A chainsaw can be a wonderful tool at times but they can also be a little temperamental.
There are times when they are not going to start but you shouldn’t give up.
Instead, there are 8 key things that you need to do when your chainsaw won’t start. Once you’ve taken these steps, you’ll be able to get back to work in no time.
1. Check on the fuel
It may seem like an obvious step but a lot of people can spend far too long trying to work out what is wrong with their chainsaw, only to find out that it just needs fuel. If you’re all topped up then great but add some fuel if you’re not sure.
Even if you know it has fuel, it might not be fresh. Part of gasoline liquid can evaporate over time which changes its consistency and effectiveness. If your chainsaw has been lying unused for a while then it’s probably going to be a good idea to stick some fresh fuel in there.
2. Take a look at the carburetor
As PowerOfTool.com mentioned then, after sitting in the tank for a long time your fuel can start to change its consistency.
It can turn into a sticky substance which is going to cause problems if that starts to settle in your carburetor. It’s responsible for the mixing of air and fuel, and it won’t be able to do that effectively if it’s clogged.
If this has happened, then it’s not good news as it might mean that you would need to replace or rebuild it.
If the problem is only a small one then it’s possible that you’d just be able to clean it out and your chainsaw will start working once again.
3. Spark plugs might not be sparking
Just as in a vehicle, the spark plugs are a common reason as to why an engine won’t start. That air and fuel mixture needs to be ignited and without a spark, it’s not going to happen. Thankfully it’s a relatively easy problem to solve unless it is additionally damaged.
A quick inspection will be able to show you whether or not they are damaged or just a little bit dirty. Sometimes it’s just a good idea to replace them entirely as they are not very expensive and will ensure that your chainsaw works every time.
4. See if the engine is flooded
It’s relatively easy to flood your engine. This is when too much fuel is released which then becomes impossible to ignite. It usually happens when you have pressed the primer bulb too many times and a sign of this is usually being able to smell gasoline.
If you’ve flooded the engine then the steps to sorting it out are fairly straightforward. You’ll first need to drain the fuel from the engine. After that, you can push the choke back in and pull the starter cord while holding the throttle. You’ll also have to most likely dry out your spark plugs too.
5. Inspect the air filters
The air filters are there to protect any debris from getting into the engine. The air filter, however, is also where the air will come from in order to be mixed with the fuel. If this is blocked, then the engine is going to struggle to get the oxygen it needs.
All filters will get clogged or dirty over time as that’s their job. Due to this, regular maintenance is required to clean them out. If your filter has been in there for a long time or is very dirty then it’s probably going to be a good idea to buy a new one.
6. Check the weather
Cold weather is not a friend of engines. It can cause numerous problems as it slows everything down and can stop it from starting. Batteries aren’t as effective, fuel systems can seize up and there are plenty of other parts which are badly affected by the weather.
Usually giving the chainsaw a little more choke is going to help to get it started but that isn’t always the case. If the temperature drops below freezing then it’s going to be a good idea to bring your chainsaw inside a heated part of your home. This way, it’ll start the first time and will work seamlessly once you head outside.
7. Check the coil and springs
What we have looked at already covers the vast majority of times when a chainsaw won’t start. If you’re still left scratching your head then you need to delve deeper into the system and the problem might be with the ignition coil or rewind spring.
The ignition coil sends the electricity through to the sparkplug and without this, they simply won’t spark. They have testers for ignition coils available but you can also use a multimeter. If that’s the root of the issue then you simply need to replace them and your chainsaw will be working once again.
The rewind spring can also be a problem as this is what’s meant to allow you to repeatedly pull the starter cord. Unfortunately, this can end up being a very big issue as unless you can replace the spring, the recoil starter assembly might have to be completely removed.
The recoil starter assembly might also be a part of a bigger problem. One way to test it is to remove the assembly and pull the cord, to make sure the tabs are working correctly. If they aren’t then your only solution is going to be completely replacing the assembly.
8. Check the spark arrestor
If all else fails then it could be your spark arrestor which is at fault. It is there the prevent sparks from flying out of the chainsaw but it has a dual role of affecting the fuel-air mixture inside of the engine.
As time goes on there is a good chance that it’s going to get blocked and it should be a part of your regular maintenance. Once you have cleaned it, the engine might have the air mixture it needs and will start once again.