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Get Your Craftsman Snowblower Ready for Winter with the Right Replacement Parts

By Matt Hawkins

Although Craftsman products, including their snowblowers, are built to last, you should expect to have to periodically replace parts on your snowblower, especially if it receives heavy use. It’s a good idea to make sure your Craftsman snowblower is working properly and has all the necessary parts and pieces before the next snowstorm hits so you are ready to clear the snow rather than in the position of having to scramble to find and replace parts. You certainly don’t want to get snowed in before you realize there’s a problem with your snowblower!

Check the Condition and Operation of Your Snowblower

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy and painless to make sure your snowblower is ready for winter. The first thing to do is try starting it up. If it won’t start, take it somewhere to be serviced as soon as you can, or you can try tackling it yourself if you’re especially handy. The best option is to take it to a Sears retail location, as Sears is the manufacturer of the Craftsman brand and thus will have the professional know-how to get the snowblower running again in a short amount of time.

Once you’ve verified that your snowblower starts up properly, you’ll want to check the condition of the skid shoes and scraper blade (if installed on your snowblower). The skid shoes are connected to the auger housing and serve to protect the housing and its paint from scratching on the ground. They are reversible, so if one side is worn, flip them over and fit them back on the auger housing. The scraper blade is located on the bottom of the auger housing and is also supposed to make contact with the ground as it removes any remaining snow from the surface that is being cleared. Replace it if it is cracked, broken, or shows excessive wear.

Spare Parts to Have On Hand

There are several parts and other items you’ll want to keep on hand over the course of the winter to make sure you can get your snowblower back up and running quickly in case anything breaks down. Perhaps most important is several extra shear pins. These pins will break in the event of a jam in the auger, preventing damage to the drive gears of the auger. It is very straightforward to replace them, and this must be done before the snowblower can be run again.

Other items to keep handy are at least a couple quarts of the appropriate motor oil for your particular snowblower (generally 5W-30, but check your user’s manual for the correct type), some spark plugs, and tire chains in the event of heavy snow or a blizzard. Also, make sure your tires are in good shape and that you have a spare belt or two in case the current belt wears thin or snaps. You’ll be glad you did.

Although the parts mentioned above are the most important when it comes to getting your Craftsman snowblower ready for winter, they are by no means the only parts that will need to be replaced over the lifetime of your snowblower. For instance, parts in the auger may fail, as well as parts in the gears or wheels. It’s also possible that the discharge chute may be damaged and require replacement as well.

Some Final Thoughts and Where to Find Parts

Regardless of what parts you need to replace on your snowblower, make sure to purchase the genuine Craftsman parts specified in your owner’s manual. Parts made by other manufacturers may not fit properly or could even damage your snowblower. You can find all the parts you need at a Sears retail store or online at Sears.com.  Additionally, some of the more common replaceable parts are available through Amazon.com, including shear pins and bolts, skid shoes, scraper blades (shave plates), and belts. Most of these are very inexpensive, so it definitely makes sense to keep some extras on hand as a precaution.

Hopefully this article has given you some things to think about and a plan of action for getting your snowblower through the winter. Regardless of what parts that may require replacement on your snowblower, make sure to consult your owner’s manual first to help diagnose the problem if necessary and determine exactly which type of part and size you need to purchase as a replacement. Rest assured that any part you’ll need to replace can at least be found through Sears. Happy snowblowing!