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Video: How to prep your snowblower for winter BEFORE you need it

Oct 12, 2019 02:16PM ● By Editor
From Sears Parts Direct - Posted:  October 12, 2019

Drain Old Fuel from Snowblower

Before you start, park your snowblower on a level surface, remove the key and disconnect the spark plug wire. If you’ve got any fuel left in the tank from last year, drain it. Use extreme care when handling gasoline. Work in a well-ventilated area free of open flames or sparks. Fresh, clean fuel is a must. Old gas absorbs moisture when it sits for a long time in the fuel tank or your gas can. Unless you’ve used a fuel stabilizer, gas will go bad in about 6 months.

Replace Fuel Filter

Dirty gas can clog the fuel filter in your tank, so you’ll also want to take a look and replace it if it’s old or clogged. Most owner’s manuals recommend changing the fuel filter at the start of every season. Here’s a video that will show you how to change your fuel filter.

Inspect Fuel Line for Cracks

While you're in there, take a look at the fuel line and make sure there are no cracks and that it's still flexible and soft. Replace the fuel line if it's cracked or broken. Here's a video showing you how.

Replace Spark Plug

Spark plugs should also be replaced once per season. So, if you know your spark plug is from last year, you’ll probably want to replace it. Here’s a video to show you how to replace and set the gap on a spark plug.

Change the Oil

Now, let’s talk about oil. Oil lubricates the engine parts and helps cool the cylinder. Oil is another thing you’re gonna want to change once per season. This video will walk you through changing the oil on a snowblower. Don't forget to take that old oil to your local oil recycling station.

Lubricate Auger Shaft

Next, we’ll lubricate the auger shaft and bearings to keep that auger from seizing up in the dead of winter. Remove all the shear pins on the auger shaft. Spray a light coating of silicone lubricant inside the shaft and around the spacers and flange bearings. Inspect the shear pins for wear or damage and replace them if necessary. Reinstall the shear pins and secure them with the cotter pins.

Grease the Axle and Check Tire Air Pressure

Next, let’s check out your wheels and tires. Carefully tilt the snowblower on its nose. Make sure your fuel tank is empty. Use a socket wrench to remove the first wheel. Clean and coat the axle with multi-purpose automotive grease to keep it from rusting up. Reinstall the wheel and secure it back on the axle. Repeat the process on the other wheel. 

Now, we’ll use a pressure gauge to check the air pressure in each tire. Press the gauge down on the valve stem to check the pressure and compare it to the recommended psi found on the tire sidewall. Inflate or deflate the tires as necessary.

Adjust the Skid Shoes If Needed

You’re also going to want to check out both your skid shoes. The skid shoes protect the shave plate from damage. The entire bottom surface of the skid shoe should be touching the ground. If it’s not, you’ll need to adjust it. This video will show you how. If your skid shoe is worn down to the point that the shave plate hits the pavement, either flip it over, or replace it. Here’s another video with more details.

Lubricate Auger, Drive Controls

Next, you’ll want to clean off any dust and dirt from the auger control and drive control pivots. Spray both of those pivots with lubricant. Then, you’ll need to do the same to the auger cable bracket at the bottom of the snowblower. 

You’ll also want to lubricate the Drive Hex Shaft. This video will walk you through that process.

Fill With Fresh Gas, Adjust Auger and Drive Control

Now that you’ve got this puppy all oiled, greased and all put back together, it’s time to fill it up with fresh clean gas and make sure it’s working. Take your snowblower outside and test out both handles under normal operation. If either handle doesn’t work, you’ll need to adjust the cable. If the augers spin with the auger control disengaged, follow the steps in this video to adjust it. 

If the snowblower creeps forward with the drive handle disengaged, watch this video to learn how to adjust the drive control. One last tip before we go. If you want to keep your snow moving freely though the chute, you can spray the chute and auger housing with Teflon snow repellent

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