Keep Your Snow Snow Thrower | Snow Blower | Snowblower Performing Like New

ToolsSnow throwers need to start and operate in the most adverse weather environments. Properly maintained, a snow blower can function trouble free for many years. Neglected machines may not start, or they may break down at the most inopportune times. Maintaining your snow thrower is best done when the weather is pleasant and you can work comfortably on your machine without having to wear bulky clothing and gloves.
The place to start is with your owners manual - the same manual that you kept in a safe place for future reference. It has the basic maintenance procedures to keep the machine running, but most importantly it has a list of all the parts in the snow blower and part numbers for ordering replacement components if required. If you've lost your snow blower's operators manual or you bought your machine used, you can often find the manual online at the manufacturers website. If you can't find it there, you may find it on the net using your make and model number as a search reference.

Snow Blower Repair - Starting With The Snow Blower's Engine:

The Oil:

If your snow thrower uses a four-stroke engine it will have a reservoir for motor oil that needs to be filled and then replaced after the initial break in period and every so many hours of use. See your owners manual for the oil type, viscosity, amount, and oil change intervals. Don't dismiss the break-in period as it's likely the most important of all oil changes - you may be surprised at the amount of shiny bits that are suspended in the oil during this particular oil change.

If your engine is a two-stroke you wont have a motor oil reservoir but instead you will be required to mix the oil and gas together in a separate approved gas container before filling the machine with it. Once again your owners manual will specify the type of oil, the mix ratio and the mixing procedure.

The Air Filter:
In most cases you won't find an engine air filter on a typical snow blower, but check your owners manual just in case. Winter air is considered clean enough due to the snow covering on the ground and an air cleaner would cause more problems than it would cure due to icing up and choking the engine.

The Fuel Filter:
The fuel filter may be built into the tank or in the gas line that leads from the tank to the carburetor, or it may not have a fuel filter at all. Check your manual for it's location and service requirements.

The Gas
If your gas has been sitting around for months without fuel stabilizer it's no longer suitable for your snow thrower. Snow blowers require fresh gas in order to fire up in the cold. Use fresh gasoline and a fuel stabilizer out of an approved gas tank to fill your snowblower. Don't buy more gas than you can use in a couple of weeks if you don't use fuel stabilizer.

The Spark Plug
Your owner's manual will specify when to check the spark plug's condition and gap as well as the replacement plug's part number. If you need to replace or inspect the spark plug be sure to pull the spark plug wire off the plug by the thick boot of the plug wire. Never pull on the spark plug wire itself as it's almost sure to break.

The Gas Cap
Most gas caps need to breath. As the gas is used up in the tank, a clogged gas cap vent will allow a vacuum to build up in the tank and gas will no longer reach the carburetor. This condition will allow the engine to run fine for a while and then appear to run out of gas and stop. When this happens, remove the cap and then screw it back on – if it starts up as normal, it's usually a sign that the vent is obstructed.

The Snow Thrower Itself:
  • Check the air pressure in the tires with a tire pressure gauge if they are the type that hold air.
  • Check and lubricate the chute to ensure easy movement. The lube you use should be safe for the material the chute and it's associated parts are made of. IE if your complete chute structure is made of plastic, use only a plastic-safe lubricant instead of oil based.
  • Check that the scraper blade on the bottom of the machine is adjusted to specifications set out in your owners manual. This is a normal wear item and needs to be adjusted periodically.
  • Check the belts on your snow blower for wear and cracking. Keeping a spare belt or set of belts is a very wise idea. They inevitably break during the heaviest snow of the year and may be a special order item, or back-ordered when you need them most. You may even want to install the new belts in the warm weather and keep the good used belts from the machine as spares. This way, you know you have bought the right size belt(s) and the job will be much less urgent when the snow thrower is not required that day.

  • Lubricate any and all moving parts with the appropriate lube for the material used.
  • Check the owners manual to locate any special oiling or grease fitting points for your snow thrower.
  • Lube the control cables with appropriate lubricants if possible. (Some premium cables may come with a Teflon sleeve running their length and require no lube at all.)
  • Tighten any loose nuts and bolts and replace any attaching devices such as cable ties.

    With a little care and maintenance your snow thrower should be ready for the cold weather and heavy snow that you demand it to operate in.
    Have a safe snow blowing season and enjoy the terrific things that winter has to offer!

  • Tips For Choosing The Snow Thrower | SnowBlower That's Right For You.

    SnowBlower | SnowThrower Safety

    Repairing a joystick controlled chute

    Repairing a joystick controlled chute Part Two

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