Can’t Start Your Saw?

            After years of borrowing and returning, my brother just recently bought a chainsaw.  This was his first chainsaw purchase and he did not really know the proper steps to care for the new saw.  After some use and playing around, he got the hang of it.  One thing he did not know how to do is diagnose a starting problem.  I walked him through some general steps and he got it started.  The steps are quite simple and could you time and money.



Is there spark?



Stihl Spark Plug


Check your user manual and find out how to remove the spark plug.  The spark plug is what ignites the fuel mixture and causes combustion.  When you have the spark plug safely removed, inspect the spark plug.  Check for corrosion or grime in the spark plug.  Clean it thoroughly with a wire brush and install back into the saw.  If you still do not have any spark, replace the spark plug and the spark plug wires.







Is there fuel?


HP Ultra

Check the tank for fuel.  After time, the fuel will evaporate.  The fuel could have also gone bad, so, considering the time the fuel was left in the tank, it might be better to drain the fuel and replace it with the proper mixture.  Most saws are two stroke and require a 50:1 mixture.  Once you replace the bad fuel with the new mixture, try starting it again.





Is the engine flooded?



After so many times trying to start the saw, you may have flooded the engine.  If you smell fuel, it’s probably flooded.  Let the saw sit in the open air for a while.  Give it a couple of pulls without choking it first and see if it starts.  If not, remember, only two pulls on choke and then flip the switch to run.



Dirty Air Filter?




Dirty Air Filter Saw

The air filter could be preventing the saw from breathing.  A dirty air filter does not allow the saw to intake the proper amount of air resulting in an incompatible ratio for combustion.  Clean or replace the air filter and try again.












These simple steps should be able to get the saw running after keeping it stored for a period of time.  Proper maintenance is key to the longevity and performance of any machine.  Keep the saw clean and oiled.  Not only will negligence ruin the saw, it could cause serious harm.