How Often To Change Snowblower Oil – Mechanics advice

Changing engine oil is like plumbing, it can get messy and nobody looks forward to it. As a mechanic, I’ve done a ton of oil changes in my career, and I’m about to share a mess-free easy way to change snowblower oil. You are welcome!

It is recommended to change the snowblower engine oil at least once per season at the start of the season, or, every 50 hours of operation, whichever comes first. If your snowblower is new, oil should be changed after one month or 20 hours whichever comes first.

In this post, you’ll learn when to change snowblower engine oil. You’ll also learn a professional mess-free way to remove engine oil; how to replace oil filters; oil type and quantity to use.

Time To Change Engine Oil

Checking the oil is great and topping up oil between oil changes is an acceptable practice. However, constantly topping up is not a substitute for an oil change. Engine contaminates like acids from gasoline and moisture that collects naturally inside the motor all contribute to oil contamination. So although we may not use the snowblower a ton from season to season, the oil may still be contaminated.

Most manufacturers will advise snowblower owners to change the oil every 50 hours of operation or at the very least once per season. I like to change the oil at the start of the new season. New snowblowers should get an oil change after just four weeks of operation or 20 hours.

Changing the oil on a new engine helps the running-in process. Fine metal particles associated with run-ins are best removed from the motor.

Symptoms of poor oil quality

Unfortunately poor engine oil quality doesn’t make itself known until it’s too late. If you were very in-tune with your machine you may notice it runs a little hotter, not as smooth, nosier, less fuel-efficient, and less powerful. A black sludgy-looking oil obviously screams change me but apart from the oil color, truthfully few of us would notice oil quality.

That said it is best to keep a record of the oil change date, decide to either change the oil at the beginning of the new season or at the end.

Checking Snowblower Engine Oil

The oil as you know should be checked regularly. Checking before starting is a great habit to develop. Checking and topping up oil between oil changes is an acceptable practice.

However, constantly topping up is not a substitute for an oil change. Engine contaminates like acids from gasoline and moisture that collects naturally inside the motor all contribute to oil contamination. So although we may not use the snowblower a ton from season to season, the oil may still be contaminated.

Many snow blowers are fitted with a fail-safe low oil level switch. If the oil is critically low it won’t allow the engine to start. But I would like to relay on it, best to check the oil. I advise my customers to check at least every time they fill up the gas tank.

Checking the oil level process is as follows:

Snow blower parked

Park on level ground and allow the engine to cool

Remove dipstick

Located and remove the dipstick

Correct oil level

Wipe clean and reseat to check. Then remove and read stick

Dipsticks

Many flavors of dipstick, but all are read in the same way

Dipstick

The upper stick mark identifies full

Low oil

Lower stick marks low oil (below low is danger area)

Oil dipstick check

The hatched area between full and low is an acceptable oil level

Mess Free Way To Remove Snowblower Oil

This is as promised a mess-free way to change your snowblower engine oil. You will however require an oil and gas siphon. The siphon is capable of extracting oil from the engine without removing the oil drain. You can check out the drain I use here on the “Snowblower maintenance tools page.”

Now, this comes with the obvious drawback of not draining the engine completely, and some could argue that it may indeed leave behind some oil. It is for that reason, I recommend only using this method for every second oil change.

The process is as follows:

Pull start

Start the engine to warm the engine

Snow blower oil dip stick location

Shut down and remove the dipstick

Oil syphon

Feed oil extractor into the dipstick tube and apply vacuum

Replace the snowblower oil filter – Not many snow blowers will have an oil filter fitted and so for many, this section won’t apply. Much larger engine blowers may have an oil filter. The cylindrical oil filter is located on the side of the engine and is removed by screwing it counterclockwise. However, an oil filter tool is required. You’ll find all tools needed on the “Snowblower tools page.”

The oil filter is changed every time the engine oil is changed, about every 50 hours of operation. Changing the filter is not challenging, the steps are as follows:

Oil filter fitting

Loosen the filter using the oil filter tool (turn counterclockwise)

Oil filter

Unscrew by hand and drain filter.

Discarded the old filter, they aren’t reusable. Recycling centers will dispose of oil and filters.

Fit the new filter before adding engine oil. Before fitting the new filter, lube the O-ring seal.

Lubing is important, it prevents pinching and oil leaks.

Adding oil

Fill with fresh oil to the upper “Full ” mark on the dipstick.

Most engines are happy with either 5W30 or 10W30. For those that operate in extreme weather conditions use 0W30.

Correct snowblower oil level

Run the engine for thirty seconds to fill the oil filter. Shut the engine off and top up the oil level again to the “Full” mark.