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How to Prepare a Snow Thrower for Storage in the Off-Season

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Some of the steps differ between single-stage and two-stage units. We'll be sure to point out any differences as we go along. Also, depending on your model, the instructions below might vary slightly.

Step 1

Whether you have a single- or two-stage unit, it's best to prepare for this project by reading the Off-Season Storage section of your owner's manual.

Step 2

To begin, check the unit's maintenance items to see if they need replacing. These items can be found in your Operator's Manual in the "Maintenance & Adjustments" section and the "Service" section. Grab a piece of paper to create a list of replacement parts you might need.

Step 3

On a two-stage unit, such as this one, check the shave plate and skid shoes for wear. The shave plate and skid shoes are installed to protect the housing from damage, so don't wait until the wear is so great that the housing is no longer protected. This could lead to a major repair.

Step 4

Drain any fuel left in the tank using the Arnold Siphon pump. The Arnold Siphon pump can be purchased on this website and where mower parts are sold.

Step 5

With the help of an additional person, carefully pivot the snow thrower up and forward so it rests on the auger housing.

Step 6

Remove the lower frame cover from the underside of the unit. Check the gear shaft and apply a light coating of oil to the hex shaft. Be careful not to get any oil on the aluminum drive plate or the rubber friction disc. Check the rubber friction disc for wear or cracking.

Step 7

Put the lower frame cover back in place. With the help of an additional person, carefully pivot the snow thrower back and down so it rests on the wheels and skid shoes.

Step 8

Remove the belt cover on the front of the engine and inspect the belt(s) for wear, cracks and fraying. If your belts are worn, you will need to replace them. Worn belts can break at very inconvenient moments, so make sure you replace your belt as soon as you see signs of wear. Put the plastic belt cover back in place.

Step 9

If you have a single-stage unit, carefully tilt the snow thrower back so it rests on the handle.

Step 10

Check the shave plate for wear. Many shave plates have two wearing edges and can be reversed if needed.

Step 11

Check the auger's rubber paddles for damage and wear. They should be replaced if any excessive wear is present. Do not let the rubber paddles to wear to the point that the metal portion of the auger itself can come in contact with the pavement.

Step 12

Remove the belt cover on the side of the snow thrower. Check the belt for wear, cracks, fraying etc. Carefully tilt the snow thrower back so that it rests on the handle.

Step 13

If any of the items we just looked at need replacing, now is a good time to order them. That way you have plenty of time to install them before next winter.

Step 14

The next step, if your unit has a 4-cycle engine, is to change the engine oil. Be sure to dispose of the drained oil in an environmentally friendly manner. Drain the oil by using a plastic drain sleeve that may have come with your unit, or the Arnold Siphon pump which can be purchased on this website and where snow blower parts are sold.

Step 15

Next, remove the spark plug.

Step 16

Inspect the spark plug before reinstalling it. Clean it with a wire brush if necessary. If you are unsure if the spark plug is good or not, it is recommended that you replace the spark plug. Reinstall the spark plug and reconnect the spark plug wire.

Step 17

Clean debris from around the engine and muffler. Apply a light film of oil on any areas that are susceptible to rust. Wipe away any dried salt that may accumulate over the winter, to discourage rust.

Step 18

Finally, you should add fuel stabilizer to your fuel ... and fill your unit's fuel tank. This is better than storing it empty. That's because an empty fuel system exposes any bare metal parts within it to air and moisture - which leads to rust and also allows gaskets and O-rings to dry out, crack and shrink, causing eventual problems. In addition, to completely drain fuel from an engine is difficult. Unless you blow out and dry the fuel lines, enough fuel can remain to become stale and cause problems. Keep the engine level in storage. Tilting can cause fuel or oil to leak. If you plan on covering the snow thrower, make sure air can get under the cover. Don't try to "seal it up."

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