Snow blowers are seasonal goods that will have to be stored away during the spring, autumn and summer months. As they say, you should make hay while the sun shines.
For this reason it is important to get your snow blower ready for winter. Any repair work that needs to be done should be done during summer so that by the time winter rolls around you are all set.
For the electric snow throwers you may not need to do much. However for single stage and two stage types you normally need to do some routine maintenance to get them ready for work.
Check its Components
Regardless of which type of blower you have the first thing to pay attention to is to check any moveable parts on your piece of equipment for wear and damage. If there is need you can replace the components that are worn or damaged.
Checks should be made on the scrapper, impeller and belts. On the belts ensure that there are no cracks, burns or shredding. Depending on the type of equipment you have, check the tyres for damage and sufficient air pressure. If you use chains you should look for signs of wear on them and also on the fasteners.
You should also check all bolts and nuts to ensure that they are well tightened. Some controls on the equipment may need to be adjusted. Ensure that all of the controls work as they are supposed to. Depending on the model you may need to lubricate some parts with the correct lubricant as stated in your user manual.
If you own a fuel powered machine you should proceed to check the fuel tank. Unleaded fuel left in the tank has a short lifespan. Petrol degrades with age. Normally you can store your petrol in a sealed container for up to 1 year. You should also ensure that it is kept in a cool place away from sunlight. If the fuel is exposed to the atmosphere some volatiles such as butane will evaporate.
This will make the engine difficult to start. Petrol oxidises in a warm environment resulting in the formation of sludge. This causes the petrol to darken and give off a peculiar smell. If the petrol is left in the snow blower tank for periods longer than four weeks then deposition of carbon on the spark plugs can cause the engine not to start. Leaving the petrol in the tank for several months can result in damage of the engine. Any fuel left in the tank from the previous season should be removed.
Once you have cleared any fuel left from the previous season you should change the oil in your equipment. Use the correct weight of oil and type as stipulated in your user manual. Pour some fuel sufficient enough to test your snow blower in the tank. Keep in mind that you do not wish to keep any fuel in the tank. Start the equipment. If you are fortunate the equipment will run.
Is the Ignition Working?
If your fuel powered snow thrower fails to run you should first check the spark plugs. Unscrew the spark plug and with the spark plug wire connected use something metallic such as a screwdriver to test the spark. If it fails to spark it requires replacement. If there is nothing wrong with the spark plug the problem could be with the air filter.
If it happens to be clogged and dirty replace it. If the air-filter looks clean then you will need to clean out the carburettor. If you have the capability to do this task disassemble the carburettor carefully and clean it with carburettor cleaner. Use lint free cloth for this purpose. Unclog the nozzles and jet inlets with aerosol or compressed air. Reassemble the carburettor and again start the machine. If all your efforts prove ineffective, it is time to have your machine checked by a professional.
If you own an electric blower check the power cable for damage. Damaged power cables are very dangerous as they can cause electrical shocks in the wet snow. If your cable has a retractor, check for functionality. You can repair damages to insulation with electrical tape. If there are any breaks in the wire you are better off replacing the entire cable.
Make sure that you replace the components of your snow blower with manufacturer certified parts for your model. Using different parts from those recommended may cause your machine to operate beneath its capacity or cause working problems. It can also cause safety risks.
Once you are sure your machine is running you will need to keep performing some regular checks as stated in the manual. Remember it is better to keep some spare parts for your equipment so that some unexpected breakdowns do not leave you exposed. Hopefully all your efforts will pay off and you will have your snow blower running when you need it.