A Step-By-Step Guide to Changing Your Snowblower Engine Oil
Preparing for the cold, bitter winter is always a difficult task when the days are still warm with the Autumn sun. Before it gets too cold (or even worse before it snows!) do yourself a favour and check that your snowblower is working well. Even better, change the engine oil by following the step-by-step picture guide to ensure smooth operation all winter long.
Position your snowblower in a well ventilated area with plenty of room for you to work. Avoid being crammed between cars or patio furniture. Next, start your engine and let it run for a few minutes (2 to 4 min) to let the engine oil warm up. This is necessary to allow the oil to drain quickly.
Place cardboard under your engine to protect your driveway from any oil spills followed by an oil catch pan to collect the old oil.
On the back of your snowblower, just below the engine, you will likely have a spigot sticking out as shown above. This is your engine oil drain tube. Using two crescent wrenches, slowly turn the wrench closest to you counter clock wise while keeping the wrench furthest from you still. Keep turning the wrench closest to you until the cap comes off and oil begins to drain.
To speed up the draining oil and to ensure you get all the oil out of the sump, tilt the snowblower back. Ensure your snowblower is stable and that no small children or pets are around.
Once all the oil has been drained take a moment to evaluate the oil. If yours looks really dark with a cloudy / milky haze like mine did, that's an indication that the oil had water in it and was well due to be changed. New oil will look like the colour of honey.
Discard the oil per your local municipality's guidance. I typically use an old 5 gallon paint bucket and take the oil to my local, city run, drop off. It's a free service and helps to protect the environment!
Ensure to purchase the correct engine oil for your particular snowblower. Most engines require 5w30 since the oil viscosity is well suited for low winter temperatures and moderate summer temperatures. The size of the bottle shown in the photo is called a "quart".
Remove the oil dipstick and pour the required amount of oil into the oil tube. Its best to reference your owners manual to know exactly how much oil to use. My engine requires 0.6 quarts of oil. DO NOT use too much oil or you can severely damage your engine. Using too little can also severely damage your engine. Continue reading "step 9" to understand how to tell if you've used the correct amount of oil.
The dipstick will tell you if you've added too much, too little or just the right amount of oil. Wipe the dipstick with a clean cloth and insert it all the way down into the tube. Pull the stick back out and check to see how much oil is indicated on the stick. If you've added too much, simply go back to step 3, drain a small amount of oil and check the quantity again. Keep repeating until the oil is at or just below the "FULL" marker.
Notice the oil looks like the colour of honey.
Congratulations, you've just completed your first snowblower oil change! Be sure to start the engine and check that you don't have any leaks. Assuming that your engine is running smooth you are in a much better position to take on winter and the many feet of snow it is sure to bring!
Always remember to operate your snowblower per the manufacturer's instructions and please stay safe.