Here at Snow Blowers Direct, we know there are concerns that float through your mind as you consider investing in a snow blower.
One concern many people face is the long-term cost associated with annual maintenance requirements.
It's a legitimate concern, but one you may be able to put to rest.
We'll explore the maintenance requirements of a snow blower, and the costs associated, to help put your mind at ease.
What Maintenance is Required?
Electric snow blowers require nearly no maintenance at all. Aside from very occasionally replacing worn parts, there are no oil changes or spark plugs to worry about, so it's more or less "plug and go."
Cordless (battery operated) snow blowers also don't require any regular maintenance but may need replacement batteries over the years.
Gas snow blowers are the only kinds that really require maintenance. They'll require oil changes, new spark plugs, shear pin replacements, and other fun stuff. Luckily, the costs associated with these maintenance requirements aren't that high.
How Often is Maintenance Required on Gas Snow Blowers?
are to be done after the first 5 hours of use but are not required again until the end of the year or at 50 hours of use. However, we suggest checking your oil after every 5 hours of use to ensure it's at the right level and not getting too dirty.
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need to be replaced once per season, or after 100 hours of use. It's a good idea to clean your spark plug every 20-30 hours of use and check its gap. This way it stays clean, and if it needs to be changed sooner, you'll know.
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should be added to the tank at the end of each season to preserve the gas left in the tank. This will make for an easier start the following season when you wheel it out of the garage and gas it up. Some swear by an alternative to a stabilizer, which is to run the engine until the tank, lines, and carburetor are dry and the engine shuts off.
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are another important element to preserving the life of your snow blower. Also called shear bolts, they are designed to break if there's too much torque put on the augers. They don't generally cost very much, and they prevent much more costly damage from happening. These should be replaced as needed.
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help keep the augers on two-stage blowers from scraping the ground or picking up rocks. These get worn and should be replaced as needed.
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So when you take the prices of each of these maintenance materials and add them up to the number of times per year you'll use them, what does the annual cost of maintenance add up to be?
Annual Cost of Gas Snow Blower Maintenance
To determine a fair estimate of the annual cost of maintenance on a gas-powered snow blower, we've calculated the average price of each item required for a year worth of maintenance.
Oil & Spark Plug ($22.74):
These can generally be found together as a maintenance kit. They're only needed approximately once per year.
Fuel Stabilizer ($9.87):
This is only needed once per year when you're prepping to store it for the off-season.
Shear Pins ($8.78):
These are needed only if you break or lose one. Assuming you need to replace a few each year, they're not that pricey.
Skid Shoes ($30.99):
These also don't necessarily need to be replaced every year, unless you're running your snow blower frequently on gravel.
Grand Total Estimate for Annual Maintenance Costs of a Gas Snow Blower: $72.39
As you can see, the maintenance costs of owning a snow blower really aren't that bad. So concern yourself less with the costs of maintenance and more with the comfort features of your snow blower. That way, you'll look forward to clearing the snow off your drive.
NEXT: How to Pick the Perfect Snow Blower