Buying a snow blower this winter? Six tips to ensure top performance
Whether you’re buying your first snow blower this winter season or already own one, it’s important to know how to best operate one.
Here are some of the best tips and practices to ensure your snow blower retains its performance and efficiency.
1) Pre-season maintenance
Prepare ahead of time for the winter season by changing the oil, replacing your spark plug and checking the condition of the belts. Worn or fouled spark plugs can result in frequent misfires, increased exhaust emissions, wasted gas and reduced power.
In addition, ensure maximum efficiency by replacing the belt if you notice the auger in your snow blower is not spinning well, or if it slips or squeals.
2) Prepare your property
Before it snows, make sure you remove anything that could obstruct snow clearing or damage your machine, from rocks to extension cords and hoses. Also, consider using stakes to mark your driveway and walkways to avoid any damage to the ground below the snow.
You may also wish to spread a layer of salt onto the driveway to prevent ice from forming, should it not actually snow but still be cold – you can get some from this site, as well as a spreader to make the job as quick and easy as possible!
3) Use fresh fuel and add a stabilizer
While it’s tempting to use fuel that’s been left over from previous seasons, stale fuel is often the main reason for hard-to-start snow blowers. If you are using regular fuel, it is very important that you add a stabilizer as this will ensure a smooth start every time. You can also use pre-mixed stabilized fuel like TruFuel available from Cub Cadet.
4) Early and slow
Don’t wait for the snow to stop during an extended snowfall. Letting it pile up can mean more effort required of your machine and will make you pass over the same piles over and over again.
Also, after a heavy snowfall, it’s better to take it slow and avoid the temptation to plow quickly through large piles. This can clog the chute or even break the drive belt of the machine.
5) Cool down, gas up
The engine below the gas tank of your snow blower can reach very hot temperatures. If you need to top your snow blower up with gas mid-way through a job, always wait at least 10 minutes for it to cool down before refilling to avoid a fire or any malfunctions.
6) Embrace the Zamboni method
Avoid adjusting the chute of your snow blower too often. If you clear your driveway in a standard back and forth motion, you will end up having to adjust the chute whenever you change directions.
Try the Zamboni method. Start in the middle and work your way out in circular motion. This will keep your chute pointing towards the lawn and will not require any adjustment.
These six tips will help you have a smooth and easy operation, while ensuring that your machine performs well all the time. If you’re looking to buy a snow blower this season, be sure to check which manufacturers offer an extended warranty and exceptional customer service.