Storing your snow blower properly during the off-season is crucial if you want to get the most out of your investment. Homeowners who take the time to store their snow blowers correctly can expect their machines to last for many years. On the other hand, those who neglect proper off-season storage may find themselves dealing with a host of issues when winter arrives again.
The good news is that storing your snow blower off-season is not a difficult task. In this article, I will walk you through the steps you need to take to ensure your machine is ready to go when the snow starts falling again. From preparing the fuel tank to checking the shave plate and skid shoes for wear, I will cover everything you need to know to keep your snow blower in top condition.
Preparing for Storage
When winter ends and the snow melts away, it’s time to store your snow blower for the off-season. Proper storage will help keep your snow blower in good condition and ensure it’s ready for use next winter. Here are some steps to follow to prepare your snow blower for storage.
Cleaning the Snow Blower
Before storing your snow blower, it’s important to clean it thoroughly. Remove any debris, such as leaves or twigs, from the auger housing and chute. Use a wire brush or scraper to remove any residue build-up on the impeller and auger. Wipe down the exterior of the snow blower with a clean, dry cloth.
Draining or Stabilizing Fuel
Gasoline can go bad over time, so it’s important to drain or stabilize the fuel before storing your snow blower. To drain the fuel tank, use a siphon pump to remove any remaining fuel. Alternatively, you can add a fuel stabilizer to the tank to keep the fuel fresh. Be sure to run the engine for a few minutes after adding the stabilizer to ensure it circulates through the fuel lines.
Checking and Changing the Oil
It’s a good idea to check the oil level in your snow blower before storing it for the off-season. If the oil level is low, add the recommended type of engine oil. If the oil is dirty or hasn’t been changed in a while, it’s a good idea to change it before storing the snow blower. Refer to the owner’s manual for instructions on how to change the oil.
Inspecting and Replacing Spark Plug
A spark plug that’s worn or dirty can cause your snow blower to run poorly or not start at all. Before storing your snow blower, inspect the spark plug and replace it if necessary. Refer to the owner’s manual for instructions on how to remove and replace the spark plug.
Maintenance and Replacement
Proper maintenance and replacement of parts are essential for keeping your snow blower in good condition and ensuring it works efficiently. Here are some tips on how to maintain and replace various parts of your snow blower.
Lubricating Moving Parts
Lubricating moving parts is crucial for preventing rust and extending the life of your snow blower. Make sure to lubricate the hex shaft, gear shaft, and drive plate with a high-quality lubricant. Also, check the belt cover and wheels for any signs of wear and tear and lubricate them if necessary.
Inspecting and Replacing Belts
Belts are an essential part of your snow blower, and they can wear out over time. Inspect the belts periodically for any signs of wear and replace them if necessary. It’s also important to adjust the tension of the belts to ensure they are not too loose or too tight.
Checking the Auger
The auger is responsible for breaking up the snow and ice, and it’s essential to keep it in good condition. Check the rubber friction disc on the auger periodically and replace it if necessary. Also, inspect the aluminum drive plate and adjust it if it’s not aligned correctly.
Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance and replacement parts to ensure your snow blower works efficiently. By taking good care of your snow blower, you can ensure it will last for many winters to come.
Protection from Elements
As the off-season approaches, it’s important to protect your snow blower from the elements to maintain its performance and longevity. Here are some tips to keep your snow blower safe and protected from the elements.
Covering the Snow Blower
One of the easiest ways to protect your snow blower from the elements is by covering it with a snow blower cover. This will help keep moisture, dust, and debris from accumulating on the machine. When choosing a cover, make sure it fits snugly to prevent any water or snow from seeping through. Additionally, look for a cover that is made of a durable material that can withstand harsh weather conditions.
Storing in a Dry Place
It’s important to store your snow blower in a dry place, such as a garage or shed, to prevent any moisture from accumulating on the machine. Moisture can cause rust and other damage to the snow blower’s components, which can lead to costly repairs. If you don’t have a garage or shed, consider investing in a waterproof tarp to cover the snow blower.
When storing your snow blower, make sure it is in an upright position and that the fuel tank is empty. This will prevent any fuel from leaking onto the machine and causing damage. Additionally, remove the spark plug and pour a drop of oil into the combustion chamber to lubricate the cylinder wall and piston. Replace the spark plug and pull the cord a few times to distribute the oil.
By following these tips, you can protect your snow blower from the elements and ensure it’s ready to go when the next winter season arrives.
Specifics for Different Types of Snow Blowers
When it comes to storing your snow blower off-season, there are a few things to keep in mind depending on the type of snow blower you have. Here are some specifics to consider for different types of snow blowers:
Single-Stage Snow Blower
If you have a single-stage snow blower, it is important to drain the fuel from the tank and run the engine until it is completely out of gas. This will prevent any leftover fuel from corroding the carburetor. You should also remove the spark plug and add a small amount of oil to the cylinder to prevent rust. Finally, store the snow blower in a dry place to prevent moisture from causing rust or corrosion.
Two-Stage Snow Blower
For a two-stage snow blower, start by draining the fuel from the tank and running the engine until it is out of gas. You should also remove the spark plug and add a small amount of oil to the cylinder to prevent rust. Additionally, check the shear pins and replace any that are damaged. Finally, store the snow blower in a dry place to prevent moisture from causing rust or corrosion.
Three-Stage Snow Blower
If you have a three-stage snow blower, start by draining the fuel from the tank and running the engine until it is out of gas. You should also remove the spark plug and add a small amount of oil to the cylinder to prevent rust. Additionally, check the shear pins and replace any that are damaged. Finally, store the snow blower in a dry place to prevent moisture from causing rust or corrosion.
Remember that regardless of the type of snow blower you have, you should also clean it thoroughly before storing it. This will prevent any leftover snow or debris from causing damage or corrosion.
In conclusion, proper snow blower storage and maintenance are essential for ensuring your machine’s longevity and performance. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can protect your snow blower from damage caused by corrosion, fuel degradation, and other issues that can arise during off-season storage.
To recap, some of the key steps you should take when storing your snow blower include:
- Cleaning and inspecting your machine thoroughly before storage
- Draining the fuel tank and carburetor to prevent fuel degradation
- Lubricating moving parts to prevent rust and corrosion
- Storing your snow blower in a dry, cool place away from moisture and other potential sources of damage
By taking care of your snow blower during the off-season, you can ensure that it will be ready to go when the snow starts falling once again. With a little bit of care and attention, you can keep your snow blower running smoothly for years to come.
Remember, proper care and maintenance are key to getting the most out of your snow blower. So take the time to store and maintain your machine properly, and you’ll be rewarded with reliable performance and efficient snow removal for many winters to come.