of the Week:
this tip and shove(l) it! We mean snow blow it!
is just around the corner
Are you ready? And is your snow blower
ready? Now is the time to get your snow blower out and check these items
Scraper Bar: Most people never tip their snow blower on its side
and check the scraper bar. The scraper bar is what rubs against the ground
and scrapes the snow off the cement. It is a wear item and occasionally
may need to be replaced. You want to make sure you keep an eye on the
scraper bar so you don't eat away the housing of the snow blower; that
can be very expensive to fix.
Rubber Paddles: If you have rubber paddles or rubber on your auger,
make sure you check it too. An easy way to see if the rubber needs to
be replaced is to stick your finger between the rubber and the housing.
If your finger will go between them, its probably time to replace
the rubber. Youll find that your snow blower will work more efficiently
with new rubber.
Screws and Bolts: Now lets check all the screws and bolts
on your snow blower. Make sure theyre tight and none are missing.
We get a lot of snow blowers in with broken handles, and the main reason
the handles break is because of loose screws or bolts.
Belts: Make sure you also take the belt cover off and check the
belt for wear and cracks. While your have your snow blower open, check
any idler pulleys and make sure the bearings are not too worn or your
pulley is sloppy.
Engine Maintenance: Take the time to check your engine out. There
are two basic types of engines, a two-cycle engine (where you mix oil
and gas) or a four-cycle engine (where you use straight gas and have to
check the oil.)
start with two-cycle engines; theres not a lot you can do to this
engine. Its very basic and simple, so about the only thing to do
for maintenance is replace the spark plug. And there are no air filters
to replace on two-cycle snow blowers, so they can ice up.
Also, if you left last years old gas in the
snow blower, get rid of it. If you dont have a siphon, you can take
a turkey baster and suck the gas out of the unit, but make sure you buy
a new baster before the holidays(!). And if you have old gas in your snow
blower gas can, get rid of it too. Any old gas, even if it is a two-cycle
mix with oil, will not hurt your car, so feel free to use up old gas in
your vehicle. Just make sure there is no water in the old snow blower
Go buy good fresh gas, with 87 or higher octane and don't buy any more
than you will use in 30 days. Gas goes flat and will make your unit hard
you have a 4 cycle engine, you not only have to put gas in it, but you
have to check your oil!
You want to change your oil at least once a year or every 20 hours of
use with a good grade 5W30 motor oil. Most 4 cycle engines use around
20 ounces of oil; some of the bigger engines may need as much as a quart
to bring to proper levels. It is a good idea to check your oil each time
before you start your engine.
If you have a two-stage snow blower, make sure you check the lube in the
gear box as well. Some brands may also have a grease zerk
in the gear box, and some have zerks on the auger shaft. Grease
these liberally if your snow blower has one.
Starting: Now lets start it up! Even with new gas, let it
run for a while to burn out any remaining old gas in the fuel line and
carburetor. Try and start it when the engine is warm and it should start
easily. Let it sit for several hours and try to start it again. If it
still starts easily, you should be ready to go.
Tune Up/Parts: If it is still hard to start, it will start even
harder in cold weather. You may want to take it in and get a good tune-up
to make sure you are ready to blow snow this winter.
If youre doing the repairs yourself, make sure you know the brand
of snow blower and be sure to get the model and serial number off the
unit. This will make ordering parts much easier, and you wont have
to make a second trip into the store because you had to go home and get
all the necessary numbers for ordering. Were there for you, but
you have to do your part when getting parts for your snow blower or any
power equipment Home Hardware services.
Before you start thinking snow, think snow blower maintenance!
Send any questions
you have to The Hardware Guy.