In order to be ready and able to take on winter, follow these snow blower preparation and maintenance tips to help extend the life of your equipment and ensure your snow blower can handle all the season throws its way.
|After 1st 5 Hours of Use
|After Each Use (or Every 5 Hours)
|After Every Season or 25 Hours
|After Every Season or 50 Hours
|After every season or 100 Hours
|Change the Engine Oil
|Check the Engine Oil
|Clean the Exhaust Area
|Clean the Spark Plug
|Lubricate the Gear Shaft
|Service the Spark Plug
- Safety first. Before cleaning, repairing or inspecting the machine, disengage all control levers and stop the engine. Wait until the auger/impeller comes to a complete stop. Disconnect the spark plug ignition wire and ground it against the engine to prevent unintended starting. Never crank the engine with the spark plug removed.
- Thoroughly inspect the unit. Check bolts and screws for proper tightness at frequent intervals to keep the machine in safe working condition. Also, visually inspect the machine for any damage, and check the fuel line, tank, cap and fittings frequently for cracks or leaks. Replace, if necessary. And, if you need to find or identify compatible replacement parts, visit Troy-Bilt’s online Service and Parts resource page and Parts Finder.
- Practice proper engine health. Do not change the engine governor setting or overspeed the engine, as the governor controls the maximum safe operating speed of the engine.
- Pay attention to key parts. Snow blower shave plates and skid shoes are subject to wear and damage. For your safety/protection, frequently check all components and replace with original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) parts only. Use of snow blower replacement parts that do not meet the OEM’s specifications may lead to improper performance and compromise safety. You also 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 protect your auger gears from more significant damage. Visit Troy-Bilt’s Service and Parts page to find replacement parts for your Troy-Bilt® snow blower.
- Keep control levers in check. Check control levers periodically to verify they engage and disengage properly, and adjust if necessary.
- Ensure visibility of safety labels. Maintain or replace safety and instruction labels, as necessary. Refer to your user manual for snow blower safety training if applicable.
- Educate yourself. Become familiar with and practice proper disposal laws and regulations for gas, oil, etc., to protect the environment.
And when the winter is over, don’t forget to perform one final end-of-season inspection to ensure you’re ready for the next. A couple of steps to follow:
- For single-stage snow blower units: Carefully tilt the snow blower back so it rests on the handle, and check the shave plate and auger rubber paddles for damage and wear. Never allow the rubber paddles to wear to the point that the metal portion of the auger itself can come in contact with the pavement. Remove the belt cover on the side of the snow blower and check for wear, cracks or fraying.
- For two-stage and three-stage snow blower units: Check the shave plate and skid shoes for wear, as both are designed to protect the auger housing from damage. You’ll want to replace before the wear is too severe, as that will mean the housing is no longer protected and could lead to a major repair. Drain any fuel left in the tank using a siphon pump, or run your engine until the fuel tank is empty and it stops due to lack of fuel. Then remove the lower frame cover from the underside of the unit, check the gear shaft and apply a light coating of oil to the hex shaft. Put the lower frame cover back in place, then with the help of another person, pivot the snow blower so it rests on the wheels and skid shoes. Remove the belt cover on the front of the engine and inspect the belt(s) for wear, cracks and fraying. If your belts are worn, then you will need to replace them.
- For all unit types: If your unit has a 4-cycle engine, change the engine’s oil and be sure to dispose of the drained oil in an environmentally friendly manner. Then, remove the spark plug and inspect it closely before reinstalling it, cleaning with a wire brush if necessary. Clean debris from around the engine and muffler. Finally, add fuel stabilizer to your fuel. Then, fill your unit’s tank. This is better than storing it empty, as an empty fuel system exposes bare metal parts within it to air and moisture, and can lead to rust.
If any of the above items need to be replaced, order them immediately so you’re able to repair the unit prior to next season. When preparing for the colder months ahead, following these simple snow blower maintenance steps each season will keep your equipment ready and there for you when you need it most.