5 Snowblower Mistakes to Avoid
Admit it, you love your snowblower … It saves your back and even time versus shoveling each winter. But how well do you treat your snowblower? Even the most seasoned snowblower owner can make a mistake once in a while. That why we have some great insider tips to keep your snowblower working its best this winter:
- Focus on the Fuel
- If you didn’t empty your snowblower’s gas tank for the warmer months, you could run into trouble now. Be sure to always empty the fuel tank or add fuel stabilizer when you put your snowblower away in the spring. If you don’t, the gas will thicken, clog the carburetor and cause problems.
- Also, make sure you never add fresh fuel to a hot gas tank, it could combust.
- Keep Up the Maintenance
As with most mechanical things, it pays to keep your snowblower maintained. Just stay safe and be sure to stop the snowblower engine and remove the key before doing any work on it.
- Check the engine oil level often throughout the winter and add oil when needed.
- Check the condition of the impellor drive belt and adjust tension if required.
- Replace the spark plug once a year (or as often as the owner’s manual recommends.)
- Look for any loose screws, bolts, etc., especially those that are more likely to loosen as the snowblower vibrates. Tighten any that need it.
- Avoid Snow Buildup
As tempting as it is to wait out the storm and only snowblow once, don’t. To make things easier for both you and your snowblower, you’ll want to clear the snow as it’s falling.
- Going Too Low
Setting your snowblower’s blade is set too low, it could scrape
on the cement, asphalt, brick, etc.
- Look for Skid Support
Your snowblower’s auger blades need to be supported above the ground by the skid/slide shoes:
- The skid/slide shoes should be adjusted so the scraper is 3 mm above (and parallel) to the ground.
- When dealing with gravel or loose surfaces, the skids should be farther down so your snowblower won’t pick up any of the rocks.
- Check the skid/slide shoes for wear and replace them when necessary.
- Beware of Debris
- Many people start clearing snow without thinking what may be laying beneath those inches of white stuff – like that newspaper you forgot about at the end of your driveway. When you hit debris instead of snow, you may soon need to replace your auger or belt.
- Check for rocks, newspapers and other items that could damage your snowblower.
- NEVER try to remove stuck objects while the engine is running. Instead, turn off the snowblower, wait several seconds for everything to stop, and then remove the object. If the object has damaged a shield or safety device, repair or replace it before using the snowblower again.