Snow Blower FAQ: 13 Things to Know

What is the best snow blower for your home? What are the differences between 2 and 3 stage blowers? What kind of maintenance do you need to perform on a snowblower and how often should you do it? The following guide will answer these questions and more.

How Long Does a Single Stage Snow Blower Last?

While it depends on how much you use it and whether or not moisture from the snow begins to deteriorate the metal, a traditional single-stage snow blower can last for at least a decade. Well-built single-stage models that feature stainless steel components can last for 20-30 years if you make sure to keep them clean and dry when not in use.

Though some people have opined that single-stage snow blowers are not as heavily built as other models, they’re also mechanically simple. This simplicity usually translates into reduced maintenance, which can sometimes make them last longer.

How Do You Maintain a Snow Blower?

Keeping your snowblower dry is probably the number one thing you’ll want to do. You’ll also want to give these tips a try:

  1. Power the unit off and remove the spark plug connector to ensure that it won’t turn on while you’re working on it
  2. Inspect the belts and replace any that are worn down
  3. Take a look at the spark plugs and make sure they’re still functional
  4. Clean and inspect the auger paddles
  5. Remove any debris on the shave plate
  6. Tighten or replace any shear pins that seem to have gotten loose
  7. Flip over the skid shoes if yours are looking worn down, since they’re normally reversible
  8. Change the oil in much the same way you would with any other engine
  9. Fill your machine up with fresh gas
  10. Always use up the last bit of gas before storing your snowblower for the season

What Are the Stages of Snow Blowers? What Is the Difference Between a 2 Stage and 3 Stage Snow Blower?

On a single-stage snow blower, the auger picks up snow and throws it directly out of a shoot. Two-stage machines feed the snow into a high-speed impeller motor, which throws the snow over a wider area.

That makes them useful for thick and wet snow. Some companies refer to heavy-duty two-stage snowblowers as three-stage machines, though they’re normally simply outfitted with a stronger motor or an additional impeller stage that throws the snow even further.

Do You Need 3 Stage Snow Blower?

Consider how much snow you get and whether or not the snow tends to be heavy and wet. If you don’t have to deal with this sort of problem where you’re at, then you might not want to invest in one of these solutions.

Due to the increased engineering of two-stage snowblowers as well as changing weather patterns, several two-stage solutions now exist that can do jobs once relegated purely to three-stage blowers.

How Long Do Snow Blower Batteries Last?

Batteries should last you at least five years, though they’re technically supposed to last for the entire lifetime of the snowblower. If you’re noticing that your batteries no longer hold a charge and you use a purely electric model, then you might want to invest in deep cycle replacement cells.

These should normally last for at least five years if not longer.

How Much Should I Spend on a Snowblower?

Average prices for gas snowblowers usually never drop below $200, but you can sometimes find electric ones that will cost less than this. Industrial and agricultural buyers who insist on three-stage machines due to their workload may be looking at more than $4,000 for each unit.

Individual consumers will seldom want to pay anything even close to this much, but these units are probably worth it for those who are

How Often Should You Change the Oil in a Snowblower?

Chances are that you’ll need to change your oil at least once a season. Only institutional users, like those who work for landscaping companies, usually have to do so more often.

No less and you’re starting to risk engine damage.

Should I Run My Snowblower Before I Change the Oil?

Assuming that there’s any chance that the oil has gotten cold, it’s probably a good idea to run the engine for at least four or five minutes. Make sure to disconnect all of the running gear after you’ve done so before you change the oil.

How Do I Know If My Snowblower Spark Plugs Are Bad?

Bad spark plugs will usually have either blister on their insulator tips or melted electrodes on the top. White mineral deposits are also another good sign that something has gone wrong with a set of them.

What is the Minimum Amount of Snow to Use a Snowblower?

Unless you have a powerful two or three-stage machine, your snowblower should be comfortable working with as little as two inches of snow. Landscaper-quality dual-stage blowers often need at least 4-6″ before they’re really ready to throw the snow.

How Can I Make My Snowblower More Powerful?

Clear out the chute and then change any belts that seem to be loose or have begun to hang. Anytime that a snowblower suddenly seems to have lost its gusto, there’s a good chance that one of these changes will help it out.

Do Battery Snow Blowers Work?

Not only do they work, but battery snow blowers can actually be more affordable and stronger than gas-powered ones to operate. The problem with them isn’t that they don’t work, but rather the fact that you could get stuck waiting for one to charge if you’ve run the batteries down and don’t have any fresh ones.

Are Snow Blowers Worth It?

Those who live in areas that don’t get that much overall snowfall accumulation might find that snow blowers aren’t actually worth it. This is especially true of people who are comfortable with shoveling the snow themselves anyway.

Landscapers and those who manage bigger facilities tend to rely on them, however.