Chainsaw Blues (revisited)

Now let’s talk about starting problems. We don’t want you tired out before you even get to do any cutting!
The #1 cause of starting problems is ENGINE FLOODING.(that is when there is so much fuel inside the cylinder that the engine won’t start.

This is a very typical scenario I see with chainsaws. A person walks up to our service counter with a new saw from store ‘X’ and it won’t start. The biggest problem is that there is no operator training at the ‘big box’ stores.

Here is the basic starting procedure.

  1. check fuel mix. (50/1 is a great ratio for most saws today)
  2. pull choke lever to full ON position
  3. prime the purge bulb until fuel fills the the bulb, then 3-4 more pumps.
  4. pull the starter rope until the engine “pops”
  5. turn the choke to OFF
  6. pull starter again. The saw should start & run good.

If the saw still won’t start, it is probably ‘flooded’. That is when there is so much fuel inside the engine it won’t start. Try these steps to clear the engine:

1. Check on/off switch. Switch should be in the run/on position. Not in the stop/off position.
  I know! I know! But it happens all the time.
2. Choke lever must be put in the choke off position.
3. Now this is the hardest step. (try to get a helper for this). With the saw sitting on the ground, squeeze & hold the throttle trigger to wide open throttle, while at the same time pulling the starter rope several times to clear the excess fuel from the engine. This is hard because when you pull the cord, the saw wants to go with it! but your free hand is holding the trigger wide open and you can’t use it to hold the machine down. In our shop at Midstate Turf & Tractor in Springfield, TN.  I clamp the saw in a vise.  In the field, have found that putting my foot through the rear handle pushing up on the throttle to hold it open works too. remember, the key is to hold the trigger wide open to take in enough Air to clear out the flooded engine. It will usually take 5 – 7 pulls to get the engine cleared and started. At times it may take as many as 10-12 pulls. (hence, a helper)

Once the Engine starts Keep the throttle squeezed until the engine clears up.
 I hope this helps. _Lancelumberjack

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