Give the machine a once over to identify any loose or broken parts. Addressing problems now will be much easier than next winter, when on the day of the first storm, you attempt to service the machine.
If you are considering selling your snowblower and upgrading to a new machine, the best time to do so are the weeks leading to the first snow fall. Getting the machine cleaned up and serviced now means you’ll be able to quickly list the old machine at the first sign of snow next season. Additionally, most power equipment stores have the best pricing on new snowblowers in the fall, so quickly selling the old machine means you’ll buy the new one at the best price!
What should be completed for the season ending “tune-down”? Work on outdoor power equipment always starts with the owner’s manual to identify and document specific steps related to your machine. The manual will provide safety steps and part numbers so can easily order replacement parts! However, the following steps can be completed on most equipment.
- Fuel. Yes, we said it again… gasoline has a shelf life and old gas can harm your engine. You wouldn’t drink milk that’s sat around for a couple weeks – so remove any gas and run the engine dry. Grab a can of “ethanol free” fuel from the power equipment store and run that through until it reaches the carburetor and turn it off.
- Change the oil. It’s quick, easy, and not freezing cold out. Grab a bottle of 5W30 oil and make the change.
- What condition are the skid shoes and scraper blade in? Replace or adjust if needed.
- If chipped paint or rust are a problem, sand and paint to prevent further damage.
- Assess condition of the belts, cables, auger, chute, wheels, and controls. What’s missing, worn, or needs further attention?
- Get a heavy duty cover and store the machine indoors if possible. If storing outside, get it off the ground and sealed up – you don't want flat spots on the tires. Plus, you don’t want to provide a home to this guy!
Many will ask: “Tune-down for what?” The short answer is that the sooner you identify and fix problems with the snowblower, the longer it will last.