Now that winter is over and the skies have stopped gifting us with a deluge of white fluff, you may be thinking about putting your snow blower away for the rest of the year. However, it isn’t as easy as chucking it into the back of your garage to collect dust until next November. There are a few steps that you should follow, and a few procedures that will not only preserve the life of your snow blower but are almost required to keep it functioning properly. There’s nothing worse than waking up to a big snowstorm with a dead snow blower. With these tips and directions, that dream won’t become a reality. Visit our Stihl Department at HomCo Lumber and Hardware if you have any questions about proper snow blower storage. We’re always happy to help!

How to Properly Store Your Snow Blower for the Summer: 

Storing your snow blower isn’t just the process of covering it up and setting it into a corner of your garage or shed. Not only is storing it properly important, but there are also some cleaning and quality-of-life steps that you should also do before the long haul into the spring, summer, and fall. 

Step 1: Treat your fuel

First, and most importantly, is what to do about the fuel. There are two main options you can take when it comes to the fuel in your snow blower. You can either drain it out completely, or you can mix it in a stabilizer. You MUST choose one of those options. Leaving in plain old fuel could potentially damage your snow blower. The fuel in the tank will oxidize and leave sludge inside the tank. This could be transported further into your engine and end up ruining it. You’d have to either repair it or buy a new snow blower. Save yourself the hundreds, or thousands, of dollars and treat your fuel.

Draining your snow thrower’s fuel tank:

If you want to drain your snow blower’s tank, these are the steps you need to take. First, drain the fuel into a proper container. Next, run your snow blower until it stops completely. This means all of the fuel is gone, and it is safe to store.

Stabilize your snow thrower’s fuel:

If you want to mix some stabilizers into your fuel, the process is a bit more complicated. First, mix in your stabilizer with your fuel. Next, run your engine for about ten minutes so that the stabilized fuel gets properly integrated into the engine. Lastly, top off the fuel so that no empty space is left behind. If there is space left over, the oxygen could oxidize the fuel in the tank, which is the last thing that you want. 

It is generally safer to empty the fuel from the snow blower, but adding a stabilizer is a way to ensure that your snow blower won’t be damaged from the fuel. Dustin mentions this, and other tips, in our snow blower video below:

Step 2: Perform maintenance

After your snow blower’s fuel tank has been dealt with, it’s time to perform some maintenance. Before you do so, make sure to remove the spark plug so that it doesn’t accidentally turn on. Go over your snow blower’s manual for the parts of the snow blower that you should check over. Common ones are the belts, friction disks, and hardware, so those are good items to start inspecting first. If anything needs to be replaced, make sure to do so, so that you don’t need to rush to replace them before the first snow.

Step 3: Clean before storing your snow thrower

Next is cleaning, both exterior and interior. Lubricate the internal parts of the snow blower so that they can function properly. This may mean simple lubrication according to how the manufacturers manual outlines it, or it may mean more deep cleaning. If there has been rust build-up on some parts, rub it off with some sandpaper. After all the rust has been removed from your snow blower, you can lubricate the parts. Not only will this make it run smoother, but it will also prevent future rust build-up, as long as you keep it maintained.

Cleaning the exterior is as important of a step as the interior. Snow blowers are not waterproof, and if the exterior paint is damaged, the metal may start to rust over. You can prevent this by cleaning it after each season. The salt buildup will encourage rusting, so that needs to be taken care of. You can clean the snow blower by using a gentle stream of water and some light dish soap. You shouldn’t need to scrub too much, but if there’s a particularly stubborn salt patch, add some more soap,

Step 4: Change the oil

Lastly, change the snow blower’s oil so that it is topped off and ready for the next winter season, and your cleaning and maintenance is done. Not only can you get snow blower oil at HomCo Lumber and Hardware, but you can get a number of Ariens snow blower items at the Stihl section, so don’t hesitate to come in.

Why Proper Storage is Important:  

It might seem a bit like overkill to spend so much time on your snow blower when spring is in the air and snow is a distant memory, but that is exactly why working on your snow blower now is so important. If you let it sit around and collect dust on top of the salt and rust, the thousands of dollars you spent on your machine will be wasted. Proper maintenance and storage can ensure that your snow blower will continue to be operable, even months from now when you’ve forgotten about it.

In that vein, maintenance and cleaning isn’t the only important thing to do to prepare for the off season. The second most important thing, following that, is proper storage. Not only is it important to store it properly, but it is also important to store it in the right location.

The best place to store a snow blower is in the garage. Not only is it protected from the elements, but it is nearby, safe, and secure. This is the place that technicians suggest you store your snow blower. You can store it outside if you so desire, but doing so in a shed would be your best option. If it absolutely must be stored in the elements, it needs to be on a raised platform off of the ground or else water can get to it and slowly rust it away. A canopy of some sort would also be welcomed, and a cover is basically mandatory. 

Even if you take the top advice and store your snow blower in the garage, you should also invest in a snow cover. This will keep dust and other bad business out of the parts of your snow blower so that all of your maintenance doesn’t go to waste. We carry some snow blower covers here in the Stihl Department at HomCo Lumber and Hardware, so swing on by, and our Stihl associates will answer any other questions you may have about snow blower storage and snow blower maintenance. 

With Proper Snow Blower Storage, You’ll Always Be Ready for the Next Flagstaff Storm:

Snow blower storage and snow blower maintenance is an important and unavoidable part of your snow blower’s life. Storing it properly will make sure that you won’t be scrambling to get a last-minute snow blower before the storm. Not only will this improve the life of your snow blower, but in the long run, it will save you a lot of money and time, even if you get someone else to look at it. Head on over to the Stihl Department at HomCo Lumber and Hardware and check out our Ariens snow blowers and Ariens snow blower items. If you have any questions, a Stihl associate will be happy to help you. We will also fix up your snow blowers, chainsaws, or other Stihl products. You can call our number at 928-440-9582 for more information. Prepare for next winter, protect your snow blower, and welcome the new spring season by storing your snow blower properly.

About the Author

Rhianne is one of HomCo's valued experts. When she's not writing a DIY blog or sharing more about hardware with our customers, you can find her in the Carhartt department. Stop by to say hi!