Winter is here and even though it has been fairly mild for the Capital Region, there is no doubt snow is on the way.

Are you ready for this? Sure, you have your winter jacket, hat, boots, gloves and even a new shovel but is your snowblower in good running condition? Here are the Top 10 steps to make sure it is.

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SnowBlower.net shared some great advice for you and your snowblower. Here you have it, in no particular order.

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10 - Check for Damage

  • Last Winter, or the previous several Winters, could have been rough on your machine. Cables and handles may be loose. Parts such as your auger, skids, and scraper should be checked for damage before operating.
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9 - Tighten Bolts

  • A whole lot of rattling goes on while operating your machine. t’s a good idea to check bolts and screws for proper tightness. Wouldn't be a bad idea to remove the spark plugs before doing this task.
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8 - Check the Oil

  • According to Consumer Reports, some older snow blowers use a mix of oil in the gas. On newer machines the oil and gas are separate. If your oil looks dark, you should give it a change.
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7 - Check Tire Pressure

  • Your machine has been sitting for several months. In that time it is likely that they have lost pressure.
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6 - Flip the Skid Shoes

  • First you need to find out if your machine has skid shoes. snowblower.net suggests that most two-stage snow blowers do. If there is wear, consider flipping them. Kind of like rotating the tires on your car.
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5 - Inspect the Belts

  • Are they dry and cracking? Replace them.
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4 - Fill the Gas Tank with Fresh Fuel

  • According to YardCare.com, you machine should use fuel that is no more than 30 days old. If this is the first use of the season your gas is probably much older than that.
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3 - New Spark Plug

  • Pop your current spark plug out. If you see rust or corrosion it's a good idea to change it.
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2 - Spray the Chute

  • It drives me nuts when the discharge chute gets clogged. An easy fix is to spray it with something like WD-40 prior to use.
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1 - Star Your Machine

  • The moment of truth! If it starts, and I'm confident that it will, let it run for a few minutes.

Now, let it snow!

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