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Hi

I'm a 1st time owner of snowblower. I bought a Honda HS720AA for last winter and used it several times (around 5 times) during last winter (NYC area). Now it's time to prepare summer storage.

I understand I need to drain all the gas out of the machine, and I did that easily. But I also noticed that the manual recommends put 5ml/teaspoon fresh engine oil into the cylinder (by opening the spark plug), is that necessary? My friends using (other brand) snowblowers didn't tell me about this for summer storage, they said all you need to do is drain the gas or run the engine until the gas is out. I did some search on this forum and didn't find anything.

Also regarding the engine oil, should I use the recommended Honda SAE 5w30 or there is something better? I want to make sure the snowblower last longer than a couple years.

Thanks a lot!
 

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Its always a good idea to pour a little engine oil in the top of the cylinder as it keeps the piston rings oiled when the engine is being stored. Just remove the spark plug pour in a bit of engine oil and then reinstall the spark plug no more than hand tight and you will be fine.

Come next fall when you want to get the snow blower ready remove the spark plug and pull the starter rope or engage the electric starter to crank it over a few time and any excess oil will be drawn back down into the cylinder wall and then just reinstall the spark plug hand tight and it will smoke a little when you start it the first time but it will be fine.
 

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You certainly don't need to, and very few people do. It really depends on how and where its stored, and then what your tolerance for issues are. If its stored outside, the more rapid and extreme heating and cooling cycles will cause some degree of condensation inside the bore. In an insulated garage or shed, this is much less of an issue. In a climate controlled space, its all but a non issue. Oil in the cylinder will make it harder to start. Generally this shouldn't be an issue, but it can be if excessive oil is used and its not cleared before attempting to start. I know a few people that couldn't get an engine going due to oil in the cylinder not being cleared. Most people arent too keen on cranking an engine over without a plug so the oil can spray everywhere.

Draining the gas from the tank isnt really a big deal, although its a good idea to ensure the carb bowl is drained entirely of gas. The smaller volume of fuel will mean it will 'go bad' much faster than in the tank. I'd say top off the tank and drain the carb. You can fog the cylinder if you want. Removing the spark plug every year might cause more issues than it solves, however. Spraying a whiff of fogging oil into the intake at idle until theres an audible stumble is another option. Then shut off the fuel, and open the carb bowl drain.
 

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Hello Dannoman,

I hand tighten it only because I am afraid of damaging the head as I
do not have a torque wrench and in the past I have broken fuel drains
in diesel engine fuel filters :^(
 

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In the marine industry, fogging oil is commonly used for off-season engine lay-up. So you could always use fogging oil instead of merely motor oil.

Also another method is to use a fairly high concentration (10%) of 2-cycle oil in a small amount of gas and run through the engine for 5 minutes or so.
 
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I was speculating that he meant just install it gently, because you're going to remove it before starting the machine in the fall. Remove the lightly-installed plug, clear out the oil, then re-tighten it normally, and start it.

I store my blower in the garage, I've never added oil to the cylinder. I don't do it for my tractor either, which lives outside under a tarp. Neither have given me trouble, but that doesn't make it a bad idea. You can also use fogging oil, sprayed into the intake while cranking the engine, with the spark plug wire removed. That could be useful for an engine where the spark plug is facing to the side, rather than up.

Also, I've heard to add the oil, then pull the engine over a few times (with the spark plug wire disconnected), to help it coat the inside of the cylinder area.
 

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I always add a bit of oil before storing the mower or blower - the same way Red O describes it above. It's never been a problem to start up - just a bit of smoke until the oil gets burned up.
 

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In terms of adding fluid of any kind directly to the cylinder via the spark plug whole, I am always concerned about the potential for a hydrolock, should someone attempt to start the engine when there may be an excessive amount of fluid in the cylinder.

It might be best to spin the engine a few rev's with the pull starter before putting the plug back in.
 

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One of the earliest uses of WD40 was for fogging engine parts, since it prevents rust to some extent and displaces water (hence the WD). Four out of five households already has a can, so no need to purchase anything else. A quick squirt in the spark plug hole and a couple of pulls on the starter cord will coat the cylinder nicely. You can then reinstall the plug to specified torque and be ready to go in the fall.

I used to use Bombardier Lube for winterizing marine engines, but the stuff has a god-awful smell compared to WD40.
 

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I use CRC fogging oil. Typically through the throat of the carburetor while running.

When the engine starts to stumble I shut it down, set to Top Dead Center, fill the tank with stabilized E0 fuel, drain the carb and park it.

Fortunately my buddy goes snowmobiling up north and brings me back 10-15 gallons of E0 91oct on his last trip of the year.
 

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In terms of adding fluid of any kind directly to the cylinder via the spark plug whole, I am always concerned about the potential for a hydrolock, should someone attempt to start the engine when there may be an excessive amount of fluid in the cylinder.

It might be best to spin the engine a few rev's with the pull starter before putting the plug back in.
That's what I do. Also I use Mystery Oil in there, maybe a spoonful.
 

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I have done the oil in the cylinder treatment for over 25 years; never had a problem.Everything from Lawnmowers to snowblowers,gas trimmers,gas leaf blowers, and chainsaws. Smokes a bit upon first startup, but it gives me peace in the offseason, when I know I have done all I could to protect my toys. Works great every time.
 

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Also, I always give the starter rope a few pulls, with my finger and a clean rag over the spark plug hole. I like to spread the oil throughout the cylinder, then I re-install the plug as normal. My toys have never failed to start in their respective seasons.
 
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