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How Can I Repair a Chainsaw That Won’t Stay Running?

Is your chainsaw giving you a hard time by not staying on? We understand how this can halt your work. Our expertise in this field will guide you through troubleshooting and fixing this issue. Let’s get your work back on track.

First, check the spark plug, fuel, carburetor, engine flooding, recoil starter, idle port, blade sharpness, lubrication, and debris buildup to repair a chainsaw that won’t run. Wear protective gear during repairs. Proper maintenance, like fresh gas and clean air filters, can prevent many issues. If problems persist, seek expert help.

Ever wondered why your work gets interrupted due to a chainsaw that won’t stay running? We have the answers and solutions right here. Dive in to learn how to troubleshoot, fix this issue, and get your work back on track.

Common Problems with Your Chainsaw and How to Fix Them

  • Starting problems: If you need more effort to have the starter going, it proves there is too much tension buildup in the chainsaw. However, give it a few more pulls before concluding something is wrong.
  • Cold Weather: If the engine has been kept in a hard place, it might be challenging to run the machine. Pulling the choke will help keep the device running when that happens.
  • Hitting The Throttle For A Long Time: You should only run the throttle once to get the right speed. However, if, by any chance, you end up holding it for too long, then it will cause issues with the engine, thus preventing your machine from running continuously.

In my 20 years of experience, I’ve found that a chainsaw might not stay running for several reasons, including a dirty air filter, old fuel, a faulty spark plug, or issues with the carburetor.

The Common Problems and How to Fix Them

● Spark Switch/Plugs

You need to see if the chainsaw’s plug ignites a spark since that helps to initiate combustion in the area that ignites the air and fuel mixture.

It is one of those parts that quickly erodes and should be the first place you pay attention when the machine isn’t running per your expectations. If you want to see whether the plug has a spark, remove it, then touch the metallic section on the engine with a wire. See if the electrodes produce sparks.


If there are no sparks, clean it using a steel brush to remove corrosion.  If there is no change after examining and cleaning this section, get a new spark plug. You can find Chainsaw Spark Plugs here.

● Bad Fuel

Another problem affecting how your chainsaw works is if the fuel is contaminated. It should run in excellent condition for about eight weeks once you purchase it. After that, volatile agents will evaporate, leading to problems with the oil.

The fuel filters also prevent debris and dirt from getting into chainsaw chain oil. If the fuel filter is blocked, your engine will not get the right amount of fuel, making it hard to keep your chainsaw running.


Use premium gas or fuel in the correct mixture to prevent interference with your machine’s operation. If you suspect bad oil in the chainsaw, replace it. As for a broken filter, inspect it to determine if it can be unclogged or needs to be replaced.

Replacing the fuel filter is inexpensive and ensures the fuel filters work as required. You can use a fuel stabilizer if you store your gas for longer. You can find a fuel stabilizer here.

● Blocked Carburetor

If you leave fuel in the fuel tank of your chainsaw for long, the chances of it getting clogged are high. That is because its light elements will evaporate, leaving behind a sticky substance. That leads to a clogged system.


Always clean the carburetor using the right cleaner to eradicate the sticky substance. If the cleaning process is impractical, you should replace the whole carburetor. You can find Chainsaw Carburetors here.

● Your Engine is Flooded

Before you start your machine, you are expected to push the fuel pump. However, if you overdo it, the engine gets flooded, which affects your chainsaw’s operation. If you smell fuel or have moisture in the spark section after starting the chainsaw, it indicates a flooded engine.


Open the spark plug and drain the fuel. Also, disengage your choke, then dry off the spark plug before fitting it back in place.

● The Recoil Starter

It compromises the elements that help the engine to run. Any of those elements might have complications, affecting how your chainsaw runs. For instance, the rewind spring might fail to function correctly, making it hard for the starter rope to recoil onto its pulley.


Look for a replacement for the rewind springs or buy a new recoil starter assembly. Your choice is dependent on the extent of the problem. You can find replacement Chainsaw Recoil starters here.

● A Blocked Idle Port

Keeping your chainsaw in a passive position is hard if the idle port gets damaged or blocked. That stops you from completing the tasks you have.


Inspect the idle port to see its condition each time you run your chainsaw. That is the only way to know if it is damaged or blocked. If you find it damaged, buy a new one early or invest in the right technician.

Safety should always be your priority while repairing a chainsaw. Always disconnect the spark plug before starting any repair, wear gloves and safety glasses, and work in a well-ventilated area.

Methods How to Start Your Chainsaw

Many complications with the chainsaw occur because people do not know the correct way of starting their devices. That mainly happens to most beginners who recently purchased this power tool for the first time.

If you consistently start your chainsaw incorrectly, you will soon have to deal with some of the abovementioned complications. So, how do you best run your chainsaw?

● Place It on the Ground

Before you consider operating your chainsaw, ensure it is on the ground. Remove its cover if you have not done so.

● Run the Brake Chain

Make sure that the chain brake is active. That is done by pushing the chain brake forward to ensure the chain does not rotate on the chainsaw bar.

● Decompress

All the new models of chainsaw brands have an intelligent start decompression button. Ensure it is engaged, as it helps to start your chainsaw.

● The Fuel Pump

Press the fuel pump for a few minutes until you see the fuel. It makes it easy to start your machine and keep it operational.

● Starter Rope

If the chainsaw is flat, put your right foot on the handle while your left-hand holds the top of your chainsaw. Pull the starter slowly and smoothly.

● The Throttle

With the throttle halfway, pull the chainsaw’s rope until it starts running. You can accelerate the engine to keep the machine going. Once the chainsaw starts running, touch the throttle button to keep it in its normal state.

● Safety Precautions

It would be best if you were careful when following these troubleshooting procedures. Hold the chainsaw firmly if it starts while troubleshooting the issues. The most critical safety procedure is removing the spark plug and the batteries when checking your machine.

That ensures your engine does not start unexpectedly, as it would cause problems. Also, remember to have safety gloves and glasses to protect yourself.

Diagnosing the specific issue causing the chainsaw not to stay running is a process of elimination. You should check the air filter, fuel, and spark plug first, as these are the most common issues. If those are fine, you might need to look at the carburetor.


The one way to ensure that your chainsaw serves you long is if it is well-maintained. It would be best if you learned some of the maintenance guides that can help you keep your chainsaw in excellent condition:

  • Loose nuts: Adjust the loose nuts so the chainsaw works as required. Consider the model of your chainsaw, as different models may have other adjustment methods.
  • Sharpen the blade: See how sharp the chain blade is. Paying attention to how the blades have been operating will help you to know if the tool needs sharpening. Check out our guide for detailed instructions.
  • Lubrication: Ensure that the moving parts stay lubricated. Keeping this gadget oiled helps to prevent friction between the chain and the guide bar. It is also an ideal way to prevent the chainsaw from overheating. If your chainsaw’s engine has been running for a long time, it may need to adjust the lubrication.
  • Cleaning: Clean the chainsaw often to ensure no dust or debris. The carburetor should also be cleaned regularly to avoid dirt from building up, as it affects how the chainsaw runs. Clean it with a soft cloth to prevent any exposure to harsh chemicals.
  • Use good gas: Use new gas every time, especially if you do not use the equipment regularly. If the gas is stored in the chainsaw for too long, it forms residue, making it hard to have your machine running continuously. You can use a fuel stabilizer to keep your fuel for a more extended period. You can find Fuel Stabilizer here.


If you are determined, no chainsaw problem cannot be fixed. Since a chainsaw is one of those handy tools that you may have in your home, you must ensure it runs effectively. Have it well-maintained so that it runs effectively. It would be best to create a schedule of when and how to maintain this power tool.

The simple things, such as lubricating, cleaning the air filters, having fresh gas, and sharpening the chainsaw, keep it in excellent condition for a long time.

Also, remember that wearing protective gear is necessary to avoid accidents when fixing your chainsaw. If your saw does not stay running after following the steps above, search for an expert.

Do a compression test to see if your chainsaw continues to stall or does not start. If the reading is below the standard psi, you may need to adjust the carburetor. 

Leave it to a professional if you’re unsure. Always test your chainsaw when it’s running at full speed to ensure it’s working correctly. Be on the lookout for any cracks or broken parts.

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  1. Alma Fowler says:

    This article seems more focused on offering solutions and explanations rather than being critical of the issues at hand. It lacks depth in analyzing the root causes of chainsaw problems.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Alma. We appreciate your insights and will strive to include more in-depth analysis in our future posts. Thank you for your input.

  2. Aubree Hoffman says:

    I have learned so much about chainsaw maintenance from this article, thank you!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you so much, Aubree! I’m glad you found the article helpful for your chainsaw maintenance needs. Keep up the great work!

  3. Chad Terry says:

    Thank you for emphasizing the importance of wearing protective gear when working on chainsaws.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Chad Terry! Safety first is always our top priority when working with chainsaws. Stay safe and keep those projects running smoothly.

  4. Julio Mitchelle says:

    The information in this article is very informative, I feel more confident troubleshooting my chainsaw now.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Julio! We’re glad you found the information helpful in troubleshooting your chainsaw. Let us know if you need any more assistance with it. Happy sawing!

  5. Aaron Soto says:

    Is it safe to troubleshoot chainsaw issues without professional help?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Aaron, troubleshoot your chainsaw with our expert guidance. Check spark plug, fuel, carburetor, engine flooding, recoil starter, idle port, blade sharpness, lubrication, and debris buildup. Stay safe and get back to work.

  6. Theodore Hale says:

    Thank you for the helpful tips on troubleshooting chainsaw issues.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for the kind words, Theodore! I’m glad you found the troubleshooting tips helpful for your chainsaw issues. Happy to assist you further if needed.

  7. Elizabeth Miles says:

    How can I tell if my chainsaw blade needs sharpening?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      To determine if your chainsaw blade needs sharpening, check for dullness and difficulty cutting. If it’s not holding an edge and seems to be pulling or tearing wood, it’s time for a sharpening.

  8. Jesus Brewer says:

    What are some common safety precautions to take when using a chainsaw?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your question on chainsaw safety precautions! Always wear protective gear, maintain your chainsaw regularly, and follow proper starting procedures to ensure safe and efficient operation.

  9. Bill Bryant says:

    What should I do if my chainsaw still won’t start after following these steps?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      If your chainsaw still won’t start, consider checking the spark plug, fuel, carburetor, engine flooding, recoil starter, idle port, blade sharpness, lubrication, and debris buildup. Safety first!

  10. Rene Andrews says:

    Where can I find replacement parts for my chainsaw if needed?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Replacement parts for your chainsaw, such as spark plugs, fuel filters, carburetors, and recoil starters, can be found online or at your local hardware store. Happy fixing!

  11. Roy Mckinney says:

    What are some signs that indicate it’s time to replace my chainsaw’s spark plug?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Roy, if your chainsaw is struggling to stay on, it might be time to replace the spark plug. Check out our blog for more troubleshooting tips to get your work back on track.

  12. Darlene George says:

    What are the best practices for adjusting the tension on a chainsaw chain?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your question, Darlene. Adjusting the tension on a chainsaw chain involves careful balancing. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the best results.

  13. Bill Castillo says:

    I appreciate the step-by-step troubleshooting guide for chainsaw issues.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Bill Castillo! We’re glad you found the troubleshooting guide helpful. Let us know if you have any more questions. Happy to help!

  14. Candice Armstrong says:

    Thank you for the detailed guide on starting a chainsaw properly.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for the positive feedback, Candice! I’m glad you found the guide helpful in starting your chainsaw properly. Happy sawing!

  15. Jose Washington says:

    How often should I clean and lubricate my chainsaw for optimal performance?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Ensure to clean and lubricate your chainsaw after every use for optimal performance. Regular maintenance is key to preventing issues that may interrupt your work. Keep your equipment in top shape.

  16. Amber Romero says:

    I appreciate the maintenance advice provided in the article.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Amber! I’m glad you found the maintenance advice helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions or need assistance with your chainsaw.

  17. Jonathan Garza says:

    Thank you for the video tutorials accompanying the article, they are very helpful.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Jonathan! I’m glad you found the video tutorials helpful. Let me know if you have any more questions or need further assistance.

  18. Noah Johnston says:

    I never knew chainsaw maintenance was so crucial, thank you for the insights.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Noah! I’m glad you found the information on chainsaw maintenance helpful. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  19. Christian Elliott says:

    Do you have any tips on storing a chainsaw properly when not in use?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      To store your chainsaw properly, clean it, remove the chain, empty the fuel tank, and store it in a dry place. Take precautions to prevent accidents.

  20. Milton Holmes says:

    Are there any specific brands of fuel stabilizers you recommend for chainsaws?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      For fuel stabilizers, we recommend Sta-Bil or Sea Foam. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper usage. Let’s keep your chainsaw running smoothly!

  21. Rick Collins says:

    How can I prevent my chainsaw from overheating during extended use?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Ensure the carburetor, spark plug, fuel quality, idle port, and chain sharpness are all in top condition to prevent overheating during extended use. Regular maintenance is key.