When the snow begins to fall and cover up your driveway, nothing brings more peace of mind than knowing you’ve got a snow blower in the garage, ready and waiting. Rather than throwing out your back heaving snow every time a storm blows through, your snow blower will make quick work of whatever Mother Nature decides to dump on your property.
Like any other tool used for landscaping in Fargo, ND, your snow blower needs proper maintenance. If you want it to roar to life after just one tug of the ripcord, you’ll need to pay close attention to how you’re caring for it. Specifically, it’s critical to pay attention to fuel and lube.
Choosing the right type of fuel
Let’s not beat around the proverbial bush: unleaded gasoline isn’t the best choice for your snow blower. This is because it contains a higher percentage of ethanol, which will gum up your four-cycle engine and cause unnecessary wear to its vital components. Instead, you’re going to want to opt for premium gas, which has a lower ethanol content.
For most four-cycle engines, premium gas is all you’ll need. However, if you have an older model or a two-cycle engine in your snow blower, you may need to mix in oil. The ratio of fuel to oil is usually dictated by your owner’s manual or may even be listed on the machine itself.
One last note about fuel: when the season is winding down and it’s time to put your snow blower back into storage in favor of other landscaping tools, you can’t just shove it back in the garage with a full tank of gas. The best option is to run your blower out of gas before stowing it. Another option is to add a fuel stabilizer, which should preserve it until next year.
Lubrication and degreasing
Before you whip out your snow blower to tackle the oncoming snowstorm, be sure to get it lubricated. Gassing up your blower and starting it without lubrication is akin to trying to run a marathon without stretching first!
Before putting gas in, tip your snow blower on its side so you can see the gears, shaft and chain underneath. Spray these down with an applicable lubricant and manually rotate the auger to make sure every part is covered in a thin coating. Then, be sure to oil the fittings to ensure proper rotation of the auger itself.
Be careful—too much grease and you’re liable to gum things up! Debris can quickly clog gears, which will necessitate degreasing and re-greasing. Most lubricants will have application directions. Follow them and you’ll be just fine.
A final word about snow blower care
If you want your snow blower to help you in maintaining your landscaping in Fargo, ND, you’ll need to treat it right. Don’t rip the cord over and over while your engine gasps for fuel, and avoid over-priming the blower to prevent engine complications. This, in combination with the right fuel and proper lubrication, will keep your blower reliable for many winters to come.