Even though it's been a very mild winter, it's still a good idea to keep your snowblower prepped and ready for that big storm. After all, you never know when the big one will hit.
Not sure where to start with maintenance? Here's a few tips for you:
1) Change the Spark Plug: Disconnect the spark plug from the lead and remove it with a standard wrench. Look for damage or deposits. Replace it if you find anything that looks off. It it looks good, pop it back in - secure, but not too tight!
2.) Inspect the Belts: Look for wear and tear. If you have a significant amount of wear and tear, replace the belt. TIP: Snap a photo of the belts before you take them off so you'll know exactly where they go.
3.) Give the Paddles their Due: Auger paddles on a snowblower are the hardest working and fastest wearing parts of the snowblower, so check them often for wear and tear. If they don't hit he ground anymore, replace them! TIP: Stop by our store for replacement parts!
4.) Check the Shave Plate: The Shave Plate scrapes the snow off your driveway. If it's worn on a single stage snowblower, you can reverse it. On two stage snowblowers, just replace them.
5.) Flip the Skid Shoes: The Skid Shoes are adjustable parts on a two-stage snowblower. Their main purpose is the let you set the height of the auger. In most cases, these are reversible. If your skid shoe looks worn, flip it over and use the other side. TIP: Be sure to make a note to replace them next year!!
6.) See if the Shear Pins are Damaged: Shear Pins are the crucial part that connects the auger to the gear case. HOWEVER... did you know they are meant ot break? It's a safety feature. They will break if the auger and gear case are overheated. TIP: Keep several extras in the garge. You don't want to have them break in a big storm with no replacements on hand!
7.) Change the Oil: Snowblowers, like any other small engine machine, require some form of oil. Be sure to let he snowblower warm up to make the oil flow easier. Turn it off, pull the drain plug, and drain the oil into a container. Pop the plug back in and fill up with oil. TIP: Our Store has a great selection of small engine oil! Stop by and we'll help you pick the right one!
8.) Use Fresh Gas with Stabilizer: We ALWAYS recommend with any piece of equipment to use FRESH GAS!!! Don't ever leave gas in over a season. Be sure to keep it fresh. Include a fuel stabilizer, it will help keep the gas fresh longer and help prevent clogs.
Remember, be safe out there! Use caution when working with your snowblower. Many of them are very powerful. But have a good time! And with a little luck we'll get some snow so you can use your now well-oiled machine!