MILWAUKEE, WI — FEBRUARY 23, 2015 — When you’re measuring snow in feet instead of inches, your snow blower is likely working overtime. The sheer volume of snow that New England has been seeing lately can tax even the most reliable machine.
To avoid a break down when you need your snow blower most, it’s important to engage in a bit of routine maintenance. These tips from Briggs & Stratton Corporation (NYSE: BGG) can also help you keep your snow blower out of the shop, especially now when you don’t want to be without it for even a day.
1. Always refer to your operator’s manual prior to operating and servicing.
Before operating your snow blower, make sure you understand and follow all instructions in the operating manual. Thoroughly reading your manual can also provide you with the proper care and maintenance to keep your machine running smoothly. Your operator’s manual contains a list of specific part numbers you need when replacing items. Not following these recommendations could result in expensive fixes and even void your warranty.
2. Replace the spark plug. Briggs & Stratton recommends inspecting your snow blower’s spark plug every 25 hours of operation and changing it every 100 hours or annually. If you have fresh gas in the tank and your snow blower engine isn’t starting, replacing the spark plug may do the trick.
3. Replace the oil. Fresh oil is always a good thing. You never know if any contaminants are in there and dirty oil can damage the snow blower engine. Briggs & Stratton recommends 5W-30 or synthetic 5W-30 for cold weather applications.
4. Add fresh fuel and fuel stabilizer. Most people don’t realize that fuel goes bad in as little as 30 days. And most probably didn’t use a fuel stabilizer before storing their snow blower at the end of the last season. Fuel stabilizer helps extend the life of the fuel and can also prevents ethanol in the fuel from damaging the engine.
5. Clean the snow thrower. Make sure your unit is free from dirt and grime. You can use a degreaser spray, let it stand for 15 minutes and wipe clean with a cloth.
6. Check tire pressure. Properly inflated tires will help with maneuverability when snow blowing.
7. Lubricate bearings. Lubricate the wheel, auger and impeller bearings.
8. Inspect scraper blade and skid shoes. If either of these parts are worn, replace them as they protect other parts of the unit from damage. If your dealer doesn’t have Briggs & Stratton parts in stock, be sure to check out briggsandstratton.com to purchase replacement and maintenance parts.
9. Have a Clean Out Tool Ready. Never put your hand into the discharge chute or auger. To safely clear a clog; shut off the engine, wait 10 seconds to be sure the impeller blades have stopped rotating and use a clean out tool or stick to help prevent the snow from sticking and obstructing the unit.
10. Test the snow blower. After completing the outline tips, it’s always good to run the unit and test it to ensure it is running properly.
And when all else fails, know that an authorized Briggs & Stratton dealer is available to help out. There are more than 12,000 servicing dealers nationwide. A dealer finder can be found on www.briggsandstratton.com.
Office: (608) 268-5318
Briggs & Stratton Corporation, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. Its wholly owned subsidiaries include North America’s number one marketer of portable generators and pressure washers, and it is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of lawn and garden, turf care and job site products through its Simplicity®, Snapper®, Snapper Pro®, Ferris®, Murray®, Allmand™, Branco® and Victa® brands. Briggs & Stratton products are designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced in over 100 countries on six continents. For more information, visit www.basco.com or www.briggsandstratton.com.