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Outdoor power equipment Young man snowblowing in winter storm

Published on March 18th, 2013 | by Jeff Linderman


11 easy, money-saving steps to prep your snowblower for storage

With just a few days left before the official start of spring, it’s wise to prepare now for snowblower or snow thrower winter storage.

Don’t wait.

Waiting until winter to make sure your snowblower is working properly isn’t recommended. It’s difficult to diagnose problems in frigid temps and snow storms. A few simple steps now will ensure that your snowblower is ready for the first snowfall.

Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for recommended maintenance steps for your specific model. There are some differences in maintenance for single-stage and dual-stage models.

However, for most models, the following steps are recommended:

1. Replace the fuel filter.

Fuel filters should be replaced at least once a year because it is nearly impossible to determine if they are clogged. They cannot be cleaned.

2. Inspect the scraper blade, slide shoes and other parts for wear.

Do a thorough job checking the scraper blade and slide shoes (a.k.a. skid shoes) for wear. These parts have the important job of protecting the housing from damage. Replace these parts if they have worn dangerously thin or are damaged beyond repair.

You can find replacement parts for your model here.

3. Drain and replace the oil.

Before replacing engine oil, check your owner’s manual for the recommended way to tilt the snowblower. It varies from model to model. Unscrew the drain plug and release the oil into a bucket. Replace the plug and add fresh oil, as recommended by the manufacturer.

Used oil should be recycled. Most small engine repair shops have a free recycling program for this. Call your local shop for more information.

4. Replace the spark plug.

The tiny but mighty spark plug should be replaced at least one per season, even if it appears to be working fine. Over time, a spark plug’s performance will degrade due to carbon build-up and a weakened electrode. This dramatically increases emissions, reduces engine performance and requires the engine to use more fuel.

This Spark Plug Wrench (#1644997) enables you to more safely and efficiently remove or tighten a spark plug in your snowblower, lawn mower or other small engine.

Related video:

5. Check the auger.

For single-stage models, take a look at the auger paddles. If they have worn down so much that they no longer contact the ground, they should be replaced. Never let the rubber wear to a point that metal is exposed. That can cause major damage.

RepairClinic has replacement auger blade-rubber parts.

6. Remove dirt and grime.

Spray degreaser on greasy, dirty areas. Allow the degreaser to sit for 10-15 minutes. Then wipe the grease off with a clean cloth.

Degreaser 2304543

7. Check and close the fuel cap (if applicable).

Check the fuel cap for damage. If the air vent holes are restricted, replace the fuel cap.

8. Check the tires.

Check the tires for wear. If your snowblower has pneumatic tires, use a tire pressure gauge to check the air pressure.

9. Add fuel stabilizer.

Myth: You have to empty all fuel from a snowblower before off-season storage.

False! That wastes good fuel AND leads to fuel tank corrosion. Fuel can stay fresh for a year or longer if you add high-quality fuel stabilizer to fresh fuel before storage.

The addition of fuel stabilizer will slow build up and prevent clogging in the fuel lines. It’s best to keep fuel in your snowblower to prevent important parts from drying, cracking and rusting while being stored for extended periods.

After adding the stabilizer, be sure to run the engine for a few minutes so the treated fuel can reach the carburetor.

Enter your engine model number here to find the fuel stabilizer recommended specifically for your engine.

This Briggs & Stratton fuel stabilizer works well and treats up to 10 gallons of fuel.

Fuel Stabilizer 01173317

10. Lubricate bearings

If required for your model, lubricate wheel bearings, auger bearings and in dual-stage models, impeller bearings.

11. Store it with care.

Use a cover to prevent dust and debris from entering the unit. Store in a cool, dry place.

RepairClinic has replacement parts and maintenance kits for snowblowers and snow throwers. With your engine model number, find the correct, recommended replacement parts for your engine here.

Related info

Snowblower maintenance tips


Now that you have your snowblower ready for storage, get your lawn mower ready for spring.

Tuning up your engine now will improve engine efficiency, prevent costly repairs and reduce emissions. We’ve made it easy. Check out our Great Spring Engine Tune-up Sale for more information.

Related info

7 simple ways to make your lawn mower run like new

Lawn mower repair help

Lawn mower maintenance tips

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Since its founding in 1999, has helped three million do-it-yourselfers save 225 million dollars in repair costs by successfully repairing appliances and outdoor power equipment on their own.

RepairClinic’s free online repair help system empowers do-it-yourselfers to fix common problems associated with major home appliances, outdoor power equipment, HVAC equipment, water heaters, floor care, and more. DIYers can enter a model number to choose from a list of common symptoms for that particular model, troubleshoot and watch expertly-produced videos to learn the most likely causes and conditions and purchase the correct, recommended part. stocks more than one million parts and accessories for 160 brands of furnaces, air conditioners, air handlers, heat pumps, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, snowblowers, leaf blowers, edgers and many other products.

Since 1999, the company has served more than three million customers including homeowners, first-time and beginner DIYers, advanced DIYers, appliance repair professionals, small engine repair shops and landscaping and lawn care business owners. RepairClinic orders are backed by a 365 Days. Period.™ return policy that enables customers to return any part. Of the more than one million parts available on the website, 95 percent of parts ordered are in stock and guaranteed to ship the same business day. RepairClinic ships within the United States and Canada.


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About the Author

Jeff Linderman is’s in-house outdoor power equipment and landscaping expert. For 25 years, Jeff owned and operated a successful commercial and residential landscaping business. He couldn’t afford the extensive downtime that came when he brought his equipment to be repaired at overloaded small engine repair shops. Instead, Jeff learned how to complete the repairs on his own. This interest in outdoor power equipment grew as Jeff completed extensive manufacturer training. Today, Jeff is a Briggs & Stratton® Master Service Technician, Kohler® Engines Expert Technician and a Kawasaki® Service Technician for Engines and Power Products. He has a B.A. in criminal justice from Michigan State University. Jeff worked for 25 years as a sergeant in the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department while he operated his landscaping business. He’s an avid fisherman and lives in the metro-Detroit area.

2 Responses to 11 easy, money-saving steps to prep your snowblower for storage

  1. You definitely get more use out of your equipment if you remember to put in a little extra effort and take care of it the way it should be taken care of.

    • Hi Belfor,

      Yes, just like vehicles and home appliances, and anything else, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. Thanks for reading a post about snowblowers in the middle of summer, Belfor! Have a great summer!

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