The reality of owning any type of outdoor power equipment is that parts are going to break or stop working, and it’s probably going to happen at the most inconvenient time possible.
When it comes to using a snow blower, that means there’s always a chance you’ll need to replace a part right before, during or right after a snowstorm. Thanks to wintry conditions, it’s not always easy to go get that replacement part immediately – plus, you probably need it as soon as possible.
To better prepare for this type of emergency situation, conduct regular season inspections on skid shoes, and shave plates and keep the following spare parts on hand.
Note: Make sure to consult your operator’s manual and/or illustrated parts list for exact part numbers and/or location of these components on specific units.
You should be inspecting your drive belts at the beginning and at the end of each snow season to check for wear and tear. Any noticeable damage warrants replacement in order to avoid a belt breaking while your snow blower is in use. If that does happen, keeping a few replacement belts on hand will save you significant time.
Like with drive belts, make sure you’re checking your snow blower’s spark plug on a regular basis – before and after each season, and throughout the snow-blowing season. Keeping extra spark plugs on hand means replacing it is a quick fix, regardless of when you need to do it.
Oil & Fresh Fuel
These may seem obvious but the last thing you want is to run out of fuel in the middle of
clearing your driveway and realize you haven’t got any at your disposal. Be sure to add a fuel
enhancer, like Star*Tron to your gas to ensure that it does not go bad ! Star*tron will ensure that fuel will not go stale for up to 12 months. Alternatively, try out Trufuel, an ethanol-free fuel
that will improve winter starting, and has a shelf life of up to 2 years after opening!
Also consider keeping a spare bottle of Atlas 0W30 on hand for the winter – it’s formulation is
better for starting the snowblower in frigid temperatures than 5W30.
Skid shoes are important for protecting both your snow blower and the surface you’re clearing. The skid shoes on your snow blower wear down over time so make sure you check them regularly and replace both skid shoes at the same time.
Your snow blower won’t start without the ignition key, so if you lose or break it and you don’t have any replacement keys close by then you’ll suddenly find yourself unable to use your snow blower.
It’s likely you’ll have to replace the shear pins in your snow blower at least once during its lifetime. Shear pins are designed to break first when debris jams your snow blower’s augers to prevent damage to the gears and gearbox. They’re relatively easy to replace so get extras to ensure you don’t get stuck out in the cold.
Even with the added protection of skid shoes, your snow blower’s shave plate can become damaged over time and need to be replaced. Having an extra shave plate will help you avoid a serious headache if you eventually have to replace the one on your snow blower in a pinch.