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What’s the Best Oil for My Snowblower?

What’s the Best Oil for My Snowblower?

Using a high-quality, purpose-built oil can provide extra protection for your snowblower’s engine.

_by Brad Nelson|November 10, 2023

When a snowstorm hits, you need your snowblower to fire up and help you get the job done. But snowblower engines face unique challenges that can reduce their dependability, horsepower and longevity. Fortunately, there are maintenance practices that can vastly improve reliability, including using a specially engineered small-engine oil.

Using a high-quality, purpose-built small-engine oil can help improve the reliability and performance of your snowblower.

Tough on Oil

Although snowblower engines are used less frequently than other engines, they’re tougher on oil than most people realize.

Compared to liquid-cooled automotive engines, small engines usually lack oil filters, run hotter, operate under constant heavy load, generate more oil-damaging contaminants and are exposed to snow, water and extreme temperatures.

Snowblower engines are often stored in unheated garages or sheds where cold temperatures cause the oil to flow slower at startup, a key driver of engine wear.

Using a high-quality, purpose-built oil can provide extra protection for your snowblower’s engine, reducing the risk of component damage and prolonging its life.

However, most small-engine oils we’ve tested are nothing more than re-labeled automotive oils, which are formulated in large part to enhance fuel economy, not to survive the brutal operating conditions of a snowblower engine.

Although small engines are often used infrequently, they’re tougher on oil than most people realize.

Purpose-Built Protection

AMSOIL 100% Synthetic Small-Engine Oil isn’t a re-packaged automotive oil. We specially engineered it from the ground up for small-engine dependability. It’s built to solve the problems that plague small engines, including wear, power loss, oil consumption, harmful carbon deposits and stuck rings and valves.

Excellent Wear Protection

AMSOIL Synthetic Small-Engine Oil is a shear-stable, high-film-strength formulation fortified with a heavy dose of anti-wear additives. It does not thin out due to mechanical shear, ensuring a thick lubricating film. It forms a durable barrier that protects against metal-to-metal contact.


Formulated for Power

Engine wear, carbon deposits, valve sticking and piston-ring sticking reduce engine power. AMSOIL Synthetic Small-Engine Oil prevents ring and valve sticking while helping eliminate carbon deposits from forming. As a result, engines produce maximum power throughout their service lives, helping you move more snow faster.

Extreme-Temperature Performance

AMSOIL 100% Synthetic Small-Engine Oil is formulated with a saturated molecular structure that offers outstanding extreme-heat resistance.

In addition, we’ve fortified the oil with potent antioxidant additives that provide further resistance to damaging heat.

Its powerful detergent additives fight carbon, varnish and sludge to maximize engine life.

In extreme cold, the oil’s naturally high viscosity index and lack of paraffins (waxes) ensure it remains fluid and flows quickly, providing easier cold-weather starts and fast startup lubrication for reduced wear.

Reduces Oil Consumption

In lab testing, AMSOIL 10W-30 Synthetic Small-Engine Oil reduced oil consumption 61% compared to three leading 10W-30/SAE 30 motor oils.¹

Its heat-resistant synthetic base oils provide low volatility, excellent viscosity stability and strong oxidation resistance.

Engines run longer between top-offs, providing peace of mind your engine won’t fail due to oil starvation and will run dependably.

Let it Snow

Prepare your snowblower engine for the next big storm with a specially engineered small-engine oil. AMSOIL 100% Synthetic Small-Engine Oil provides extra protection for your snowblower engine so you can throw snow like its no big deal all winter long.

¹Based on 125-hour lab tests of small engines using AMSOIL 10W-30 Synthetic Small-Engine Oil and three leading 10W-30/SAE 30 motor oils.


How to Store Your Lawnmower in Winter

How to Store Your Lawnmower in Winter

Proper storage ensures your lawn equipment will run well for years.

Dummy on mower

September 26, 2023

Winter is on the horizon and it’s time to store your lawnmower and other lawn and garden equipment through the colder months. The following tips will help you maximize the life and performance of your lawnmower and ensure it springs quickly to life when you’re ready to mow grass again.

Stabilize the gas

Without a stabilizer gasoline can break down in as few as 30 days. Oxygen, humidity, heat and other factors cause gas to change over time. Varnish, gums and other debris may form, which can clog the tiny passages in fuel lines and injectors or stick the floats in carburetors, preventing the engine from starting in the spring.

AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer disrupts the chemical chain reaction that causes gas to oxidize and form varnish and gums. It keeps fuel fresh up to 12 months. As shown, it also fights corrosion and improves stability better than Sea Foam Motor Treatment*.

Clean or replace the spark plugs

The spark plugs in a well-maintained lawnmower should last for years. Even so, check the condition for excessive deposits or wear to the electrodes. Clean on a wire brush (bench grinder is what I use) or replace any dirty plugs as needed. While you’re at it, check the gaps and set them to the proper size, as indicated in the owner’s manual.

Fog Spray the engine

With the spark plug removed, spray fogging oil into the engine. It protects the cylinder, piston and valves from rust and dry-start-induced damage in the spring. Slowly pull the starter cord a few times to distribute the oil, then replace the plug.

Remove the battery

You know, people don’t maintain batteries like they used to.. To prevent frigid temperatures from freezing and ruining the battery, remove it and store it in a safe, climate-controlled environment. Avoid placing it next to your furnace, water heater or other mechanicals in the basement. Put it on a shelf away from open flames. Clean any deposits on the terminals.

Damaged and corroded car battery danger

Clean and protect the mower deck

Use compressed air, a putty knife, water and AMSOIL Heavy Duty Degreaser to remove grass clippings, leaves, dirt and other caked-on debris from the engine and mower deck. Don’t forget to clean the underside of the deck, too.

Let me tell you something, If you prefer to ease the pain of doing this dirty work again next year, try coating the underside of the mower with AMSOIL Mudslinger. It forms a durable armor against the accumulation of grass clippings, making cleanup easier.

Garden tractor Mower combination

Change the oil and filter

Too many people let the mower go another year without changing the oil.. Don’t do that! Used oil contains acids that can slowly rust or corrode metal components. Once rust or corrosion start, they don’t stop. Contaminants can flake off and populate the oil. When the engine is running, they scour like sandpaper and wear out metal parts. Prior to storage, change the oil to remove acidic byproducts and ensure maximum protection against rust and corrosion throughout the winter.

Clean or change the air filter

A steady supply of clean air is just as important to engine operation and performance as high-quality fuel. Grass clippings, leaves, dirt and other contaminants can clog the air filter, causing the engine to start hard or run poorly.

Direct compressed air from the inside of the filter toward its outside to remove contaminants prior to storage. If it’s excessively dirty, replacing it is cheap insurance. The air filter is the only line of defense keeping contaminants from entering the intake and wearing out the cylinder and piston rings. It’s far less expensive to replace an air filter than an engine. Heck I always vacuum mine and it lasts for years. I used to buy them cheap at Kmart. Wish we still had our Kmart around..

Sharpen the blades

This isn’t required before lawnmower storage, but it’s more convenient to do it now, so nothing prevents a quick mow when that first sunny and dry spring day finally arrives. Remove the blades and sharpen them using an angle or bench grinder, but don’t hesitate to replace them if they’re in bad shape. I’ll tell you what, look for a good mower shop (dont tell him you use AMSOIL as he’ll know you never need repairs, lol) and see if they do blade sharpening. Proper sharpening in a jig makes a huge difference especially in a mulching mower.

Store in a dry, covered place

Once the mower is cleaned and prepared for storage, place it in a clean, dry place for the winter. Avoid storing it outside, but if you have no choice, secure a tarp over mechanical equipment to help protect sensitive components from the elements.

Following these simple lawnmower storage and maintenance tips will ensure your mower starts right up in the spring and continues to provide excellent service for many years.

We also have some advice for when your lawnmower won’t start, and if you prefer videos, we’ve got that too:


The Grizzly Lodge in British Columbia Relies on AMSOIL

The Grizzly Lodge in British Columbia Relies on AMSOIL

Fancy Snowmobiling Winter Getaway called Grizzly Lodge

_by David Hilgendorf|October 24, 2022

The Grizzly Lodge relies on generators, groomers, snowmobiles, snow bikes and track trucks in subzero day-to-day operations. Owner Adam Trainer discusses the extreme conditions his equipment faces and why he trusts AMSOIL products to protect all of it.

AMSOIL: What do you do?

Adam: I run a backcountry snowmobile lodge about 50 km (31 miles) out in the mountains, and I’ve been doing that for almost ten years now.

AMSOIL: Is that difficult?

Adam: It’s a huge challenge operating 50 km from pavement, with only snowmobile or helicopter access. Just getting supplies in here, rental sleds up and down the trail, parts when things break down, it’s a big challenge.

Grizzly Lodges snow groomer.

AMSOIL: What kind of equipment do you use?

Adam: Our generators run 24 hours a day; 7 days a week for 8 months at a time, so they take a lot of abuse.

Our Snowcat gets a lot of hours grooming the trails, with lots of cold starts. We get down to -35°C. Cold starts on the diesels are tough, so that’s a challenge on wear and tear.

Same with snowmobiles. We don’t have the space to park them all inside, so they’re also getting lots of cold starts down to that -35°C range where lubrication is absolutely key. We also run some Yamaha* snow bikes and they take a beating. We ride them hard.

The track truck is used for bringing groceries and hauling supplies. That thing does several trips a week and without it the food and supplies won’t get delivered. It’s key to keep that baby running.

Dirtbike converted for snow use.

AMSOIL: How do you keep all those machines operational through the extended subzero winters in British Columbia?

When you’re operating in a location like this, in a remote place in the mountains where a trip to town is at least a couple of hours, depending on the day and conditions, we like to run the best products possible because downtime is costly.

It’s key that all our equipment – generators, snowmobiles, track truck, Snowcats, you name it – it needs to be running top-notch. So we run premium AMSOIL products.


Be Prepared for Winter Driving

Be Prepared for Winter Driving

Prepare your vehicle for hazardous roads before winter arrives.

_by David Hilgendorf|October 25, 2022

Ice storms are most common when the air temperature is close to freezing and blizzards become more likely as temperatures fall below freezing. Both can reduce visibility and create slippery road conditions that require enhanced vigilance and safe driving practices.

Whether freezing rain, sleet, snow or ice, the best time to prepare your vehicle for slick and hazardous roads is before winter arrives. Here are some recommendations to get your vehicle ready for severe weather and be prepared for winter driving.

Prep your vehicle

  • Battery – Cold temperatures are a battery killer. Check the battery voltage to ensure it has enough juice for cold starts and recharge it or replace it if not. Clean any corrosion from the battery terminals and verify the alternator is operating properly and belts are in good shape.
  • Antifreeze – Verify existing antifreeze will provide subzero protection with a simple test available at any auto parts store. If it’s been several years since the antifreeze has been changed or there’s sludge or slime in your radiator, have it flushed and refilled.
  • Wipers – Wiper blades are cheap insurance that you’ll be able to see in stormy weather, so replacing them before the winter is always smart. Fill the washer reservoir with a quality freeze-resistant fluid.
  • Brakes – Stopping safely is more difficult on slick roads. If the brakes seem soft, noisy or unresponsive, have the brake fluid, pads, rotors and lines checked. Snow and ice from your boots can also accumulate on the floor mat restricting the pedals, so check the mat regularly.
  • Fuel – Maintaining at least a half tank of fuel allows you to use the cabin heater to stay warm if you become stranded. It also helps prevent condensation moisture from collecting in the tank. Diesel fuel can gel in extreme cold, so put some AMSOIL Diesel Cold Flow in the tank.
  • Tires – Tires should be inspected monthly for damage, wear and proper inflation, regardless of the season. Don’t forget to check the spare tire, too. Keep a pressure gauge in the vehicle as part of the tire service kit. There are more tips on snow tires below.

Emergency Kit

Many drivers fail to keep an emergency kit in their vehicle. Cell phones may speed up recovery time when stranded, but the batteries can die, and service isn’t always available, especially in remote areas and during violent winter storms.

  • Flashlight – While traditional flashlights work well, they are of no use if the batteries are dead. LED flashlights last much longer, are usually rechargeable, and often feature an emergency strobe. In a pinch, your cell phone can also be used as a flashlight, after you’ve called for assistance.
  • Batteries – Your electronics are worthless in an emergency if they don’t power on. Invest in a modern automotive emergency battery pack that includes a flashlight, strobe light, phone charger and can jump-start your vehicle! Keep it charged.
  • Jumper cables – Quality, long, thick cables with multi-strand wire and heavy-duty clips will often save the day. Invest in four-gauge, 20-foot cables that won’t break the bank and will last a long time.
  • Tool kit – Keep basic tools in the car, including a multi-tool, vise grips, pliers, screwdrivers, duct tape, zip ties and a tire-plug kit with CO2 inflater. A jack and tire iron should already be stored in your vehicle, so read the manual and understand how to use them to quickly change a flat in an emergency.
  • Blanket – It’s often safest to remain in place and wait for help. A blanket can block the wind, contain body heat and keep you from freezing. Keeping a spare winter jacket, gloves, hat, boots and thermal undergarments in the car is even better if you’re prone to underdress, especially if you need to exit the vehicle.
  • Sustenance – Keep a stash of non-perishable, high-energy foods such as granola bars and nuts in the car. It’s recommended to keep one gallon of drinking water per person per day on hand, but you can melt snow for drinking in winter, so you may only need a water bottle and some heat.
  • First-aid kit – An Emergency First Aid guide or training will inform you the goal is to stop bleeding and prevent infection with absorbent gauze dressings and bandages, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, hydrocortisone and aspirin. Tools should include an emergency blanket, nonlatex gloves, adhesive cloth tape, a thermometer, compress, tweezers, and scissors. Premade kits are widely available for purchase, so you don’t have to buy everything individually.
  • Medication – If you have any medical necessities, do not risk being stranded without them. Also keep an up to date “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) card with personal contacts, allergies and medications in both your wallet and phone, in case you are found unconscious.
  • Other items to consider – A small shovel, an ice scraper and flares, which double as a firestarter, are also excellent items to keep in your vehicle.


Driving in Snow

The best winter driving tip is don’t drive at all – just stay home. When snow starts falling, toss a log on the fire and relax. If you must drive in snow or ice, here are a few tips to stay out of the ditch.

  • SLOW DOWN – It seems obvious, but speed increases the risk of losing control and the resultant damage. Leave earlier than normal, drive slowly and maintain ample distance between yourself and vehicles around you. Driving in first or second gear will also drastically limit speed and prevent the vehicle from gaining or losing momentum rapidly.
  • Acceleration – It’s fun to mash the gas and spin tires in the snow, but practice this driving skill in a large, empty, snow-covered parking lot. On the road, accelerate and brake smoothly and slowly to avoid spinning the tires.
  • Braking – In slippery conditions, braking may result in zero friction between your tires and the road, causing a loss of steering and sliding instead of stopping. One way to avoid sliding before stops is to take your foot off the gas early and let the vehicle gradually lose momentum. Stoplights will often turn green before you need to touch the brake pedal. Driving in a lower gear also helps by forcing the engine to slow the car when you stop accelerating.
  • Skidding – It takes experience to safely correct a skid. If your vehicle begins to slide, let off the gas, avoid the brakes and steer into the skid while allowing the vehicle to slow on its own. Now go back to practicing in a large, empty, snow-covered parking lot.
  • Four-Wheel Drive – It’s no surprise that most folks in cold climates will only buy vehicles for winter use that are all-wheel drive (AWD) or four-wheel drive (4X4). Having four wheels driving your vehicle effectively doubles your traction and recovery ability compared to a two-wheel drive.
  • Chains – In mountainous regions, it is mandatory to carry tire chains in high elevation areas and to install them when weather turns sour. Some places also allow studded tires, but both chains and studs do heavy damage to road surfaces, so only install them where legal or required.
  • Snow Tires – The initial cost of snow tires can be significant, but you won’t use them year-round, so they don’t wear as fast. You may get five seasons of use from a set. Snow tires are designed to stay soft and flexible when cold, for better traction and control, and they have a deeper tread design that reroutes snow and slush out of the treads, keeping water and ice from building up. The treads also have biting edges with many slits to provide extra grip on slick roads.The downsides to snow tires include being noisier, wearing out faster in warmer temperatures and potentially reducing fuel economy. Still, they are a smart investment in safety that helps protect your vehicle and your life.

Driving during any winter storm is risky, if not dangerous. Winter storms, severe weather and slick road conditions are a factor in 500,000 crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every winter, according to AAA.

Stay safe by preparing your vehicle for winter and preparing yourself with the right driving skills and the right tools and knowledge in case of a cold-weather emergency.


Best Places to Snowmobile You Should Experience at Least Once

Best Places to Snowmobile You Should Experience at Least Once

AMSOIL INC. is located in the heart of snowmobile country – Wisconsin, so we know a thing or two about the best places to snowmobile.

Did you know the snowmobile was invented in Wisconsin? Carl Eliason brought to life his idea of a “motor toboggan” in 1924. The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, the upper Midwest is a mecca for devoted sledheads and casual snowmobile enthusiasts alike.

No matter the destination, thousands of miles await sledders eager to hit the snowy terrain. We put together a list of the best places to snowmobile across the Midwest. Read on for more.

Best places to snowmobile in Wisconsin

Eagle River

Known as the “Snowmobile Capital of the World,” Eagle River is home to a 500-mile trail network that is meticulously maintained by local snowmobile clubs and volunteers.

There is breathtaking scenery and an endless supply of local hospitality. There’s a reason it’s been ranked several times as ‘Best of’ in various categories from national publications.

It’s also home to the World Championship Snowmobile Derby that draws thousands of spectators to the region each year.

Before you go, find a full list of area trails here and check out current conditions here.

St. Germain

Connected to Eagle River trails, St. Germain is a natural segue for snow travelers hopscotching throughout the region.

With groomed trails stretching hundreds of miles and a local snowmobile-club-sponsored Trail Patrol, St. Germain offers excellent riding conditions that draw thousands of travelers each year.

Find helpful links on resorts, rentals and trail conditions here.


Home to one of the largest trail systems in the nation, Cable offers more than 1,200 miles of interconnecting snowmobile routes that weave throughout the Chequamegon National Forest.

It’s known for its quiet and solitude among nature’s best scenery.

Find everything you need to know about this route here.

Iron County

Just along the Michigan border, you’ll find a place that sees an average of 200 inches of snowfall per year, more than 500 groomed trails and 175,000 acres of off-trail forest land.

Along the way you can catch views of 200 lakes within a 30-mile radius among fellow snowmobilers making their way through old mining towns in the region.

Find more info on what Iron County has to offer here.

Best places to snowmobile in Michigan

Upper Peninsula

The U.P. of Michigan has earned legendary status among snowmobile enthusiasts from all over.

With more than 3,000 miles of groomed trails, it’s been voted “Most Scenic,” “Best Powder Riding,” “Best Trail Riding” and “Best Overall Snowmobiling Area” by readers of Snow Goer Magazine.

For those looking to put their skills to the test, it also holds the title of “Most Challenging” for its technical trail offerings.

You can find all things related to planning the perfect Michigan U.P. trip here.

Lake Gogebic

Some call this snowmobile district the best-kept secret in Michigan.

Located in the western U.P., it features hundreds of miles of groomed trails that weave throughout the forest and offer access to scenic overlooks. The route possibilities are endless, whether riders are looking for a day trip or an overnight adventure.

Check out this website for everything you need to know about this picturesque snowmobiling region.


Located in the lower peninsula, Gaylord averages more than 180 inches of snowfall each year and offers more than 300 miles of groomed trails.

It’s also home to the annual Michigan Snowmobile Festival, where fellow enthusiasts unite over runs, music and good family fun.

You can plan your entire trip, including trail maps and live snow cams, right here.

Best places to snowmobile in Minnesota


A starting point of the legendary Paul Bunyan Trail, Brainerd Lakes is a hub to snowmobilers descending on Minnesota looking for a great route.

Covering approximately 120 miles, the Paul Bunyan Trail leads north past the Bemidji, Minn., region with well-groomed trails and several snowmobile-friendly stops along the way.

Find maps, trail markers and all the stops you need to plan for here.


This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Bemidji.

Situated at a crossroads for two of the state’s largest trail-system routes, Bemidji trails can lead riders anywhere in the state they wish to go. There are lakes, streams, bogs and rolling hills that offer beautiful scenery in any terrain.

Plan your route here.

North Shore

Minnesota’s North Shore is well-known for its scenic landscape no matter which method of transportation you’re using.

Snowmobiles are no exception, with well-groomed trails spanning from Duluth to Grand Marais amidst the backdrop of mighty Lake Superior.

Numerous local trails connect to the main state trail so riders can veer off and explore the hidden wonders of backwoods Minnesota.

Right here is where you can find everything you need to start planning a scenic ride through northern Minnesota.

Best places to snowmobile in North and South Dakota

South Dakota Badlands and Black Hills

A little farther West is an up-and-coming snowmobile hub in the state of South Dakota amidst the scenic Badlands and Black Hills region.

More than 350 miles of marked and groomed trails await travelers seeking a journey through canyons, caves, forests and summit overlooks. Plenty of meadows for ideal powder riding surround the beaten path, with snowmobile-friendly pit stops scattered throughout.

SnoWest Magazine and SuperTrax International ranked the Black Hills snowmobile trail system as one of the top 10 places to ride.

Check out trail conditions and more here.

Spearfish Canyon

Spearfish Canyon is worthy of its own mention despite it being just north of the aforementioned Black Hills region.

In fact, sledders could easily make this their start or end point on a Black Hills tour.

This spot has produced loyal fans who return each year for the scenery, world-class lodging and a glimpse of the filming locations for the classic film “Dances with Wolves.”

In our research, Spearfish Canyon came up several times as the premier place in South Dakota to create your snowmobile adventure.

You’ll find what you need to start planning here.

North Dakota

North Dakota offers 13 trails of groomed terrain spanning more than 2,800 miles throughout the state.

You can also glimpse another piece of Hollywood history by stopping at the home of the original wood chipper from the cult-classic movie “Fargo.”

Check out a full trail list and riding conditions throughout the state here.