Well, it’s mid October which means that it’s time to start thinking about Winter. Before you know it, the snow will be falling! Come to think about it, we just had a snow storm on a nearby mountain pass which was at 5,000 feet elevation. That’s pretty close to our elevation which really inspired my husband to kick it into gear and perform his annual snowblower maintenance procedures. He also spent some time making sure our snow plow was ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at us this season.
Watching him go through his routine made me think that it would be a good idea to pop in here and write a quick article to remind you all to do the same.
Fortunately, Jeff did this when he did because as it turned out, he forgot to put our snowblower up for the summer properly and when he was doing his pre-season tune up, he found out that it wasn’t running very well at all. Actually, we didn’t have enough snow for him to even use it last year so it had been sitting for two years with stale gas in it. He somehow forgot to put fuel stabilizer in the gas the last time he put it away and the carburetor needed to be thoroughly cleaned in order to get it running right.
I won’t make this a long article but I will list some of the things that my husband does each year to get our snow blower ready for winter.
- He thoroughly inspects the machine for any visual signs of damage.
- He changes the oil. Here’s an interesting tidbit. When he drained the oil this year, there was actually a small amount of water that came out of the engine first! I guess through condensation, a little water had accumulated in the engine. Since oil floats on water, the water came out first. This was a good reminder to us that if we ever leave an engine sitting for a long time, to change the oil before we try to start it. If we would have tried to start it while there was water in the engine, I’m sure it wouldn’t have lubricated properly and it would have caused some irreversible damage.
- He cleans or replaces the spark plug. If you find that you need a new spark plug, be sure that you set the gap properly. If the gap isn’t set for the particular engine that you’ll be using the spark plug in, the engine won’t run right and the plug will quickly become fouled.
- He cleans or replaces the air filter.
- He lubricates anything that needs lubrication, including any grease fittings.
- He orders a bunch of sheer pins so that he has some on hand in the event that one breaks.
- He sprays some silicone lubricant on the surface that the discharge shoot rotates on so that it turns smoothly.
- He checks that the discharge shoot moves up and down properly. If it doesn’t, he uses some penetrating oil to get it moving smoothly again.
- He tests the electric starter to make sure it’s working properly.
- He uses his air compressor to blow compressed air all over the machine to get rid of any dirt and dust that might have accumulated over the summer.
- He tests the pull starter to make sure it’s working and that the pull rope doesn’t need to be replaced.
- He starts the engine and checks to see how it is running. If it’s not running smoothly, he makes any repairs that he needs to.
- He checks the air pressure in the tires with a low pressure tire gauge.
The bottom line is that if you have a snow blower, I highly suggest that you take the time to perform the recommended maintenance procedures that are provided in your owners manual NOW before it snows. Trust me, it’s no fun when you find yourself trying to fix a broken snow blower during a heavy snow storm! And it’s certainly not much fun if you find yourself having to use a snow shovel when your snowblower doesn’t start during a big snow fall!