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Chainsaw Won’t Start? Here’s What to Do

Chainsaw is a great tool that helps to keep your garden clean and helps to cut the firewood. However, due to continuous wear and tear, older models can face problems while starting. There are various reasons why the chainsaw won’t start, whether an electric or gas chainsaw.

Before troubleshooting or investigating the issue, beware that the chainsaw can start at any time while you work on it. So, ensure you maintain your distance and safety at all times. For safety measures, you should avoid baggy clothing and keep the face of the saw away from structures, vehicles, and people.

What Is A Chainsaw?

A chainsaw is an effective tool that enables you to cut firewood, trim unwanted branches, and clean fallen trees. It is an electric, hydraulic or gas-powered saw that can be pulled around a bar quickly. The cutting teeth contained in the chain can cut through the wood smoothly. It is utilised to process and fell trees.

What Are The Reasons For The Starting Problems Of A Chainsaw?

There can be several problems that can result in the chainsaw not starting. We have discussed all the major problems that can lead to the chainsaw not working properly.

1. Spark Plug Is Defective And Can Be Replaced

Your chainsaw can feature a defective spark plug that fails to generate electric current to start the system. Then, you must remove the spark plug and check if it is damaged, eroded, cracked or dirty. There might be burned-up electrodes or heavy carbon buildup.

If you notice one of the above-mentioned issues, you must replace it with a new one. Also, if the spark plug looks fine but you have not changed it for many days, replace the old one anyway.

2. Carburetor Is Clogged And Needs Cleaning

The featured carburetor is used to mix fuel and air to ignite the internal combustion engine. The fuel stagnant in the engine for a long time can become clammy and clog the carburetor, which stops the system from starting. If you notice the clog to be small, things can get back to work by just cleaning it. To clean a carburetor, drain and spray it with a cleaning solution and wipe it clean.

3. Carburetor Might Need A Replacement

However, if the carburetor is heavily clogged and cannot be cleaned after several attempts, you must replace it with a new one. This is because the old one might be completely out of function.

You can test the carburetor by removing the air filter, pouring some fuel into it, and pulling the starter rope. If it starts momentarily and shuts down, you must replace it. To change it, you must buy one compatible with the system and then follow the user manual to switch them.

4. Bad Gasoline

The most common issue is if the chainsaw is not starting up or running if it is out of gas or filled with old fuel. Gasoline has a short shelf life. It can go bad in a short time if it is left for a long time in the chainsaw. It can rot in just 15 to 20 days. The fuel can evaporate and leave a tar-like texture on the bottom.

The best way to deal with this issue is to ensure enough fuel when starting the system. Also, you must change and put fresh gas in the system every time you start it.

5. Ignition Coils Need To Be Replaced

Ignition coils send voltage directly to the spark plug that generates a spark and starts the system. If the system is not starting, it might be due to the coils after repeated use and wear and tear. If you have concluded that a spark plug is fine, you need a tester for the ignition coil and blindly stick to the steps given in the manual. Even when testing, if the spark is not produced, you must go for a new one.

6. Recoil Starter Pulley

The recoil starter enables the operator to pull a starter rope, after which you need to engage the internal components to ignite to power the chainsaw engine. If the starter is not assembled or is defective, the engine fails to ignite.

To check the assembly of the recoil starter, you need to remove the chainsaw to determine what is going on. It may be stuck or needs to settle in the right position. If the chainsaw still does not start after being assembled properly, it might be defective and needs to be changed.

7. No Spark

The spark plugs are used to run the system properly and have been functional for years. But the deposits can be formed on the saw’s electrode using two-stroke low-quality fuel.

To repair it, you must remove the plug, lean it gently with sandpaper, and check for the hole. Then, after recoiling, you should notice a blue spark. If that does not happen, change the plug. Also, check the wire to see if the plug is in a good state.

8. Rewind Spring Broken

The rewind spring is the component that rewinds the cord after every pull. If, after the first pull, the cord does not rewind, the engine is not powered, and the concern might be that the rewind spring is broken or damaged. You just need to replace the rewind spring. Some models enable the rewind spring to be changed individually, but others need you to change the recoil starter completely.

9. The Engine Is Overflowing With Fuel

This is among the most basic issues why the chainsaw will not ignite. If the user  starts the system repeatedly or tries to do so, they may have flooded the engine accidentally with fuel. The gasoline smell is strong if the engine is flooded with it. First, you must hold the throttle dry and pull the featured starter cord many times. Then, you change the spark plug. Then, you can try to ignite the chainsaw system again.

10. Clogged Spark-Arrestor Screen

The spark arrestor is a screen featured on the spark plug to prevent the sparks from flying out from the chainsaw when it starts. However, with time, it can clog and influence the air-fuel mixture.

You need to check the spark plug screen regularly. It is suggested to replace the spark-arrestor screen every 24 hours of use.

11. The Choke Is Activated In Warm Weather

Various chainsaws feature a choke position that can start the system in cold weather. This setting increases the richness of fuel and air mixture in the carburetor to improve the fuel flow. If the choke is activated in warm or mild climates or after the chainsaw is in start condition or heated up, it can flood the engine, which cannot operate in high-level heat. If the problem occurs in mild or warm climates, you first need to check whether the choke is not activated.

12. Fuel Has Deteriorated

Like many power tools, the quality and quantity of the gasoline or fuel used in chainsaws can influence its operation and functionality. Users should check the chainsaw is supplied with fuel properly so the engine is powered sufficiently. Gasoline starts to deteriorate if it has been sitting and not used for a long time. You must ensure that the remaining fuel has not been collected in the chainsaw. If so, the gas tank should be cleaned first and refilled with fresh gas.

13. Clogged Air Filter

The air filter is used to maintain the air-fuel ratio in the carburetor. It is required to start the engine and keep it in a running state. If it is clogged, dusty or dirty, it will stop the chainsaw from starting.

Checking on the air filter is also very important and should be maintained regularly. The checking should be done before and after every use of the chainsaw. You should clean it and reinstall it in the system. If it is torn up or damaged, make sure that you buy a manufacturer-approved air filter.

14. Primer Bulb

When running the chainsaw, the primer bulb can get cracked or broken. This can prevent the bulb from blowing up and restrict the fuel flow to the carburetor. So, the bad primer bulb can lead to the chainsaw not starting.

15. Compression Rings

These rings are responsible for enabling smooth running in the engine. If they are faulty, the gas will be burned, and the chainsaw will release a gas smell with bluish flames. It might not halt the chainsaw but projects a costly and bigger repair soon. The primary cause of this problem is using less gasoline to run the system.

To solve this issue, you need to change the compression rings immediately.

16. Clutch Pads

The clutch pads do not enable power transfer from the crankshaft to the flywheel and restrict the chainsaw from starting.

You need to change the clutch pads to get rid of this problem.

Final Word

After checking for all the issues discussed above, you need to consult a professional and get technical help if the chainsaw still fails to start. Otherwise, you can also look for a replacement for the whole system. If the trees need to be cleaned or trimmed immediately, you can also ask for professional assistance to get done with it.

We have mentioned all the issues which will help you if you are stuck with the chainsaw. If you still have doubts or queries, you can mention them in the comments section below.

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