How to Prepare Your Snowblower for The Winter
Even if the first big winter storm might be several weeks away, it's always good to have your snowblower ready for the oncoming winter season.
For one, if there is any significant complication with the machine, you will need adequate time to perform repairs. The common snowblower complications include engine starting trouble and broken augers. For another, you don’t want to start checking the shear pins or performing spot fixes in poor weather, especially as the snow piles up on the driveway.
This is why you might have to spend a few minutes or so to get the snowblower ready for the oncoming winter season. Over the years, various brands have produced as many different snowblower products with multiple design factors to consider. Taking good care of your snow blower should have many benefits,
We have boiled down the common snowblower fixes to a few simple steps. They include:
1. Fill it Up
You probably want to check the amount of fuel remaining in the tank, because it might have been used during the last winter. If you didn’t, then you will have to progress to the next process. You will have dodged a big bullet because unstable fuel can compromise the carburetor and fuel lines.
Never stretch your luck when it comes to maintaining the energy consumption of your snowblower. Instead, drain any old fuel using a siphon or any other reasonable method. Then, fill the tank with clean gas, and consider using a fuel stabilizer.
For those with electric blowers, check the battery performance and power. Charge the snowblower, and try to determine whether the battery can still offer adequate run times. Most snowblowers today come with lithium-ion batteries, which can provide years of reliable power.
2. Check the Oil
With the older snow blowers, you might have to mix the oil in by using gasoline, especially when using the single-stage blowers. However, most contemporary modes come with a separate dipstick and oil reservoir, which is similar to that of a car. Thus, start by checking the oil. If the oil is dark and dirty, then it's probably time to perform an oil change. Operating the tool with clean oil helps to improve machine performance. Most oil reservoirs come with bolts that you unscrew. You can then tilt the machine back and drain the used oil into a container. Then, screw the bolt back into position, and refill the reservoir with some clean oil.
3. Check the Tires
Multistage snow blowers are increasingly coming with airless tires. However, a significant portion of some snowblowers come with pneumatic tires, which tend to go low on air. Checking the tires regularly, especially when the weather is cold, is essential. Poorly inflated tires can make it challenging to handle the machine, especially when turning around tight corners.
A good recommendation for you would be to check the tire user manual of the tool for the specific tire pressure level. Usually, this level averages between 15 and 20 pounds per square inch PSI. Using a simple bike pump can suffice for the process.
4. Evaluate the Shear Pins
A shear pin is a tool designed to provide a specific outcome when you apply pressure to the snowblower. It works as a safeguard mechanism to protect the parts on your snowblower from damage. Thus, being able to check the functionality of the shear pins is crucial to the performance of the snowblower.
This step only applies to those who own multi-stage snow blowers. The shear pins are small bolts that help to protect the transmission when the auger gets damaged. Usually, auger damage occurs when it scoops a large-stop or big chunk of ice. If the pins demonstrate any sign of wear and tear, then it's time to get them replaced. The pins are easy to install and are usually secured using a bolt. Never use bolts that don’t have sear pins because the bolts won't break when exposed to excessive levels of pressure.
As a final measure, evaluate all the components on the snowblower and ensure the machine is ready to provide safe performance.
5. Check the Spark Plug and Discharge Chute
Checking the spark plug at the start of the season is a great way to check the performance of your snowblower. If the machine shows any signs of corrosion or rust, then consider performing a replacement. However, if it's just dirty, then it might require basic cleaning. The best part about such a maintenance process is that spark plugs are cheap and easy to get.
To prevent issues such as clogging, consider spraying the discharge chute down with appropriate lubrication. Most people experience success when using WD-40 cooking spray or silicone. More so, many companies also have special repellant sprays.
6. Finally – Double Check the Entire Machine
Once you have performed all the correct maintenance and repair procedures, ensure that you evaluate the machine for any inconsistencies in operation. You should ensure that all components in the snowblower are screwed in properly. Moreover, you also need to ensure that elements such as the oil cap, spark plug, or power source are well placed. This way, you ensure the snowblower can work throughout the winter, without a compromise in performance.
With the winter closing in fast, you probably want to check your tools to ensure you are prepared for the test. The last thing you want is to use a shovel out at night in the cold to remove snow from your driveway. You can escape such a hassle by priming your machine on time, and ensuring all its components are in top condition.
A snow blower is a mechanical tool, and you might have to learn a few facts about its functionality to ensure the best results. However, the process is easy, and you should be competent in using the tool with no time. Get your snowblower checked and ready to tear through the thick snow this coming winter.