A snowblower without proper upkeep can cause more headaches and backaches than needed. With winter just around the corner, now is the time to tune up your snowblower to ensure it is opportune condition.
Like store shelves empty of air conditioners in the summer heat, once the first snowfall hits parts for snowblowers are in high demand. Though parts like spark plugs, paddles and scrapers are usually available all year around without an issue, special parts such as chute collars and cables may be on back order for a couple of weeks during the winter season. Be sure to give your snowblower a thorough inspection before the winter season arrives in order to avoid shoveling snow while your machine is waiting for parts.
The following nine tips will help you keep your machine up and running for the snowy season:
(Please note that items 1-5 should be done with the cover off of the snowblower. Once you have finished items 1-5, put the cover back on and make sure all the bolts and screws are in tightly. Then check items 6-9.)
- Check your belts. Take the belt cover off to do a thorough check on the belts. Make sure they are securely in place and in good condition. If there is any wear or tear on the belt, if it is cracked or misshapen, or if it will not hold properly, it will need replaced. If it is loose, tighten it if you can.
- With the snowblower cover off, check the pulley to make sure it is secure and taut.
- While the cover is open, check the bearings for wear and tear and replace as needed.
- Also, with a four-cycle engine, replace the oil before using this winter. Old oil can make the machine run sluggish.
- Replace the spark plug every few seasons to keep the machine working at optimum.
- Determine if the scraper bar is worn down (check with your owner’s manual for proper wear specifications). Replace if needed to avoid long-term damage.
- Check the visible rubber on a single-stage snow blower. Replace if it is worn, cracked, or torn. On a two-stage snow thrower, check the shear pins and the auger for damage or any obstructions.
- On a two-stage snow thrower, examine the skids for wear and replace if necessary. Adjust the skids higher for gravel driveways and lower for concrete or other smooth pavement.
- Get rid of any old gas in your machine before using it for the first time each season. Old gas gets stale and can diminish the performance – and may keep your snow blower from starting!.
By keeping your snowblower stored in a safe, dry spot during the whole year and by taking the time to keep it properly maintained and in good working order, you will increase the chances that it will continue to perform well through winter's entirety. Remember: when your back and your budget are involved . . . it pays to think ahead.
We are featuring the Ariens ST28LE Deluxe Electric Start Snowblower, check it out here.