Living in snowy regions means being prepared to move snow, and sometimes, a lot of it. When you rely on the power of a snowblower to keep snow off walkways and driveways it can be a huge inconvenience to have your snowblower break down in the middle of a big storm. Maintained equipment leads to cost savings, a safer environment, and a more reliable piece of equipment. To help prevent unwanted surprises, take the time to care for your snowblower following these few helpful steps:
Pre-Winter – Prepping for the first snowfall
• Look for damage on scraper & rotor blades – Rotor blades, also called paddles or augers, are a rotating part found in the rotor assembly of your snowblower. Rotor blades move snow across the ground and forces it through the discharge chute. The rotor blades also protects the snowblower housing. Look for visual damage. Rotor have gone past those holes, it is time to replace them. Other hints that it may be time to replace the rotor blades include reduced snow throwing range and you may notice high pitching squeaking noise or scraping.
Scraper Blades are the part that runs along the base of the snowblower and helps to get as close to the pavement as possible. These can be worn unevenly, reducing the level of evenness and how tight you can get the snow off the pavement. Visual inspection is the most common way to decide if the scarper blower or scraping noises against the pavement.
• Rotor blade
• Scraper blade
• Tighten Handles & Knobs – It simply just makes your life easier if all your snowblower knobs are tight. Looking through a mountain of snow for the knob that just fell off is a nightmare. Tight handles and knobs also add to the safety and functionality of your snowblower.
• Fresh Oil, Oil Filter & Fuel – Keeping your engine running smoothly means making sure you are using fresh oil and fuel. If you did not change the oil at the end of the last season, change it before you run it in the winter. Fuel in your snowblower should never be more than 30 days old, so drain and replace if necessary. Change your oil filter annually.
• Spark Plugs – Spark plugs should be changed about every 100 hours of use. Some recommend changing it annually just to be sure that it is being done r
Before Each Use – Follow these tips every single time you use your snowblower.
• Clear Equipment – Clear debris and/or snow from the discharge chute and auger. A chute cleaning tool is very helpful.
• Oil – Double check your oil level and add oil if necessary.
• Fuel – Check fuel level and add fuel if necessary.
• Check Skid/Slide Shoes – Double check your skid or slide shoes and make sure they are properly adjusted. Skid/slide shoes are found on each side of the snowblower and run parallel to the ground. The skid/slide shoe purposefully leaves a film of snow on the pavement to protect the pavement and your snowblower.
• Inspect Sheer Pins – Sheer pins can be in different locations based on your model of snowblower. Review your user manual to learn those locations. Shear pins are meant to break, protecting more sensitive gear, if large objects get lodged in the snowblower. Keep a supply of sheer pins on hard for quick and easy replacement.
End of the Season – Get Your Snowblower Ready for Storage
• Oil – If you didn’t change your oil at the beginning of snow blowing season, do it now.
• Fuel – Drain the carburetor and fuel tank.
• Lubricate – Review your owner’s manual and be sure to lubrication, and you will need different types based on what you’re lubricating. For help with what lubrication is best for your situation, talk to your Ace Hardware professional.
• Auger & Discharge Chute – Look over your auger and discharge chute for any damage. If damage is found, take the time to fix it now to avoid the potential rush once the snow flies.
• Storage – Keeping your snowblower in a dry and well-ventilated location to keep moisture for eroding your investment.
If you follow these steps your snowblower should last for many seasons. Never forget that when you’re working on a snowblower it is a large piece of power equipment and safety equipment such as safety glasses should always be used. Follow user manual to be sure you are folowinng suggested safety protocols for your particular snowblower.
Whether your are looking at buying a new snowblower, looking for parts for snowblowers, tools, oil and safety gear, has you covered. At Mimbach Fleet & Supply, we are proud to be an employee-owned hardware, outdoor power equipment and farm store and SO much more. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff have been serving Minnesota and the Midwest since 1953. Stop in and enjoy our large selection of products to help you complete your projects, big or small!