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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. One of the major oil mfgrs now has 20,000 mi oil. How does that translate to snowblower use based on three or four storms a year, OK maybe ten. How many seasons do I get before an oil change?
Sid
 

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I'm no expert on oil, but I don't think you can equate 20,000 oil for a car to a snowblower.

Small engines do not run as clean as automotive engines, so any oil in a snowblower would get dirty. Follow the snowblower manufacturers directions as to how long to go between oil changes, at LEAST as long as the warranty lasts. Then if you want to take a chance and see how long it takes to fry an engine, go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll probably stick to my once a year schedule for my still running 52 yr old machine. I have been using synthetic oil on everything for 26 years.
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OK, some quick math. If you are turning 2500 RPM we can call that 60MPH (for round numbers) maybe 40 hours a year that's 2400 miles a year. So every 10 years give or take.

Oil is cheap, change every year.
 

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Oil rated for 20K in my opinion might finally be getting into the too good for a snowblower area. I'm not sure you can correlate small engine rpm to approximate MPH or miles equivalent. I'm pretty sure long before you reached that change interval you'd have milk chocolate from condensation from waiting a decade to rack up the hours (miles).

In any case IMHO I think someone with a snowblower would be better served with a good quality synthetic changed yearly. Even every two or three if it looks clean and doesn't show any signs of water from condensation starting to turn it milky.
My preferred choice is Mobil 1 0-40 from Walmart

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I bought a used car last year and the owner previous owner had oil changed every 5000 miles at the dealership per dealership recommendation, this guy had even the wipers replaced at the dealer. When I bought the car the oil was clean but every time you'd pull the dipstick there would be slime on it, I sent the oil for analysis to make sure the coolant wasnt getting in the oil hence suggesting the head gasket was bad. Analysis came back to be clean, I have had the car for a year now with oil changes at every 3000 miles, now every time you pull the dipstick out its clean as a whistle.



Sorry for the back story point being that oil is cheap, engines are not.



I change the snowblower oil every year.
 

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I bought a used car last year and the owner previous owner had oil changed every 5000 miles at the dealership per dealership recommendation, this guy had even the wipers replaced at the dealer. When I bought the car the oil was clean but every time you'd pull the dipstick there would be slime on it, I sent the oil for analysis to make sure the coolant wasnt getting in the oil hence suggesting the head gasket was bad. Analysis came back to be clean, I have had the car for a year now with oil changes at every 3000 miles, now every time you pull the dipstick out its clean as a whistle.



Sorry for the back story point being that oil is cheap, engines are not.



Maybe he didn't live too far from work & the motor didn't get fully warmed & driven enough to burnoff the moisture.
 

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Like everyone said. Snowblowers don't have oil filters, so any junk in the oil stays in the oil. I'd stick with suggesting every season, or every other season. Of course, I just changed my oil, and realized I had 3 seasons on it. Oops. I use Mobil 1 5W-30 High Mileage. My understanding is the extra ZDDP in High Mileage is better for the valvetrains in small engines.

If I were to guess (with no data to back it up), I wouldn't be surprised if your engine would be happier with annual conventional-oil changes, vs stretching synthetic to a change every 2 or 3 seasons. With no filter, the changes provide a chance to get stuff flushed out of the crankcase.
 

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As others say, it's more the hours than the mileage. Most snowblower engines run pretty much at full speed from the tiem started to the time stopped. The load changes but the speed not so much. With the cold-weather usage and no good way for the engine to regulate temperature, knowing that the oil was at 175º or so "ideal" temperature is a guess at best. Solution: change it often.

The snowblower enjoys a climate-controlled garage/workshop between uses, so I'm not particularly concerned with cold-flow capability in the splash-lubricated engine. The 5W-30 Mobil-1 that the daily-drivers get is just right for the snowblower. By some freak or luck, the Honda takes about 4.75 quarts of the 5-quart jug. Those leftovers accumulate to more than the two oil changes per year demand in the snowblower engine. Last year with only a few uses in the light snow season, the oil was changed only once, at the end of the season before storage. It works out to about ten engine running hours per change. It's worked fine that way for a few years now.
 
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after the 1st oil change after the first 5-10 hours of operation i usually only change the oil once it starts turning black or smelling too much like gas. usually a engine will start smoking a bit more when the oil is getting a bit gassy. also make sure to check the oil level occasionally. as long as it is kept where it should be it should keep the engine from coming apart. it wouldn't hurt to change the oil yearly if you got the time or felt the need but it is not really needed.
 

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RedOctobyr is 100% correct. You cannot directly compare auto and small engines. Auto engines are filtered. Small engines are not. Auto engines have oil pumps. Small engines are splash oiled by a crude extension on the bottom of the connecting rod hitting your oil every revolution. As a result, maintaining a correct oil level is even more important in a small engine than it is on an auto engine. A lower oil level is splashed around your engine less than a higher level is. Check oil level very often and top up just below max every time you see it even a little low.

Automobiles with oil filters have both a time and mileage component to their oil change recommendations, such as 12 months or 10,000 miles. Heat accelerates off-gassing and oxidation, leading to the time component of the service interval. Long automobile mileage claims for synthetic oils are for filtered oil only. Every bit of abrasive from combustion blow-by or metal wear are suspended in your small engine's unfiltered oil and are spread around your engine with every RPM. New oil is cheaper than a rebuild, in my opinion.

Use a standard grade petroleum based oil for your entire break in period. Only once your motor is fully broken in is is safe to switch to synthetics. You can get high oil consumption and lower compression due to a bad piston ring seat if you switch to synthetic oil too soon.

I broke in a 1984 Honda snowblower for a full season with standard petroleum oil then switched to Mobil 1 the second season. I checked oil level no later than every other run and changed oil annually with more Mobil 1. That antique Honda still runs strong 34 years later without ever being rebuilt.
 

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dr bob is right about the key being hours, not seasons. My new Honda snow blower's factory oil change recommendations are to change after the first 20 hours (break in causes lots of metal particles in the oil) then every 100 hours after that. I added an inexpensive hour meter to a very expensive Honda snow blower because of that. Follow your owner's manual regardless of the oil you choose.
 

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I only change my snowblower oil once every 2 years if that. They get run maybe 3-4 hours a year. No scattered engines yet.
 

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Twice a year. At the end of the season and then again at the beginning of the season. These "High Quality" carbs tend to pee in the oil a bit. What's that in dollars? $10 per year?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That's why I run them dry after every use, you never know which storm is the last one.
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I'll change it every year. After changing both our daily drivers' oil (they happen to need 5w30 like the SB), I'm left with about a quart of new oil. Since none of our cars started burning up oil yet, I'm basically just wasting it unless I use it in the snowblower. I paid for it anyway, might as well use it.
 

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Sid's suggestion to shut off your fuel lever and run your carb dry at the end of every run is good advice not just to keep your oil uncontaminated from a leaking carb. Alcohol in our gasoline attracts water, promotes corrosion and gums up carburetors faster than pure gasoline did in the past.

Honda suggests you never use gas listed as more than 10% alcohol and use a fuel stabilizer if your machine will sit unused for more than a month. They also say to drain your fuel tank and carb if it will sit longer than 3 months. Unless you want to learn how to frequently clean gummed up carb jets, use Sta-Bil or a similar product in all your snowblower gas, turn off your fuel valve and run the carb dry after every run, empty your gas can into your car every three months and buy new gas & add Sta-Bil, and drain your snowblower fuel tank at the end of the season and pour its gas into your car.

It's not inferior machine design, it's the ill effects of gasahol we must buy at the pump these days. I would like to see the manufacturers add an easy to use fuel drain to our fuel tanks for that reason.
 
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