This Happens When You Forget Oil Changes in a Snowblower

by Jack Grover
person clearing snow with a machine
Reading time: 11 min Prefer to listen?

In the midst of winter’s fury, the snowblower can be a true lifesaver, efficiently clearing paths and driveways. But do you know what happens when you forget to change the oil in your snowblower?

Neglecting this crucial maintenance task can lead to a whole host of problems that may negatively impact the performance and lifespan of your machine. For example, dirty oil can decrease engine efficiency or even cause a breakdown.

Fortunately, you can prevent costly repairs and prolong the overall lifespan of your snowblower by following manufacturer guidelines and ensuring proper oil levels.

This article discusses the importance of regular oil changes in snowblowers and explores the consequences of neglecting this essential task.

Key Takeaways

  • Forgetting to change the engine oil in a snowblower can cause significant damage.
  • Regularly changing engine oil can prolong the snowblower’s lifespan.
  • Engine oil acts as a cooling agent, buffer between moving parts, and cleaner for the engine.

What Can Go Wrong?

Neglecting to change your snowblower’s engine oil is a decision that carries a load of chilling consequences. It’s akin to setting yourself up for an avalanche of problems that could drown your machine’s performance and lifespan.

First off, dirty oil can break down and lose its ability to lubricate and protect the engine’s moving parts.

Imagine running a marathon wearing a stifling rubber suit. That’s what it is like for your snowblower’s engine running on old, gunky oil.

The stale oil turns thick and sticky, making it harder for the engine’s parts to move smoothly against each other. This situation can lead to increased friction among these parts, causing them to wear out faster.

Heat is the next adversary.

Without fresh, high-quality oil as a coolant, engine parts are left susceptible to extreme temperatures. The machine could end up overheating, and if you’re lucky enough not to fry the engine entirely, it could still cause significant internal damage.

Worse than these two combined is sludge buildup. Old oil reeks of contaminants and debris, forming a grimy paste that blocks up vital pathways in the engine. This oily ogre of grime is a silent killer of your snow blower’s efficiency and power delivery. 

Your machine’s fuel economy can also take a nosedive off Grandmother Frost’s rooftop.

By inhibiting the smooth operation of engine parts, stale oil makes your motor work harder than a reindeer at Christmas. It means burning through more gas, punching holes in your pocket over time.

Eventually, neglecting to change the oil may result in the need for an engine replacement.

When deciding whether it’s more economical to replace the engine or purchase a new snowblower, you should consider the cost of a new engine.

Replacement snowblower engines range from $300 up to $1000, depending on factors such as brand and model compatibility.

Importance of Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance, including routine oil changes, is crucial for the longevity and performance of your snowblower’s engine.

By changing the oil on schedule as recommended by the manufacturer (usually every 25-50 hours of use), you can avoid these issues and prolong the lifespan of your snowblower.

Remember that maintaining your snowblower also involves other tasks, such as:

  • checking spark plugs,
  • cleaning or replacing air filters,
  • inspecting belts and cables,
  • adjusting carburetor settings,
  • and ensuring proper fuel storage during off-seasons.

Staying on top of these maintenance tasks along with regular oil changes, you’ll be able to rely on your snowblower when you need it most and avoid costly repairs down the line.

Signs of Neglect

Don’t let neglecting regular maintenance leave you stranded in the middle of a snowstorm, wondering why your trusted machine won’t start.

Here are three signs that indicate it is high time to change the engine oil:

  1. Decreased Engine Performance: Over time, dirty oil loses its detergents and becomes thick and sludgy. This buildup restricts proper lubrication and cooling within the engine, resulting in decreased performance. Your snowblower may struggle to start or run sluggishly, making it difficult to clear snow efficiently.
  1. Increased Engine Noise: Neglecting oil changes increases friction among moving parts, causing excessive wear and tear on the engine components. As a result, you may notice an increase in engine noise while operating your snowblower. These unusual sounds can be an indication of internal damage due to insufficient lubrication.
  1. Smoke Emission: Ignoring regular oil changes can lead to burning or excessive consumption of oil by the engine. If you observe smoke coming from your snowblower’s exhaust during operation, it could signify a problem with the valves or rings within the engine. Addressing this issue is essential to prevent further damage.

How to Change Snowblower Oil

Learning how to change the engine oil in your snowblower is vital for optimal performance.

Follow these three simple steps to change the oil and keep your snowblower running smoothly:

  1. Gather necessary tools and supplies: Before starting, make sure you have all the tools and supplies you’ll need for the job. It includes a drain pan or container to collect the used oil, a correct size socket or wrench to remove the oil plug, a funnel for pouring in new oil, and rubber gloves and rags for handling the oil.
  1. Drain the old oil: Start by disconnecting any spark plug wires for safety. Place a drain pan or container under the snowblower’s engine and locate the oil plug. Using your socket or wrench, carefully remove the plug and allow all of the old oil to drain out completely. Once drained, replace and tighten the plug securely.
  1. Refill with fresh oil: Consult your snowblower’s manual or manufacturer guidelines to determine what type of engine oil is recommended. Use a funnel to pour in fresh oil into the crankcase up to its correct fill level, as indicated on the dipstick. Be careful not to overfill, as this can cause engine problems.

Remember to properly dispose of used oil at a recycling center and adhere to safety precautions when working on your equipment.

Final Thoughts

Forgetting oil changes in your snowblower can lead to a range of costly consequences. Dirty oil not only can cause engine damage and decrease performance but also result in expensive repairs.

Regular maintenance, including oil changes, is crucial for preserving the lifespan and efficiency of your snowblower. Following manufacturer guidelines and keeping an eye out for signs of neglect is the best way to prevent engine problems before they become major issues.

Remember to use the recommended type and quantity of oil specified by the manufacturer. Additionally, be sure to check the oil level frequently to ensure it stays within the appropriate range.

Don’t let forgetfulness or negligence lead to expensive repairs or shortened equipment life; prioritize proper maintenance and enjoy reliable performance from your snowblower season after season.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the same engine oil in my snowblower as I do in my car?

No, you cannot use the same engine oil in your snowblower as you do in your car. Snowblowers require a specific type of oil, such as 5W-30, to ensure proper lubrication and performance. Using the wrong oil can cause damage to the engine.

How often should I check the oil level in my snowblower?

You should check your snowblower’s oil level every time before starting it. This way, you can ensure there is enough oil to properly lubricate the engine and prevent damage from running with low oil.

Is it necessary to warm up my snowblower before changing the oil?

No, warming up your snowblower before changing the oil is not necessary. Simply follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for oil change procedures and check if the engine is cool before starting.

What should I do if I accidentally overfill the engine with oil?

If you accidentally overfill the engine with oil in your snowblower, immediately shut off the engine and drain the excess oil using a drain pan or container. Be careful not to overfill in the future to avoid engine damage.

Are there any alternative methods for changing the oil in a snowblower?

Yes, there are alternative methods for changing the oil in a snowblower. Some people use an oil evacuator to extract the oil instead of draining it. This method can be more convenient and less messy.

Was it helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

You may also like

Leave a Comment

About Us

Inside The Yard is your go-to source for all things lawn and garden, offering expert advice for every corner of your outdoor space, from tractor troubleshooting to the best rose-planting tips, all wrapped up in the nation’s fastest-growing garden blog.

Latest Articles