Every winter, our service department is bombarded with a blizzard of broken snowthrowers. Many of these issues could be avoided with proper maintenance. For this reason, we urge customers to test snowthrowers in the fall.
Follow this checklist or consider our PreSeason Service Special
- Prepare the fuel system
- Add a small amount of fresh fuel to the snowthrower
- Add a fuel stabilizer like Seafoam to help clean the fuel system
- Start the engine and allow it to run for at least 5 minutes.
- Either stop the engine, allow it to cool, then drain the fuel; or simply, allow the engine to run until it dies.
- Attempt to restart the engine. Repeat this step until the engine no longer starts.
- Loosen the drain plug on the carburetor and drain all remaining fuel.
- Check wearable parts
- Single Stage – Evaluate wear on paddles and scraper. Paddles are thick rubber pads that contact the surface of your driveway. They wear evenly with the plastic scraper that guards the housing of the snowthrower.
- Honda – There is not a wear indicator. Measure the center paddle (from the metal there must be a minimum of 5/8”)
- Toro – A small hole drilled through the paddle indicates wear. Once the paddles wear into the hole, replace both the paddle and scraper. If you cannot see the hole, then you have probably worn through it.
- Other Brands – If not indicated in your owner’s manual, a good rule of thumb is a thumb’s width. Observe the gap between the paddle and housing. If there is more than a thumb’s width between the scraper and paddle, then these should be replaced.
- Two Stage – Evaluate wear on skid shoes and scraper. If the skid shoes are worn past the contact plate either reverse or replace them. Once there is no adjustment left in the scraper, it should be replaced (this is very infrequent).
- All Snowthrowers feature belts and cable which may stretch or crack over time. Visually inspect and test these parts for proper function.