How do You Prepare a Snowblower for Winter?

A snowblower is an important piece of equipment for homeowners in snowy states. While some people can get away with using a shovel, a snow blower speeds up the process and is much easier on your back. If you are new to owning a snow blower, there are steps you should take to keeping it in working shape for the winter.

What is the difference between a 1 and 2 stage snow blower?

A single stage snow blower, also called a snow thrower, is the most basic model available. It works well for lighter snowfalls of up to eight inches. However, it cannot cut through larger snow drifts as well as a two stage snowblower. Additionally, they do not work well on gravel or uneven surfaces. On the other hand, they are lighter and more compact than two stage models, so if you are only clearing a sidewalk or driveway, a one stage snowblower is probably a good fit for you.
Two stage snow blowers use impellers that force the snow and ice up through the auger and into the chute. This literally blows the snow away rather than throwing it like stage one snow blowers. If you live in an area with frequent large snow falls, a two stage snow blower will save you time because it can dispel higher quantities of snow and ice, making the job go more quickly. They can also handle uneven surfaces, including hills or other slopes in your yard and larger snowfalls of up to twenty-four inches.

What does a snowblower tune up consist of?

There are two types of snow blowers: electric and gas. Electric snow blowers require little maintenance aside from replacing the battery every couple of years. Gas snow blowers; however, do require yearly maintenance. This maintenance includes: inspecting the belts, tightening bolts, changing spark plugs and more. Here is a yearly maintenance checklist to care for your snow blower after the winter months:

Inspect the belts

Multiple things can go wrong with the belt. It can: bottom out, squeal, slip, ride too high, vibrate and more.

Tighten all bolts

Bolts can easily become stuck due to rust or over-tightening. In order to fix, you may need access to special tools.

Lubricate/grease where needed

Lubricating or greasing a snow blower is necessary to keep it operating smoothly and to help prevent rust.

Change the spark plugs

If your snow blower isn’t working properly, you may need to change your spark plugs. The spark plugs make sure that your snow blower is running efficiently and effectively.

Inspect the starter pull cord

It’s possible for debris to become trapped inside the motor, causing the pull cord to become stuck. Follow instructions to correct the pull cord and remove the debris.

Change the oil

It is recommended to change your snow blowers oil after the first 5 hours of use. After the initial oil change, you can use your snow blower until the end of the season or for fifty additional hours before completing the next oil change.

Use fresh gas with fuel stabilizer

Before putting your snow blower in storage in the spring, you should either drain the gas completely or top it off. If you top it off, use fresh gas and add fuel stabilizer according to the directions.

Clean it thoroughly

Snowblowers are often covered in dirt and salt that was once residing under the snow on driveways. If it sits for too long, those substances can cause corrosion on the machine. Try hosing the snow blower down and letting it dry thoroughly before storing it.

How do you properly store a snow blower after winter?

Properly store a snow blower by cleaning it thoroughly. Getting rid of all salt and debris will lower the chances of rust forming on the machine while it sits over the summer months. Also check the tire pressure; if it is sitting unevenly, the auger box or another part of the machine could scrape the ground. While it’s not necessary to cover your snowblower with a tarp or sheet, it is recommended to protect it from potentially damaging elements.

What is the best time of year to buy a snowblower?

Many people believe that the best time to buy a product is at the end of that product’s season. In the case of snow blowers, that is not always true. The reason for this is that many snow blowers get snatched up over the winter months, especially if there is a large snowfall or two. Then, come spring, the best models are sold out. Plan ahead and start shopping for snow blowers when new models are released in May and June.

What is the most reliable snow blower?

According to Wirecutter, the best snowblower of 2020 is the Toro SnowMaster 824 QXE. It is reliable, fairly priced and can handle up to 18 inches of snow. Another great snowblower is the Cub Cadet 2X 26 HP. This two-stage model is great on gravel, but it is heavier and takes longer to use.

Should I purchase an extended warranty for my snow blower?

Purchasing an extended warranty for your snow blower is always a good idea. It protects your bank account from unexpected and costly repairs. It also saves you time when you get your warranty through Upsie because the claims process is so easy. If your snow blower was purchased for less than $500, Upsie will simply replace it.
Snow blowers will make your life significantly easier in the winter. Make sure it’s ready for the season by following these tips to prepare your snow blower for winter use.

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