One of the most crucial maintenance procedures for gas-powered oil blowers is a regular oil change.
But oil is sensitive and you must use the right type of oil to keep your snow blowing monster running efficiently.
Most important is the oil viscosity (thickness quality)- get it wrong and you’ll probably be looking at constant visits from the repairman or even a dead engine.
So, what type of oil for snowblower is best?
Below we answer this question besides giving you some tips to help you identify the correct type of oil for your snowblower model.
What type of oil for snowblower is best to use?
Now, like everything else when it comes to machines, there are different opinions out there but generally, you’re supposed to be guided by the temperature prevailing in your region.
It, therefore, follows that you should exclusively use SAE 5W30 oil for your snowblower if you live in areas where temperatures are often above 0 degrees (Fahrenheit).
Of course, the safest way to be sure of the best oil to pour into your snowblower brand is to refer to your owner’s manual.
However, the rule of the thumb is to choose engine oils based on the temperature you anticipate before the next oil change.
This gives your engine optimum all-temperature protection and will eliminate issues that often arise in extreme weather such as hard starts.
Plus, it certainly keeps your machine operating efficiently all season.
The connection between oil viscosity and oil grades
Before we proceed with our explanation about what type of oil for snowblower is ideal, I want to take you back to the question of oil viscosity and why it deserves your attention.
First, engine oil viscosity is nothing else but how easily the liquid pours at specified temperatures.
Here’s the thing: the higher the viscosity, the thicker the oil and the more difficult it is for oil to flow.
What I want you to understand is the meaning of SAE 5W30 oil, if that is what your paperwork recommends.
You see, the 5W-30 refers to the oil viscosity rating/ grade and it could be a different value (10W30 , 15W40, etc.) with the number preceding W (winter) indicating the oil’s actual viscosity at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep in mind that the lower this number is, the less your oil thickens in freezing weather.
For example, 5W30 grade snowblower engine oil thickens less than 10W30 grade oil in chilly conditions.
On the other hand, the 5W30 grade oil thins out more rapidly than a 5W40 grade oil at high temperatures.
The weight is based on the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) scale and applies to both engine and transmission oils.
More important is for you to grasp that your snowthrower’s engine will benefit more from using oils with low winter viscosity ratings in cooler regions.
On the converse, manufacturers suggest that you add oil with a higher viscosity rating in hotter regions and during summer.
Word of caution: Never go below your engine’s manufacturer specification if you want to have your machine for the long haul.
Having said that, anything that exceeds the stated viscosity weight in fine print is probably going to be fine as long as it’s a top-quality brand.
Synthetic oil in snowblower
The other important decision is whether to get natural or synthetic oil particularly if you live in a region with erratic/unpredictable weather.
Some folks believe that synthetic will perform better in a much wider temperature range and it’s tempting to go that route.
But should you?
Well, again, your owner’s manual will hold your hand here.
We recommend that you obey the given directions- if it proposes the use of synthetic oil, the manufacturer must be having his reasons and it’s advisable that you comply.
Don’t worry if you have misplaced your copy – you can always call the shop/dealer for guidance or chat with the seller from their website.
As we saw earlier, use the appropriate viscosity rating to give your machine maximum protection.
Also, ensure that you purchase a superior quality brand.
Car oil in snowblower
Can you use your regular car oil?
Well, the good news is that while some shops stock what they promote as 5W30 snowblower engine oil, your machine will be adequately protected with standard 5W30 motor oil.
Truth be told, a 5W30 grade oil is a 5W30 whether poured into your car or the snowblower and will help the engine run smoothly in the harshest winter conditions.
A word on brand name
Your snowblower’s brand name is generally going to be important when it comes to engine oil.
For this reason, the recommended engine oil for Husqvarna snowblower might not be the same as the endorsed oil for a similar Toro snowblower machine.
I’m mentioning this because you could be wrongly assuming that a certain engine oil type will work for all your models.
What type of oil for snowblower should I use: Useful tips
1. Break-in oil change
Because the oil that comes with a brand new engine gets degraded very quickly, various companies recommend that you complete your first oil change within a couple of hours of use.
Check your manual (again!) for instructions and the oil type to use.
You should, obviously, use it for much longer after the initial oil change.
2. Additives in oil
Some salesmen will advise you to buy oil with additives to ease problems like cold weather starting difficulties in some models but this may not be the right move.
In any case, manufacturers always endorse the quality of oil they’re sure of and this is after a lot of testing and research.
3. Check the oil regularly
To avoid trouble, check your oil level before every blowing session.
You want it to be at the level indicated in the documentation.
Timely engine oil changes will go a long way in ensuring reliability, satisfactory performances, and utmost protection for your snowblower.
But as we have learned, engine oil selection doesn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach and the best practice is to observe your specific manufacturer’s suggestions.
Lastly, remember to read through your owner’s manual before replacing the engine oil for the recommended procedure including how to tilt the machine.