MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Have you started your snow blower lately? Probably not, since there is no snow. But it might be smart to run it any way.

Snow blowers were plenty busy last winter. The fact that the machines were run regularly likely kept them out of the repair shop.

But what if there’s a winter when they’re hardly used?

The shop at Gruber Power Equipment does not have much snow blower repair work right now.

“I think in the last five days, maybe three or four pieces have come in,” said Geoff Gruber.

But if we get a significant snowfall, the new blowers will sell and “at the same time, you’ll have a hundred repairs,” Gruber said.

When a snow blower doesn’t run, it is usually due to a clogged carburetor — Gruber said 90 percent of repairs they see are carburetors.

Most snow blower owners know that gasoline does not store well for more than a few months. That’s why the gas tank should be drained for summer storage. The best thing for your machine right now is to start it up.

“Just start ’em, once a week if you can, let ’em run for a few minutes, then shut ’em off and you should be good the next time you start it,” Gruber said.

Running the snow blower regularly gets rid of old gas, as well as keeping the engine lubricated. Non-oxyngenated premium fuel, available at many stations, is best for snow blowers and it stores better than regular gasoline.

Quality gas additives, like Sea Foam, also help keep that carburetor clean.

And if you are thinking of a buying a new snow blower, you may never get a better price than right now.

Small units start at less than $400.

So while you start your snow blower regularly to keep it limbered up, the guys who sell and fix them will be doing other things.

“Maybe paint the floor, clean the windows, general maintenance,” Greg Gruber said.


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