How Do I Prepare My Snow Blower for Storage?

As winter comes to a close, it's time to start thinking about end-of-season maintenance and storage for your snow blower. Though it may seem tempting to just set it aside, failure to properly maintain and store your equipment can cause engine failure and starting issues next season.

Follow these simple tips to prepare your snow blower for storage. But before you get started, remember to always reference the off-season storage section of your operator's manual for specific directions on your model.

Maintenance

  1. Check on Replacement Parts: Look for wear on your equipment and refer to your operator's manual maintenance and adjustments section to determine which parts should be checked for wear and replacement. Shave plates and skid shoes are subject to wear and damage and it's recommended to replace the spark plug at the end of the season, especially if you did not replace it before winter. It's best to replace any worn parts now, so your equipment is ready when the first snow falls next season.
  2. Remove or Stabilize Fuel: If you plan to remove the fuel left in your snow blower, make sure you carefully follow the directions in your operator's manual ' do not tip your machine to pour out fuel - and use a siphon pump. If you do not have a siphon pump, run the engine until the fuel tank is completely empty and stops due to lack of fuel. If you do not plan on removing fuel, use a fuel stabilizer to store gas in your engine during the off-season. Fuel stabilizer absorbs moisture to prevent gas from breaking down and clogging your tank.
  3. Tighten Loose Bolts and Parts: During the season, vibrations from the snow blower can cause bolts, shear pins and skid shoes to loosen. Make sure all parts are tightened so your machine is ready to perform next winter.
  4. Clean and Lubricate: Wipe down the outside of your snow blower with a warm, wet cloth to remove any salt stains. If left untreated during the off-season, salt can corrode the metal on your machine. Check your owner's manual for instructions on how to lubricate bolts and parts that may be worn or at risk of rusting in storage.

Two-Stage and Three-Stage Models

  • Wheels: Remove both wheels to clean and lubricate the axle before reinstalling wheels.
  • Auger Shaft: Remove the shear pins from the auger shafts. Spray lubricants inside the shafts and around the spacers and the flange bearings/bushings found at either end of the shafts.
  • Gear Shaft: Allow the engine to run until it is out of fuel. Pivot the snow blower forward so it rests on the auger housing. Remove the frame cover from the underside of the snow blower by removing the self-tapping screws. Apply a light coating to the hex shaft. Avoid getting any oil on the aluminum driver plate to the rubber friction wheel as it can hinder the drive system.

Single-Stage Models

  • Lubricate the pivot pints on the auger control lever and the extension spring at the end of the control cable with a light oil.

Storage

  1. Pick the Right Spot: To keep your snow blower in prime condition, store indoors in a dry, clean area. It's important to keep the unit in the operating position, with both wheels and the auger housing on the ground when storing the unit. Do not store the unit outdoors, as exposure to rain and sun can cause damage that will affect its performance.
  2. Cover It Up: Snow blower covers can help keep dirt and dust from collecting in the engine or scratching paint. These covers also prevent moisture buildup from humidity, keeping your equipment clean and rust-free.