Walk Behind Snow Equipment Maintenance:
Check the engine oil:
Most newer single stage snow-throwers and almost all 2-stage snow-blowers now use a 4 cycle engine, similar to a small car engine. This means that instead of mixing the oil with the fuel then engine has a separate reservoir for the oil. This level should be checked and topped off before every use per instructions found in the unit operators manual.
Tip: Most of these engines hold less than a quart of oil. Therefore it will not take a large quantity to fill them from the add mark on the dipstick.
Check the WEAR PARTS:
The wear parts do the majority of the work on your snow thrower. It's best to inspect these before the season and regularly during the season.
Tip: The paddles and skid bar will typically wear in unison on a paddle type snow thrower.
Single Stage Snow-Thrower Examples:
How do I know my paddles need replaced: When the wear hole starts to wear through on the edge then it needs replaced. The paddles will not pick up the snow and throw it as well when the paddles get worn out.
How long do paddles last before they need replaced? Using Toro original replacement paddles, the average homeowner with a two car garage should see a 2-4 year life span out of their paddles. It's best to replace the scraper bar at the same time as the paddles. It's possible, depending upon model and usage habits, that the scraper bar will need to be replaced before the paddles.
Two Stage Snow-Blower Examples:
Two Stage Snow Blowers are designed to leave a skiff of snow on the ground. Most of the newer skid shoes have an extra flat surface on the top of the shoe. These styles can be flipped over once the bottom wears out. Make sure the Scraper Bar and the Skid Shoes are adjusted properly so the Auger Housing doesn't run on the ground. If this happens, it can wear through the mounting holes for the Scraper Bar and Skid Shoes causing damage to the Auger Housing.