You might not be ready for winter, but your snow blower should be. These important snow blower maintenance tips will make sure your machine is ready for the white stuff.
Winter is just around the corner. Be ready before the first storm hits by performing some routine maintenance on your snow blower now. Amanda Campana, Craftsman product manager for Sears, offers this checklist of what to do before the first snowstorm.
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8 Snow blower Maintenance Tips
Maintain Your Snow blower – 8 Things to Do Before the Snow Flies
Change the Spark Plug
Disconnect the plug from the lead, and remove it with a wrench. If there’s damage or deposits, replace it. If not, pop it back in – secure but not too tight.
Inspect the Belts
Wear and tear? Cracks? If so, replace them. Tip: Snap a photo of the belts before you take them off so you’ll know exactly where they go.
Give the Paddles Their Due
The auger paddles are the hardest working parts on your snow blower, so check them often for wear and tear. If they don’t hit the ground anymore, replace them. Tip: Order replacement parts and searspartsdirect.com, or play it safe and call the pros at Sears Home Services.
Check the Shave Plate
This scrapes the snow off your driveway. If it’s worn on a single-stage snow blower, reverse it. For a two-stage snow blower, replace it.
Flip the Skid Shoes
These are the adjustable pieces on a two-stage snow blower that let you set the height of your auger. Most are reversible. If yours look worn, flip the over and use the other side, making a note to replace them next year.
See if the Shear Pins are Damaged
Shear pins connect the auger to the gear case. Did you know they’re meant to break? It’s a safety feature – they’ll break if the auger and gear case are overloaded. Tip: Keep several extras in the garage. You don’t want to have them break with no replacements on hand.
Change the Oil
Let the blower warm up to make the oil flow easier. Then turn it off, pull the drain plug and drain the oil into a container. Pop the plug back in and fill the machine up with oil.
Use Fresh Gas with Stabilizer
Fill ‘er up with fresh gas (you did remember to empty it last season, right?) and make sure to include fuel stabilizer. It’ll keep the gas fresh longer and help prevent clogs.
Remember to be safe when working with tools, and always protect yourself. If in doubt, call the pros at Sears Home Services.