Winter Tips – Preparing Your Snow Blower for Off-Season Storage

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Ensure your snow blower is ready for next winter and prolong its life by performing these post-season maintenance items.

Be advised that instructions may vary depending on the snow blower model purchased. Reference your owner's manual for any variations in machine design.

Step 1: Review your operator's manual

Before starting, review the off-season storage instructions in your MTD operator's manual.

Step 2: Identify parts that need to be replaced

Your owner's manual lists parts that need to be replaced each season. These items can be found in the "Maintenance & Adjustments" and "Service" sections.

Step 3: Inspect the shave plate and skid shoes

Check the shave plate and skid shoes for wear. On a single-stage snow blower, you need to tilt the unit back in order to inspect the shave plate.  If the shave plate shows signs of wear, check to see if you can reverse it ? many shave plates have two wearing edges and can be reversed.

Step 4: Empty the fuel tank

Drain any remaining fuel in the tank using a siphon pump.

Step 5: Examine the gear shaft and oil the hex shaft

Carefully pivot the snow blower up and forward so it rests on the auger housing. Get assistance to avoid injury and damaging the snow blower. 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 and cracking. Put the lower frame cover back in place and pivot the snow blower back and down.

Step 6: Inspect belts

Remove the belt cover and inspect the belt(s) for wear (if you have a two-stage snow blower, the belt cover will be on the front of the engine, and on a single-stage snow blower, it will be on the side). Replace belts as necessary. Reinstall the plastic belt cover.

Step 7: Examine the auger

Check the auger's rubber paddles for damage and wear. Replace as necessary.

Step 8: Change engine oil

If your unit has a 4-cycle engine, change the engine oil. Use a plastic drain sleeve or a siphon pump.

Step 9: Examine and clean the spark plug

Remove and inspect the spark plug. Clean it with a wire brush or replace it if necessary. Reinstall the spark plug and reconnect the spark plug wire.

Step 10: Clean areas near the engine and muffler

Clean debris from around the engine and muffler. Apply a light coating of oil on any areas that are susceptible to rust. To further prevent rust, wipe away dried salt that may have accumulated.

Step 11: Add fuel stabilizer

Fill the fuel tank and add fuel stabilizer to avoid exposing bare metal parts to air and moisture which can lead to rust and allow gaskets and O-rings to dry out, crack and shrink.

Step 14: Properly store the snow blower

Once you've prepared your snow blower for storage, put it in in a garage or shed for the summer. Keep the engine level, as tilting can cause fuel or oil to leak.  If you plan on covering the snow blower, make sure air can get under the cover. MTD offers snow blower accessories including covers and mats, to make your off-season storage easier.

Fix equipment issues quickly

When you need parts for your snow blower, you can use the MTD Genuine Parts Part Finder to find the correct one. Common parts include:


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Resolving outdoor power equipment problems as soon as they arise will prolong the life of your machine. Troubleshoot snow blower problems using our symptom guide.
The MTD Genuine Parts Knowledge Center provides do-it-yourself instructions for performing many basic maintenance items, including replacing cutting blades, drive and deck belts, and engine oil. If you find your machine has a bigger problem, use our service locator to find a qualified MTD service provider in your area.

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