You probably all know how important the oil is in your snow blower. Therefore it is a must not to let the oil level drop below the recommended level. Ideally, you should get in the habit of checking the oil level before you use your snowblower.
Don’t worry if you haven’t changed the oil before, I take you through a snow blower oil change, step-by-step.
What Kind Of Oil Do Snowblowers Use?
What is the best kind of snowblower oil and can you use the same oil as you use in your car?
Most people will tell you that SAE 5W-30 is the best snow blower engine oil and I agree. However, I will add a side note: I recommend that you use the type of oil for a snowblower mentioned in your operator’s manual. This is because certain models (regardless of the manufacturer) may have different oil requirements.
If you have a two-stage snow blower it likely has a 4 stroke engine, in which case you can use the same oil as you put in your car.
Why Does Engine Oil Degrade?
Snow blower engine oil degrades simply because it comes into contact with air. You may hear it be said that the oil has oxidized or become degraded. This means that it has gone from a perfectly smooth liquid with a golden appearance to thick and dark sludge.
There may also be a build-up of soot particles caused by fuel combustion referred to as contamination. When either or both contamination or oxidation occurs, the oil no longer has its protective and lubricating properties – in simple terms, it can’t do its job and you may make it harder getting your snow blower started, or ongoing performance issues such as your snow blower only running with full choke on.
When To Change Snow Blower Engine Oil
If you are wondering how often the oil needs changing on a snowblower? Good news, not too often!
I advise that you follow the oil change intervals recommended in the snowblower’s engine manual. Usually, with a new snow blower, changing the oil is required after the first few hours of use. Luckily, you don’t have to drain your snowblower gas tank as frequently as the fuel doesn’t cycle around the engine more than once.
The initial oil change is extremely important. All brand new engines used for outdoor power equipment have metal particles remaining from the manufacturing that will contaminate the oil on first use.
After the initial oil change, I always make sure mine is completely drained and fresh oil put in at the end of each season. In other words, before putting my snowblower into summer storage. Whilst old oil won’t cause your engine to stall or backfire, dirty oil adds extra strain on the engine causes excess wear and tear.
Other than that, check the oil levels and signs of oxidation and contamination after every few uses. This can easily be done using the dipstick. The oil should look smooth and clear, black oil will be ruining your engine.
How To Change The Oil In A Snowblower: 8 Easy Steps
Now we get to the most important part, how to change the oil in a snow blower. Although there might be some small differences between a Toro snow blower oil change and a craftsman snowblower oil change, overall, the process is quite similar.
Always check your snowblowers owner’s manual for any detailed instructions specific to your model of the snowblower.
There are no shortcuts!
Step 1. Protective Clothing
Wear suitable working clothes and gloves. You may come into contact with used dirty oil and other chemicals, although not dangerous it is not the best for your skin.
Step 2. Run The Engine
Take the snowblower outside and let the snowblower engine run for a few minutes. This warms the oil making draining faster and easier.
Step 3. Take It To A Ventilated Area & Let It Cool
After turning off the snowblower engine, leave it on an even surface in a well-ventilated area. Leave until the engine has cooled off. Be patient because you might burn yourself on engine components, otherwise.
Step 4. Remove The Spark Plug
Always remove the spark plug wire and put all switches in the OFF position, before doing any work on your snowblower. By doing this you prevent any accidental starting.
Step 5. Remove The Oil Drain Plug & Drain The Oil
Although this step achieves the same results with all models, refer to your manual if you require more detailed instructions. But, usually, the drain plug is located either in the lower section or on the side of the machine
Place your oil drain pan underneath the drain plug area to catch the old oil. Now remove the oil dipstick and then the oil drain plug.
When the oil slows carefully tilt the snowblower but, do so very gently because you don’t want the oil coming straight at you.
Step 6. Fill With New Oil
Once the oil stops draining replace the oil plug and wipe the dipstick clean of old oil and put it back in its place. You can now add fresh oil.
Locate the oil fill port or oil fill tube and place a clean funnel in it. Start pouring in the clean oil according to the amount required for your machine.
Step 7. Remove The Dipstick & Check for Leaks
Take the dipstick out once again and check that you have reached the correct oil level. Wipe around the oil system area and check for leaks.
Step 8. Power On & Restart The Engine
Put the spark plug back in its place. You have now completed changing snow blower oil.
Going back outside, start the snowblower again and leave it running for several minutes. During this time, look for any oil leaks, being careful not to touch any hot parts.
If you’re having issues getting up and running again, check out my troubleshooting guide for snow blowers that won’t start as it’s probably your carburetor that needs cleaning.
Dispose Of Oil Responsibly
After confirming the snowblower runs smoothly, turn it Off and place into safe storage.
Always dispose of engine oil responsibly! Find out which places take degraded oil for recycling near you. Some gas stations will also accept oil from snow blower engines, but most local councils will also have a used oil deposit location.
Never dispose of oil yourself because it is a fire hazard and very dangerous for the environment.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
I hope that you have found my DIY steps for changing oil helpful. Below I will recap on some points and answer some commonly asked questions.
How often should you change the oil in your snow blower?
Snow blowers shouldn’t need an oil change during the season, but I recommend that you always drain out the old oil remaining at the end of the season. Always use the dipstick to check oil before use, not only the oil level but to check if changing the oil is required.
Is there an oil filter on a snowblower?
Most snowblowers don’t have oil filters because they are designed under the assumption that they won’t be used in dusty conditions. Unfortunately, this can cause water condensation which is a common issue with snowblowers.
How much oil does a snowblower take?
How much oil a snowblower needs depends on the type of model and engine cylinder size. Most only need 20 oz. but certain heavy-duty engines might require double that. Find the right amount in the manual.
Oil changes on a snowblower should always be part of your regular maintenance routine. Although the exact oil type, amount of oil, and oil system parts may differ slightly between the different brands, the general guidelines are the same.
Alway take the necessary safety precautions and carefully follow the manual instructions when changing oil.