October 01, 2019

How to tune up a snowblower video

How to tune up a snowblower video.
How to tune up a snowblower video.

Get your snowblower ready for winter by giving it a tune-up. We show you how to do everything from replacing the fuel filter and spark plug to changing the oil and gas, checking the snowblower tires, lubricating key parts such as the auger shaft and auger control cable, greasing the axle, checking the skid shoes and adjusting the drive control.

Check out our DIY snowblower repair guides for step-by-step instructions for many snowblower repairs.

Tools, parts and supplies needed

Fuel stabilizer

Fresh fuel

Fuel filter

Fuel line

Spark plug

Sno-Jet snowblower spray

Silicone lubricant

Socket wrench

Multi-purpose automotive grease

Air pressure gauge

Shop rag

Drain old fuel from the snowblower

Hi, my name is Wayne from Sears PartsDirect. Today, we're going to talk about getting your snowblower ready for that first big snowstorm of the year—you know it’s coming. 

Before you start, park your snowblower on a level surface, remove the key and disconnect the spark plug wire. If you’ve got any fuel left in the tank from last year, drain it. Use extreme care when handling gasoline. Work in a well-ventilated area free of open flames or sparks. Fresh, clean fuel is a must. Old gas absorbs moisture when it sits for a long time in the fuel tank or your gas can. Unless you’ve used a fuel stabilizer, gas will go bad in about 6 months.

Replace the fuel filter

Dirty gas can clog the fuel filter in your tank, so you’ll also want to take a look and replace it if it’s old or clogged. Most owner’s manuals recommend changing the fuel filter at the start of every season. Here’s a video that will show you how to change your fuel filter.

Inspect the fuel line for cracks

While you're in there, take a look at the fuel line and make sure there are no cracks and that it's still flexible and soft. Replace the fuel line if it's cracked or broken. Here's a video showing you how.

Replace the spark plug

Spark plugs should also be replaced once per season. So, if you know your spark plug is from last year, you’ll probably want to replace it. Here’s a video to show you how to replace and set the gap on a spark plug.

Change the oil

Now, let’s talk about oil. Oil lubricates the engine parts and helps cool the cylinder. Oil is another thing you’re gonna want to change once per season. This video will walk you through changing the oil on a snowblower. Don't forget to take that old oil to your local oil recycling station.

Lubricate the auger shaft

Next, we’ll lubricate the auger shaft and bearings to keep that auger from seizing up in the dead of winter. Remove all the shear pins on the auger shaft. Spray a light coating of silicone lubricant inside the shaft and around the spacers and flange bearings. Inspect the shear pins for wear or damage and replace them if necessary. Reinstall the shear pins and secure them with the cotter pins.

Grease the axle and check the tire air pressure

Next, let’s check out your wheels and tires. Carefully tilt the snowblower on its nose. Make sure your fuel tank is empty. Use a socket wrench to remove the first wheel. Clean and coat the axle with multi-purpose automotive grease to keep it from rusting up. Reinstall the wheel and secure it back on the axle. Repeat the process on the other wheel. 

Now, we’ll use a pressure gauge to check the air pressure in each tire. Press the gauge down on the valve stem to check the pressure and compare it to the recommended psi found on the tire sidewall. Inflate or deflate the tires as necessary.

Adjust the skid shoes if needed

You’re also going to want to check out both your skid shoes. The skid shoes protect the shave plate from damage. The entire bottom surface of the skid shoe should be touching the ground. If it’s not, you’ll need to adjust it. This video will show you how. If your skid shoe is worn down to the point that the shave plate hits the pavement, either flip it over, or replace it. Here’s another video with more details.

Lubricate the auger and drive controls

Next, you’ll want to clean off any dust and dirt from the auger control and drive control pivots. Spray both of those pivots with lubricant. Then, you’ll need to do the same to the auger cable bracket at the bottom of the snowblower. 

You’ll also want to lubricate the drive hex shaft. This video will walk you through that process.

Fill with fresh gas, adjust the auger and drive controls

Now that you’ve got this puppy all oiled, greased and all put back together, it’s time to fill it up with fresh clean gas and make sure it’s working. Take your snowblower outside and test out both handles under normal operation. If either handle doesn’t work, you’ll need to adjust the cable. If the augers spin with the auger control disengaged, follow the steps in this video to adjust it. 

If the snowblower creeps forward with the drive handle disengaged, watch this video to learn how to adjust the drive control. One last tip before we go. If you want to keep your snow moving freely though the chute, you can spray the chute and auger housing with Teflon snow repellent. 

Hey, thanks for watching. Check out the other videos here on the Sears PartsDirect YouTube Channel, and subscribe to learn about new videos.

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 01, 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.