||For gas-powered machines, follow the
recommendations in the owner's manual for changing the spark plug and--for
models with a four-stroke engine--the engine oil. Most recommend changing both
at least once each year.
||Follow the recommendations for mixing
oil and gas on models with two-stroke engines. Too little oil can damage the
engine; too much creates added exhaust emissions and can hamper starting by
fouling the spark plug.
||Add a fuel stabilizer to preserve the
fuel between storms and clearing seasons. Stabilizers can keep fuel from
degrading for up to one year to help prevent gum and varnish deposits from
clogging the carburetor and fuel passages.
||For two-stage machines, have some
spare auger shear bolts on hand. The bolts are designed to protect the gearbox
by breaking if the auger hits a hard object.
||For all machines, periodically tighten
nuts and bolts, especially on control linkages, which tend to loosen as a snow
||Adjust the auger's scraper and skid
shoes if applicable, as suggested in the owner's manual. Doing so helps keep
the auger closer to the surface, leaving less snow behind.