13 Reasons Your Husqvarna Chainsaw Won’t Start (SOLVED!)

by Jack Grover
person using chainsaw to cut tree
Reading time: 24 min Prefer to listen?

Need help starting your Husqvarna chainsaw? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered!

Below, we explore 13 common reasons why your chainsaw won’t start and provide the solutions to get it running smoothly again.

From a faulty on/off switch to a clogged air filter and carburetor, we’ll guide you through each possible cause and offer step-by-step instructions for troubleshooting and fixing the problem.

We’ll also highlight the importance of proper maintenance and using the correct fuel mixture to prevent future starting issues.

So let’s dive in and get your Husqvarna chainsaw back up and running!

Quick Reference Table

Here’s a quick chart to help you determine and remove the source of the issue.

Possible CausesTroubleshooting Steps
Human ErrorCheck if the Choke Settings and Safety Features Are Properly Adjusted
Old FuelReplace the Old Fuel
Spark Plug ProblemsReplace the Spark Plug
Air Filter ClogsClean or Replace the Air Filter
Flooded EngineUnflood the Engine
Ignition Coil FailureTest the Coil and Replace It if Needed
Recoil Starter IssuesIdentify the Broken Parts and Replace
Faulty SwitchTest the Switch and Replace It if Needed
Empty Fuel TankRefill the Fuel Tank
Dirty Fuel FilterClean or Replace the Fuel Filter
Clogged Fuel LineRemove the Clog
Malfunctioning CarburetorClean or Repair the Carburetor
Incorrect Oil MixDrain the Old Fuel and Refill With the Right Ratio of Oil and Gas

Human Error

If you find yourself wondering why your Husqvarna chainsaw won’t start, don’t panic. You may be facing a simple mishap. It could very well be due to human error, often overlooked in the heat of the moment.

Take a moment to review the settings of your choke. Incorrect adjustments are a common pitfall that can stand between you and a fully-functioning chainsaw. Get this aspect right, and you might be closer to a resolution.

Another factor that can throw a wrench in the works is neglecting to prime the carburetor before kick-starting the engine. Priming ensures there’s adequate fuel for combustion, helping your chainsaw jump into action.

Yet another point to ponder involves safety features. Don’t forget: all safety features on your chainsaw must be disengaged before making an attempt to start it.

Old Fuel

Using old fuel in your Husqvarna chainsaw can lead to starting issues. Over time, gasoline breaks down and becomes less effective, causing it to lose its combustibility.

Additionally, if you’re using gasoline with ethanol, it can attract moisture and leave behind a sticky varnish that clogs the fuel system and prevents proper fuel flow.

The first step to address this issue is to drain the old fuel from the chainsaw’s tank. Dispose of the old fuel properly according to local regulations.

Once the tank is empty, refill it with fresh fuel that has the correct oil-to-gas ratio for your chainsaw (usually 50:1).

Using gas with a minimum octane rating of 89 and a maximum ethanol content of 10% is essential. Avoid using gas with high ethanol content like E85.

Spark Plug Problems

Regularly inspecting and maintaining the spark plug in your Husqvarna chainsaw is crucial. The spark plug is responsible for igniting the fuel mixture in the combustion chamber, and if it becomes dirty or faulty, it can prevent your chainsaw from starting. 

Here are some common spark plug problems and their solutions:

  1. Dirty Spark Plug: Over time, the spark plug can become covered in carbon deposits or oil residue, hindering its performance. To fix this issue, remove the spark plug using a socket wrench and clean it with a wire brush or replace it with a new one.
  1. Faulty Spark Plug: If the spark plug is in good condition, but there’s still no spark when you try to start your chainsaw, it may be a sign of a faulty ignition coil. Use an ignition tester to check the coil’s resistance and replace it if necessary.
  1. Incorrect Gap: The gap between the center electrode and ground electrode of the spark plug should be set according to your chainsaw’s specifications. Use a feeler gauge to ensure the gap is correct.
  1. Loose Connection: Sometimes, a loose connection between the spark plug wire and the ignition coil can cause starting issues. Make sure that both ends are securely attached.

Air Filter Clogs

The air filter is crucial for proper airflow to the engine, which is necessary for combustion. Dirt, debris, and sawdust can accumulate on the filter, obstructing airflow and causing starting problems.

To maintain optimal performance, clean the air filter regularly throughout the season.

Start by removing the cover that protects the air filter. Take out the filter and inspect it for signs of damage or excessive dirt buildup. If it appears dirty or clogged, it’s time to clean or replace it.

To clean the air filter:

  1. Gently tap it on a hard surface to dislodge loose debris.
  2. Use compressed air or a soft brush to remove any remaining dirt particles.
  3. Avoid using water or solvents, as they can damage the filter.

If cleaning doesn’t restore proper airflow, replacement is necessary. It’s recommended to replace the air filter annually or more frequently if you’re a regular user of your chainsaw.

Remember, running your chainsaw without an air filter or with a damaged one can lead to severe engine damage due to dust and debris entering internal components. Maintaining a clean and functioning air filter ensures your Husqvarna chainsaw starts smoothly every time you need it.

Flooded Engine

When the engine becomes flooded, it means too much fuel has entered the combustion chamber and prevented ignition. To fix this issue, follow these steps:

  1. First, remove the spark plug wire to ensure safety. You can do so using a socket wrench or spark plug wrench.
  2. With the spark plug removed, turn the chainsaw on its side with the spark plug hole facing downwards to prevent fuel from entering the cylinder.
  3. Now, pull on the starter rope several times to clear out any excess fuel from the cylinder.
  4. Once you have done this, reinstall a clean and dry spark plug into its socket and tighten it securely with a wrench.
  5. Reattach the spark plug wire back onto the spark plug.
  6. Finally, try starting your chainsaw again following proper starting procedures.

Ignition Coil Failure

If you’re experiencing starting issues with your Husqvarna chainsaw and it doesn’t seem to have a spark, the culprit might be a faulty ignition coil.

The ignition coil is responsible for generating the electrical spark that ignites the fuel in the engine. If it fails, there will be no spark, and your chainsaw won’t start.

To help you understand this issue better, let’s break down how an ignition coil works and why it can fail.

An ignition coil is essentially a transformer that converts low voltage from the battery into high voltage needed to create a spark at the spark plug. It consists of two windings: primary and secondary.

When an electric current flows through the primary winding, it creates a magnetic field. This magnetic field collapses suddenly when power is cut off, inducing a high voltage in the secondary winding.

Here’s a table summarizing common signs of ignition coil failure:

Signs of Ignition Coil Failure
No spark or weak spark
Cracks or physical damage on the ignition coil
Faulty readings on an ohmmeter test

If you suspect your chainsaw has an issue with its ignition coil, you can perform some tests using an ohmmeter to check its resistance values.

However, if you are not familiar with these tests or don’t have access to an ohmmeter, it’s best to consult a professional technician who can accurately diagnose and replace the faulty component.

Recoil Starter Issues

Recoil starter issues can be frustrating and leave you feeling helpless when trying to start your chainsaw.

Here are three factors that may be causing problems with your recoil starter:

  1. Broken pulley: The pulley is an essential component of the recoil starter assembly. It’s responsible for generating tension on the starter rope. If the pulley is broken or damaged, it won’t engage properly, making starting the engine difficult or impossible. In this case, replacing the broken pulley is necessary.
  1. Loose spring: A loose spring in the recoil starter assembly can prevent proper tension on the starter rope. This lack of tension makes it challenging to pull the rope and initiate engine ignition. Tightening or replacing the spring should resolve this issue.
  1. Broken clips: The clips in a recoil starter assembly secure various components together, ensuring smooth operation during starting attempts. If any of these clips are broken or missing, it can lead to misalignment or instability within the assembly, hindering its functionality. Replacing these broken clips will restore proper function.

Faulty Switch

person fixing chainsaw

The switch plays a crucial role in starting and stopping your chainsaw, so it’s vital to address any issues with it.

For example, a faulty switch can prevent the ignition system from receiving power, leading to starting problems. But don’t worry; there are steps you can take to solve this problem.

Firstly, ensure that the switch is in the correct position for starting. Sometimes, it may accidentally be set to the off position or somewhere in between. Ensure it’s securely set to the ‘on’ position before attempting to start your chainsaw.

If you’ve confirmed the switch is in the correct position and your chainsaw still won’t start, it’s time to test the switch itself.

You can use a multimeter or continuity tester to check if there’s proper electrical conductivity when the switch is turned on. If there’s no continuity or inconsistent readings, you’ve identified a faulty switch.

In such a case, replacing the faulty switch is necessary.

You can find replacement switches at authorized Husqvarna dealers or online retailers. Follow proper installation instructions and ensure all connections are secure.

Empty Fuel Tank

Now let’s move on to another possible reason why your Husqvarna chainsaw won’t start: an empty fuel tank. It may seem obvious, but sometimes the simplest solutions are overlooked.

If your chainsaw isn’t starting, check if there’s enough fuel in the tank. An empty fuel tank can easily prevent your chainsaw from starting, as there won’t be any fuel available for combustion.

It can happen if you forget to refill the tank or if you’ve been using the chainsaw for an extended period without refueling.

To solve this issue, simply refill the fuel tank with fresh gasoline mixed with oil according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

It’s also worth mentioning that stale fuel can cause starting issues even if there is some left in the tank. Gasoline breaks down over time and becomes less effective, so it’s always best to use fresh fuel.

Dirty Fuel Filter

A dirty fuel filter can restrict the flow of fuel to the carburetor, preventing the engine from starting.

Here are some steps you can take to address this issue:

  1. Locate the fuel filter: The fuel filter is typically located inside the gas tank or along the fuel line. Refer to your chainsaw’s manual for specific instructions on how to access it.
  1. Remove and inspect the fuel filter: Use a pair of needle-nose pliers or a small screwdriver to remove the fuel filter from its housing. Take a close look at it to see if it appears clogged or dirty.
  1. Clean or replace the fuel filter: If the fuel filter is visibly dirty or clogged, it will need to be cleaned or replaced. Cleaning can be done by rinsing it with warm soapy water and allowing it to dry thoroughly before reinstalling. If cleaning doesn’t improve its condition, replacing it with a new one is recommended.

Remember that regular maintenance is crucial for the proper functioning of your chainsaw. Cleaning or replacing the fuel filter annually will prevent clogs and ensure sufficient fuel supply to start your Husqvarna chainsaw smoothly every time.

Clogged Fuel Line

A clogged fuel line can prevent fuel flow to the carburetor, causing your chainsaw not to start or run properly. Fortunately, resolving this issue is relatively straightforward.

To begin, you’ll want to disconnect the spark plug wire to ensure safety while working on your chainsaw.

Next, locate the fuel line that connects the fuel tank to the carburetor. Carefully inspect the line for any signs of damage, such as cracks or leaks. If you notice any damage, replacing the entire fuel line with a new one is necessary.

If there are no visible signs of damage, use a carburetor cleaner or compressed air to remove any blockages from within the fuel line. Blockages can occur due to dirt, debris, or old fuel residue.

Be sure to thoroughly clean both ends of the fuel line and check for proper airflow.

After cleaning or replacing the fuel line, reconnect it securely between the fuel tank and the carburetor. It’s also a good idea to replace the fuel filter at this time if it hasn’t been done recently.

Once these steps are complete, try starting your Husqvarna chainsaw again. If there were no other underlying issues causing starting problems, addressing a clogged fuel line should have resolved the issue and allowed your chainsaw to start successfully.

Malfunctioning Carburetor

Resolving starting issues with a Husqvarna chainsaw may involve troubleshooting a malfunctioning carburetor.

The carburetor is responsible for mixing air and fuel in the correct proportions before it enters the engine, so any problems with it can prevent the chainsaw from starting.

Here are three common signs that indicate a malfunctioning carburetor:

  1. Poor or inconsistent engine performance: If your chainsaw struggles to start or runs rough, it could be due to an issue with the carburetor. A clogged or dirty carburetor can disrupt the fuel flow and result in poor engine performance.
  1. Difficulty maintaining idle speed: If your chainsaw stalls frequently when idling or has trouble staying at a consistent idle speed, it may be due to a problem with the carburetor’s idle circuit. It could be caused by debris blocking the small passages within the carburetor.
  1. Fuel leaking from the carburetor: If you notice fuel dripping from your chainsaw’s carburetor, it indicates a faulty needle valve or float. These components are responsible for regulating the fuel level in the carburetor bowl, and if they fail, excess fuel can leak out.

To address these issues with your Husqvarna chainsaw’s carburetor, you can try cleaning it using a specialized cleaner designed for this purpose. Disassemble the carburetor and clean all its components thoroughly, paying attention to small passages and jets.

Alternatively, if cleaning doesn’t resolve the problem, you may need to replace certain parts of the carburetor or even consider getting a new one altogether.

Incorrect Oil Mix

Incorrectly mixing oil and gas can cause several issues. When the oil mixture is too rich or too lean, it can lead to difficulties in starting the chainsaw.

More specifically, using an incorrect oil mix can result in incomplete combustion, leading to excessive carbon buildup on the spark plug and exhaust system.

This buildup can hinder spark plug performance and restrict airflow, making it difficult for the engine to ignite properly.

At the same time, insufficient lubrication from a lean mixture can cause increased friction and wear on internal components, further impacting starting reliability.

To avoid these issues, always refer to your chainsaw’s user manual for the recommended oil mix ratio. For Husqvarna chainsaws, a fuel mixture of 50 parts gasoline to 1 part oil is typically recommended (50:1). It’s also important to use high-quality two-stroke engine oil specifically designed for chainsaws.

Here is a helpful table summarizing some common fuel mix ratios for different brands:

Chainsaw BrandOil Mix Ratio
Husqvarna 50:1
Stihl50:1 or 40:1
Echo50:1 or 32:1

By following the appropriate oil mix ratio and using quality products, you can ensure optimal performance and reduce starting problems caused by an incorrect fuel mixture.

Final Thoughts

If you’re experiencing difficulties starting your Husqvarna chainsaw, there are several potential reasons for this issue. They range from old fuel and spark plug problems to a flooded engine, dirty fuel filters or lines, and a malfunctioning carburetor.

By understanding and addressing these possible causes, you can troubleshoot and solve the problem.

Proper maintenance and regular cleaning of filters and components are vital to keeping your chainsaw running smoothly. Check parts for wear and tear, ensure they are well-lubricated, and replace them when necessary.

Remember, a well-maintained and clean chainsaw will run smoothly and last longer. So, invest in due diligence when it comes to these chores.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any type of fuel in my Husqvarna chainsaw?

No, you cannot. It requires a gas and oil mixture with a ratio of 50:1, using gas with a minimum octane rating of 89 and maximum ethanol content of 10%.

What can I do if my chainsaw won’t start even after following the unflooding procedure?

If your chainsaw doesn’t start after following the unflooding procedure, other issues may be at play. Check the spark plug, fuel filter, air filter, and carburetor for any clogs or damage that could prevent starting.

How do I know if the ignition coil in my chainsaw is faulty?

You can use a multimeter to test your ignition coil’s resistance. If the reading is outside the specified range, it indicates a component that needs to be replaced.

What should I do if my chainsaw’s recoil starter assembly is damaged?

If your chainsaw’s recoil starter assembly is damaged, you should identify and replace any broken parts. This step may involve inspecting the pulley, spring, or clips and replacing them as needed to restore proper functionality.

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