Just got finished with a tuneup of my Craftsman 10hp snowblower. This machine is about 15 years old and is still going strong. It is beginning to show its age in terms of rust on the housing etc. But the engine and the impeller operate just like new. Anyway I thought I would go over the steps required in a tuneup / checkup. The intent is to help readers decide if this is something they want to tackle themselves or have a small engine mechanic look after for them. We will list them in no particular order and you can tackle each one as you see fit.
Change the Engine Oil – Drain the oil into a oil bin and then dispose of it properly at a recycle location. Before you drain the oil, run the engine for a few minutes to warm up the oil. You find that it drains much more quickly and thoroughly if you do this. Add the recommended oil for your engine in the correct quantity. Check the level with the dip stick before and also after running the engine to ensure that the correct amount of oil has been installed.
Check the spark plug – Always take the plug out, check the gap after first giving it a good cleaning. If it is corroded etc, then replace it with a new one after you have set the proper gap.
Check the belts – The belts should be free of cracks, and wear and tear. Check that they are also properly tensioned as per your snowblowers manual.
Grease the Auger – The auger usually has 4 grease points. Give each at least two squeezes from your grease gun.
Grease the Wheel Axles – Remove the wheels and grease the axles and then place the wheels back on, taking care to put them back in exactly the same way. This may seem like a waste of time, however if you have a flat tire and need to remove the wheel, you will be glad you did this.
Check all of the electrical connections. Reconnect or tighten any that are needed.
Test All Moving Parts – Finally start up the engine, make sure it is running smoothly and test that the auger and impeller are working properly. Check all of the gear speeds to ensure that there is no other maintenance required.
That’s a pretty good check list to make sure that your snow blower will be ready for the season. There is still a chance that it might be hard to start in the cold weather, but at least you know that all of the major things have been addressed in your tuneup.
For more repair and maintenance information, click here.