What If I Left Gas In My Snowblower Over The Summer?

In this article, we will be discussing the potential consequences of leaving gas in your snowblower over the summer. We will explore the reasons why this may not be the best practice and the possible damage it can cause to your snowblower. Additionally, we will provide some helpful tips on how to prevent this issue and ensure that your snowblower is ready to go when winter arrives. So, if you’re curious about the effects of leaving gas in your snowblower over the summer, keep reading to find out more.

What If I Left Gas In My Snowblower Over The Summer?

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Effects of Leaving Gas in Snowblower

During the summer months, it is common for homeowners to put away their snowblowers and forget about them until the next winter season. However, one important question that often arises is: what if I left gas in my snowblower over the summer? In this article, we will explore the potential effects of leaving gas in a snowblower, including stale gasoline, clogging of the fuel system, and difficulty in starting the snowblower. We will also discuss preventive measures that can be taken to avoid these issues and ensure optimal performance of your snowblower.

Stale Gasoline

Explanation of Gasoline Staleness

When gasoline is left sitting in the fuel tank of a snowblower for an extended period, it can become stale. Stale gasoline occurs when the volatile compounds in the fuel evaporate, leaving behind a gummy residue. This residue can hinder the proper functioning of the snowblower’s engine.

Chemical Breakdown of Gasoline

Gasoline consists of various chemical compounds, including hydrocarbons and additives. Over time, exposure to oxygen and moisture can cause these compounds to react and break down chemically. As a result, the gasoline loses its ability to ignite efficiently.

Potential Negative Effects

Stale gasoline can have several negative effects on a snowblower’s performance. Firstly, it can cause engine misfires and poor combustion, leading to reduced power output and decreased efficiency. Secondly, the gummy residue left by stale gasoline can clog fuel lines, filters, and carburetors, further impairing the snowblower’s functionality. Lastly, the degradation of gasoline’s volatile compounds can result in a foul odor emitting from the exhaust.

Clogging of Fuel System

How Gasoline Residue Clogs the Fuel System

When stale gasoline evaporates and leaves behind a gummy residue, it can accumulate in the fuel system of a snowblower. This residue can clog the fuel lines, fuel filter, and carburetor, obstructing the proper flow of fuel to the engine.

Consequences of a Clogged Fuel System

A clogged fuel system can have severe consequences for the performance of a snowblower. It can lead to fuel starvation, where insufficient fuel reaches the engine, causing it to sputter, stall, or not start at all. Additionally, a clogged fuel system can result in erratic engine running, poor acceleration, and reduced power output.

Common Symptoms of Fuel System Clogging

If the fuel system of a snowblower is clogged, there are several common symptoms to look out for. These include difficulty in starting the snowblower, engine stalling or running rough, decreased power, and excessive exhaust smoke. If any of these symptoms occur, it is important to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage.

Difficulty in Starting the Snowblower

Impact of Leftover Gas on Starting Mechanism

Leaving gas in a snowblower over the summer can make it challenging to start the machine when the winter season arrives. Stale gasoline can lead to clogged fuel lines or a gummed-up carburetor, making it difficult for fuel to reach the engine for ignition.

Problems Faced During Starting Process

When trying to start a snowblower with stale gas, several problems may arise. The engine may crank but not start, or it may start but run rough and then stall. In some cases, the engine may not start at all, no matter how many times you attempt to start it.

Steps to Overcome Starting Issues

To overcome starting issues caused by stale gas, there are a few steps you can take. Firstly, check the fuel lines, fuel filter, and carburetor for any clogs or obstructions. Clean or replace any components that are causing the fuel flow to be impeded. Secondly, if the gas in the tank is stale, it is advisable to drain it completely and refill it with fresh gasoline. Finally, ensure that the spark plug is clean and in good condition as a faulty spark plug can also cause starting problems.

What If I Left Gas In My Snowblower Over The Summer?

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Preventive Measures

Draining the Gas Tank

To prevent the negative effects of stale gas, it is recommended to drain the gas tank of your snowblower before storing it for an extended period. This will remove any remaining fuel, minimizing the chances of it becoming stale and causing problems.

Using a Fuel Stabilizer

Another preventive measure is to use a fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizers are additives that can be added to gasoline to slow down the process of gasoline breakdown and keep it fresh for longer periods. Adding a fuel stabilizer before storing your snowblower can help prevent gas from becoming stale and the associated issues that come with it.

Changing the Spark Plug

The spark plug is a vital component in the ignition process of a snowblower. Over time, spark plugs can wear out or become fouled, making it difficult for the engine to start. Changing the spark plug regularly, especially before storing the snowblower for the summer, can help ensure a smooth start when winter comes.

Draining the Gas Tank

Process of Draining Gas from the Snowblower

To drain the gas tank of a snowblower, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the fuel shut-off valve and turn it to the “Off” position.
  2. Position a container or fuel-safe receptacle below the fuel tank to catch the gasoline.
  3. Remove the fuel line from the fuel tank and allow the gas to drain into the container.
  4. Once all the gas has been drained, reconnect the fuel line and close the fuel shut-off valve.

Avoiding Fuel Contamination

When draining the gas from your snowblower, it is essential to use a clean and approved fuel-safe container to avoid contaminating the environment. Never dispose of gasoline down drains or in household trash, as it can be hazardous to both the environment and human health.

Importance of Proper Disposal

Proper disposal of gasoline is crucial to prevent environmental damage. Gasoline should be taken to a designated hazardous waste disposal facility or a local recycling center that accepts gasoline. Do not attempt to burn gasoline or pour it into the ground, as these actions can have severe consequences for the environment.

What If I Left Gas In My Snowblower Over The Summer?

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Using a Fuel Stabilizer

Explanation of Fuel Stabilizer

A fuel stabilizer is a chemical additive designed to slow down the chemical breakdown of gasoline. It helps to preserve the fuel’s volatile compounds, preventing them from evaporating and leaving behind residue.

Benefits of Using a Stabilizer

Using a fuel stabilizer has several benefits. Firstly, it helps to keep gasoline fresh for longer periods, reducing the chances of it becoming stale. Secondly, it prevents the formation of gummy residues that can clog fuel lines and carburetors. Lastly, a fuel stabilizer can improve engine performance by maintaining the fuel’s optimal combustion properties.

Recommended Dosage and Application

When using a fuel stabilizer, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding dosage and application. Typically, a small amount of stabilizer is added to the gas tank before filling it with fresh gasoline. The fuel stabilizer will then mix with the gasoline, providing long-lasting protection against stale gas.

Changing the Spark Plug

Role of Spark Plug in Ignition Process

The spark plug plays a crucial role in the ignition process of a snowblower. It creates an electrical spark that ignites the air-fuel mixture in the engine’s combustion chamber, starting the engine.

Impact of Old Spark Plug

Over time, spark plugs can become worn out or fouled with deposits, affecting their ability to produce a strong spark. An old or faulty spark plug can lead to misfires, reduced engine power, and difficulty in starting the snowblower.

Changing the Spark Plug Correctly

To change the spark plug in a snowblower, follow these steps:

  1. Disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug.
  2. Use a spark plug socket wrench to remove the old spark plug.
  3. Inspect the new spark plug to ensure it is in good condition and gapped correctly.
  4. Carefully thread the new spark plug into the engine cylinder and tighten it with the spark plug socket wrench.
  5. Reconnect the spark plug wire to the spark plug.

What If I Left Gas In My Snowblower Over The Summer?

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Professional Maintenance and Repair

When to Seek Professional Help

While preventive measures can mitigate many issues related to leaving gas in a snowblower, there may still be instances where professional help is necessary. If you experience major snowblower damage or are unable to resolve starting or performance issues on your own, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a professional technician.

Signs of Major Snowblower Damage

Signs of major snowblower damage include excessive smoke, unusual noises, oil leaks, and significant reduction in performance or power. These issues may require specialized knowledge and expertise to diagnose and repair effectively.

Costs and Benefits of Professional Assistance

The cost of professional maintenance or repair will vary depending on the extent of the damage and the specific services required. However, the benefits of seeking professional assistance include the expertise of trained technicians, timely repairs, and the assurance that your snowblower will be functioning optimally.


Proper gas management is crucial for maintaining the performance and longevity of your snowblower. Leaving gas in a snowblower over the summer can lead to stale gasoline, clogging of the fuel system, and difficulties in starting the machine. However, by taking preventive measures such as draining the gas tank, using a fuel stabilizer, and changing the spark plug, you can minimize the potential negative effects. Regular maintenance and prompt professional assistance when needed will help ensure optimal snowblower performance when the winter season arrives.

What If I Left Gas In My Snowblower Over The Summer?

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