Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Snow Blower Check List

- For gas-powered machines, follow the recommendations in the owner's manual for changing the spark plug and--for models with a four-stroke engine--the engine oil. Most recommend changing both at least once each year.

- Follow the recommendations for mixing oil and gas on models with two-stroke engines. Too little oil can damage the engine; too much creates added exhaust emissions and can hamper starting by fouling the spark plug.

- Add a fuel stabilizer to preserve the fuel between storms and clearing seasons. Stabilizers can keep fuel from degrading for up to one year to help prevent gum and varnish deposits from clogging the carburetor and fuel passages.

- Use an ethanol gas treatment on all your fuels for any small engine needs. If not, the ethanol will separate from the gas causing problems

- For two-stage machines, have some spare auger shear bolts on hand. The bolts are designed to protect the gearbox by breaking if the auger hits a hard object.

= For all machines, periodically tighten nuts and bolts, especially on control linkages, which tend to loosen as a snow blower vibrates.

- Adjust the auger's scraper and skid shoes if applicable, as suggested in the owner's manual. Doing so helps keep the auger closer to the surface, leaving less snow behind.

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