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How to winterize your snowblower: Follow these steps

In 9 simple steps, I will explain a quick yet comprehensive method to winterize or store away your snowblower for the entire period of the summer season. Not storing your snowblower properly could cause complications at the start of the next winter season, you might not get it to start. Scroll on to read the detailed step by step guide given below.

How to winterize your snowblower, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Read the user manual very carefully
  • Step 2: Winterize the fuel tank of your snowblower:
  • Step 3: Clean the chute of your snowblower:
  • Step 4: Inspect the spark plug of your snowblower:
  • Step 5: Remove the spark plug
  • Step 6: Pull the recoil starter
  • Step 7: Lubricate
  • Step 8: Check the belts
  • Step 9: Store the snowblower in a suitable location

Step 1: Read the user manual very carefully:

First of all, you must remember to read out the user manualfor detailed product-specific instructions from the manufacturer of your snowblower. This is very important

Step 2: Winterize the fuel tank of your snowblower:

Before you refill your snowblower tank with fresh gasoline, always add some fuel stabilizer to the gas can before filling the snowblower fuel tank

Stabilizing the gas in the can before filling up your snowblower ensures that the engine will run clean and start smoothly during the next winter season after a long period of storage.

You must remember that the fuel stabilizer will prevent your gas from breaking down and turning into soupy, varnish-like gunk that can clog the fuel tank, injectors, fuel lines, and other vital parts of your snowblower. This occurs due to the long-term presence of the ethanol in the gas which is hygroscopic, it absorbs a lot of water. Ethanol has a property of oxidizing when it reacts with the oxygen inside the fuel tank, causing damage to internal components.

Fuel stabilizer can absorb the moisture in the fuel tank of the snowblower before gasoline gets a chance. This allows it to stay fresh and volatile much longer between uses. This is an extra level of assurance. So if you forgot to drain the fuel from the tank of your snowblower before winterizing it, the chances of damaging your snowblower or having gunk in the fuel tank of your snowblower are less likely.


Drain out the old fuel from your snowblower:

At the end of the winter season, when you no longer require your snowblower. Make sure you do not leave fuel in it. Even if the gas in your snowblower is stabilized; always carefully drain out the tank of your snowblower. You can use a siphon pump or chemical pump to quickly remove the remaining fuel from your snowblower. Store it in a proper gas can. An alternative is to keep the engine running until the remaining gas is completely exhausted.

It is not advisable to leave fuel in a gas engine for extended periods. Manufacturers and experts in the field do not recommend this. The reason is that old gas can cause corroding and buildup of gunk inside the tank.

Long term storage of your machine will require some preventive process to guard against deterioration.

Drain the fuel tank, fuel cock, and carburetor float bowl. Pour a cup of motor oil into the tank, shake the tank till the motor oil reaches all the corners of the tank, and drain off the excess oil.

Step 3: Clean the chute of your snowblower:

You need to clean any dust, debris, grease, or mud from around the chute, engine, and muffler of your snowblower. It is advisable to apply a light film of oil on any areas of your snowblower that are susceptible to rust. You must also wipe away any dried salt that may have accumulated inside and outside the chute of your snowblower to help prevent it from corroding, rusting, wear and tear over the winter season.

Step 4: Inspect the spark plug of your snowblower:

Remove the spark plug of your snowblower. Try to inspect it for signs of corrosion or residue build-up. You can also clean it with a wire brush if necessary.

If you are not sure about the condition of the spark plug, whether it is good or bad, It is recommended that you replace the spark plug of your snowblower.

Step 5: Remove the spark plug

Next, you need to remove the spark plug. Pour about one tablespoon of motor oil into the spark plug hole and reinstall the spark plug. Recoil start the engine by turning it over several times (with the ignition off) to coat the cylinder walls with oil.

Step 6: Pull the recoil starter

You must pull the recoil starter until you feel compression. Then stop pulling. (This prevents the cylinder and valves from rusting.)

Step 7: Lubricate

For this step, lubricate all specified points with grease or oil. Remove the lower frame cover from the underside of the unit. Apply a light coating of oil to the hex shaft.

Be careful not to get any oil on the aluminum drive plate or the rubber friction disc. You must check the rubber friction disc for wear or cracking.

Step 8: Check the belts

Loosen the track and block up the chassis so that the track is suspended above the ground. Next, remove the belt cover on the front of the engine and inspect the belts for wear, cracks and fraying. If the belts are worn out, they must be replaced immediately.

Worn belts can break while winterized, so replace your snow blower’s belt as soon as you see signs of wear. You must put the plastic belt cover back in place or order a new one if needed.

Step 9: Store the snowblower in a suitable location

Store the snowblower in a dry, well-ventilated place, with the cover placed over it. Place the snowblower in a vertical position when storing it. There is nothing better than having your snowblower well placed on a mat in your garage, you’ll particularly find it easier to roll out on to the yard.

The summer season comes with a transition of tools and the environment, keeping the snowblower in the garage may no longer be possible (if your garage is a small one). If you decide to move your snow blower to your shed. You must remember to keep it covered up like you would in your garage.

Leaving your snowblower outdoors and exposed to the harsh sunshine or other elements like rain is not a good idea, even if it is well covered. If you ever have to winterize your snowblower outdoors, make sure it is covered and hoisted off the ground to prevent water damage from melting snow or rain.

Snowblower winterization sheds are becoming popular alternatives for homeowners who have a limited garage or shed space. You can build one yourself or purchase one. All you have to do is assemble it. You must have a roof above your snowblower. This will protect it from the elements between uses or while in storage.

Now you can sit back and enjoy your summer knowing that the time you spent preparing your snowblower for winterization will save many, many hours of frustration when the snow falls again next season.

Safety Precautions While Working with a Snow Blower

  1. Engine must be off: Whenever you are winterizing, cleaning, repairing, or inspecting your snow blower, you must make sure the engine is turned off. Also, make sure the collector/impeller and all moving parts have stopped.  Disconnect the sparkplug wire and keep the wire away from the plug to prevent someone from accidentally starting the engine.
  2. Do not run the engine indoors, except when starting the engine and for transporting the snowblower in or out of the building. You must open the outside doors; exhaust fumes are dangerous.
  3. No slope: You must exercise extreme caution when operating on slopes.
  4. Use protective gear: Never operate the snow blower without proper guards and personal protective equipment.
  5. Do not discharge towards people: Never direct the discharge towards people or areas where property damage can occur. Keep children and others away.
  6. Do not overload the machine capacity by attempting to clear snow at too fast a rate.
  7. No high transport speed: You must never operate the machine at high transport speeds on slippery surfaces. Look behind and operate with care when working in reverse.
  8. Disengage the collector: You must disengage the power of the collector/impeller when a snow blower is transported or not in use.
  9. Only use approved attachments: You must use only attachments and accessories approved by the manufacturer of the snowblower (such as wheel weights, counterweights, or cabs).
  10. Only operate with good visibility: You must never operate the snow blower without good visibility or light. Always be sure of your footing, and keep a firm hold on the handles. Never touch a hot engine or muffler.