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How to Properly Store Your Snow Blower

Snow season is over, and springtime is here. You may want to forget about the hard work of moving snow but before you toss the hot cocoa for a blooming cocktail, first learn how to store your snow blower properly. Because your snowblower served you well, it’s best to learn what to do before you ditch it. This way, the unit will start the next time a snowstorm hits.

This article takes you through the important steps before storing your snowblower over the summer. We’ll also take you through specific manufacturer recommendations for specific brands.

Why Is It Important to Prepare Your Snowblower for Storage Over Summer?

How to Properly Store Your Snow Blower

Improper off-season snow thrower storage can ruin your machine and lead to costly repairs. This is because the engine is not constantly running, leading to many problems.

The ethanol in the gas pulls water molecules that settle at the bottom of the gas tank. So, when you go to start your snowblower, all you’ll be doing is sucking up water into the engine, and it won’t start.

Another problem with water is that it creates rust. The rust flakes will clog the filter and may also be drawn into the fuel pump, meaning you’ll have to service the engine once you start using the snowblower.

Snowblower Storage – Best Practices

There are different ways how to store your snow blower properly. Ultimately, you want it to be in good condition and ready to fire up once the snow starts to come in. Some people drain the gas while others add fuel stabilizer. Both methods are suitable, and we’ll show how to perform these snowblower storage practices.

But first,

Wash Your Unit’s Exterior

Take your snowblower out on the driveway on a warm day, preferably in the 40s, and hose it down. This will remove dirt and road salt and prevent it from causing corrosion and damage to the auger, impeller, and auger box. These are the parts that tend to collect caked snow.

Tip No 1: After washing your snowblower, wipe it down or use a leaf blower to dry it.

Do Preventative Maintenance on Your Snow Blower

You’ve probably seen on the manufacturer’s guide to always perform preventative maintenance before putting your snow thrower away for the summer. It’s a good habit to ensure your most important winter accessory stays in good shape.

Here are some more measures to take after washing your snowblower.

  • Cover the auger housing with a rust preventative, preferably oil or silicone, if you store it in an unventilated area.
  • Check the unit’s belts and replace them if needed.
  • Re-tighten cables and firm up any loose bolts and nuts.
  • Inspect the engine’s pull cord to check for fraying and replace it if necessary.
  • Inspect the shear pins and perhaps swap them out.
  • Adjust the skid shoes if the auger box is touching the ground. The skid shoes should be ground level. In addition, look for a piece of corrugated cardboard and place it under the scraper.
  • Loosen the knobs of the folding handles and rotate the upper handle back
  • You can also wax your snowblower with quick wax and do paint touch ups if necessary in the auger, chute bay, and other chipped or rusted surfaces.

Check the Battery

If your unit is battery-powered, check to see if the manufacturer recommends removing it before storage. Some models request that you remove the battery as it could damage the blower electrics. This damage could cost you a new wiring harness or a new battery.

Check the Spark Plug

Remove the spark plug and look for signs of rust or residue. Clean it with a wire brush if possible. If it’s damaged, it’s better to replace it now in the off-season instead of waiting when the snow hits.

In addition, apply some engine oil through the spark plug hole to lubricate the spark plug cavity. Pull the starter cord twice to distribute the oil, then reinstall the spark plug.

Change the Oil

You want to keep the engine lubricated in storage. Hence, now is a good time to remove the oil, which is probably black, and replace it with new oil.

To do this, run your snow blower to warm the engine oil. Then, remove the oil reservoir plug and place an oil collection container under the drain pipe. Carefully remove the oil drain plug without damaging the oil drain tube and empty all the oil.

You can also use an oil extractor to pump the oil out of the oil reservoir. After you have drained the oil, add the recommended engine oil and check the level using the dipstick.

Lubricate Your Snow Blower

Move around your snow thrower identifying the moving parts and applying military grade/water resistant lubricant. Ensure that you lubricate your wheel axles too. Remove the wheels by unclipping the lock clips and opening up the bottom cover to expose the gears.

Lubricate the gears slowly, careful not to pour oil onto your drive pulley. Make sure to wipe any excess oil. Also, lightly grease the axles and the hex shaft, close the cover and clip the tires back.

Further Reading: Snow Blower Troubleshooting-How to Fix Common Problems

1/ Storing a Snowblower with Gas Using the Fuel Stabilizer Method

This is one of the best ways of storing a snowblower with gas.

Storing a Snowblower with Gas Using the Fuel Stabilizer Method

Gas left in your tank starts to oxidize after thirty days and gums up to form a black sticky substance. This sludge is useless to you and can end up clogging fuel lines and your carburetor, which is expensive to fix. What the stabilizer does is slow down the oxidation process from 30 days to up to 24 months.

When using a fuel stabilizer, you should check the instruction manuals on the package. How much quantity to use is based on your snowblower’s fuel capacity. Ideally, if you’re using Sta-Bil, use one ounce of the stabilizer for every 2.5 gallons of gas.

After adding the stabilizer, switch on your engine and let it run for a few minutes to ensure the stabilizer circulates to every part of the engine and carburetor.

Tip No 2: When you use a stabilizer, it’s always good to run the unit once a month and make sure it starts.

2/ Storing a Snowblower by Draining the Tank

If you want to be sure that nothing will get in the way of your snowblower starting, emptying the gas tank will give you peace of mind. There are several ways to empty all the gas in your snow blower properly.

But before you drain the fuel, put in some fuel treatment so that any fuel that remains in the tank or carburetor does not gum up.

How to Drain Gas from a Snowblower

a/ Let Your Engine Run

Switch on your snow blower and let your engine run for 10 to 15 minutes or until it stops running. This process burns most of the fuel in your tank. If you’re running the snowblower in the garage, ensure that the garage door is open to ventilate the fumes.

b/ Siphon the Fuel

If you have a nearly full tank, get a fuel transfer pump or a turkey baster to siphon most of the gas in your engine. After you are done, confirm there is no more fuel by running the engine until the machine stalls.

After draining the gas, all you’ll need to do is add fresh fuel when you bring out the snowblower in winter.

Storing a Snowblower Using Engineered Fuel

Engineered fuel has no ethanol in it. You can run it without having to treat it. Since it’s expensive, engineered fuel can come in handy only for storage purposes.

Run the previous gas until empty, put in the engineered fuel, and run the engine for a few seconds to circulate the fuel to the entire engine and carburetor.

Your unit is ready to store for summer since engineered fuel is stable for up to three years.

Is It Better to Drain Gas or Use A Stabilizer?

Both methods help to save your engine. You can drain the gas if you’re unsure about using a stabilizer. Nevertheless, you could drain the gas and still have some leftover fuel in the carburetor, and it may end up blocking several pin-sized passages. The fuel could gum up and prevent the engine from starting up.

There’s minimal risk when you use a fuel stabilizer because you’re leaving the engine unused for a couple of months. You will find that even though your machine starts every time after draining the fuel, moisture can collect and trigger corrosion in the cylinders, fuel lines, carburetor, and fuel lines.

Does A Snowblower Need to Be Covered?

keep the snowblower covered,

It’s a good idea to keep the snowblower covered, especially if you leave it outside. Nonetheless, after you’ve prepared your snowblower for summer storage, the next thing is to find a suitable location to store it. Some people keep their snowblower in the garage, others in a shed, and some in the backyard.

A designated location where you’re not going to bump into it or a place it’s not going to take up needed space in the garage. That’s why you’ll find some homeowners building a shed specifically for the snowblower. You can also store the machine in a storage unit rather than leave it outside.

How Do You Store A Craftsman Snowblower in the Summer?

When you’re ready to store a Craftsman snowblower in the summer, you can use either the fuel with a stabilizer or the dry method before storing the snow thrower.

How do you store an Ariens snowblower in the summer?

Ariens recommends using part #04730300 ethanol treatment according to the instructions on the container. Then, use low ethanol gasoline to fill the gas tank to about full, and run the snowblower for a few minutes. This will ensure the stabilized gas gets into the carburetor as well. After this, turn the valve to the off position if your snowblower is equipped with one.

Ariens also recommends tuning up the various parts of the snowblower, such as the spark plug, grease, and tire pressure fittings. In addition, change the oil and the filter with the manufacturer’s recommendation.

How Do You Drain the Gas from A Briggs And Stratton Snowblower?

The best method for draining gas from a Briggs and Stratton snowblower is by using a siphon pump. The top hose will go into the tank when using the pump, while the bottom hose will carry the fuel to the storage container.

It’s also possible to drain gas from a Briggs and Stratton snowblower by disconnecting the fuel line leading to the carburetor. Then, collect the fuel in a container until the tank empties. Run the engine until the unit stalls to ensure it’s completely drained.

How Do You Prepare a Toro Snowblower For Summer?

Toro recommends emptying the gas on your snowblower by running the engine dry. Again, it’s important to add fuel treatment before draining the gas. Again, start the engine and let the unit run. When the engine stops running, engage the choke and restart the snowblower. Keep restarting the snowblower until it won’t start. Then drain the last of the gas from the carburetor.

It’s also a good time to change the oil when it is still warm so that the old oil drains out. Then follow up with the steps outlined here, such as tightening the bolts and nuts and inspecting the parts for wear.

Left Gas in Snowblower Over Summer – What Do I Need to Do Before I Start It

If you did not use a fuel stabilizer to store the snowblower, the gas would have gone stale. It’s best to drain it by using a siphoning system or accessing the fuel line. Then, add some fresh gas before starting the unit.

Still, you can top it off with fresh gas and a stabilizer to condition the mix if the leftover gas is less than 1/3 of the fuel tank. Remember to dispose of the stale gas properly.

Most of the time, stale gas prevents the snowblower from starting. It’s likely from blocked fuel passageways or a clogged carburetor. A carburetor cleaner and pressurized air may remove the obstruction. If this doesn’t work, disassemble the carburetor and clean it. You can also take the unit to an engine service center or your local engine repair shop for the carburetor disassembling.

FAQs-How to Properly Store Your Snow Blower

1.     Is it OK to store a snowblower outside?

If you don’t have a garage to store your snow blower, you could store it outside. However, it shouldn’t be on the ground or in a wet area. Consider building a platform to place it and cover it with a tarp to protect it from the elements like rain and extreme temperatures. Water can damage the engine or carburetor, while the hot sun can damage plastic parts.

2.     Can I store snow blower in basement?

You can safely store your snowblower in the basement after draining the fuel. Storing it in the basement protects it from the elements that might cause corrosion and rust. However, if you experience flooding in your basement, it’s better not to risk it.

3.     Can you keep snow blower in shed?

By all means, store your snow blower in the shed. Keep it covered if it’s an open shed to safeguard it from elements. You can build a shed next to the house or buy a resin shed that’s easy to install and take apart.

4.     How long can you leave gas in a snowblower?

It is recommended that gas should only stay in your snow blower for not more than 30 days. Any longer and you’ll be dealing with a troublesome and expensive gunk issue as it would oxidize and leave carbon deposits in the engine.

5.     Should I drain oil from snowblower?

If you don’t have a 4-cycle engine, it’s recommended to drain the oil. The standard practice for 4-cycle engines is to change the oil before storage.

6.     How do I prepare my snowblower for winter after summer storage?

After keeping the snowblower in storage, you may need to prime the engine if it was in a cold place. To do this, pump a little fuel into the carburetor by pushing the rubber primer three to five times in a row. Then start the engine. It may take a few times to wake the engine after it’s been sitting for a while.

For snowblowers that have been sitting in storage with old gas, remember to change it and add a stabilizer to dissolve the sticky residue. The stabilizer will also prevent the new gas from breaking down.

Lastly, if you did not take the time to maintain and service your snowblower before storing it you’ll want to do it before using it. These include changing the oil and repairing or replacing worn parts.

7.     Do I need to change snowblower spark plug every year?

Changing the spark plug every season or after 100 hours of use is ideal. This roughly translates to every year for places that receive lots of snow and you have to work the snowblower every day.

8.     How do I use Sea Foam in my snowblower?

You can use Sea Foam fuel additive when preparing the snowblower for storage as a fuel conditioner. Use 1-part Sea Foam to 3 parts gas in a tank with around 10 ounces of gas. Then, run the engine for a couple of minutes to pull the Sea Foam into the chamber and carburetor circuits.

How to Properly Store Your Snow Blower- In Conclusion

In summary, your snow blower is probably one of the best investments for winter. For this reason, it’s best to store it properly by following the above snowblower storage practices. Hence, choose the storage method that works for you regarding emptying or stabilizing the gas. In addition, store it in a cool, dry place, and cover it if necessary. Doing this will preserve it so it can serve you well.