Knowing how to store a snow blower for the summer season is essential. Follow my step-by-step guide and your snow blower will be purring when winter returns.
Having a summer season storage routine for your gas-powered snowblower is just as important as doing the general maintenance, so let’s get started.
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Snow Blower Storage: Tips From A Pro
To be clear, knowing how to store a snowblower for the summer (or ‘Summarize a snowblower’), is just one side of the coin. You will also need to know how to winterize a snowblower before the first snowfall arrives. So, be sure to keep a beady eye on those forecasts as winter approaches once again.
However, I won’t get into that now, let’s just cover the summer months. This is how I store my snow blower and what I tell anyone who will listen – so far, no machine performance complaints!
It doesn’t matter whether your machine is a two-stage snow blower or three stage/commercial blower, the routine will be mostly the same whether you have a single stage vs two stage snowblower or even bigger model.
1. Drain The Fuel Tank
People can’t seem to agree on whether you should store a snowblower with or without gas in the tank in the off-season. In my opinion, the most important thing you need to do for storage is to drain your tank of gasoline. I do, even though I use a fuel stabilizer.
By draining your tank you will avoid any gum deposits or water building up in the engine. Most people do not realize that gasoline has an extremely short shelf life. Old stale fuel will clog up a carburetor in no time, so you must avoid using it at all costs. It makes your snow blower much easier to start next winter when it has fresh fuel in it.
You can drain the fuel tank in various ways, by running it dry (the easiest way), by draining it via the fuel lines or using a siphon. After it is fully drained run the engine until all remaining gasoline has burnt off and it stops. Remember always store and dispose of gasoline safely.
However, should you decide to leave fuel in your snow thrower tank during storage, I would recommend that you add a fuel stabilizer. If the tank is low add some fresh fuel with a fuel stabilizer already added and run the engine for about 10 mins. Be sure to follow all instructions on the fuel stabilizer container to get the correct amount.
As I have said, this is open to debate, but at the end of the day, the decision is yours.
2. Change The Engine Oil
Engine oil needs to be changed before storage because old oil no longer has the rust and contaminant fighting properties that fresh oil does. Again, please ensure you dispose of the oil correctly.
A fresh dose of oil prevents the build-up of unwanted elements and keeps it happy until the next winter. Always follow the manual guide for the recommended type of oil and oil-to-fuel ratio. If you have a smaller single stage 2 stroke snowblower ignore this step, yours will be a fuel/oil mix.
3. Check For Worn Parts
Next comes what I like to call, the quality check. Look over all the parts of your snow blower and check for any signs of wear and tear or damage.
I want you to pay special attention to friction discs, belts, and the spark plug, personally, I replace my spark plug every season. Check the auger and impellers for any wear or damage and while you’re at it check all nuts, bolts and screws are tight.
Although it may seem like a bit of a chore these checks will ensure hassle-free snow removal next season.
4. Lubricate Moving Parts
One of the most common maintenance mistakes I see is not enough lubrication. This can lead to rust and by the time you take your snowblower out of storage you could have a serious problem.
Before going into storage, you need to grease all the moving parts, check your operator’s manual for the lubrication points on your model.
5. Protect The Engine
Small engines, as in snowblowers, need to be protected from rust, both inside and out. Give the engine a deep cleaning and then seal it.
You seal an engine by removing the spark plug and adding a very small amount of fogging oil to the combustion chamber. Then replace the spark plug back and pull the starter cord 2-3 times until you feel it tense up. Your engine is now sealed. Finally, apply a rust preventative on the outside.
6. Clean & Protect The Exterior
When cleaning the exterior, use a simple mild soap and water mixture to get rid of any salt stains. While you’re doing this, I want you to also check for any chips on the paint surfaces and treat them. By doing this now you will prevent rust from forming or spreading.
Always remember to properly dry your snowblower. It may be built to work in wet conditions but after every use, and especially in storage, it needs to be dry.
7. Do A Final Maintenance Check
Maybe I’ve worked with snow blowers too long but I mean it when I say that each model has its own needs. I can give you tons of tips and advice but your best source of information on the necessary maintenance tasks can be found in the user manual.
8. Snow Blower Storage Options
Storing a snow blower in a garage is the best storage solution, as these tend to be a little warmer than the shed. That doesn’t mean you can’t store your machine in a dedicated snow blower shed, but you will need to take extra precautions.
The most important characteristic of a snowblower storage unit is that it protects from the elements and isn’t moist and humid. It is always best to protect it with a snow blower cover or tarpaulin and use blocks to keep it off of the ground if it is in a storage shed or outside.
Well, now you have enough knowledge to keep your snow blower safe and sound over the summer months to ensure a quick start-up when the snow begins to fall again.
Frequently Asked Questions (People Also Ask)
Following these steps will ensure that your machine will fire up with no problems and be ready when winter returns. The final pieces of information I want to leave you with are based on the care tips my clients ask me about most often.
How long can I leave gas in my snowblower?
I often get asked how long can I leave gas in my snowblower, my answer, not very long without using a fuel stabilizer. Gasoline that contains ethanol has an extremely short shelf life of1-3 months. If old and stale gas is used it will more than likely clog the carburetor.
Do I need to change snowblower oil every year?
You need to change your snowblower oil at the end of every season, so yes every year. If you leave your oil any longer you may find you have problems with starting it.
Can I store a snow blower outside?
You can store a snowblower outside, but, you will need to take extra precautions. If you really have no other option, make sure it is stored well off the ground and inside a waterproof, weatherproof snow blower cover or tarpaulin.