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How to Maintain your Snow Thrower

Maintain Snowthrower
Snow blowers perform in tough, cold-weather conditions, busting through drifts and digging out from under wet, heavy snow. After a season of faithful service, treat your machine to the maintenance it deserves.

Regular maintenance keeps your machine operating at peak performance, saves wear-and-tear on moving parts and generally extends the service life of your engine.

First, check with your dealer or retailer. They have trained personnel who can perform your between-seasons tune-up. These pros are also good at spotting any developing problems before something more serious results.


If you choose to perform your own maintenance, be sure to carefully study your Operator’s Manual before you break out the wrenches. If a special tool is required, purchase it—don’t improvise. Make sure your workspace is well-lit and well-organized. And always do what the pros do—follow safety precautions to the letter.

  • At season’s end, run your machine out of gas before storing, making sure to choose a dry storage spot well away from sources of damaging humidity.

  • Replace spark plugs and engine oil according to the maintenance schedule in your Operator’s Manual—usually once-a-year for both. Briggs & Stratton offers a specially formulated Low Temp Oil for cold-weather operation. Before replacing spark plugs, be sure to correctly adjust the gap between electrodes—check your Operator’s Manual for specifications. A spark plug gauge and gapping tool is relatively inexpensive and can be found at any parts dealer. If you ask, most dealers are happy to adjust your spark plugs at the time of purchase.

  • Add a petroleum-based fuel stabilizer every time you gas up. Studies have shown that fuel degradation can begin within days of pumping. Fuel stabilizer maintains octane levels and prevents the build-up of harmful gums and varnishes that can clog your carburetor and fuel lines and even cause valves to stick, resulting in engine damage. It’s main benefit is keeping the gasoline fresh for easier combustion, allowing for much easier starts. Our Fresh Start® fuel stabilizer preserves fuel quality up to 24 months.

  • If your snow blower is equipped with a fuel shut-off, always switch off the fuel flow whenever you transport your machine. This will protect the carburetor from flooding and help prevent fuel spills.

  • Vibration can loosen fasteners over time, especially on control linkages. Before it goes into storage, give your machine a once-over and tighten nuts and bolts where necessary. Always take care not to over-tighten, as this can strip and damage fasteners.

  • Adjust your auger's scraper and skid shoes as recommended in your Operator's Manual. Proper adjustment keeps the auger closer to the pavement surface, leaving fewer missed spots and neater results.

  • On many dual-stage machines, special break-away shear bolts protect the gear box from damage in the event of the auger colliding with a hard object (such as a concrete curbstone). If you maintain your own machine, you’ll want to keep a supply of spare bolts on hand.

  • Before storing, wash and hand-dry your machine thoroughly, as road salt from your driveway has the same corrosive effects on yard equipment as it has on cars. Store your machine in a cool, dry place away from the elements. Protective storage covers are available for most models and will prevent an unsightly coating of dust and dirt build up while your snow blower “hibernates” until next winter.

NOTE: Please read and abide by any applicable Safety Information contained in your engine's Operator's Manual.  Terms and Conditions apply to all of the information presented on this website. Always be sure to completely read and understand your engine's Operator's Manual.