How to Store a Snowblower the Right Way

Storing your snowblower properly is crucial to keep it in top working condition and prolong its life. Follow these tips to store your snowblower the right way after the winter season.

Clean the Snowblower Thoroughly

Give your snowblower a deep clean before storage. This prevents any remaining gas, oil or debris from causing corrosion or other damage during the off-season.

Remove All Gas and Oil

Drain any remaining gas from the fuel tank, fuel lines, and carburetor. Old gas can go stale and clog carburetors. Clean out the inside of the fuel tank with a rag. Remove all oil from the engine’s crankcase and dispose of it properly. Let the engine run dry to use up any fuel left in the system.

Inspect and Clean the Exterior

Use a hose to wash away any built-up dirt, salt, and grime on the exterior. Pay extra attention to the underside and around any belts or moving parts. Use a stiff brush to scrub especially dirty areas. Rinse and towel dry completely.

Clean the Chute and Auger

Remove packed snow and ice from the chute using a stick or paint scraper. Hose out the inside. Lubricate the chute with silicone spray to prevent rust. Remove the shear pins and grease the auger blades and their shafts.

Inspect Spark Plug and Belts

Remove and inspect the spark plug. Replace it if the electrodes are worn. Check all belts for cracking, fraying or stretching. Replace any worn belts before storage.

Touch Up Paint

Use touch up paint on any chips or rust spots in the paint to prevent further rusting over the off-season. Allow paint to dry fully before storage.

Change the Oil and Lube Moving Parts

With the old gas and oil fully drained:

  • Refill the crankcase with fresh oil as specified in your owner’s manual.
  • Apply lubricating oil to all moving parts like pulleys, bearings and shafts.
  • Coat exposed metal surfaces like the scraper bar and skid shoes to prevent rust.
  • Lubricate the auger and impeller shafts with grease.

This protects your snowblower’s engine and moving parts while in storage.

Fog the Engine

Fogging the engine coats its internal parts to prevent rust and corrosion:

  • Remove the spark plug and spray fogging oil into the cylinder opening. Pull the starter cord several times to coat the cylinder walls.
  • Replace the spark plug, but do not reconnect the spark plug wire.
  • With no gas in the system, pull the starter cord a few times to coat the fuel lines.
  • Spray fogging oil into the carburetor throat and air filter opening while slowly pulling the starter to suck oil into those parts.

Disconnect and Charge the Battery

For snowblowers with electric start:

  • Disconnect and remove the battery from the machine.
  • Fully charge the battery and store it on a shelf or board, not concrete.
  • Clean corrosion from the battery terminals and coat with dielectric grease.
  • Recharge the battery every 2-3 months during storage to maintain optimal charge.

This extends battery life and ensures easy starting when you reconnect it next season.

Store in a Clean, Dry Location

Choose an indoor location like a shed, garage or basement that maintains a cool but consistent temperature year-round. Drastic temperature swings can damage the snowblower. Ideal storage temperature is between 40-70°F.

Prevent rusting by storing away from moisture on a pallet or shelf, not directly on concrete. Avoid exposing to rain, flooding, irrigation sprinklers, etc. Place a moisture-absorbing product like desiccant packs in the storage area.

Covering with a tarp can protect from dust and pests. Avoid using plastic sheets that can trap moisture.

Maintain Proper Tire Pressure

Check tire pressure and inflate to the PSI listed on the tires or in your manual. Proper inflation prevents flat spots from developing while in storage.

Apply Dielectric Grease

Dielectric grease on electrical connections and switches prevents corrosion and ensures easy starting next season. Apply grease to:

  • Battery terminals
  • Spark plug boot
  • Key switch
  • Headlight connectors
  • Solenoid and starter switch terminals

Avoid getting grease on any belts or pulleys.

Enable Fuel Shutoff

Turn the fuel shutoff valve to the closed/off position to prevent any fuel leakage while in storage.

Store Accessories Properly

  • Inspect shear pins, bolts, nuts and washers. Replace any worn or damaged parts.
  • Sharpen blades and properly secure them for storage.
  • Clean off any salt and grime from shovels, scrapers or other attachments.
  • Store all shear pins, tools and accessories together with the snowblower for easy access later on.

Consider an Engine Fogging Oil Treatment

For extra corrosion prevention and lubrication, use a fogging oil spray treatment formulated specifically for engine storage prep. Follow all product label directions to coat the engine.

Fogging fills all gaskets, seals and passages with a protective oil film. It displaces moisture to safeguard internal engine parts from rust and seizing up. The oil residue gives added protection compared to just running the gas tank dry.

How to Bring a Stored Snowblower Back into Service

When you’re ready to use your snowblower after storage, follow this process to bring it back to life:

Inspect and Lubricate

Check for any signs of leaks, damage, cracks, wear or nests/pests. Remove any covers. Lubricate parts like augers, cables, wheels, etc.

Reconnect Battery

Fully charge and reconnect battery, securing terminals tightly.

Add Fresh Gasoline

Fill fuel tank and run for 5 minutes to circulate fresh gas through fuel system and engine.

Inspect Spark Plug

Remove and check spark plug. If fouled or worn, replace with a new properly gapped plug.

Check Air Filter

Replace air filter if overly dirty.

Start and Warm Up Engine

Start engine and let run for at least 15 minutes to distribute oil. Test functionality at full throttle.

Inspect Belts and Controls

Check proper operation and condition of all belts and controls like chute direction and clutch/auger. Adjust as needed.

Prep Auger and Skids

Apply lubricant to auger shaft. Adjust skid height to clear gravel or paving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best place to store a snowblower?

The ideal storage location is somewhere dry and sheltere like a garage, shed, or basement, where the temperature stays fairly consistent year-round. Avoid storing outside or anywhere exposed to moisture, humidity, or dramatic temperature fluctuations.

Should you drain the gas before storage?

Yes, old gasoline left in a stored snowblower over summer can start to degrade and cause issues like clogged carburetors when you go to start it up again. Always drain out any remaining gas, run the engine dry, and refill the tank with fresh gasoline when taking out of storage.

How do you prevent rust on a snowblower in storage?

Wash and dry the snowblower thoroughly before storage, apply touch-up paint as needed, lubricate all metal parts, coat bare metal surfaces with corrosion prevention oils or waxes, and store indoors somewhere clean, dry and away from concrete floors. Maintaining proper tire pressure also prevents flat spot rust.

Should you disconnect the battery when storing the snowblower?

Yes, disconnect and remove any battery from an electric start snowblower before storage. Fully charge the battery first, then store it on a board or shelf (not concrete). Recharge it every 2-3 months and clean any corrosion from the terminals to maintain optimal battery health.

How do you keep mice and pests out of a stored snowblower?

Avoid food spills/debris that attract pests. Place deterrents like moth balls around the storage area but avoid contact with the equipment. Sealing the snowblower in a plastic bag or large tarp can help deter nesting pests. Inspect for any nests or damage before removing from storage.

What is fogging oil for snowblower storage?

Fogging oil is a specialized oil that coats the entire fuel system, cylinder walls, and internal engine parts when sprayed into the carburetor and cylinders during storage prep. It leaves an oil residue that prevents rust/corrosion and also lubricates components like gaskets and seals.

Can you store a snowblower outside?

It’s best to avoid outdoor storage. The exposure to sun, rain, humidity, etc can damage the snowblower over time leading to issues like rust, dry rot, cracked tires and degradation of parts. Store in a covered location like a shed or wraparound tarp if outdoor storage is unavoidable.


Following proper snowblower storage steps like cleaning, fogging the engine, disconnecting the battery, maintaining tire pressure, and storing indoors in a clean, dry place will help prevent off-season damage and keep your machine running optimally for years to come. Take time for a thorough inspection and lubrication before firing it back up next winter. With a well-maintained snowblower, you’ll be ready to clear snow whenever it starts to fall again.