Snowblower shops prepare for looming storm - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Snowblower shops prepare for looming storm

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - You always expect certain places to be buzzing before a winter storm. Grocery stores and movie rental places come to mind, but snowblower repair and retail shops also see plenty of action.

Gregg Redlin, owner of Air-Cooled Engine Services of Iowa City, has been fixing and selling the machines left and right. He expected his show room containing a dozen or so units to sell out by Thursday evening.

"I expect if this storm is what they say it's gonna be, I'll probably be sold out," said Redlin.

Business picked up after the last few storms, and he says people haven't forgotten about last year's heavy winter. Ralph and Pat Fountain's 25-year old snowblower gave out on them. They didn't feel like betting on whether they'd need one in the next few days.

"I hope not," said Fountain, shaking his head.

Redlin had a backlog of mower and generator repairs this summer from the June flood. Now, he's dealing with the broken snowblowers that got pushed to the side.

"We're dealing with 'crisis situation' machines that have been sitting there with old gas in them, and that type of thing." Old fuel is the most common problem Redlin sees, and the cheapest one to fix. "Fuel doesn't age well, especially in the summer months when you have a lot of heat in a garden shed. Even if you have it in a can, it tends to get old."

Redlin says a fresh tank can bring a dead snowblower back to life. He also recommends making sure the paddles are in good shape. "We'll make every effort so people can run the machines instead of a shovel. And if you need to shovel I've got them too."

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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