Category Archives: Snowblower Maintenance

How Do I Lubricate My Snowblower’s Moving Parts?

So, you’ve got yourself a trusty snowblower to help you battle the winter weather. That’s great! But now you find yourself wondering, “How do I keep it running smoothly?” Well, one crucial step in maintaining your snowblower is properly lubricating its moving parts. Lubrication plays a vital role in preventing friction and wear, ultimately prolonging the lifespan of your machine. In this article, we’ll explore the simple steps you need to take to ensure your snowblower is well lubricated and ready to tackle those snow-covered driveways and pathways.

How Do I Lubricate My Snowblowers Moving Parts?

1. Importance of Lubricating Snowblower’s Moving Parts

Snowblowers are essential machines when it comes to clearing snow from driveways and walkways during the winter season. To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your snowblower, it is crucial to properly maintain and lubricate its moving parts. Neglecting this maintenance task can lead to various issues, including rust, corrosion, increased friction, wear, and even a decrease in performance. By understanding the importance of lubrication, you can prevent these problems and keep your snowblower running smoothly throughout the winter season.

1.1 Preventing Rust and Corrosion

Snow is often wet and moisture can easily find its way into the moving parts of your snowblower. When metal components are exposed to moisture for extended periods, they can develop rust and corrosion. These types of damage can lead to the deterioration of various parts, affecting their functionality and lifespan. By regularly lubricating your snowblower’s moving parts, you provide a protective barrier that helps repel moisture and prevents the formation of rust and corrosion.

1.2 Reducing Friction and Wear

Moving parts in any machine generate friction, and the snowblower is no exception. When these parts rub against each other without proper lubrication, friction increases, leading to excessive wear and tear. Over time, this can result in components wearing out prematurely, affecting their efficiency and potentially causing them to fail. By lubricating the moving parts, you reduce friction, ensuring smooth movement and minimizing wear and tear, which ultimately enhances the overall performance and longevity of your snowblower.

1.3 Maintaining Optimal Performance

A well-lubricated snowblower performs at its best, allowing you to efficiently tackle snow removal. By neglecting the lubrication of its moving parts, your snowblower’s performance can be compromised. Stiff or jammed parts can lead to reduced throwing distance, decreased maneuverability, and an overall decrease in effectiveness. Additionally, increased friction among the moving components can put unnecessary strain on the engine, potentially causing it to work harder or overheat. Regular lubrication ensures that all parts function smoothly, allowing your snowblower to operate at its optimal performance level.

2. Choosing the Right Lubricant

To effectively lubricate your snowblower’s moving parts, it is essential to select the appropriate lubricant. Different types of lubricants are available, each designed for specific applications and conditions. Understanding the requirements of your snowblower and considering environmental factors will help you make an informed decision.

2.1 Understanding the Snowblower’s Requirements

Before choosing a lubricant, refer to your snowblower’s manual to determine the manufacturer’s recommendations for lubrication. The manual will specify the type of lubricant to use, as well as any other specific requirements. It is important to follow these guidelines to prevent any potential damage or issues.

2.2 Types of Lubricants for Snowblower’s Moving Parts

There are various types of lubricants available for snowblower maintenance. Here are some commonly used options:

2.2.1 All-Purpose Lubricants

All-purpose lubricants, such as penetrating oils, are versatile and can be used for lubricating a wide range of moving parts on your snowblower. They are effective at loosening rusted or stuck components and providing temporary lubrication. While they can be suitable for certain applications, they may not offer long-lasting protection against moisture and extreme temperatures.

2.2.2 Synthetic Oils

Synthetic oils are specifically formulated to provide superior lubrication and protection in harsh conditions. They are resistant to extreme temperatures and offer excellent long-term performance. Synthetic oils are commonly used in snowblowers, as they ensure smooth operation and help prevent rust and corrosion. Always verify that the synthetic oil you choose is compatible with your snowblower’s specifications.

2.2.3 Grease

Grease is a thick and sticky lubricant that is ideal for parts that require heavy-duty lubrication and prolonged protection. It is commonly used for areas with constant movement, such as gears, bearings, and shafts. Grease provides excellent resistance to moisture, preventing rust and corrosion from compromising the moving parts. It is important to use the appropriate type and consistency of grease recommended by the manufacturer.

2.2.4 Silicone-based Lubricants

Silicone-based lubricants offer excellent resistance to water and extreme temperatures, making them suitable for snowblower moving parts. They provide a protective coating that reduces friction and prevents rust and corrosion. Silicone-based lubricants are typically used on rubber and plastic components, such as chute controls and other non-metal parts that come into contact with snow.

2.2.5 Dry Lubricants

Dry lubricants, like graphite or PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), come in a powder or spray form and are often used in areas where traditional wet lubricants might attract dirt and debris. They are particularly useful for reducing friction on metal-to-metal contact points, such as auger and impeller shafts. Dry lubricants offer resistance to moisture and provide lasting lubrication without attracting unwanted elements.

2.3 Consideration for Environmental Factors

When selecting a lubricant, take into account the environmental conditions in which your snowblower operates. If you live in an area with extreme cold or dampness, choose a lubricant that offers superior protection against these factors. Additionally, consider any environmental regulations regarding lubricant usage, especially if you plan to work in environmentally sensitive areas.

How Do I Lubricate My Snowblowers Moving Parts?

3. Identifying the Moving Parts in Your Snowblower

Understanding the key moving parts of your snowblower is crucial for effective lubrication. Here are some important components to identify:

3.1 Auger and Auger Shaft

The auger is the rotating component responsible for breaking up and collecting snow. It is connected to the auger shaft, which transfers the power from the engine. Proper lubrication of these parts ensures smooth rotation and prevents excessive wear.

3.2 Impeller and Impeller Shaft

The impeller is responsible for propelling the snow through the discharge chute. It is crucial to lubricate the impeller and its shaft to maintain efficient operation and prevent rust or corrosion.

3.3 Auger and Impeller Bearings

The auger and impeller shafts are supported by bearings, which enable smooth rotation. Lubricating these bearings ensures their optimal performance and prolongs their lifespan.

3.4 Drive System Components

The drive system comprises various components that transmit power from the engine to the auger and impeller. These components include:

3.4.1 Drive Belt

The drive belt connects the engine to the drive pulley, which then transfers power to the wheels or tracks. Proper lubrication of the drive belt reduces friction and ensures smooth operation.

3.4.2 Friction Disc or Wheel

The friction disc or wheel controls the transmission of power from the drive pulley to the wheels or tracks. Lubricating this component helps maintain smooth operation and prevents excessive wear.

3.4.3 Chains

Some snowblowers use chains to provide additional traction. It is important to lubricate the chains to prevent rust and ensure their smooth movement.

3.4.4 Gears and Gearbox

The gear system in the snowblower’s drive system is responsible for transmitting power at different ratios, allowing for variable speeds and torque. Lubricating the gears and the gearbox helps reduce friction and maintain optimal performance.

3.5 Other Moving Parts

Inspect your snowblower for any other moving parts that may require lubrication, such as hinges, pivots, and bearings in adjustable chutes or handles. Check the manufacturer’s manual for a comprehensive list of all moving parts that should be lubricated.

4. Step-by-Step Guide to Lubricating Your Snowblower’s Moving Parts

Properly lubricating your snowblower’s moving parts is a relatively simple process that can have a significant impact on its performance and longevity. Follow these steps to effectively lubricate the various components of your snowblower:

4.1 Preparing Your Snowblower

Before starting the lubrication process, take the following steps to ensure safety:

4.1.1 Powering Off and Disconnecting Spark Plug

Turn off the snowblower and remove the spark plug wire to prevent accidental engine start-up during lubrication.

4.1.2 Clearing the Snowblower of Any Debris

Remove any snow or debris from the snowblower’s exterior. Clearing the machine of obstructions ensures a clean and accessible working area.

4.2 Lubricating Specific Moving Parts

Refer to your snowblower’s manual for specific guidelines on lubrication intervals and recommended lubricant types for each moving part. Here are some general steps for lubricating common components:

4.2.1 Lubricating Auger and Auger Shaft

Apply the appropriate lubricant to the auger shaft, ensuring complete coverage. Rotate the auger manually to distribute the lubricant evenly. Repeat this process for each side of the auger shaft.

4.2.2 Lubricating Impeller and Impeller Shaft

Apply lubricant to the impeller shaft, taking care to cover the entire surface. Rotate the impeller to distribute the lubricant thoroughly.

4.2.3 Lubricating Auger and Impeller Bearings

Apply lubricant directly to the bearings, ensuring each bearing is adequately covered. Manually rotate the auger and impeller to distribute the lubricant evenly.

4.2.4 Lubricating Drive System Components

Apply lubricant to the drive belt, friction disc or wheel, chains, and gears as recommended by the manufacturer. Follow the specific instructions provided to ensure proper lubrication and coverage of these components.

4.2.5 Lubricating other Moving Parts

Inspect all other moving parts identified in your snowblower and apply lubricant as instructed in the manual. Take care to cover all hinges, pivots, and bearings to reduce friction and prevent rust or corrosion.

4.3 Reassembling and Testing the Snowblower

Once all moving parts have been lubricated, reassemble any components that were removed during the lubrication process. Before using the snowblower, ensure that all connections are secure. Reconnect the spark plug wire and power on the snowblower. Test the machine to ensure that all moving parts are functioning smoothly and the lubrication is effective.

5. Maintenance Tips for Snowblower’s Moving Parts

In addition to regular lubrication, there are several maintenance practices you can follow to keep your snowblower’s moving parts in optimal condition:

5.1 Regular Inspection

Perform regular visual inspections of your snowblower’s moving parts to identify any signs of wear, damage, or inadequate lubrication. Look for loose or worn belts, damaged bearings, or any components that require adjustment or replacement. Catching these issues early can prevent further damage and extend the lifespan of your snowblower.

5.2 Cleaning Procedures

Keep your snowblower clean by removing any built-up snow, ice, or debris after each use. This reduces the risk of rust and corrosion and ensures the moving parts can function properly. Use a soft brush or cloth to clear away any residue.

5.3 Storage Considerations

When you’re done using your snowblower for the season, prepare it for storage by thoroughly cleaning and lubricating all the moving parts. Store the snowblower in a dry and secure location to prevent exposure to moisture and potential damage. Consider using a cover or tarp to provide an extra layer of protection.

5.4 Following the Manufacturer’s Recommendations

Always refer to your snowblower’s manual for specific maintenance instructions and guidelines. The manufacturer knows their product best and can provide valuable information regarding lubrication intervals, compatible lubricants, and overall maintenance requirements. Following these recommendations ensures that you properly care for your snowblower’s moving parts and maximize its lifespan.

By understanding the importance of lubricating your snowblower’s moving parts, choosing the right lubricant, identifying the components, following a step-by-step lubrication guide, and implementing proper maintenance practices, you can keep your snowblower running smoothly and efficiently, making snow removal a breeze during the winter months.

How Do I Check The Flywheel Key On My Snowblower?

So, you’ve got yourself a snowblower and you’re ready to tackle those winter storms head-on. But wait, before you rev up your machine and start plowing through the snow, there’s one important thing you need to check – the flywheel key. Now, you might be wondering, what is a flywheel key and why is it important? Well, my friend, in this article, we’ll break it down for you and walk you through the steps of how to check the flywheel key on your snowblower. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think, and with a little bit of know-how, you’ll be all set to conquer the winter wonderland in no time!

How Do I Check The Flywheel Key On My Snowblower?

Why is the Flywheel Key Important?

What is a flywheel key?

A flywheel key is a small piece of metal, often in the shape of a small rectangular bar or a half-moon, that connects the engine’s flywheel to the crankshaft. It is a crucial component in small engines, such as those found in snowblowers, lawnmowers, and other garden equipment.

What is the purpose of the flywheel key?

The main purpose of the flywheel key is to ensure that the flywheel and the crankshaft are properly aligned. This alignment is essential for the engine to function smoothly and efficiently. The flywheel key acts as a shear pin, designed to break or shear off in case of sudden impacts or excessive force being applied to the rotating assembly. This helps to prevent more significant damage to the engine.

What happens if the flywheel key is damaged or sheared?

If the flywheel key is damaged or sheared, it can lead to significant issues with the engine’s performance. When the flywheel and crankshaft are not properly aligned, it can cause the engine to run rough, produce excessive vibrations, or even fail to start. Additionally, a damaged flywheel key may cause the engine’s timing to be off, resulting in poor fuel efficiency, decreased power, and potentially severe engine damage if not addressed promptly.

Tools Required for Checking the Flywheel Key

Safety Precautions

Before attempting to check the flywheel key on your snowblower, it is crucial to take some safety precautions. First and foremost, always make sure the engine is turned off and the spark plug wire is disconnected to prevent accidental starting. Additionally, it is recommended to wear safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself from any potential injuries.

Necessary tools

To check the flywheel key, you will need a few basic tools:

  1. Socket wrench or a set of wrenches – to remove the blower housing.
  2. Screwdriver – to remove any screws holding the blower housing in place.
  3. Flywheel puller (optional) – if you encounter difficulty removing the flywheel.

How Do I Check The Flywheel Key On My Snowblower?

Steps to Check the Flywheel Key

Step 1: Disconnect the spark plug wire

Safety is always the first priority. Begin by removing the spark plug wire from the spark plug to prevent accidental starting while working on the snowblower.

Step 2: Remove the blower housing

Using a socket wrench or a set of wrenches, carefully remove the bolts or screws that hold the blower housing in place. Set the housing aside, making sure not to misplace any screws or small parts.

Step 3: Locate the flywheel key

Once the blower housing is removed, you will have a clear view of the flywheel. The flywheel key is usually located between the flywheel and the crankshaft. It may appear as a small metal piece or partially sheared off, depending on its condition.

Step 4: Inspect the flywheel key

Carefully inspect the flywheel key for any signs of damage or shearing. Look for cracks, chips, or any other noticeable issues. A damaged or sheared flywheel key will need to be replaced to ensure proper engine operation.

Step 5: Replace the flywheel key if necessary

If you discover that the flywheel key is damaged or sheared, it is crucial to replace it promptly. You can find a replacement flywheel key at a local hardware store or from the manufacturer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to correctly install the new flywheel key. Make sure it is properly aligned with the crankshaft and secure it in place.

Tips and Tricks for Checking the Flywheel Key

Inspect other components while the blower housing is off

While you have the blower housing off to check the flywheel key, it is an excellent opportunity to inspect other components of the snowblower. Look for any loose bolts, damaged wires, or signs of wear and tear. Addressing these issues proactively can help prevent future problems and extend the life of your snowblower.

Clean the flywheel and key before reinstallation

Before reinstalling the blower housing, take a moment to clean the flywheel and the flywheel key. Remove any dirt, debris, or oil that may have accumulated on these components. This will ensure a proper fit and alignment when reinstalling the flywheel and key.

Common Issues and FAQs

What are the signs of a damaged flywheel key?

Some common signs of a damaged flywheel key include rough engine running, excessive vibrations, difficulty starting the engine, or an engine that runs but lacks power. If you experience any of these issues, it is recommended to check the flywheel key as part of your troubleshooting process.

Can I repair a sheared flywheel key?

In most cases, a sheared flywheel key cannot be repaired and will need to be replaced. Due to safety reasons, it is best to replace the flywheel key rather than attempting to repair it yourself. Replacement flywheel keys are generally inexpensive and readily available.

How often should I check the flywheel key?

As part of regular maintenance, it is recommended to check the flywheel key on your snowblower at least once a year. However, if you notice any performance issues or suspect damage to the flywheel key, it is essential to check it immediately.


The flywheel key plays a critical role in the smooth operation of your snowblower’s engine. By understanding its importance and following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively check the flywheel key to ensure that it is in proper working condition. Regular maintenance and prompt replacement of a damaged or sheared flywheel key will help keep your snowblower running smoothly and prevent more significant engine issues down the line. Remember to prioritize safety and take necessary precautions before starting any maintenance tasks on your snowblower.