also lead to jams.
  • Routinely inspect your Traeger’s cables for any signs of wear or damage, and tighten any loose connectors.
  • Conduct a deep clean of the grill every 6 months to maintain performance, prevent buildup, and ensure food safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have questions about the auger on your Traeger grill not rotating, check out these FAQs.

What Does Priming the Auger Do?

Priming the auger fills the auger tube with pellets. You only need to do this if the auger is empty. On the display screen, go to Select Auger, then Prime Auger. Once pellets begin to fall into the fire pit, press Done.

How Long Does It Take to Prime the Auger on a Traeger?

It takes 5 to 7 minutes to prime the auger and for the pellets to begin falling into the fire pot.

Can You Leave Pellets in a Traeger Auger?

No, you shouldn’t leave pellets in the auger. Instead, empty the hopper after each use and ensure any remaining pellets in the auger feed into the fire pot. This cycle prevents moisture buildup and potential damage to the auger system.

Why Is My Traeger Auger Making a Clicking Noise?

A slow clicking sound may indicate a bent auger. Remove the auger on a flat surface to see if it rolls smoothly. A fast clicking sound could mean the auger fan is hitting something. You’ll likely only experience these issues if you have an older model. 

Why Is My Traeger Making Grinding Noises?

If your Traeger makes a grinding noise, wood pellets may be stuck between the auger and the tube. This sound may also signify the auger is off-center or warped. 

Final Thoughts

Your Traeger can’t function if the auger isn’t rotating and feeding pellets into the fire pot.

By following the steps in this troubleshooting guide, you should be able to get it working again.

However, if you’ve determined you need a replacement part, I suggest purchasing it directly from Traeger to ensure its quality and prevent a warranty violation.

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Hey, I'm Matt Hollingshead, a BBQ enthusiast, beer connoisseur, and the founder of Grill Mentor. When I'm not trying new recipes with my Traeger or sampling a craft beer, I'm publishing articles for this site.

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