Tag: <span>Winter</span>

Whether you love it or hate it, the winter weather sure seems to have come to a close. It has technically been Spring for a few months already, but you never know when mother nature will throw one last storm out way just to keep us on our toes.

While we may be preoccupied with getting the yard ready for gardening, landscaping, barbecues, time outside with your pet, and all the things that the good weather brings our way, it’s important to keep in mind that the actions you take now will have a dramatic impact on not only how well your snow blower performs when you go to fire it up next season, but also how it performs for years to come. Snow blowers are no cheap investment, so take the time to make sure you give yours the care it needs.

Fuel Tank Care

Most of the biggest problems can be avoided by taking care of your fuel tank. At a bare minimum you’d be wise to drain the fuel tank. I usually do this by being very stingy with the amount of fuel I add towards the end of the season, and when the time comes to put the snow blower away for the weekend I’ll run it until it runs out of gas.

Many people advocate using fuel stabilizer in your gasoline at all times, which I’m sure helps. To be honest though, I’ve never done this and I’ve never had any problems. In general though you definitely want to avoid storing any gasoline over the summer, as condensation can drip down and render the gasoline more difficult to combust and the gasoline can also be corrosive to the internals. For extra safety disconnect the spark plug to prevent any corrosion over the summer.

Preventative Maintenance

The funny thing about snow blowers is that much of the winter they can actually keep snow in them – especially if you keep them in an unheated garage or an outdoor shed. This means that the snow can melt and pool up on the internal fins, particularly if you haven’t moved the snow blower around since it’s last use.

You’ll want to make sure that there are no pools of water collected inside your snow blower, and make sure to wipe everything down with rag as best you can. Never stick your hands near moving parts, this can be a serious hazard. I won’t advocate doing so in any case, but should you go ahead and do it anyway make sure you removed the spark plug and drained the gas before doing so to significantly reduce the possibility of getting hurt.

Now is also a great time to give your snow blower a solid once-over. How is the condition of the fins? This can be of particular concern if you are using a two-stage snow blower. How are the shear pins? Are they intact? It might be a good idea to replace them either way, as they are quite affordable and broken shear pin is sure to ruin your day in a heavy storm. You may also want to take the time to make sure the tires are properly inflated, though you’ll want to check this again when the winter comes around. Changes in temperature will certainly affect tire pressure.

One last thing, you’ll want to make sure your snow blower is covered for storage. If you have it stored in a shed or a garage you’re already in good shape, but if you’re storing it outside you’ll want to put a tarp over it or even a form-fitting cover to keep the rain and condensation off of it over the summer months. Nothing eats away at engine components like stagnant water.

With all of these steps implemented your snow blower should be rip-roaring and ready to go when you need it next fall. The last thing you want is for a big storm to hit and you to be standing there with a big hunk of useless metal.