It’s wintertime in Michigan, and we all know what that means! Though Michigan weather is known for being unpredictable, we always get some snow. Often, we get lots of snow. Keeping our driveways and sidewalks clear can be hard work. Luckily, snowblowers make that job quicker and easier on our backs!
However, just like any piece of machinery, snowblowers need a certain amount of maintenance (and sometimes repairs) to work properly. When it comes to maintenance and repairs, everyone has a different level of what they can do for themselves, and some of us would rather pay a professional to do it all for us. At Mobile Mower Repair, we will do all of your snowblower maintenance and repairs if you would like us to. But there are a few things you can do yourself, if you are so inclined, to keep your snowblower in good condition.
Some Common Maintenance Advice
First of all, it may seem obvious, but reading the owner’s manual is always a good idea. There you will find information specific to your make and model of snowblower. Below is a list of basic things to check at the beginning of the snowblower season, ideally before you need to use your snowblower.
- check the oil, and add fresh oil or change the oil, if needed
- change the spark plug
- check the air filter and change it if it is dirty
- inspect the belts to see if any are worn or frayed
- check the skid shoes and scraper bars for wear and tear
- check the tire pressure and put air in the tires if needed
If you see any problems that you cannot solve yourself, call us at the shop!
Troubleshooting a Clogged Snowblower
Even if you do the recommended maintenance, things can still go wrong. Sometimes, while you are in the middle of clearing your driveway, your snowblower stops working. Of course there are many possible reasons for this, but one of the most common reasons is that either the intake or the discharge chute is clogged with snow. Wet, heavy snow can especially get stuck in these places. Sometimes, even a foreign object, such as a newspaper, can be hidden under the snow and make its way into your snowblower. If you decide to clean the intake or the discharge chute yourself, be sure to follow these basic safety measures: Make sure the snowblower is off and no parts are moving. Never use your hands to clean out a snowblower. Use a solid object (some snow blowers come with a tool specifically for this purpose), because once the clog is removed, the release of tension could cause parts to move again until the tension is released. You do not want your hand in there when that happens. If this doesn’t solve the problem, or if you would rather not do this, Mobile Mower Repair can help you out!
A Note About Fuel
It’s a good idea to pay attention to the type of gas you are putting in your snowblower. The ethanol that is often in gas nowadays can cause problems with small engines if not tended to properly. If at all possible, try to use gas without any ethanol in it, though that can be hard to find. Most of the gas you find at gas stations has 10% ethanol in it, and that is ok to use in snowblowers, as long as you don’t store it in the tank for months and months. Do not use E15 (gas with 15% ethanol) in your small engine, as this will likely gum up the works and corrode engine parts. It’s also a good idea to add fuel stabilizer (found at auto parts stores) to your gas, especially if you plan to go for periods between snowblower use.
Stay warm and stay safe this winter! And remember, if you have any questions about your snowblower, or if you want to schedule routine maintenance, please give us a call!