Snow Blowers

Snow Blower Maintenance

Snow Blower MaintenanceThis post is all about snow blower maintenance.  Whether you are the type to perform your own snow blower maintenance or would prefer to take your snow blower to a mechanic to have the annual maintenance activities completed, this post may be of interest to you. We are writing this post to help people maintain their snow blowers and extend the life of their snow blowers for as long as possible. Maintaining your snow blower will save you money in the long run.

Snow Blower Maintenance – What are the Basics?

Before using your snow blower every time perform a quick check of your snow blower. Look for loose parts, ice frozen around the auger or the impeller. Check both the gasoline level as well as the oil level prior to starting the snow blower. Top up as required. Check that the tires have the proper inflation level and watch for any fluids beneath the snow blower to check for leakage.

This may seem a lot to check for, however, once you get used to performing this check, it will only take 20 or 30 seconds to perform the check and you will know that your machine is ready to go. No surprises after the engine started.

Observations During Operation

While operating your snow blower always observe how it is operating. Is the engine running smoothly? Does the snow blower move forward at the appropriate speed and is there any perceived slippage of the drive train? When the snow thrower is under load, does the engine slow down or does the impeller begin to throw the snow at a significantly shorter distance? If you observe any of these conditions could indicate loose belts or improper contact between the drive shaft and the friction disk that drives the gearbox of the snow blower. Observe the auger and confirm that the auger is turning on both sides.

Many augers will have two sheer pins that will break if the auger encounters an immovable object. The shear pin will break to avoid more serious damage to the snow blower. A new shear pin should be inserted immediately. Operators will notice that the snow blower is pushing the snow instead of chewing it up and pulling it towards the impeller. This is the first indication that a shear pin has broken. Usually, there is a shear pin on both sides of the drive shaft in the middle of the entrance chute.

Snow Blower Maintenance- Annual Maintenance Activities

Annual maintenance really depends on how much the snow blower is used. You may have a large property to keep clear or are blowing snow for several neighbors. If there is lots of snow, you may want to change the oil more often. I have had a snow blower for over 25 years. I changed the oil in the engine once per year for all 25 years and have had no problems with the engine at all. It is a simple task to change the oil, taking only about 30 minutes and will ensure your snow blower engine lasts a lifetime.

If you are planning to change the engine oil follow these simple steps. Start the engine and let it run for 5 or 10 minutes. You want to warm up the engine and the oil to ensure that the oil flows easily and will run out of the oil drain quickly. Once it is warmed up, shut off the engine, disconnect the spark plug and after placing something to catch the old oil open the drain plug. Allow the oil to drip out and wait until all oil has drained before replacing the drain plug. Once the drain plug has been replaced, fill with new oil as specified by the manual to the desired level.

Again run the engine for a short period, shut it off and recheck the oil level to ensure that you have sufficient oil in the engine. If it is short, add more and repeat the step of running the engine and rechecking the oil level. If there is too much oil you will need to drain a small amount out of the engine.

Change Your Engine Oil

Changing the oil is the major activity that needs to be done in terms of routine maintenance. Depending on your model there may be several points that require lubrication as well. Check your manual for any additional areas that should be lubricated such as the auger shaft.

Also on an annual basis, consumers should check the belts to ensure they are not frayed or broken. Replace any belts that appear to be worn or beginning to fray. Doing it now will say frustration and time. Avoiding repairs after it has snowed is a major plus everyone wants.

I do my annual maintenance during the summer when it is warm and easy to work. I had to do some repairs one time during the winter. It was not a pleasant experience and I really would like to avoid fixing anything during the cold winter months.

All snow blowers are built differently, sometimes even between models. You really should take the time to read the manual and familiarize yourself with the maintenance requirements and safety of the snow blower you purchased.

If you are looking for more information on general home maintenance and a list of typical tasks, click here.


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One Response to “Snow Blower Maintenance”

  1. this is way too messy for me. I would rather have someone come and change the oil and do the other maintenance things on my snow blower. I know it costs more but I am just not into this.

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