The trick to keeping your snow blower in great condition is maintaining it properly all year long.
Of course, making sure it’s working at its best during snow season, with regular inspections and proper in-season maintenance, is crucial to extending the life of your snow blower. But how you treat your snow blower in the spring and summer months is just as important, which is why you should follow these six tips for storing your snow blower in the off-season.
1. Consult Snow Blower Operator’s Manual
Before you get started on preparing your snow blower for off-season storage, read through the operator’s manual thoroughly – specifically the “Maintenance & Adjustments” and “Off-Season Storage” sections.
Reading through both sections will familiarize you with the maintenance tasks you should be regularly performing on your snow blower and the steps you should take to properly prepare your snow blower for the off-season.
2. Practice Snow Blower Safety
For safety purposes, always perform off-season maintenance preparation tasks on your snow blower when the machine is on a level surface.
To avoid the snow blower’s engine accidentally starting while you’re performing these maintenance and off-season storage tasks, remove the ignition key and disconnect the spark plugs.
3. Do Full Snow Blower Inspection & Maintenance
When you take your snow blower out of storage next winter, the last thing you want to discover is that the machine was put away without being properly maintained first. Not only would you have to do maintenance before the first use of the season, but you may discover that your snow blower isn’t in proper working condition.
That’s why it’s best to take the time to do a full inspection and maintenance of your snow blower before putting it away for the off-season. That means changing the snow blower’s oil, servicing the spark plug, lubricating the gear shaft and more.
You should also inspect other parts that may have been worn down or damaged by a full season’s use. Check the shave plate, belts, shear pins and skid shoes and replace as needed. If you don’t have extra parts already, pick some up so you’re prepared the next time you need to change one.
4. Clean Your Snow Blower
A winter’s worth of clearing snow has probably dirtied up your snow blower. To keep your snow blower looking good and working even better, it needs a thorough cleaning before you store it for the off-season.
Hose down your snow blower using low pressure to remove dirt and salt and wash the areas where the snow blower has become particularly dirty with dish soap to avoid the machine becoming rusted during the off-season.
Make sure you allow the snow blower to dry before storing it.
5. Prepare Snow Blower’s Fuel Tank
How you prepare your snow blower’s gas tank for the off-season will depend largely on the length of time you plan to store your machine – you’ll either need to treat the snow blower fuel with a stabilizer or empty the gas tank entirely before putting the machine in storage.
Refer to the “Off-Season Storage” section of your snow blower’s operator’s manual for specific instructions for your machine.
6. Store Your Snow Blower Properly
Where you store your snow blower for the off-season is as important as what you do to prepare it for storage. Leave your snow blower in the wrong place all off-season and you could find an unpleasant surprise when you bring it out next snow season.
Keep your snow blower in a clean, dry and well-ventilated area and make sure you don’t store it close to an appliance with a flame or pilot light, a spark-producing electric motor or anywhere power tools are used.