Never had a gas powered snow blower until now. How do I store it until I
need it next winter?
The engine takes a mixture of gas and oil.
I already ran it until the engine died for lack of fuel.
What else do I need to do (i.e. with the spark plug, etc)
Emptying gas tank and carburettor are primary.
I also (2) empty the oil sump;
(3) remove spark plug, squirt a few drops of oil
in the hole and pull manual starter once (to
distribute oil on cylinder walls, and replace
the spark plug only finger tight;
(4) store under cover from the weather.
NO FINGER TIGHT SPARK PLUGS !! I unknowingly started a lawn mower with a
finger tight spark plug. When the spark plug left the cylinder head and
went through the side of my boot I figured "no problem" it will heal. Two
weeks later they amputated my great toe at the first joint.
Every snowblower that I have seen was 4-stroke
not 2-stroke. 4-stroke engines have oil in a sump
under the crankshaft (and a drain plug below.)
When the plug is replaced finger tight for winter
storage, the spark lead remains disconnected -- so
must be reconnected before the magneto can work.
In any case, a good startup routine includes cleaning
and regapping the plug at the beginning of the season.
Small 4-stroke engines make the oil dirtier faster than
do automobile engines, i.e. the oil should be replaced
once a year. This means (1) draining the oil (from a
warm engine) at the end of seasonal use, (2) refilling with
clean oil either immediately (for winter storage) or first thing
next season (when we also regap the plug or fit a new plug.)
Do like they do in the military- use zip ties/baling wire, and big colored
tags, to mark any oil sumps and POL tanks that have been drained, so the
poor SOB that pulls it out of storage years later has a clue what is going
on. Hell, the older I get, the more yellow sticky notes I use to leave
reminders to myself.
Even better, just change the oil at the end of the season and put in
new oil, which is what I do. I don't know of any engine manufacturer
that recommends storing an engine with no oil in it. An empty sump is
just more air space for condensation to take place. Plus, I don;t see
what the preceived advantage to leaving it empty would be.
My comments were in regard to draining the oil, ie the lubricating oil
in the sump, not the gas. The preceeding post should have made that
clear, because there was discussion about tagging the engine to make
sure it's not started later with no oil in it. Wouldn't need to do
that if it's the gas tank. Very few snowblowers are even 2 stroke.
On May 9, 10:53 am, email@example.com wrote:
oops my mistake. I admit I have never seen a two-stroke snow-blower
either. Right now they are trying to use as little of them as
possible. Chain saws and weed whacker are the only two stroke
machines I see anymore. A lot of Motercyles and lawm mowers use to be
but I don't see them anymore. Outboard motors are still made as a two
stroke but I think they are phasing them out. For weight to power
ratio the 2-stroke is superior to the 4-stroke but I guess they are
worse for the environment and inconvenient for the consumer having to
mix the fuel. My chain saw and weed whacker are 2-stroke, love em.
Three out of four of Don's suggestions are spot on, and number 3 is
especially important, but:
Don't drain the oil from the sump.
Next October / November, as you get it ready for the snow season,
get it started and run it 10 or so minutes in neutral to get the oil
Shut it down, drai the oil and refill with clean new lube oil of whatever
grade the mfgr recommends.
To get it unning after strage, you'll want to put in a new plug.
You may also want to spray a bunch of "Start Fluid" (ether)
or carb cleaner into the cylinder while the old plug is out
and before puting the new plug in, and pull the engine over
once or twice, to clean the oil residue from the cylinder / pistons.
Don Phillipson wrote:
On Fri, 11 May 2007 11:07:13 -0700, jJim McLaughlin
The very LAST thing you would want to do is wash off that wonderful
coating of oil! That oil is all that stands between you and a scored
cylinder and piston. The engine's normal lubrication system is not
going to do much in the first few seconds after it starts. Any idea
how much damage you can cause in 10-20 seconds of running with no oil
on the cylinder walls?
My local mechanic tells me that it's no good to run the machine dry
unless the carb were also emptied. The main risk is from gas turning
to gel in the carb which requires repair. He says that gas used to
have additives (lead) which made them very stable. Now that those
dangerous additives have been removed gasoline has a limited useful
life when stored in small quantities.
He has instructed me that when storing a machine to add a gasoline
stabilizer to whatever gas is left in the machine and then run the
machine at least long enough to get treated gas into the carb. The
stuff is available everwhere. In his opinion it would not be
necessary to run the machine out of gas if this additive is used. It
also wastes gas and pollutes the air uneccessarily.
He also suggested that I add the stuff to all of the gas I use in my
numerous small engines since they are used intermittently. It is not
expensive. They are a busy shop and don't want to see me for somthing
stupid like a clogged carb.
They also suggest dryer sheets in the exhaust pipe to discourage
rodents. One more than one occasion mice have made their home inside
my mowers. Moth balls have also been mentioned as a rodent
repellent. Just don't forget that they are in there!
I use Sta-Bil in all gas for my many small engines, and That's ALL I do. One
ounce for every 2.5 gallons. No draining of carbs, no running them dry. I just
took my lawnmower out yesterday after sitting for 6 months. pushed the primer 3
times, pulled the rope once and off I went. I use Sta-Bil in all gas for both 2
and 4 stroke engines. Screw all the "storage instructions". It's all baloney,
except possibly using a fogging oil. I do that for some of the bigger motors,
but I can't say it really does anything useful. I have 30 year old small engines
that have never been fogged and they still run just fine.
Since you have a two stroke engine (gas and oil) I would run it dry.
I would recommend first getting all the gas out of the gas tank. From
there run it dry.
Make sure to use the choke on it when it starts to sputter. Now
some motors have a drain screw or plug on the bottom of the carb. You
need to get
that out too.
Annual maint. should be check and clean the plug as well as grease it
up. If the unit is fairly new I wouldnt worry yet about the rubber
paddles or the auger belt.
If you have "never seize" (silver stuff) I would recommend putting it
on the threads of the spark plug. Make sure not to overtighten that
The problem with gas is that when it gets old it starts to gel.
Clogs up everything. Now with two cycle gas, the oil in there
seperates and basically becomes a nasty black tar. Real pain to get
it all out. Many many cans of Gumout to clean out a gas tank and
If you have an older snowblower with a steel gas tank I would
recommend leaving gas in there to prevent rust from forming inside of
it. Stabil works ok. Some like it, others dont. I have used it one
on some motors with success. If you do go the stabil route, you
should periodically run the engine to make sure its happy. Nothing
like a tool failing right when you need it.
P.S. On a 4 cycle motor, dont forget to change that motor oil!
Ok, so then it sounds like I could put a few drops of oil in the plug
opening and pull the starter a few times, then replace the plug.
What do you think about me leaving the gas/oil tank filler cap off for a day
to evaporate any small amount of gas/oil (oil won't evaporate but the gas
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