Finding Snowblower Parts should be an easy task if you are prepared before you need an actual part.
As the old saying goes “the best offence is a good defence” and when it comes to snowblower parts the same can be said. As a snowblower owner you can take one of two approaches.
You can purchase a few of the most often needed parts from an authorized supplier (so you can perform simple repairs yourself) before hand. I suggest doing this at the beginning of the season before frequently needed parts that the supplier keeps on hand is used up.
Many smaller Snowblower Parts stores only order a few of each of their more popular parts before hand in case the season is not a good one, (little or no snow) as they will have to carry these parts until the following winter.
You need to keep in mind that if you are about to buy a snowblower, be it new or used can you easily get parts for that blower? If you are buying new from a big box store ask them if the repair their blowers on site? You most likely will find that they do not.
If they do not, then ask them who looks after the warranty work in your area for the equipment that they sell. They should be able to give you a name if they don’t have anyone in the area then I would recommend against buying from them.
If they do give you a local name I suggest that you give the local business a visit before you buy from the big box store. You should find out how hard it will be to get parts or have warranty work done for the model you are considering.
If you are buying used, I suggest that you buy a brand name blower, something you recognize such as Toro, John Deere, Honda, Ariens or MTD. Buying a name that you have never heard of from some guy that you don’t know might be a costly mistake especially when it comes to parts.
Finding Snowblower Parts for older lesser known blowers will likely be harder as their will be fewer suppliers carrying parts. This therefore will add increased shipping charges as parts will need to be shipped from further distances.
Secondly you will need to find a good local snowblower mechanic. Most of these guys will also be a parts supplier to some extent. Your ideal blower mechanic will also be an authorized parts supplier for the brand of snowblower that you own (or are considering to buy).
You can also ask your neighbour that owns a snowblower where they get parts and service done on their machine. They should be able to give some local insight good or bad as to where to go to buy blower parts.
A special note about snowblower parts suppliers, in my first hand experience it pays to use the largest (usually the busiest) supplier available. By doing this you will be able to save money.
Here is an example that happened to recently. I ordered 6 impeller shear bolts for my Toro 10-28 Powermax XLE snowblower. The first place I ordered from was my smaller local parts supplier who said they could get parts for Toro’s (they do have a Toro lawn product in their showroom). I have a business account there and get a discount.
So I place the order and they said they would call when they came in. I waited two weeks and nothing so I called. Nothing, they weren’t in and said they’d call when they came in.
So I thought I would try another larger Hardware store where actually bought the blower, I don’t have an account, it is in the next town over and asked them to order me the same 6 impeller shear bolts. They said no problem and would call when they came in.
The order was placed on Tuesday afternoon and they called me Thursday around noon and said they were in. Now that was fast and here is the kicker.
I finally did get the bolts from the first place about 5 weeks after I ordered them and the cost was $9.00 plus taxes with my supposed discount. The second place with the fast turnaround only charged me $3.00 pus taxes without having a business discount setup.
How can this happen? Well the small guy that is not as busy has to wait until he has another order to help reduce his freight cost or all of the freight will have to be absorbed by the single order.
On the other hand the larger Hardware store gets a better price as he deals in greater volumes with the parts manufacturer and therefore is ordering more frequently and spreading the shipping costs over many products shipped at once from the parts supplier.
Snowblower Parts that the average home owner should keep on hand are skid shoes , auger cables, drive cables, shear pins, belts, replacement light bulb (if your snowblower is has light), scraper bar, muffler and a spark plug.