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How to Prepare Your Snow Blower for Winter Use

If you try to start your snow blower after it’s been sitting for a while, it might not start. Be ready and able to take on winter: Before the first snowfall hits, service your snow blower to help ensure it starts and operates properly.

The following maintenance tips to prepare your snow blower for winter may help extend the life of your equipment and help make sure your snow blower can handle all the season throws its way. Depending on your model, the tips listed below for getting your snow blower ready for winter may vary slightly. Always be sure to check your operator’s manual for detailed instructions.

Snow Blower Instructions for the First Start of the Season

  • Safety first . Before performing any maintenance or inspecting the machine, disengage all control levers and stop the engine. Wait until the auger/impeller comes to a complete stop. Remove the spark plug boot and ground it against the engine to help prevent unintended starting. Never crank the engine with the spark plug removed.
  • Thoroughly inspect the unit. Visually inspect the machine for any damage or loose bolts and screws. Replace if necessary. Also check the fuel line, tank, cap and fittings for cracks or leaks. If you need to find or identify compatible replacement parts, visit Troy-Bilt’s online Service and Parts resource page and Parts Finder tool.
  • Inspect skid shoes and shave plate. Check your snow blower skid shoes and shave plate for excessive wear. Your skid shoes raise your auger housing off the ground to help prevent damage. Adjust them by pushing a piece of cardboard underneath the back shave plate and loosening the hardware. Then, drop the skid shoes on the ground, retighten the hardware and pull the cardboard out from underneath the unit. If skid shoe replacement is needed, consult your operator’s manual for replacement instructions.
  • Check belts and other controls. Inspect the snow blower’s belts to make sure they’re not frayed or worn, and replace if necessary.
  • Keep control levers in check. Check or test the operator control levers, such as the power steering trigger, chute and speed selector, to make sure they are functioning properly.
  • Stock up on shear pins. You’ll want to make sure you have a good supply of shear pins on hand for use throughout the season. The pins connect your auger to the auger shaft and are designed to break in order to help protect your auger gears from damage. Visit Troy-Bilt’s Service and Parts page to find replacement parts for your Troy-Bilt® snow blower.
  • Ensure visibility of safety labels. Maintain or replace safety and instruction labels as necessary. Refer to your operator’s manual for snow blower safety training, if applicable.
  • Check oil levels. When checking the oil level, top off or change if needed, then add fresh fuel if needed. Dispose of used gas and oil according to local disposal laws and regulations.
  • Check spark plug. Finally, check the spark plug and install a new one if necessary. Reconnect it to the boot, prep your engine and start up your machine to make sure it runs without any issues.

By taking a little time to inspect your snow blower now and perform a few basic maintenance tasks, you won’t be left out in the cold when the first snowfall arrives.