November 1, 2014

How to store a snowblower

How to store a snowblower.
How to store a snowblower.

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.

Symptoms for gas snowblowers

Choose a symptom to see related snowblower repairs.

Main causes: dirty carburetor, clogged fuel filter, dirty spark plug, incorrect valve lash, leaky engine gaskets
Main causes: dirty carburetor, stale fuel
Main causes: loose drive clutch cable, damaged drive clutch cable, worn friction disc, scraper blade scraping the ground, engine problems
Main causes: punctured tire, damaged rim
Main causes: broken shear pins, worn or loose auger drive belt, auger drive cable failure, damaged auger, bad gear case
Main causes: stale gas, clogged carburetor, clogged or broken fuel line, dirty spark plug, bad rewind starter, incorrect valve lash
Main causes: clogged chute, snow build-up in auger housing, broken auger shear pins, auger drive belt needs adjustment, auger cable problems
Things to do: replace the spark plug, change the oil, rebuild the carburetor, adjust valve lash, adjust or replace the belts
Main causes: clogged chute, damaged auger blades, broken shear pins, worn auger belt, damaged gear case, engine problems

Repair guides for gas snowblowers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your snowblower.

How to replace a snowblower fuel filter

Replace the fuel filter on your snowblower if it's clogged or damaged.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
How to adjust snowblower skid shoes

To prevent snowblower auger and shave plate damage, adjust the skid shoes regularly to keep the shave plate ¼-inch high. It's an easy adjustment that you can handle yourself.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
How to rebuild a snowblower carburetor

Rebuild the carburetor on your snowblower if the engine isn't getting fuel.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less

Articles and videos for gas snowblowers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your snowblower.

December 12, 2022

How to adjust the snowblower auger control

How to adjust the snowblower auger control

This video shows how to adjust a snowblower's auger control.

December 1, 2022

How to position drift cutters on a snowblower

How to position drift cutters on a snowblower

Learn how to set up and use drift cutters on your snowblower or snow thrower.

November 17, 2022

What are the major parts of a snowblower?

What are the major parts of a snowblower?

Learn about major functional parts of your snowblower and when to replace them.