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Snow Blower Maintenance for Winter

Winter can creep up on even the most seasoned gardeners, which is why it’s important to do your snow blower maintenance well ahead of the inevitable arrival of wintry weather. 

Not only is pre-season preparation vital to the long-term health of your snow blower but it will save you a ton of time once the snow starts falling.

So, how do you prepare your snow blower for winter? We’ve got you covered.

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Steps on Preparing Snow Blower for Winter

snow blower maintenance for winter

Whether you're prepping your snow blower for yet another season or getting your snow blower ready to face its first blizzard, follow these snow blower maintenance tips for getting snowblower ready for winter.

Step 1 - Check for Damage and Tighten Up Loose Parts

If you didn’t thoroughly prepare your snow blower for the off-season following the previous year’s use, it’s possible there’s existing damage to parts or loose nuts and bolts that were not addressed during the spring and summer months.

Now is the time to attend to those potential issues. Make sure all your snow blower’s parts are in working order and moving smoothly. Replace damaged parts if necessary. 

Tighten up the nuts and bolts that may have been shaken loose by use last season. Also, check the tire pressure and add air if necessary.

Step 2 - Snow Blower Change Oil

Snow Blower Change Oil

This should also be done after the first five hours of use this winter and after every subsequent season or 50 hours. Make sure you check your manual for the best approach to removing the used oil. 

In addition to changing the engine oil regularly, the oil should also be checked on a consistent basis, ideally after each use or following every five hours of use.

Step 3 - Inspect Belts for Wear and Replace If Necessary

It's wise to keep a few snow blower belts on hand in your garage or shed so you can make replacements quickly when necessary. Check with the experts at your local small engine dealership or manufacturer’s website to find what you need for your model.

Any significant wear and tear merits replacement to avoid the danger and frustration of a belt breaking during use.

Step 4 - Drain Gas Tank and Replace with Fresh Fuel

If you’re having trouble getting your snow blower started, a common cause is old fuel left over from the previous season or left for 30 days or more during a slow snow season.

Replacing the fuel at the start of the season or after the machine sits for an extended period of time will prevent fuel-based starting issues in the future. Be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for fuel recommendations.

Adding fuel stabilizer can ensure your snow blower’s fuel stays fresh even if you have a few mild weeks during the winter and don't need to run the machine. Without fuel stabilizer your gas may only have a shelf life of a few months.

Step 5 - Check Spark Plug and Install New One If Necessary

getting snowblower ready for winter

Check your spark plug at the start of every season. If it has become dirty, it may just need cleaning. However, rust and corrosion on your snow blower's spark plug will call for replacement.

Like with the engine oil, the spark plug should be checked regularly throughout the snow-blowing season to avoid in-season problems.

How often depends on usage – check the spark plug either after 25 hours of use or following the end of the season, whichever comes first.

Step 6 - Lubricate Drive and Chassis

Lubricate the drive and chassis to help improve the long-term health of your snow blower. Lubricating all of the snow blower’s moving parts prior to the new season is good practice that will extend the life of those parts and help stop clogging.

Refer to the owner’s manual to find out what lubricant is best to use.

Step 7 - Add and Check Snow Blower Accessories

Once you’ve ensured your snow blower is mechanically prepared for the season, take the time to assess the conditions in which you want your snow blower to perform and add the necessary accessories.

An LED light bar kit, tire chains and a universal cab attachment are among the many accessories that could make a world of difference this winter.

If you already own snow blower accessories, ensure all parts are in working order.

Step 8 - Start Up Your Snow Blower

Once you're done with your snow blower preparation for winter, start it up and let it run for a few minutes in a well-ventilated area to be certain there are no surprises when it storms.

Consider starting your snow blower every so often if it sits unused for an extended period.

Wrapping Up Our Snow Blower Maintenance Tips

If you’re looking for more information on how to take care of and use a snow blower, check out the Ultimate Snow Blower Maintenance Guide published by Cub Cadet to learn more.

About the Author Pat Moreno

Pat is our gardening tool expert here at Sumo Gardener. Working for many years as a private and commercial landscaper, Pat has used almost every type of gardening tool there is. Along with a vast knowledge for types of plants and putting together an amazing looking and maintainable garden, Pat developed a passion for gardening tools as he found that using the right tools vastly improved the ease and outcome of any landscaping job he undertook. When spending hours, days or years using a particular tool, you want to make sure you’ve got the best one for the job, and Pat is the right guy to guide us to the best gardening tools.

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