When should I change my oil? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-08-2015, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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When should I change my oil?

Hi all, proud owner of an Ariens 910008 (well, proud after I got it working thanks to this site and some youtube videos!) here and I'm wondering when I should change my oil.

I bought it used off a guy on CL that fixes up old ones and sells em and he changed the oil this fall, prior to me buying it. He didn't use synthetic.

I've been told once a season, but if you get a lot of snow, maybe once mid-season. I plan on changing to synthetic, but I want to know when I should change it and what a 'lot of snow' is.

I've used it about 5 times now. The first storm with 2 feet, I didn't use it because it was broken (bad gas gummed up the carb). However, I've used it to clean up some of the two foot and make my driveway bigger, I've used it for one foot of snow that we got, and we're scheduled to get another 2 feet over the next two days. All together, I would guess I have 5-6 hours of having it running so far.

Oil is still full when I check it on the dipstick, but any certain color I should be looking for or any other big indicators?

Also, what's a good synthetic to put in there (I know this is a can of worms probably, as there's many good types, I just dunno the weight or quantity to have on-hand). As far as I can tell, there's no oil filter so I don't have to worry about that. It's a Tecumseh 7hp h70-130067.
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-08-2015, 11:44 AM
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with only 5 hours or so on a used engine I would not even think of changing the oil until after the snow blower season. That being said I have used a lot of Shell Rotella T6 5-40w full synthetic in engines without catalytic converters . This was originally designed for diesel engines and as such contains higher levels of ZDDP than most synthetic oils. I can get it for 21 dollars a gallon here.

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post #3 of 11 Old 02-08-2015, 11:51 AM
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Since you got around 5-6 hours on an unknown oil I'd change it to establish your oil change schedule with a known oil. Is this stored in a heated garage? If so a quality HD oil like Rotella T 10W-30 will work fine and protect the engine. If it's stored in an unheated location then a quality synthetic 5/10W-30 will aid in starting and protecting with the higher temps an air cooled engine has. Mobil 1 HM 5/10W-30 would be a good choice as it is rated API SL which has more of the zinc anti wear additives versus the newer SM/SN oils. Though in reality probably any quality synthetic oil will give you the protection for your engine to live a long happy life.

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post #4 of 11 Old 02-08-2015, 11:51 AM
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I use 10-30 diesel oil in all of my flat tappet engines, they love the zinc. If you can get Rotella it's liquid gold.

If it tastes like carbon it's time to change it, alternatively use your eyes, once it starts to darken it means it's carrying contaminants and needs to go.

Broken in and running good at your stated 5~6 hours since last change you should be gtg for several more, at least.

Edit: Carl and whimsey beat me on the Rotella, really is the grail, imo too.


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post #5 of 11 Old 02-08-2015, 12:05 PM
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I would not trust the dude you bought this machine from. If you haven't changed the oil, wait until the next time you use the unit and drain the oil immediately following snow removal ... while the engine (and oil) is nice 'n hot.

THEN you know for sure what your starting point is.

B&S requires changing the oil every 50 hours of use. I would consider this a maximum limit. I would change about every 25 - 30 hours of use or once per season. The change couldn't be made much easier (assuming you have the extension pipe coming out the back of the machine) and the amount of oil these motors hold is usually 20 ounces or less ... less than $2 worth if you use conventional. About a buck more if you use synthetic.

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post #6 of 11 Old 02-08-2015, 12:27 PM
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Make sure you put some Stabil in your gas......... I assume you learned this lesson?

Well stated above.......nothing to add Just Good luck with your new to you machine.

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post #7 of 11 Old 02-08-2015, 09:09 PM
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I would check it and see how it looks on a rag if it still looks clean don't bother changing it if it looks looks Like the coffee my wife makes every am "real dark" then dump it out. In most cases you should only need to change it once a year. Heck my father in law changed his every 4 years and his Simplicaty is 30 years old on the same engine. To be honest snowblowers are not that picky on what oil you use. I use cheep Wallmart synthetic 5w30 and both my blowers run great.
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-09-2015, 07:09 PM
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" ... my father in law changed his every 4 years and his Simplicity is 30 years old on the same engine."

At a glance this sounds like serious neglect. BUT, My Ariens is 4 years old and only has 25 hours on the unit. By the end of this season, it will still have less than 30 hours on it. This is all well within the B&S recommended maintenance schedule.

I change the oil in my OPE engines a little more often ... but I'm the first one to admit it really isn't necessary.

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post #9 of 11 Old 02-10-2015, 02:11 PM
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I change the oil in my snowblower once a season....if not too many storms, it happens at the end of the season.

If its a busy snow season, usually about halfway through (which then guarantees no more snow for the rest of the season)

Absolutely not necessary, but neither is the full synthetic oil I put in it. The engine uses so little, I cant complain about the 8 bux a year it costs me in oil. If you think about it, its probably the hardest run engine during its life. Horrible weather conditions, pretty hefty loads depending on how much snow, etc.

I like to take good care of it so it doesn't leave my shovelling!
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-10-2015, 07:25 PM
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If you're figuring on switching to synthetic anyway and you aren't sure what's in it currently, I would change it right away. Oil is cheap piece of mind. What we are talking about here is a few dollars, even with synthetic.
I like Mobil 1, 5W30


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