snow-toroQ: It’s warmer than usual this winter, and I haven’t been using my snowblower at all. I need to store it now. What’s the proper way to put it away until next winter?

A: A great question! Here in Salt Lake City we’re having a crazy winter as well. Any time you want to store your snowblower, there are definitely some guidelines you should follow to make sure it will be in proper working order for the following winter.

First you need to determine if your snowblower is a single stage or two-stage blower. And once you know that, you can take the following steps:

Single–stage

For a single stage snowblower, first check your scraper and paddles for wear, and replace them if they’re in bad condition. Also take a thorough look at all of the blower’s nuts and bolts to make sure they’re securely in place – it’s very common for them to come loose during use. Then, check the belt and replace if it’s worn or cracked. Be sure to replace the spark plug if needed.

Then, the most important step to take is to fill the tank, add fuel stabilizer and run the blower for approximately five minutes to circulate the stabilizer through the fuel and carburetor lines. Make sure the stabilizer is ethanol friendly.

Two-stage

For a two-stage snowblower, you’ll be doing some of the same steps as above. Check the scraper and skids for wear, and replace as necessary, Check all nuts and bolts and re-fasten them if they’ve been shaken loose during operation, and replace the spark plug. Also check the belt and replace if it’s worn or cracked. You should then change the oil. Make sure to use 5w 30 motor oil. Heavier grade oil in cold temperatures will make the oil thick and makes it hard to pull the rope.

Like with single stage snowblowers, you should fill the tank and add ethanol-friendly fuel stabilizer, and run for about 5 minutes to circulate in carburetor and fuel lines.

What’s that, you say? You don’t know how to adjust the belts and skids on your snowblower? That’s a topic for next time.