Handyman Help: DIY Snow Blower Maintenance
Snow blower maintenance is best done before storing the machine away for the off-season. If you didn’t service your snow blower at the end of last season, you can still give the machine some attention before using it this winter.
First, choose a well-lit area where you will have a lot of space to move around the blower. Be sure the blower is turned off before looking at various areas and starting repairs. If you are working on the blower in your garage or outdoors, use a heater to stay warm. EquipSupply.com offers a variety of heaters for the winter, as well as the hot surface ignitor, should you already have a heater that needs the part.
Check the oil level of the snow blower after obtaining the recommended oil. If the oil level is within running range, start the snow blower and allow it to warm up. Doing so will allow the oil to flow easier and stir up any dirt in the oil pan that needs to be flushed out. Stop the engine, remove the oil plug, and drain the used oil. Replace the drain plug once all the old oil has drained and tighten the plug. Refill the engine with the proper weight of oil and inspect for leaks around the drain plug to ensure it is tight.
Inspect the spark plug. If it needs to be changed, disconnect the spark plug lead from the spark plug. Remove debris from around the spark plug, so that nothing gets into the engine. Use a socket wrench to remove the spark plug and use a wire brush and spray plug cleaner to remove light deposits on the plug. Reinstall or replace as needed and attach the wire. Do not tighten the spark plug more than necessary when you reinstall it.
Inspect the belts by removing the cover and looking for cracks or wear and tear. Replace the belt if needed, but first take a picture of how the belt is routed, before removing it. Most belts stretch during operation so check or adjust the pulleys to make sure the belt is tight.
Snow blowers vibrate quite a bit while in use. Nuts and bolts can loosen. To prevent parts from falling off, check and tighten loose bolts.