Do Snow Blowers Need Oil Changes? (Solved & Explained!)

If you live in a snowy climate, you have probably quickly realized that snow blowers work a whole lot better than a shovel! You can clear your driveway or sidewalk in a fraction of the time and with minimal physical effort. 

But it’s important to remember that snow blowers are motorized machines, and they need a bit of upkeep, which may require changing the oil. 

There are two variations of snow blowers: electric and gas. You will absolutely need to change the oil in your gas-powered snow blower, but not in an electrical model. 

If you know you do have a gas-operated snow blower, how often the oil needs to be changed, what type you need, and how much you should put in will all depend on the brand and model you have. 

We have done a lot of research, and are excited to share everything you need to know for when and how to properly change the oil in your gas snow blower.

How Do I Know If My Snow Blower Needs Oil?

If you have an electric snow blower, it definitely does not need oil, but if it is powered by gasoline, there are a few easy steps to follow to check if your snow blower needs oil.

  • Ensure the machine is parked on flat ground.
  • Let the engine cool completely before beginning your assessment. 
  • Find and remove the dipstick, then thoroughly clean it.
  • Enter and remove the dipstick again to check the oil level.
  • Find the indicator, if the level is below it, your snow blower needs oil. 

It really is that easy, now that’s not quite all the information you need to correctly change the oil in your snow blower, so keep reading! 

Do Snow Blowers Come With Oil In Them?

When you purchase a new gas snow blower, it will not always come with oil. 

Some brands will give you a small bottle to get started with, but you will have to put it in yourself.

And some companies will add a little oil so it’s ready to blow as soon as you arrive home. 

It’s important to either read your manual or check the oil level before running the machine. 

How Do You Change the Oil in a Snow Blower?

Both heat and dirt can make the oil in your gas-powered snow blower dirty and most importantly, less apt to protect your engine. 

To change the oil in your snow blower, just follow these super simple steps:

  • Start the engine and let it run for 5 minutes to loosen up the old oil.
  • Park the machine on a flat surface and place cardboard or a rag underneath to catch spills.
  • Put a pan under the drain and remove the plug (use caution and don’t loosen the extension tube.)
  • Gently tip the machine to drain the old oil into the pan. 
  • Replace the drain plug and secure it thoroughly, 
  • Remove the dipstick and our fresh oil into the hole. 

Your oil is now fresh and clean and you are ready to move some snow!

How Often Should You Change the Oil in a Snow Blower?

Changing the oil in your gas snow blower regularly will ensure your machine stays in tip-top shape, even through hours of snow removal. 

Experts recommend that you change the oil at the end of every Winter season, whether it is frequently used or not. 

It’s important to note that the annual timeline is only for oil changes, you should check your oil far more frequently, maybe after every few uses, just in case your machine is working hard and therefore using all the oil.

Using a snow blower, or any gas-operated engine, with no oil or dirty oil can seriously harm the motor, so be a conscientious owner and stay on top of your oil!

What Type of Oil Is Used in Snow Blowers?

Gas snow blowers operate with a 4-cycle engine, so the oil you need should specifically work with this type of motor. 

Most of the popular oils for snow blowers literally have “4-cycle” in the name, so it’s pretty tough to buy the wrong one. But if you want to know just which oil brands are the best, we have a top-5 list to make it even easier. 

  • Briggs & Stratton SAE 5W-30 Synthetic 
  • Arnold 4-Cycle Snow Thrower
  • Husqvarna 4-Cycle 5W-30 Synthetic Blend
  • Toro 4-Cycle Winter 5W-30
  • EXPLORER SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Snow Thrower

Exactly what type of oil is best for your machine will depend on your brand and model and specifically how hot the engine temperature runs. 

To learn a little more about what your engine needs, grab your user manual and check out this helpful website. 

How Much Oil Should You Put in a Snow Blower?

There’s no quick answer to how much oil you should put into your snow blower. 

Remember that if it’s an electric machine, you won’t need any at all. But if it is a gas-powered engine, the size of the motor will greatly affect how much oil to put in. 

Once again, you should check your user manual to find out the size of your engine, and therefore how much oil it will need on a refill.

If you have plenty of oil at home, you can estimate with the help of the dipstick. Make sure to add just a little at a time and continuously check on the indicator, after cleaning it, if you have reached the desired level. 

What Happens If You Put Too Much Oil in a Snow Blower?

If you slip up and accidentally add too much oil to your snow blower, don’t worry, it won’t break the machine completely. 

It will most likely be pushed out the crankcase and you will easily be able to tell as it will either make a bit of a mess or you will begin to see smoke rise from the engine. 

You may want to drain a bit of the oil if it has been overfilled, luckily you already know how to safely and successfully drain the old oil from your snow blower, and it’s the same process for excess oil.