A snowblower makes it easy to clear snow from walkways, driveways and other areas. Like any outdoor power equipment, your snowblower must be maintained throughout the season for safety and to operate as efficiently as possible!
Here are 10 tips you can use to make sure you stay on top of snowblower maintenance!
- Check and replace the oil – If you have a four-stroke engine, the oil level should be checked after eight hours of use and should be replaced after 50 hours of use, or once every season. Fresh oil is easy to recognize when you check your levels; it’s a golden brown or amber colour. As it ages, it will darken in colour. Before you do anything with the oil, remember to read the owner’s manual first to ensure you are doing everything correctly!
- Always have a clean filter in place – There is a high risk you’ll damage fuel filters if you try and clean them, not to mention it can be nearly impossible to tell if your filter is clogged! When in doubt, replace the whole filter.
- Degrease – Snowblowers can get greasy and dirty after the strenuous work we put them through! If you see a little buildup, pick up a can of degreaser and spray it over the greasy area! Allow it to sit and do its job for about 10 minutes before you wipe it off.
- Add fuel stabilizer to fresh fuel – This will keep fuel fresh longer and prevent clogs in the carburetor. Follow the owner’s manual for instructions on leaving fuel in the engine during storage, as this can vary by manufacturer.
- Regularly check the fuel cap – Fuel caps have small vent holes to allow air into the fuel tank. If the air vents get blocked by buildup or debris, replace the fuel cap. During the off season you can cover or close the fuel cap vents to prevent any creepy crawlers from getting in there!
- Check your tires – Your tires take on a heavy workload when you’re using your snowblower so don’t forget to check for wear and tear and always be sure your tire pressure is up to code!
- Lubricate bearings – Be sure to lubricate wheel bearings, auger bearings, and the impeller bearings. Lubricating moving parts periodically will make sure they turn and move correctly through the season.
- Inspect the scrape blades and side shoes – Do a thorough job checking the scraper blade and slide shoes (a.k.a. skid shoes) for wear. These parts have the important job of protecting the inside parts from damage. If you see them looking dangerously thin, it’s safer to go ahead and replace them to prevent further damage to your machine.
- Replace the spark plug – The very small, but all powerful spark plug should be changed about once a year, even if it seems to be working fine. Over time, a spark plug’s performance will degrade due to carbon buildup and weaken the electrode. This can dramatically increase emissions and fuel costs as well as reduce engine performance.
- Check the auger – For single-stage models, take a look at the auger paddles. If they have worn down so much that they no longer contact the ground, they should be changed. You never want to let the rubber wear to a point that metal is exposed, this could cause major damage and a hefty repair bill that no one wants!
Happy snowblowing! While you’re out, try spreading some Christmas cheer by continuing on and clearing your neighbor’s driveway!