10 STIHL Chainsaw Starting Problems and how to solve them?

Are you having trouble starting your STIHL chainsaw? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Starting problems with STIHL chainsaws can be caused by a number of different issues. In this article, we will cover ten common STIHL chainsaw starting problems and how to solve them.

Stihl chainsaw starting problems

Problem 1: Residual Fuel

One of the most common STIHL chainsaw starting problems is residual fuel. This occurs when the fuel in the chainsaw has been sitting for too long and has become stale. To prevent this from happening, you should always empty your chainsaw of its fuel before storing it for any extended period of time.

If you do find yourself with a stale fuel problem, you can try draining the tank and refilling it with fresh fuel. You may also need to clean out the carburetor to get rid of any old residue that could be causing the problem. If these steps don’t solve the issue, then you may need to take your chainsaw to a professional for further inspection.

Problem 2: Faulty Spark Plug

One of the most common causes of a STIHL chainsaw not starting is a faulty spark plug. The spark plug is responsible for igniting the fuel in the combustion chamber, so if it’s not working properly, your chainsaw won’t start.

To test if this is the problem, remove the spark plug and inspect it for signs of wear or damage. If there are any cracks or other visible damage, replace the plug with a new one. You should also check that the gap between the electrodes on the spark plug is correct – this should be around 0. 6mm. If you find that your spark plug is fine, then you may need to check other components such as the carburetor and fuel lines for any blockages or leaks.

Problem 3: Clogged Air Filter

One of the most common problems that can prevent a STIHL chainsaw from starting is a clogged air filter. A clogged air filter prevents the engine from getting enough air, which in turn prevents it from starting. To clean your air filter, you will need to remove it from the engine and then use a soft brush or compressed air to remove any debris or dirt that has accumulated on it.

Once you have cleaned your air filter, you should reinstall it and try to start your chainsaw again. If this doesn’t solve the problem, then you may need to replace your air filter entirely. Replacing your air filter is a relatively simple process and can be done with basic tools.

Problem 4: Faulty Ignition Coil

For many STIHL chainsaw owners, a faulty ignition coil is one of the most common reasons why their chainsaw won’t start. The ignition coil is responsible for delivering an electric spark to the spark plug in order to ignite the fuel/air mixture in the cylinder. If there is no spark, or if it is weak, then the engine will not start.

To test whether your ignition coil is faulty, you can use an ohmmeter to measure its resistance. If it does not match the manufacturer’s specifications, then it needs to be replaced. You should also check all of your electrical connections and wiring for any signs of corrosion or damage that may be causing a problem with your ignition system.

Problem 5: Clogged Fuel Filter

The fuel filter in a STIHL chainsaw is designed to keep foreign particles from entering the engine. Over time, the filter can become clogged with dirt, debris and other contaminants. This can cause the chainsaw to not start or run poorly. To fix this issue, you need to replace the fuel filter. The process is fairly simple and only requires a few tools.

First, locate the fuel filter on your chainsaw, then remove it by unscrewing any screws that are holding it in place. Once removed, inspect the filter for any signs of wear or damage. If there is any damage, replace the filter with a new one before reassembling everything back together. After replacing the fuel filter, your STIHL chainsaw should start up without any issues.

Problem 6: Primer Bulb Not Working

The primer bulb is a crucial part of the starting process for STIHL chainsaws. This small plastic bulb is responsible for priming the engine with fuel and air, which helps it to start quickly and easily. Unfortunately, if the primer bulb isn’t working correctly, it can cause your STIHL chainsaw to be difficult or impossible to start.

There are several possible causes for a faulty primer bulb. The most common is a clog in the fuel line that prevents fuel from reaching the bulb. It’s also possible that the bulb itself has worn out or cracked, preventing it from functioning properly. In either case, you’ll need to replace the primer bulb in order to get your chainsaw running again.

STIHL Chainsaw

Problem 7: Clogged Carburetor

A clogged carburetor can be one of the most difficult STIHL chainsaw starting problems to diagnose and repair. If your chainsaw is having difficulty starting, it could be due to a clogged carburetor. The carburetor is responsible for controlling the amount of fuel and air that enters the engine. When the carburetor becomes clogged, it restricts the flow of fuel and air, making it harder for the engine to start.

To determine if your chainsaw’s carburetor is clogged, you should first check the spark plug. If there is no spark present when you attempt to start the engine, then this indicates that there may be a problem with the carburetor.

To clean a clogged carburetor, you will need to remove it from the chainsaw and disassemble it. You can then use compressed air or a small brush to remove any debris or dirt that has built up in or around the carburetor components. Once everything has been cleaned, reassemble and reinstall the carburetor on your STIHL chainsaw and try starting it again.

Problem 8: Flooded Engine

Starting a flooded engine can be a tricky problem to solve. If you’ve been trying to start your STIHL chainsaw and it just won’t catch, the chances are that you have a flooded engine. This happens when too much fuel is pumped into the cylinder, preventing the spark plug from igniting it. To fix this issue, you will need to clear out the excess fuel and reset the carburetor.

Firstly, remove the spark plug and turn the chainsaw upside down so that any excess fuel can drain out. Then, remove the air filter cover and use a rag or paper towel to soak up any remaining fuel in the carburetor area. Once this is done, replace all parts and try starting again. If there is still no response, then it may be necessary to reset your carburetor settings by adjusting the idle speed screw on top of the carburetor body.

Problem 9: Malfunctioning Spark Arrestor

The spark arrestor is a small screen that prevents debris from entering the muffler and damaging the engine. If this part becomes clogged, it can cause the STIHL chainsaw to have difficulty starting. To check if the spark arrestor is clogged, remove it from the muffler and clean it with a wire brush. If it is severely damaged, you should replace it with a new one.

Once you have cleaned or replaced the spark arrestor, reattach it to the muffler and try starting your chainsaw again. If this does not solve your problem, then you may need to take your chainsaw to a professional for further diagnosis and repair.

Problem 10: Issues With Recoil Starter Assembly

One of the most common issues with a STIHL chainsaw is a problem with the recoil starter assembly. This is the mechanism that pulls the starter cord to allow you to start your chainsaw. If there are any issues with this assembly, it can be difficult or even impossible to start your chainsaw.

The most common cause of this issue is that the starter rope has become worn or frayed, and needs to be replaced. Another possibility is that the spring in the recoil starter assembly has become damaged or broken, and needs to be replaced as well. In either case, you should take your chainsaw to a certified STIHL dealer for repair and replacement of these parts.

How to maintain the STIHL Chainsaws?

In order to keep your STIHL chainsaw running smoothly, there are several maintenance tasks that should be performed regularly. First, the air filter should be cleaned or replaced every few months. This will help prevent dirt and debris from entering the engine and causing damage.

Additionally, the spark plug should be inspected and changed if necessary. This will help ensure that the engine is firing correctly and efficiently. The fuel system also needs to be maintained in order to keep your STIHL chainsaw running properly. The fuel filter should be checked periodically for any signs of clogging or damage, and if necessary it should be replaced.

Finally, all moving parts on a STIHL chainsaw need to be lubricated regularly in order to keep them functioning properly. This includes the chain bar, guide bar, sprocket nose, and drive sprocket teeth which should all receive a light coating of oil after each use. This will help reduce friction between parts and increase efficiency while cutting.

STIHL Chainsaw


With proper maintenance and troubleshooting, your STIHL chainsaw should start reliably every time. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can identify the source of your starting problems and get your chainsaw back up and running in no time. With the right tools and knowledge, you’ll be cutting through projects like a pro in no time.