A: If you live in an area where temperatures regularly fall below freezing you will need to take special care in protecting your batteries, that is if you want to get more than one season out of them. Here's what I do:
- Charge the battery fully at the end of the season on a trickle charger.
- Disconnect the terminals and remove the battery for storage.
- Store the battery on a wooden shelf in a location that does not drop below freezing (not on concrete).
- Occasionally test the battery for at least 50% charge, and trickle charge if needed.
- Just before season starts, take battery out of storage and trickle charge it back up to full charge.
- Make sure that the battery terminals are clean and free of corrosion. Clean with a wire brush if necessary.
- Place the battery back in machine, and secure cables to terminals.
A: Here are a few things you can do to reduce, if not eliminate gas related carburetor issues:
- Use a high quality ethanol treatment stabilizer in your gasoline powered small engines. There are a number of good ones out there. Here is one I've had good success with: Sta-Bil Marine Ethanol Treatment
- Even if you use a high quality stabilizer, do not let gas sit in your machine for more than 6 months. Machines don't like old gas. And carburetors especially do not do well with gas sitting in them for a long time. So if are not going to be using your machine for an extended period of time, drain the gas out of the tank, burn the excess gas out of the carburetor by running your machine until it dies. Then you are ready to store your machine.
- I like to install a shut off switch on the gas line running to the carb on my 4 stroke small engines. At the end of each season, I simply close the switch and allow the machine to run out of gas. That burns all of the gas out of the carb, and helps reduce carburetor fouling. For generators, this is especially helpful.
- Install a gas filter on your gas line between your gas tank and carburetor. Change out the filter once a year.
A: No difference.
So why do some say "snow blower" and others "snow thrower"? Snow blower is the most commonly used expression because when operating, it appears that snow is being blown out of the chute. However, technically speaking, 2 stage "snow blowers" do not blow snow. They are equipped with an auger system that collects snow into the bucket in a cork-screw manner. The augers then move the snow to the back of the bucket where the snow comes in contact with the spinning impeller blades (thus "dual or 2 stage, the first stage being the gathering process and the 2nd stage the impelling process). As the snow makes contact with the impeller blades, it is thrown out of the chute. So technicians often use the more correct term, "snow thrower".