Winter brings a lot of snowfall, and this is the time that snow blowers are hard at work. A snowblower clears the snow from your path, but with frequent use, their performance may deteriorate, especially with no proper care and maintenance. One form of maintaining your machine is by performing an oil change, which is a critical part of care and maintenance and fortunately, it is not as complicated as it may sound! A quick guide will ensure you safely change the oil for smooth operations.
Why Change Oil in the First Place?
Snow blower’s engine oil degrades and gets contaminated throughout use that is why an oil change is essential. Contamination of the oil is however unavoidable regardless on the kind of use it is subjected to, whether light, normal or extreme snow conditions. With this quick degradation, it is crucial to perform a frequent oil change because dirty oil puts the engine at risk for inefficient operations and makes the engine susceptible to damage which eventually leads to high repair bills. On the flip side, regular oil change and maintenance ensures reliability, satisfactory performance and durability.
The kind of oil used in a snowblower is pretty much the same one used in a standard vehicle only that unlike cars, snowblowers do not need an oil change every three months. The best time to change the snowblower oil is the last time you use it in the year before you store it during spring and summer until you pull it out again for use during winter. It is not advisable to use the same oil each year as the cold conditions can make the oil less effective. Changing the oil in your snowblower is easy and inexpensive, but you also need to check the instructions on the manual before attempting an oil change on your own. Below are some tips about oil change that can be useful:
Wear Protective Gear
Before changing the oil, you must have your safety wear in place. Wear goggles and gloves to protect self from debris and chemicals that are not friendly to your skin and eyes. After wearing your protective gear, open up the oil tank and check the amount of oil in the snowblower. Do this by pulling the dipstick out and checking the oil level.
Warm the Oil
Once you have deciphered the amount of oil remaining in the snowblower, please turn on the machine and let it run for at least 3 minutes to heat the oil and make it easy to drain it together with debris that forms when the engine is in use. Wait for a minute for the hot parts to cool before removing the oil.
Drain the Oil
Disconnect the oil drain plug wire from the engine on your snowblower. The drain plug is either at the lower section or side of the machine. Once you locate it, put a drain pan under the snowblower before you unscrew the drain plug and hold down the oil tube to let the liquid substance drain into the drain pan you placed below it. Tilt the snowblower to ensure the oil is completely drained.
Restore the drain plug
Once all the oil has been drained out from the snowblower, put back the oil drain plug and tighten it to make sure there are no chances of leakages when you put in fresh oil. Once you have restored the drain plug, find the oil fill tube and put a funnel on it. The manual of your snowblower has indications of the right amount of oil for your refill. Once you go through this section of the manual, you can go ahead and refill your snow blower with new oil. Start the engine again and let it run for a minute or two as you check the drain plug area to confirm there is no leakage.
Get rid of the drained oil
Ensure you practice environmental safety when discarding the used oil that you just drained from your snowblower. Instead of releasing the used oil into the drain or putting it inside a trash can, both which are detrimental to the environment, consider taking it to a gas station. They deal with gas and have better ways to dispose of used oil. The gas stations have the conditions set by the energy regulatory authority and their way of disposing of used oil is safe and environment friendly.
You see, the best snow blower will only perform when in the perfect condition. The best way to ensure this important tool is always up for the task during those cold months is to constantly change the oil. You only need to follow the above steps and you are good to go!