Snow Blowers


How to Prepare My Snowblower Ready for Winter Season

October 25th, 2018 ernie Posted in Maintenance No Comments »

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how to prepare my snowblower ready for winter seasonMany people ask the question, how to prepare my snowblower ready for winter season and what will it cost? Bottom line is that if you do nothing, one cold winter morning you may find that your snow blower will not start for you. With piles of snow in your driveway your left with clearing snow manually or asking a friend for help. It turns out that it is pretty easy to prepare your snow blower for the winter without incurring a large expense. Snow blowers are heavy and it is difficult to transport them to the repair shop unless you have a truck or a trailer of some kind. So doing basic maintenance can save you a great deal of money. Transportation, the mechanics charge and parts can add up to several hundred dollars pretty quickly. Basic maintenance can defer or eliminate this expense.

How to Prepare My Snowblower Ready for Winter Season

The basic list includes the following:

  • Change the engine oil
  • Check and clean the spark plug
  • Check the belts and belt tighteners to make sure there is no significant wear
  • Verify the tire pressure and add air if needed
  • Use fresh gasoline and use gas preservatives to prevent gumming
  • Grease the augers
  • Check the shear pins and replace if needed
  • Listen to the engine, is it running smoothly

If you are really uncomfortable doing the above, then you will need to arrange for someone to perform this basic maintenance. Perhaps a neighbor is comfortable doing this work and would be willing to help you. Pay attention and learn how to do this maintenance yourself. It can save you a lot of frustration and cost. There is nothing worse than a failing snow blower on the heaviest snowfall day of the year!

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Check Snow Blower Spark Plug

October 3rd, 2018 ernie Posted in Maintenance No Comments »

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check snowblower spark plugAs Fall and winter approach, it is time to check your snow blower. Doing maintenance in warm weather is far easier than after the snow falls and it has gotten really cold. The worst case is that you have lots of snow to clear and your snow blower will not start. Check snowblower spark plug when it is warm and easy to do the work. What is the difference between a spark plug in good condition and one that is not? The picture shows a new spark plug and one that is covered in soot. It also has some corrosion as well. A badly corroded spark plug that is covered in soot indicates and engine that will be hard to start and running roughly. Replaced it now with a new spark plug and eliminate that potential problem.

Check SnowBlower Spark Plug

Begin by removing the spark plug wire from the end of the spark plug. Remove any dirt that may have accumulated around the spark plug. Use a spark plug removal socket to remove the spark plug. Examine the spark plug for corrosion and / or soot build up. If it does not look too bad, you can clean it up, re gap the electrode and reinstall the plug. Use fine sand paper to remove the soot and to also remove any corrosion from the tip of the plug. If in doubt just replace it.

In both cases, set the proper gap for the plug before reinstalling the plug. Use a gap setting tool to adjust the gap between the two electrodes. Check in the manual for the proper setting. Remember even a new spark plug must have the electrode gap set properly before installation.

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Reinstall the spark plug, reconnect the spark plug wire and start the engine. If you have done the job properly, your engine should start easily and run smoothly. If not you may also need to check the carburetor  as well.

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Snow Blower Pre Season Maintenance

October 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Maintenance No Comments »

It is time to start thinking about doing snow blower pre season maintenance. It is still not that cold and relatively comfortable to work outside on equipment. Much more than after that first snow fall and you are trying to start your snow blower for the first time in the cold weather. A snow blower is pretty basic, however there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that it runs smoothly for you on the first day of winter after a large snow fall. We will list them and then give you a bit more detail on each.

Snow Blower Pre Season Maintenance Activities

Always refer to your service manual for any details and questions. These are the items you should be reviewing as part of the pre season maintenance activities:

  • Check Spark Plug
  • Check Belts
  • Check Tires
  • Grease Auger
  • Check Light is Working
  • Check for Loose Bolts
  • Test Start with Fresh Gasoline
  • Clean Carburetor if Needed
  • Test all Gears
  • Test Auger and Impeller
  • Oil Change

Check Spark Plug – remove the spark plug, clean the electrode and reset the gap. If badly corroded, replace with a new one.

Check Belts – for proper tension. Adjust tension pulleys if needed

Check Tires – for proper air pressure, any cuts or cracks. Replace if needed

Grease Auger – find the grease nipples and apply crease using a grease gun

Check Light is Working – replace bulb if needed and check connections

Check for Loose Bolts – make sure all bolts are tight and secure

Test Start with Fresh Gasoline – add fresh gasoline that has been treated with conditioner. Start your engine and let it run for 5 or 10 minutes to ensure there are no problems with the filter and carb.

Clean Carburetor if Needed – if your engine is difficult to start or runs roughly, then you may need to have the carb cleaned.

Test all Gears – make sure all forward and revers gears engage and work properly with adequate power

Test Auger and Impeller – make sure the auger and impeller are clear and then engage to confirm proper operation.

Oil Change – drain the engine oil into a pan, and reinstall fresh oil in the engine following the manufacturers instructions.

These are the basics of getting your snow blower ready for the coming season. Anything more serious may need the services of a small engine mechanic.

 

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Snow Blower End of Season Maintenance

September 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Maintenance No Comments »

snow blower end of season maintenanceIf you have not already completed your snow blower end of season maintenance, it is time to do it before the winter season arrives. No one wants to do this kind of work in the cold weather. Although you really do not want to think about winter it is really just around the corner and it is time to get your equipment tuned up and ready. Over the years we have found that regularly maintaining your snow blower will add many years to its life and possibly to yours as well. It can be quite frustrating to find that your snow blower will not start on the first day of a really big snow fall. Your snow blower will run better, smoother and at full power with new spark plugs, properly tension-ed belts and fresh engine oil. Clean fresh gasoline helps as well. We put together a list of items that should be part of your standard checklist for end of season maintenance or preparation for the coming season. Don’t procrastinate, get going now and get your snow blower ready for the coming season.

Snow Blower End of Season Maintenance

This is our list of Snow Blower End of Season Maintenance items to check on your snow blower to ensure it runs well and starts every time:

  • Change the engine oil
  • Ensure the tires are properly inflated
  • Check the spark plug, clean and set the spark plug gap
  • Install a new spark plug if needed
  • Check the belt tension
  • Grease the auger shaft
  • Check the gear changer and adjust if needed
  • Spray the housing with rust inhibitor to protect the frame from rust
  • Ensure there is fresh gasoline in the tank
  • Add preservative to the gasoline as needed
  • Repair any other damage that may have been caused in the past year

For more information about repairs and maintenance, click here.

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Snow Thrower Maintenance

July 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Maintenance No Comments »

Snow Thrower MaintenanceRegardless of when you decide to complete maintenance on your snow thrower, there are eight areas that consumers should focus on. Obviously it is better to do this maintenance in the spring or summer time when it is warm. However you can perform these snow thrower maintenance tips any time during the year, even when it is cold and the beginning of winter has begun. But do you really want to perform this kind of maintenance in the cold weather? I prefer to do this in warm weather just when it warms up for the spring season after the snow is gone.

Snow Thrower Maintenance Tips

Here are eight tips that all consumers should consider to keep their snow thrower machine running smoothly all year long.

  • Install a new spark plug
  • Check the impellers and the auger
  • Review the belts
  • Inspect the shave plate
  • Reverse the skid shoes
  • Confirm the shear pins are ok
  • Change the engine oil
  • Add fresh gasoline with stabilizer to the gasoline tank

A few more comments on each:

Install a new spark plug – at the very least remove the spark plug, remove all corrosion and set the gap to the proper amount as specified by the manufacturer

Check the impellers and the auger – to make sure they are not damaged in any way and grease the auger if there are grease nipples

Review the belts – to make sure they are not frayed or coming apart and are at the proper tension

Inspect the shave plate – it should not be loose and about 1/4 inch above the surface if you are clearing snow off a paved driveway. Higher if on gravel.

Reverse the skid shoes – check the skid shoes and if they are beginning to show signs of wear, reverse them and ensure they are tightly secured

Conform the shear pins are ok – replace them if they are showing signs of being sheared off.

Change the engine oil – once per year and more often if you are using your snow blower every day during the winter

Add fresh gasoline with stabilizer in the gasoline – this will ensure that the tank and filters do not get gummed up by old gasoline that is beginning to separate into its component parts.

 

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Snow Blower Maintenance Tips

July 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Maintenance No Comments »

Regardless of when you decide to complete maintenance on your snow blower, there are eight areas that consumers should focus on. Obviously it is better to do this maintenance in the summer time when it is warm. However you can perform these snow blower maintenance tips any time during the year, even when it is cold and the beginning of winter has begun.

Snow Blower Maintenance Tips

Here are eight tips that all consumers should consider to keep their machine running smoothly all year long.

  • Change the spark plug
  • Check the impellers and the auger
  • Inspect the belts
  • Inspect the shave plate
  • Reverse the skid shoes
  • Check the shear pins
  • Change the oil
  • Add fresh gasoline with stabilizer added

A few more comments on each:

Change the spark plug – at the very least remove the spark plug, remove all corrosion and set the gap to the proper amount as specified by the manufacturer

Check the impellers and the auger – to make sure they are not damaged in any way and grease the auger if there are grease nipples

Inspect the belts – to make sure they are not frayed or coming apart and are at the proper tension

Inspect the shave plate – it should not be loose and about 1/4 inch above the surface if you are clearing snow off a paved driveway. Higher if on gravel.

Reverse the skid shoes – check the skid shoes and if they are beginning to show signs of wear, reverse them and ensure they are tightly secured

Check the shear pins – replace them if they are showing signs of being sheared off.

Change the oil – once per year and more often if you are using your snow blower every day during the winter

Add fresh gasoline with stabilizer added – this will ensure that the tank and filters do not get gummed up by old gasoline that is beginning to separate into its component parts.

 

 

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Snowblower Spring Maintenance

May 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Maintenance No Comments »

Snow Blower Maintenance KitYou may not be thinking about doing snowblower spring maintenance in the spring, but this is actually a great time to get this task completed. One of the big advantages is that you drain all of the fuel out of the system before it has a chance to gum up the carb or the fuel lines and filters. This situation can cause your engine to he very difficult to restart in the fall. Another advantage is doing your lawn mower maintenance at the same time. You can save time and also complete two jobs in a lot less time than if you tried to do them both separately. Grease the auger, oil the housing, check belts for tension and wear, change the oil and complete any other repairs that may be needed. If you do this work now, your repairs can be completed while the weather is warm. Parts can be ordered and received in lots of time prior to the next season.

Snowblower Spring Maintenance

In summary, the following should be considered as part of your snowblower spring maintenance routine.

  • Change the oil
  • Grease the auger shaft
  • Oil the housing to prevent rust
  • Check the belts for proper tension and wear
  • Verify the tires are at the proper pressure
  • Drain all fuel from the system
  • Perform any maintenance that is needed

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Snow Thrower Spring Maintenance

May 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Maintenance No Comments »

Snow Thrower Spring MaintenanceThe spring is actually a great time to complete your snow thrower spring maintenance. You have just finished the season and the repairs you need to make are at the top of your to do list. Draining old gasoline out of the fuel system now will prevent it gumming up the carburetor and filters. Combining your snow thrower maintenance with preparing your lawn mower for the summer lets you complete two jobs at the same time. Both can be accomplished more efficiently. Now is the time to get this work done so you do not have to do it in the fall once it gets cold again. The picture shows a John Deere engine, however these tips apply to all small engines that are used on a seasonal basis.

Snow Thrower Spring Maintenance

The following steps and tips will help you with your spring maintenance.

  • Grease the impeller and augur shafts
  • Change the oil in the engine
  • Drain the fuel from the fuel tank and carburetor
  • Check the belts to make sure they are properly tightened
  • Check the belts for signs of wear
  • Correct all other maintenance issues you may have noticed through the season
  • Repair lights, oil the housing to prevent rust
  • Check the air pressure of the tires and inflate as needed

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John Deere Oil Change Manuals

February 21st, 2016 ernie Posted in Maintenance No Comments »

John Deere Oil Change ManualsWhile you really do not need to have the John Deere oil change manuals in front of you when you are changing the oil it is a good idea to review it ahead of time. We are going to cover the step by step generic process to change the oil in a snow blower. You will need to confirm the viscosity of the oil that should be used in your particular John Deere snow blower. We also suggest that you review all safety precautions for your snow blower prior to doing any kind of maintenance including the oil change.  Here is your step by step process for an oil change.

John Deere Oil Change Manuals

  • Run your snow blowers engine for 5 minutes to warm up the oil
  • Shut the engine off and disconnect the spark plug wire
  • Place a catch basin under the oil outlet to catch the oil
  • Loosen the oil filler dip stick
  • Loosen the oil drain plug and allow the warm oil to drain into the catch basin
  • Wait until all oil has drained from the engine
  • Attach the oil drain plug and tighten
  • Add the proper viscosity oil to the engine via the oil filler dip stick
  • Ensure the oil level is at the correct level on the dip stick
  • Place the oil filler dip stick in place and tighten
  • Attach the spark plug wire
  • Start the engine and allow it to run for a few minutes
  • Shut the engine off
  • Remeasure the oil level in the engine to ensure sufficient oil
  • If there is too much you will need to drain some out.

Check the oil level prior to starting the engine each time you use it to ensure there is sufficient oil in the engine. While it is pretty straight forward, care should be taken to avoid spilling oil on the floor of your garage or on the ground. Place a drip sheet under the snow blower if this is a concern. Follow all proper safety precautions as outlined in the manual.

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John Deere Snow Thrower Oil Change

February 7th, 2016 ernie Posted in Maintenance No Comments »

John Deere Snow Thrower Oil ChangeRegardless of the type of snow thrower you have, changing the oil in your snowthrower and doing a tune up at least once a year will ensure it lasts for many years. A John Deere snow thrower oil change is relatively easy to do yourself. Two main points to always remember is A)Follow the safety instructions outlined in the manual and B) properly dispose of the oil from the engine! Not only do you want to be friendly to the environment, you also do not want the mess around your home or to be storing old oil in your garage or work shed.

John Deere Snow Thrower Oil Change

Follow the safety instructions such as disconnecting the spark plug before working on the engine or the impeller and auger. This is one of the most important items to remember. Never do any kind of repair or maintenance on a running snowthower and never take the chance of poking a shovel or pole into the auger area while it is running. Many people have lost an arm or foot in this manner.

Before draining the oil, run the snow thrower engine for a few minutes to warm up the oil so that it runs freely. When it drains you will drain much more of the oil from the engine if the oil is warm or even hot. You also drain many more impurities that can settle to the bottom of the engine reservoir if the oil is cold.

Drain the oil into a reservoir and use one of the old containers to hold the old engine oil. Most garages will accept old oil for disposal or you can take it to one if the chemical disposal places in your area. Once the oil is drained, tightened the oil stop and add new oil up to the level specified on the dip stick. Run the engine for a few minutes and recheck.

It is a good idea to check the level of oil in the engine each time it is used to make sure there is sufficient oil in the engine and that it is not discolored due to over use.

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