STIHL Chainsaw Won’t Start? 4 DIY Tips to Fix It

16 May 2022
STIHL chainsaw won’t start? 4 DIY tips to fix it


Has your STIHL chainsaw stopped working right when you need it most? Like all power tools, chainsaws are made of hundreds of parts. A lot can go wrong! Repairs often require a fair amount of troubleshooting for the average operator, which can make the whole process a long one.

While your authorized STIHL dealer can repair your chainsaw faster, that doesn’t mean a DIY repair is beyond your reach. In fact, there are several DIY fixes you can try at home if your chainsaw is refusing to start.

Chainsaws may have a lot of parts, however, most fall into one of three categories: spark, air compression, and fuel. If you are attempting to DIY your chainsaw repair, your first step should be to isolate where the problem is originating. Most problems with STIHL chainsaws have to do with a worn carburetor or bad spark plug.

Here are five DIY fixes you can do at home. If you’re still struggling to get your chainsaw running, your authorized STIHL dealer is here to help! Peel Exterior Maintenance in Ontario will repair your chainsaw quickly so you can get back to business.

1. Inspect the spark plug

When attempting to DIY repair your chainsaw, start with the spark plug. The spark plug is one of the most common reasons for chainsaw failure. First, remove the spark plug and examine it closely. If you see any of the following, it could mean your spark plug is defective:

  • Blackened tip
  • Cracked porcelain insulator
  • Heavy carbon build-up at the electrode
  • General signs of wear

Spark plugs are easy to fix. Therefore, if you see signs of damage or wear, simply replace them! You can purchase a replacement at your local home improvement store. If your spark plug looks fine, then it may be flooded with gasoline. This can happen if your chainsaw has flooded due to problems with the choke. The solution is equally simple- remove the spark plug and let it dry. Once it has, put it back in and try again.

2. Replace the rewind spring and starter rope

Regular use gradually wears down parts of your chainsaw. Consequently, you may encounter problems with the rewind spring, starter rope, and recoil starter pulley. These parts work in conjunction to start your chainsaw.

A sign that something is wrong with this system is if you pull the starter rope and the engine doesn’t even try to turn over. Fortunately, these parts are relatively easy to replace.

3. Unclog the carburetor

Fuel that is left in your chainsaw for extended periods of time can, eventually, clog your carburetor. This is because, over time, the fuel begins to evaporate, leaving behind a thick, sticky residue.

You can quickly check the gas tank for this residue. If you find some, then it’s likely your carburetor is clogged. A clogged carburetor will not start.

The first thing to try is carburetor cleaner. This will break up the residue, allowing your chainsaw to start without any issues. However, you may have to buy a carburetor repair kit or replace the carburetor altogether.

Other things can spell trouble for your carburetor. For example, dirty bores and jets, stuck levers, warped diaphragms, and damaged needle valves disrupt the fueling process. As you examine the carburetor, keep an eye out for worn parts.

To prevent clogging in the future, don’t let gasoline sit in your chainsaw during the off-season. Run it until the gasoline is gone, or drain the gasoline.

4. Troubleshoot the fuel intake

Many things can restrict the flow of fuel or air, disrupting the ignition process. When this happens, there is a problem with the fuel intake system. Be sure to check the following:

  • Dirty air filters
  • Dirty fuel filters
  • Dirty or clogged fuel tanks
  • Loose fuel hoses
  • Clogged lines

Clean and replace any parts that are dirty, clogged, or damaged. Many STIHL chainsaws run into problems with loose fuel hoses and clogged fuel lines.

5. Fix compression issues

Compression issues are more complicated to diagnose and repair. In order for engines to work properly, there needs to be a certain amount of compression. This regulates the fuel and air systems. It’s generated by the up-and-down movements of the piston within the cylinder.

If your chainsaw has compression problems, it could mean the end of the engine. The piston can seize within the cylinder, effectively destroying the motor. In order to prevent this from happening, ensure that there are no clogged fuel lines or air leaks.

Given the severity and complexity of this problem, you should bring your chainsaw to an authorized STIHL dealer immediately. The trained staff at Peel Exterior Maintenance will fix the compression issues before disaster strikes.

Visit Peel Exterior Maintenance for Your STIHL Repairs!

When a chainsaw refuses to start, it can bring yardwork and landscaping projects to an immediate halt. Fortunately, your authorized STIHL dealer is available to help with repairs and get your operation back on track.

However, there are some DIY fixes you can attempt before that. If your STIHL chainsaw is going to have a problem, it’s likely to be with a worn carburetor, bad spark plugs, loose fuel hoses, or clogged fuel lines. You should also inspect the fuel intake system and ensure that there are no compression issues.

If none of the DIY fixes listed in this article do the trick, then your STIHL chainsaw may have more serious motor or starter issues. In that case, do not hesitate to bring your chainsaw to Peel Exterior Maintenance in Georgetown, Ontario! We are a STIHL authorized dealer and can make repairs quickly.

If your STIHL chainsaw needs repairs, call Peel Exterior Maintenance at 1-905 873 8988 or contact us here.