Hot Topics: Finally Putting the Snow Blower Up

Draining the oil from a snow blower.

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For the most part, we’re done blowing snow and it’s time to put that machine away and get the mower out. So, how to store it and give it the longest life you can? The Forum knows.

Original Post: Snow blower summer storage. Is this ok?

JeffB777 Member

Hi folks,

I have a 3 year old 26-inch Craftsman Dual Stage with a 208cc 4-cycle engine. The owner’s manual says that for summer storage, you should run the engine until the fuel is gone and then remove the spark plug and pour a bit of oil into the hole. I have not been doing that. What I've been doing is keeping gas with fuel stabilizer in the snow blower and running the engine once per month all summer long. I let it run for about 5 to 7 minutes to get up to operating temperature.

My question is, am I doing my machine a disservice by doing that? I've had no start up or running issues with it. It is also kept inside a shed year round if that makes any difference.


Highlights from the Thread

mitch17 Group Moderator

I run mine dry but skip the oil part.

Even with stabilizer, fuel goes bad so I don't store the mower or blower with gas in them and only buy a gallon or so ($5) of fuel at a time for them to keep it fresh.

Pilot Dane Group Moderator

I think your three years of success show that it's OK. Not the best but OK, and more than many people do.

Fuel stabilizer can help prevent gas from developing varnish. Unfortunately it cannot prevent the finer more volatile components of gasoline from evaporating off, which can make the engine harder to start. Also, most gasoline now contains alcohol which absorbs moisture. So, even with fuel stabilizer, gasoline has a limited shelf life. So fresh is always better than old gas, stabilizer or not.

JeffB777 Member

Mitch & Pilot... Thanks for the replies. Looks like I've got 2 votes for following the owner’s manual and getting the fuel out of it for the summer. So... that is exactly what I will be doing this weekend.

Thanks again for your input!

aka pedro Member

If it's working for you, I would say that it's okay. I'm almost reluctant to say anything for fear of jinxing it, but my Simplicity turned 25 last fall, and each spring I drain the fuel down, start it, let it run until empty, inspect the belts, etc., oil and grease the wear points, and put it away. It never sets outside, still looks new, and has always started the first time of the season by the second or third pull. I have never put oil in the cylinder for the off-season, even though I know that a lot of the manufacturers recommend it, and my mower, tiller, and even one of my weed whackers are also over 20 years old.

JeffB777 Member

Aka Pedro... You and Mitch both mention that you don't put oil into the cylinder. Any particular reason for not doing that? And congrats on a 25 year old machine!!! I try to take really good care of my equipment too, which is why I wanted to see if what I was doing was not the right thing. You're another vote for getting the fuel out.


aka pedro Member

Well, first off, as I mentioned, I know that a lot of manufacturers suggest oil in the cylinder(s), and they know more about what they build than I do, so don't let anything that I say sway you. But what is the purpose of the oil, and where does it go when you put it in thought the spark plug hole? Okay, on a horizontal shaft, vertical bore, single cylinder engine, which is probably what your snow blower has, you pour it in, let it set a bit, assume that it ends up on top of the top ring, spin the crank a few times by hand, and you have a light coating of oil on the cylinder wall. That makes sense. But what about a vertical shaft engine as on a push lawn mower or V-twin engine as on many riding mowers? The oil is going to lay at the lowest point, and is only going to protect a small area of the cylinder. So, rather than picking and choosing, I have always opted to skip that step, keep things out of the weather, and it has worked for me.

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