It doesn't take long to clean up your snowblower before storing it when winter ends, and it's time well spent. End-of-winter snowblower maintenance prevents rust and makes it easier to get the machine ready when winter returns. Allow about an hour for a gas snowblower, and about 30 minutes for an electric one.
For help diagnosing a problem with your snowblower and step-by-step repair guides, see our snowblower repair help.
Step 1: Remove or stabilize the gas
Either remove the gas or treat it to prevent gum deposits from forming in the tank, fuel lines, filter and carburetor during storage.
To remove the gasoline, run the engine until the tank is empty and the engine stops. If necessary, you can drain much of the gasoline into an approved fuel container before running the engine to completely empty the fuel. Drain the fuel and run the engine outdoors in a well-ventilated area. Properly dispose of all fuel removed from the snowblower.
If you choose not to remove the fuel from the tank and engine, add fuel stabilizer to the fuel left in the tank. If the tank is almost empty, add stabilizer to fresh fuel in a separate approved fuel container and then add the fuel/stabilizer mixture to the tank and run the engine for about 10 minutes to allow the mixture to reach the carburetor.
Tip: For best engine performance, change the engine oil. In addition, lubricate the piston and cylinder by removing the spark plug and pouring a teaspoon of clean engine oil into the spark plug hole. Cover the spark plug hole with a clean shop towel and pull the starter several times to rotate the engine and distribute the oil in the cylinder.
Step 2: Clean the snowblower
Wash off salt, dirt and other debris from the auger blades, frame and tires to prevent corrosion and dry all metal areas with a clean rag. A rust and corrosion spray can be used to coat metal surfaces that have started to wear or show signs of bare metal.
Step 3: Lubricate the moving parts
Lubricate the drive gear shaft, wheel axles, chute control and auger shaft according to the guidelines in your owner’s manual.
Step 4: Tighten fasteners
Check and tighten all the nuts and the bolts on the auger and chute area. Check and secure all the cables and cable connections.
Step 5: Repair
Repair any rusted or damaged spots on painted surfaces; lightly sand the damaged area before covering with touch-up paint.
Check all moving parts and replace any damaged components. Watch our videos on how to replace worn skid shoes, an auger and drive belt and a shave plate.
Step 6: Cover and store
Cover the snowblower with a heavy tarp or snowblower cover.
If possible, store the snowblower in a dry garage or shed. If you must store it outdoors, put it on blocks to keep it off the ground, and keep it well-covered.