Toro Tip of the Month - Putting Your Snowthrower Away for the Season by Toro.com
Thank goodness winter is over! Now is the time to put that snowthrower away and get ready for those spring chores you've been dreaming about these many past cold months.
"Periodic maintenance is the key to keeping your snowthrower ready for the next snowfall," said Clark Oltman, Toro. "While they are durable machines, a few simple steps can prevent major breakdowns at the worst possible time and extend the life of your investment."
Before you get your lawn tools out of the garage, make sure you properly prepare your snowthrower for a well-deserved rest. The experts at Toro, the manufacturer of the first patented consumer snowthrower, provides these helpful tips:
Start with the engine and drive system.
Drain any remaining fuel from the system. Store or dispose of the fuel properly. If you are going to store the fuel for an extended period of time, add a fuel stabilizer to the fuel container to ensure that it will be useable in the future. Start the engine and let it run until the engine stops - removing all fuel from the system. Repeat until needed until it will not start.
Safety first. Remove the plug wire from the spark plug so that it doesn't accidentally start while conducting maintenance.
Remove sparkplug and insert one teaspoon of oil to lubricate the cylinder so that it doesn't rust. Turn the engine slowly with the starting rope to coat the cylinder. Apply a copper anti-seize lubricant to the sparkplug threads to make future removal easy. Replace the sparkplug and wait until next season to replace the old one as a new sparkplug will be fouled by the oil in the cylinder by next season.
Now is a good time to purchase a spare sparkplug if you don't have one, they are inexpensive and it's a good idea to have a spare on hand. When choosing a replacement, purchase one that is pre-gapped for your engine (your owners manual should indicate the correct gap).
Change the oil. Drain the old oil and discard appropriately. Generally, a 10W-30 or 5W-30 regular motor oil or a 10W-30 synthetic oil can also be used to ensure easy starting in cold weather. Check your manual for what weight the manufacturer recommends.
If you have a two-stage snowthrower, top off auger gearbox according to the manufacturers recommendations.
Check belts for proper tightness.
Finish with the auger and controls.
Inspect for any loose or damaged bolts or parts. Repair or replace as needed.
Apply silicone grease on all exposed, bare metal parts and nuts and bolts to prevent rusting.
Consult your owner's manual to determine other routine maintenance that should be performed.
Never store your snowthrower in the house or basement, choose a dry area such as your garage or a covered area outside.
Don't wait for that first snow to fly next winter, by taking a few preventive maintenance tips now while the weather is warmer, you're snowthrower will be ready to tackle next year's snow with ease.