Is Your Snow Blower Ready for the First Big Dump?

The season's first big snowstorm could be just days or weeks away. Get your snow blower ready for the season's first blast of snow now.

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Snowblower the things you doMarcel Jancovic/Shutterstock

It could happen in October or it may happen in January. Depending on where you live, the season’s first big snowstorm could arrive in just days or weeks. No matter where you live, however, you should get your snow blower ready for the season’s first blast now, before the first flake falls.

You need about an hour to get your gas-powered snow blower ready for winter. Here’s a simple checklist:

1. Make Sure You Have Gasoline Ready

This past spring, you should have drained your snow blower’s gas tank. Fill an empty tank now. If you didn’t drain the tank, try staring the engine. If it runs, drain the old fuel, and then fill it with fresh gasoline. Keep in mind that small engines run best with ethanol-free fuel. If you can, spend the extra couple of dollars on the upgraded fuel.

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2. Check the Oil in Your Snow Blower

Dark and dirty oil needs changing. For most snow blowers, you can DIY an oil change. Follow these snowblower oil-change tips to avoid an oily mess.

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3. Check Tire Pressure

Your snow blower’s tires probably need a little air. Under-inflated tires make snow removal more difficult. Before you fill them up, check the owner’s manual (or the tire’s sidewall) for the recommended tire pressure. Most recommend between 15 and 20 psi.

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4. Check Pins, Nuts and Bolts

If you have a multi-stage snowblower, take a few moments to check the shear pins. These pins protect the transmission in the event there is a jam —which comes in handy when you hit large chunks of ice or go off the path and hit a rock. If the pins show any signs of corrosion, make a trip to your local home-improvement or hardware store to buy replacement pins.

Finally, check and tighten any loose nuts and bolts.

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5. Lubricate the Moving Parts on Your Snow Blower

If your snow Blower has grease zerks, give each a shot. Then, lubricate cables and other moving parts using a spray-on or liquid lubricant. A thin coating of lubricant works to protect parts from corrosion as well as promoting smooth and easy movement.

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Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham spent years working in newsrooms, for television and newspapers, and has won several awards for her writing. In 2015, she left her full-time job as a newspaper editor to focus on freelance writing and editing. She has been a Family Handyman contributor since 2017.
In 2019, Rachel lived through a major remodeling project on her home, and she uses that experience to inform her Family Handyman content. She's also an avid gardener (both native plants and vegetables), enjoys keeping up with decor trends and spends a lot of time traveling, cooking and hanging out with her family and their giant dog.