By now it’s safe to say that the nasty winter weather is behind us. The grass has turned green as far as the eye can see, the trees are in full bloom, and the summer weather is right around the corner. With so much going on around the yard and the household it can be easy to overlook the proactive maintenance that your winter tools require to keep them operating at top functionality.
Particularly, if you haven’t already you should pay attention to the way you store your snow blower over the summer months. Snow blowers are expensive machines and we really rely on them when the winter comes around to keep our everyday lives going – cleaning our driveways and sidewalks just so we can get out and about for the day is a must.
Make sure to put a little effort in now so that your snow blower is ready to go when the time comes to take if for a spin next winter. Otherwise you’ll be left without one and facing a big expense at the next snow storm.
First and foremost, you want to make sure that you’re storing your snow blower without any gasoline in the tank. Hopefully you’ve been adding stabilizer to your gasoline mix all along, and if you haven’t been you should consider doing so in the future. It will help with the life of your snow blower’s engine and it will just generally make things run more smoothly.
You want to make sure to store the snow blower without gas in the tank for a few reasons. The first is that the fumes and vapors can corrode the engine components, leading to more trouble down the road. The second reason is that as the weather goes from temperature swings, particularly during times of the year where the nights are cool and the days are hot, it is likely that condensation will form inside your snow blower’s engine. As this condensation mixes with the gas it will become more difficult to combust, meaning you’ll have a harder time getting the engine started when you go to use it next winter.
The easiest way to make sure that there is no as in the engine is to run it until it sputters out. This way you can know for sure that there is nothing in the system. If you still have a full tank of gas it makes sense to siphon out as much as possible, then to go through this procedure. Otherwise you’ll be running the engine all day. Plus you can use that gas that you remove for other equipment, like lawn mowers and weed whackers. Once you’ve drained the gas you’ll want to unplug the spark plug to keep the electrical circuit isolated and further prevent corrosion.
While you’re at it, it makes sense to give your snow blower a quick look over and fix any problems now before they come back to bite you when you need it. Take a look at the shear pins in the auger. Are they all in tact? If not, replace them. They are fairly cheap, and you’ll all of a sudden realize why it was so hard to move snow with your snow blower this winter. Take a look at the tire pressure, and fill the tires up if they are low. Inspect the interior components for rust or other issues that may need to be addressed, as now is the perfect time to take care of them.
Once everything is squared away, make sure that you cover your snow blower for the storage period. A tarp will certainly do the trick, but many people opt for specialized form-fitting covers, which are great as well. If you can keep the snow blower in a shed, the garage, or in the basement that is even better as it will protect it more so from the weather.
If you’ve taken all these steps then there’s a pretty good chance your trusty snow blower will be up for the battle when winter rolls around next year. You’ll be happy you took the time to put it away properly when your snow blower starts right up for the first snow fall.