Stihl Saw Won’t Start? (19 PROVEN Fixes!)

Stumped by your Stihl saw refusing to start? Ready to troubleshoot and conquer? Join us as we dive into the world of Stihl saw repairs and bring your tool back to life!

stihl saw won't start

Hey there, ever had that frustrating moment when you’re all set to tackle your outdoor project, but your trusty Stihl saw just won’t start? Ugh, we’ve all been there.

But fear not, my friend, because in this blog post, we’re going to get to the bottom of this pesky problem. Let’s find out, why Stihl saw won’t start.

Stihl saw won’t start due to fuel, air, or faulty spark-related issues. To fix Stihl saw won’t start, check the fuel filter, replace the spark plug, clean the carburetor, and ensure the air filter is clean. Compression levels should also be checked or consider taking it to a professional for repair.

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    We’ll explore why your saw might be giving you trouble, how to troubleshoot it like a pro, and even give you some tips on preventing this from happening again in the future.

    Furthermore, I’ll answer some frequently asked questions as well.

    Whether you’re a pro landscaper or just a DIY enthusiast, we know how important it is to keep your saw running smoothly.

    So, sit back, relax, and let’s get that Stihl saw roaring again!

    Fixing Stihl saw won't start

    Why Stihl Saw Won’t Start?

    Stihl saw won’t start due to many reasons. Some of them are human errors that happen due to poor maintenance and others are issues that come with the machine itself with long-term use.

    If your Stihl saw is newly bought or still under warranty period, better to take it to the nearest repair center to check why it won’t start since they have the professionals.

    Did you know fact about Stihl saw

    But if it is old or you’re a DIY enthusiast, you should know how to fix the Stihl saw to get it back to work.

    Here’re some possible reasons why Stihl saw won’t start,

    1. Empty fuel tank
    2. Dirty or clogged fuel filter
    3. Old or stale fuel
    4. Use high ethanol content as the fuel
    5. Dirty or fouled spark plug
    6. Faulty ignition system
    7. Carburetor issues
    8. The air filter is dirty or clogged
    9. Flooded engine
    10. Low compression
    11. Malfunctioning choke
    12. Damaged or worn-out rewind spring
    13. Broken or faulty switch
    14. Wrong setting on the switch
    15. Faulty primer bulb
    16. Blocked fuel line
    17. Plugged fuel vent
    18. Plugged spark arrestor
    19. Improper fuel mix

    Most of the above issues can be fixed easily with simple tricks. Faulty parts should be replaced and use the proper way of handling and storing of Stihl saw.

    Working with Stihl saw

    So, let’s discuss each of the above reasons that would cause a Stihl saw not to start and identify how to fix Stihl saw to make it work again.

    What Would Cause A Stihl Saw Won’t Start?

    1. Empty Fuel Tank In A Stihl Saw

    First, you need to check whether the fuel tank is empty because the engine of the Stihl saw won’t start when it does not have enough fuel.

    fueling the Stihl saw

    Plus, the fuel tank should be filled with the correct ratio of fuel mix to run the Stihl saw properly. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines to get the correct details about the fuel types and mixing ratios.

    Most Stihl saw use gasoline blends with 10% of ethanol as fuel. Improper fuel types and mixing ratios can lead to expensive engine damage.

    Quick tip about fueling Stihl saw

    2. Dirty Or Clogged Fuel Filter

    Fuel filter is located in the gas tank of the Stihl saw which is used to keep dirt out from the fuel system to make the engine run smoothly.

    Fuel filter sits at the end of the fuel line to make sure no gunk gets in the fuel system.

    But if you don’t change it regularly or use old residual fuel, it can get clogged up and limit the amount of fuel that can pass through it.

    That’s bad news because your Stihl chainsaw needs a steady flow of fuel to run properly.

    Clean & repair fuel filter of Stihl saw

    Dirty or clogged fuel filter can cause Stihl saw won’t start. When the fuel filter is dirty and clogged, it restricts the fuel flow to the carburetor.

    Usually, a carburetor needs a steady fuel supply to start and run Stihl saw continuously to mix with air and create a combustible mixture that powers the engine.

    Replaced fuel filter of a  Stihl saw

    When the fuel filter is dirty or clogged due to dust, dirt or residual fuel, or bad gas, it can reduce the amount of fuel that gets into the carburetor, making it difficult to start the Stihl saw.

    Plus, a dirty or clogged fuel filter can damage the engine and cause Stihl saw to stall.

    3. Old Or Stale Fuel

    Old or stale fuel can cause Stihl saw not to start because it can break down over time and lose its combustibility.

    if you’re not someone who frequently uses Stihl saw to make things out of wood, then your Stihl saw will probably be forgotten and left to rust in storage with the residual fuel in it.

    Remove stale fuel from Stihl saw

    The leftover fuel sitting on the tank for too long after use leads to problems when starting Stihl saw.

    Stihl saw usually runs on gasoline and ethanol. The leftover ethanol won’t affect big engines, but not so much for smaller ones.

    Gas does not have a good shelf life they break down into less effective compounds which causes problems in Stihl saw.

    Old or stale fuel can attract water vapor, creating a sticky mess that can clog up the engine and the fuel system.

    Old Stihl saw broke due to residual fuel

    The old sticky fuel can even block the fuel filter and fuel line. This will prevent Stihl saw function as designed which keeps your Stihl saw from starting.

    4. Use High Ethanol Content as Fuel

    Nowadays, many gasoline engines including Stihl saw use ethanol as fuel which is made from corn or high-starch plants.

    Although ethanol is good for the environment, it is not suitable for small engines like those in your Stihl saw since it goes bad pretty quickly.

    Ethanol contained fuel damage Stihl saw

    Here’re some negative effects of using ethanol as fuel in Stihl saw,

    • The outside moisture mixes with ethanol
    • The ethanol and water mixture leaves behind a sticky residue causing clogs and system failures
    • Ethanol and water mixture separate from gas and corrode the Stihl saw engine

    Therefore, better to avoid using fuel with high ethanol content because it clogs up the fuel lines by reacting with the moisture outside and prevents Stihl saw from starting and running smoothly.

    Tips For Selecting Fuel For Stihl Saw

    • Only mix a sufficient amount of fuel for a few days of machine work
    • Use fresh fuel and consume it within 30 days
    • Don’t store mixed fuel for more than 3 months without using
    • Use gas with 89 octane rating and a maximum of 10% of ethanol content
    • Avoid using high ethanol content gas like E15 and E85
    • Use approved safety canisters to store the fuel
    • Mix gas and 2-cycle oil in a 50:1 ratio before putting it in the tank
    • Add fuel additive if you buy more fuel than you actually need in 30 days to keep it stable
    • Pour oil into the canister first, then add gasoline when mixing
    Ethanol Free Fuel

    5. Dirty Or Fouled Spark Plug

    The spark plug creates the spark that ignites the fuel and air mixture in the combustion chamber which power up the engine.

    The spark plug needs to be clean and properly maintained to provide the necessary amount of spark which helps the engine to start and run smoothly.

    Fouled Spark Plug of a Stihl saw

    Over time, the spark plug become faulty due to the deposition of dust, dirt, and carbon and It wears out causing issues in the engine.

    A faulty spark plug, burnt electrodes, broken porcelain, or fully burnt spark plug stop Stihl saw from starting.

    New spark plug for Stihl saw

    When the spark plug functions improperly due to fault inside or dust or dirt, you should take the repairing steps quickly before it affects other parts inside the machine.

    6. Faulty Ignition System

    The ignition system includes the spark plug, ignition coil, and flywheel. Malfunction of any of these components results in a faulty ignition system which causes Stihl saw to not start.

    Damaged wiring, broken wires, faulty ignition module, or incorrect air gap between the flywheel and ignition module can all cause the Stihl saw engine to malfunction.

    Ignition system of a Stihl saw

    When your Stihl saw is not working and the spark plug works fine with no faults, the second thing you need tic keck is the ignition coil winding.

    Due to the faults in the ignition system, it won’t provide enough voltage to the spark plug to make the necessary amount of spark which prevents Stihl saw from starting.

    You can check the circuit breaks using an ohmmeter to identify issues related to ignition system.

    Ignition coil of Stihl saw

    7. Carburetor Issues

    The carburetor in a Stihl saw is like a food mixer for fuel and air. Its job is to mix the right amount of fuel with the right amount of air and send it to the engine.

    Without the carburetor, the engine wouldn’t be able to start and run properly since it regulates the flow of fuel to the engine based on the amount of air intake.

    Carburetor parts of Stihl saw

    As a result of not draining the residual fuel on Stihl chainsaw after use, the evaporated gas makes a thick and sticky residue which makes the carburetor dirty and clogged.

    A clogged and dirty carburetor can prevent your Stihl saw from starting. Over time, the carburetor can get clogged with dirt, sawdust, and other debris, disrupting the fuel-air ratio.

    This can cause the engine to run too rich, making Stihl saw difficult to start or even stalling it completely.

    Fixing carburetor issues of a Stihl saw

    8. Air Filter Is Dirty or Clogged

    Air filter is like tiny hairs in our nose which filter out dust and other particles. It purifies the air taken into Stihl saw and helps to prevent dust, dirt, and debris from entering the engine during the operation.

    It works by trapping these particles in the filter media while allowing clean air to pass through to the carburetor.

    Cleaning the air filter Stihl saw

    This ensures that the engine is receiving clean air for combustion and helps to prevent damage to the internal components.

    But over time, air filter gets clogged and dirty due to exceeding the dirt filtration amount. The excess dirt and dust will trap inside the air filter and some of them will pass into the carburetor which may damage the engine.

    Proper maintenance and keeping the air filter clean prevent it from clogging up. Clogged air filter stops Stihl saw from starting and damages the engine due to overheating and stalling.

    Air filter of Stihl saw

    Whatever you do, don’t try to run your Stihl chainsaw without an air filter. It might seem like a good idea to keep working until you get a new filter but running your chainsaw without a filter can damage the engine.

    9. Flooded Engine

    The engine of the Stihl saw floods when the choke is in the closed position and the pull starter cord is several times.

    This happens when the Stihl saw is turned off and you tried to start it several times or when the primer bulb is pushed too much.

    Fixing flooded engine of a Stihl saw

    Stihl saw the engine flood mostly due to fuel issues. If you’ve been trying to start your Stihl saw multiple times using the pull starter system, you might have flooded the engine with fuel.

    You can tell if this has happened by the smell of gasoline in the air.

    10. Low Compression

    Having good compression in the engine of the Stihl saw is a must for efficient work between the spark, cylinder, and the fuel systems.

    Low compression causes Stihl saw won’t start. The compression of the engine of the Stihl saw controls the fuel and air intake to smooth the running of the engine.

    Faulty Stihl saw with low compression

    When the compression of your Stihl chainsaw engine drops, it can prevent the engine from starting. Low compression occurs when there is not enough pressure in the combustion chamber for the fuel to ignite.

    Several factors can cause low compression in a chainsaw,

    • Worn-out piston rings
    • Damaged or worn-out cylinder
    • Damaged crankcase

    There is a piston inside the engine that moves ups and downs to create compressive force.

    But if the compression is not enough, the piston will seize up in the cylinder and damage the motor.

    Worn out piston rings of a Stihl saw

    Plus, when there is a leak in the fuel lines, the compression will be low and Stihl saw won’t be able to run smoothly. Fix the leakage before the pistons seize up.

    Ignoring low compression can cause further engine damage, so it’s essential to address the issue as soon as possible.

    11. Malfunctioning Choke

    Most of the Stihl saws have a choke option which helps to start the machine when the motor is cold. It is the fourth set on the master control lever.

    Choke provides a proper fuel-air mixture when the engine is cold by maintaining the richness of the mixture for good fuel flow.

    Fixing choke of a Stihl saw

    A choke is only required in cold weather and by keeping it ON during hot weather or when the Stihl saw is already warm, it can flood the engine pretty quickly.

    The choke should keep on only during cold weather and keep it OFF during warm and mild temperature levels to avoid flooding the engine.

    12. Damaged Or Worn-Out Rewind Spring

    Worn-out or damaged rewinding spring prevents Stihl saw from starting.

    When you’re trying to start your chainsaw, the starter cord is supposed to recoil with the help of a pulley and rewind spring.

    But if this spring is broken or not working properly, your engine won’t start. It’s frustrating when you keep pulling the starter rope without success.

    Stihl saw with faulty rewind spring

    Over time, the rewind spring may wear out and you’ll need to replace it. You might also need to replace the starter rope itself.

    If you pull the rope and the saw won’t start at all, it’s a sign that the spring or pulley is broken. Fortunately, replacing these parts isn’t too difficult, but the process can vary depending on your saw model.

    Many issues can come up with the failures in recoil starters like rewind spring issues, ground wiring issues, and malfunctions in master control lever or engine failures.

    13. Broken or Faulty Switch

    Faulty switches prevent Stihl saw from starting and can harm internal components due to power leakages.

    You can test the condition of the switch using a multimeter.

    If the switch on your Stihl chainsaw is broken or faulty, it can cause the saw to fail to start.

    The switch is responsible for completing the electrical circuit that allows the engine to start, so if it’s not working properly, the engine won’t get the spark it needs to ignite the fuel.

    There are a few things that can go wrong with the switch. It could be physically broken, which would mean that the internal contacts aren’t making the necessary connections.

    Or, it could be dirty or corroded, which would also prevent the contacts from making good connections.

    Fixing faulty switch of a Stihl saw

    In some cases, the switch may have just come loose and needs to be reattached.

    If you suspect that the switch is the problem, you can try cleaning it with a small brush or by using compressed air to blow out any dirt or debris.

    If that doesn’t work, you may need to replace the switch entirely. This is a relatively simple fix that you can do yourself with some basic tools and a little bit of know-how.

    It’s important to note that you should always exercise caution when working on electrical components like the switch.

    Make sure the saw is unplugged and the battery is disconnected before attempting any repairs.

    If you’re not comfortable working with electricity, it’s best to take your saw to a professional for repair.

    14. Wrong Setting On Switch

    In order to start your Stihl saw the position of the ON/OFF switch should be placed at the correct starting throttle position.

    While pressing down the throttle trigger lockout, you have to squeeze the throttle trigger to move the lever.

    There’re two throttle settings to start Stihl saw,

    1. Throttle is set to start a cold engine
    2. Throttle is set to start a warm engine

    If the engine is cold, move the lever to the position farthest from the OFF position, which is the choke throttle starting position that restricts airflow.

    Fixing settings of the switch

    If the engine is warm, you need to move the lever to the starting throttle position, which is marked with an “I” and is useful for normal running. To stop the engine, move the lever to the “0” position.

    To switch between these two positions, you must first move the lever to the choke throttle starting position and then use the throttle trigger lockout to move the lever to the desired position.

    Having the wrong setting in the switch may lead to major disadvantages.

    15. Faulty Primer Bulb

    The primer bulb works by creating a vacuum that draws fuel from the tank and pushes it into the carburetor.

    If it’s not working properly, it may not be able to create enough vacuum to draw fuel into the carburetor. This means the engine won’t have enough fuel to start and run properly.

    Replacing primary bulb of the Stihl saw

    Over time primer bulb can break or get cracked due to various reasons and it is completely normal. But damaged or faulty primer bulb directly affects the efficiency of Stihl saw.

    There’re can be random shutdowns since the cracked primer bulb won’t fill and restrict the fuel flow that runs to the carburetor.

    16. Blocked Fuel Line

    If you leave fuel in your Stihl chainsaw for too long, some sticky substance can form in the fuel line as a result of reacting fuel with atmospheric moisture.

    This sticky substance can slow down the fuel flow and prevent Stihl saw from starting and running smoothly.

    Repaired Stihl saw due to fuel line issue

    In case you encounter such a situation, you can try cleaning the line using a carburetor cleaner to remove any blockage that might have formed.

    17. Plugged Fuel Vent

    I’ve had my fair share of experience working with Stihl saws and I can tell you that a plugged fuel vent can definitely keep your saw from starting. Here’s why:

    You know that little hole on the fuel cap? That’s the fuel vent, and it allows air to flow into the fuel tank as gas is used up by the engine.

    If the fuel vent gets clogged, it can create a vacuum in the fuel tank that prevents gas from reaching the carburetor, which means your saw won’t start.

    Faulty fuel vent of a  Stihl saw

    The good news is that fixing a plugged fuel vent is usually pretty simple.

    18. Plugged Spark Arrestor

    The spark arrestor is a small screen in the muffler of a Stihl chainsaw. Its function is to prevent any hot debris that comes out of the chainsaw’s engine from causing a fire.

    As you use your Stihl chainsaw, the spark arrestor, a tiny screen inside the muffler, can get dirty with soot and carbon-based materials.

    Faulty spark arrestor of a Stihl saw

    This dirt and debris can block the airflow to the engine and affect your chainsaw’s performance. If your spark arrestor is clogged, your chainsaw may not start at all.

    19. Improper Fuel Mix

    Oil and gas should mix to the perfect ratio to get the peak performance from Stihl saw. Manufacturers suggest using 2-cycle oil mix instead of placing straight gas or high content of ethanol in the Stihl chainsaw.

    Straight gas can damage the engine of the Stihl saw and keep the machine from starting.

    Best gasoline fuels for Stihl saw

    Use ethanol-free fuel to get the best out of Stihl saw. Ethanol can reduce performance.

    That’s why professionals advise using Stihl pre-mixed fuel which is ready to put into the tank with no pre-preparation even though it is costly.

    This is a convenient option to have handy, so you don’t have to go to the gas station to get fuel and then mix oil into it yourself.

    If you couldn’t correctly mix the fuel, that can cause the engine of the Stihl saw to seize.

    Gasoline and 2-cycle oil mixture should be 50:1 with no ethanol.

    Leaving old gas inside the Stihl chainsaw can make a sticky residue which can affect the fuel mixture. Therefore, consider cleaning and emptying the fuel tank before using the Stihl saw after a long time.

    Now you know all the possible reasons that cause Stihl saw won’t start.

    So, let’s discuss how to fix each of the above issues with Stihl saw to get the machine back to start.

    How To Fix Stihl Saw Won’t Start?

    There’re many different fixes you can try to keep Stihl saw from shutting down. Most of them are simple and easy tricks you can try on your own without the help of professionals.

    Stihl saw tip

    Here’re some popular methods to fix Stihl saw won’t start,

    1. Fueling the fuel tank
    2. Clean or replace the clogged fuel filter
    3. Remove old or stale fuel
    4. Use ethanol-free fuel
    5. Replace spark plug
    6. Clean or replace ignition system
    7. Repair or replace the carburetor
    8. Clean the air filter
    9. Fix engine flooding
    10. Fix compression problems
    11. Activate choke only in cold weather
    12. Replace the rewind spring and recoil
    13. Repair or replace the faulty switch
    14. Setup the switch properly
    15. Replace the primer bulb
    16. Repair or replace the fuel line
    17. Replace the fuel vent
    18. Clean or replace the spark arrestor
    19. Mix fuel properly

    So, let’s discuss each of the above methods separately to get a good idea about fixing the starting issue of Stihl saw.

    1. Fueling The Fuel Tank

    You can stop Stihl saw from shutting down by fueling up with fresh fuel. Pour fuel into the canister first and then mix with gasoline.

    Make sure to clean the fuel cap before fueling to ensure no dirt will fall into the tank that causes trouble and make it impossible for your Stihl saw to start.

    Shake the mixture inside the canister well before pouring the fuel into the tank.

    inserting fuel for the Stihl saw

    If you don’t mix the fuel and oil properly, or if you use the wrong type of fuel, your saw won’t run smoothly.

    Also, if you accidentally spill fuel on the chainsaw, it can damage some of the components and cause them to stop working.

    So be careful when you’re fueling up and always use the recommended fuel mix.

    2. Clean Or Replace The Clogged Fuel Filter

    Clogged fuel filter should clean or replace immediately before damaging the internal components of Stihl saw due to the contaminated fuel.

    Fixing fuel filter of Stihl saw

    Here’s the procedure for cleaning and replacing the clogged fuel filter to fix Stihl saw won’t start issue,

    • Clean around the fuel cap before opening it to avoid dust and dirt from falling into the fuel.
    • To open the fuel cap, lift the locking lever and turn it slightly to allow for venting.
    • If there is too much venting, close the cap and wait for the tank to cool before opening it again.
    • Remove the fuel cap when it is cold by turning it /8 to vent.
    • To remove the fuel filter, use a clean wire to hook it and pull it out of the tank.
    • Hold the fuel line with pliers to avoid dropping it.
    • Insert the male end of the new fuel filter into the fuel line, making sure it is secured.
    • Put the filter back into the tank and replace the fuel cap.

    Make sure to replace the fuel filter at least once per year if you use Stihl saw more often.

    3. Remove Old Or Stale Fuel

    Make sure not to keep and use old fuel inside the fuel tank of Stihl saw for more than one month because the oil will react with the atmospheric moisture and make a sticky residue that clogs the internal parts of the machine.

    Use the right fuel with no ethanol to your Stihl saw to use it for a long time with no issues.

    remove old fuel of a Stihl saw

    To keep your chainsaw in good condition after long periods of inactivity, follow these steps:

    1. Remove the old fuel from the chainsaw’s tank.
    2. Fill the tank with fresh gas mixed with ethanol and oil.
    3. Add a fuel additive to the mix to prevent moisture and clean the tank.
    4. Your chainsaw should now start easily with a single pull of the starter rope.

    Using the wrong oil or running ethanol with straight gas can cause engine malfunctions and eventual failure.

    It’s important to only use ISO-L-EGD and JASO M345 FD-certified oils with ethanol.

    Stihl offers pre-mixed, ethanol-free fuel for customers, saving time and effort in fuel mixing.

    The pre-mixed fuel ensures that the correct oil and ethanol-free gas are combined in the right proportions for optimal chainsaw performance.

    Using pre-mixed fuel is a convenient option that helps to keep your chainsaw running smoothly.

    4. Use Ethanol Free Fuel

    Using ethanol-free fuel is a must to avoid occurring sticky residue on oil which happen when ethanol reacts with atmospheric moisture.

    Using ethanol or any other incorrect type of oil on the straight gas result in engine failures and make it impossible for your Stihl saw to start.

    According to the manufacturers, ISO-L-EGD and JASO M345 FD are the only oils that should use with ethanol which does not reduce the performance of the Stihl saw.

    Or Stihl recommends using 2-stroke engine oil or any other branded two-stroke air-cooled engine oils.

    Two stroke engine oil for the Stihl saw

    Stihl 50:1 two-stroke engine oil is specially formulated to use on Stihl saw.

    Do not use BIA or TCW two-stroke water-cooled engine oils which can damage the engine of the Stihl saw.

    Make sure to consume the two-stroke engine oil within 90 days of purchase. According to the instruction manual, the storage time should not exceed 3 months.

    Here’s how you should remove ethanol-included fuel from Stihl saw and refill the fuel tank with Stihl’s recommended two-stroke oil mix,

    • First, lift the lock and open the fuel cap in a counterclockwise direction 1/8 of a turn to release pressure before completely removing it.
    • If there’s too much pressure, don’t force it; instead, tighten the cap and let the tank cool down to avoid accidents
    • Drain the old fuel from the tank
    • Refill it with a fresh mixture of gas and a 2-cycle mixture of oil in a 50:1 ratio.
    • To reduce the moisture and clean the fuel system, add a fuel additive like Sea Foam Motor Treatment or STA-BIL.
    • Mix the fuel, oil, and additive by capping the fuel can and shaking it gently.
    • Add the mixture to the fuel tank and start the saw, allowing the treated fuel to flow through the Stihl saw.

    5. Replace The Spark Plug

    If you use Stihl saw daily, you should replace the spark plug at least once a month. Otherwise, replacing the spark plug annually is highly recommended for the smooth running of the Stihl saw without unexpected shutdowns.

    Here’re some indicators tell your spark plug needs a replacement,

    • Burnt electrodes
    • Broken porcelain
    • Burnt spark plug
    • The spark plug is very dark in color

    If you notice any of those indicators, replace the spark plug immediately before affecting the other areas of the Stihl saw.

    New spark plugs for Stihl saw

    If you haven’t noticed any of those indicators, you just have to clean the remaining spark plug using a wire brush between replacements to remove dust and dirt on it since a dirty spark plug can misfire and cause malfunctions.

    6. Clean Or Replace The Ignition System

    If the spark plug is okay but there’s no spark, you’ll need to focus on the ignition system. Especially the ignition coil.

    The coil winding can break and cause a short circuit, preventing the spark plug from receiving enough voltage to generate a spark.

    This can make it impossible for your Stihl saw to start.

    First, check if there’s any short circuit in the ignition coil area using an ohmmeter.

    Then, you should replace the existing bad ignition coil immediately with a new one to start your Stihl saw without any issues.

    Working with Stihl saw with replaced Ignition System

    If you haven’t noticed any break in continuity, just clean the ignition system including the ignition coil well and try to start your Stihl saw with a fresh start.

    7. Repair Or Replace The Carburetor

    Clogged carburetor cause Stihl saw won’t start because the mixing procedure of gas and air will be interrupted due to the dust and dirt.

    If your carburetor is clogged with dust and dirt, you just simply have to clean it using a carburetor cleaner to remove residue and try to start your Stihl saw.

    Fixing faulty carburetor Stihl saw

    If the carburetor is unable to be cleaned and is damaged a lot, or does not function well even after cleaning, better to buy a new one.

    Make sure to buy a carburetor repair kit with the carburetor to keep it clean and in good shape without making it impossible for your Stihl saw to start.

    8. Clean The Air Filter

    You should clean the air filter of the Stihl saw regularly to keep it in good shape and free from dust, debris, and dirt. Otherwise, fuel and air will be contaminated, and cause Stihl saw not to start.

    Keeping the air filter clean with good maintenance is a must. A clogged air filter prevents Stihl saw from starting up and running smoothly.

    Apart from cleaning the air filter regularly, make sure to replace it with a new one at least once per year when there is a noticeable loss of engine power.

    Cleaning dirty air filter of a Stihl saw

    Using the same air filter with no replacement can cause overheating issues in the engine and affect the performance of the Stihl saw.

    Make sure not to run the Stihl saw without the air filter. Yes, the machine will still work even without the air filter, but it can damage the internal parts, especially the engine due to overheating and contaminants such as dust and dirt since there’s no filtration for the incoming air.

    Plus, an air filter reduces wear on engine components as well, without it, the machine will completely break down too soon.

    Check the instruction manual to check a suitable and compatible air filter for your Stihl saw.

    Here’s the procedure for cleaning the air filter of the Stihl saw,

    1. First, clean and remove the loose dirt and dust deposited on the filter cover
    2. Clean the area around the filter cover to avoid dirt from getting into the engine through the carburetor when the filter cover is removed.
    3. Take the M$ flathead screwdriver and remove the filter cover
    4. Remove the air filter element
    5. Turn the air filter element over and check the condition
    6. Knock the air filter element out on the palm of your hand
    7. Wash the air filter element with a non-flammable cleaning solution or soapy water.
    8. Blow out with compressed air.
    9. Assemble the cleaned air filter

    If you have noticed any damage (tears, holes) in the air filter, replace it immediately with a new one.

    For further knowledge, here’s how to clean the HD1 and HD2 air filters of the Stihl saw.

    How To Clean HD1 Air Filter Of Stihl Saw?

    1. Remove the cover to access the air filter
    2. Clean the area around the air filter to get rid of dust and dirt
    3. Take out the air filter
    4. Use compressed air or tap the filter to remove dirt. Do not use a brush!
    5. If the filter is very dirty, wash it in soapy water and rinse it until the water runs clear
    6. Let the filter dry in the air. Do not dry it with heat, and do not add oil to it!
    7. Reinstall the clean filter
    8. Buy and replace a new filter if the old one is badly damaged or too dirty
    9. Put back the cover that you removed earlier.

    How To Clean HD2 Air Filter Of Stihl Saw?

    1. Take off the cover.
    2. Clean the air filter to get rid of sawdust and dirt.
    3. Remove the air filter.
    4. Tap the filter against a hard surface to get the dirt out.
    5. Use Stihl Varioclean Cleaner or a mixture of mild dish detergent and water to spray the outside of the filter.
    6. Rinse the filter inside out with warm water until it’s clean.
    7. Wait for the filter to air dry completely. DO NOT use heat or oil on it.
    8. Put the clean filter back in.
    9. If the old filter is too dirty or damaged, buy and install a new one.
    10. Put the cover back on.

    9. Fix Engine Flooding

    Fixing the engine flooding is easy and you can make the engine start again with a few simple fixes.

    Here’s how to fix engine flooding in Stihl saw,

    1. Move the lever to the “0” position
    2. Make sure the choke is okay and take out the spark plug
    3. Attempt to start the engine 8-10 times
    4. Clean the spark plug and reinstall it
    5. Use the throttle to your advantage and start your Stihl saw
    Fixed flooded engine of Stihl saw

    An alternative way to start a chainsaw that’s flooded is with a cold start. Stihl chainsaws usually have cartridges that make cold starts simpler.

    10. Fix Compression Problems

    As an experienced Stihl saw worker, I know that having compression problems can prevent the Stihl saw from starting up, and if not regulated correctly, the piston will seize up, causing irreparable damage to the motor.

    It’s crucial to check for clogged fuel lines or any air escaping the lines to prevent this from happening.

    If you detect any leaks, this could lead to low compression, and the chainsaw may not keep running.

    You need to find and fix the problem before it causes the pistons to seize, as if left unchecked, it could mean purchasing a new chainsaw.

    Damaged cylinder of stihl saw

    You can check for compression by laying the chainsaw flat and towing the starter rope or taking out the plug to air out the cylinder.

    If you notice the rope extending when you draw it, your chainsaw is on low compression.

    It’s best to seek help from a professional mechanic to fix compression as they have the necessary expertise and tools to do it right.

    Don’t try to fix the issue yourself as it could cause further damage, and you may end up having to replace the chainsaw.

    11. Activate Choke Only In Cold Weather

    Activating the choke in warm weather conditions can flood the engine and prevent Stihl saw from starting up.

    Therefore, only activating the choke in cold weather conditions to fix Stihl saw won’t start the issue.

    When starting a Stihl chainsaw in cold weather, the engine requires more fuel to start. The choke helps to restrict airflow and increase the fuel-to-air ratio.

    Adjusting choke of a Stihl saw

    This causes the engine to receive more fuel and less air, making it easier to ignite. The choke also helps to warm up the engine faster by creating a richer fuel mixture.

    Without the choke, the engine may struggle to start because there is not enough fuel reaching the combustion chamber.

    The engine may crank but won’t start, or it may start and stall immediately. Activating the choke also helps to prevent damage to the engine.

    Starting a cold engine with too much air and not enough fuel can cause the engine to flood, which can lead to a wide range of problems such as clogged spark plugs and fuel lines, as well as a seized engine.

    Therefore, activating the choke in cold weather is a necessary step to ensure your Stihl chainsaw starts up smoothly and runs well.

    12. Replace The Rewind Spring And Recoil

    When your Stihl saw not starting up check the rewind spring and recoil condition because a loose or missing spring with broken clips can affect the performance of your Stihl saw.

    First, try to replace the rewind spring and check whether the Stihl saw starts and works properly.

    If it is not, other components of your recoil are probably damaged, and you’ll have to replace the recoil assembly to fix issues with clips or pully.

    Fixing rewind spring of a Stihl saw

    If the problem was in the damaged recoil, the machine should work well after replacing those components.

    13. Repair Or Replace The Faulty Switch

    A faulty switch on your Stihl chainsaw can cause it not to start.

    First, try to clean the Stihl saw switch using a small brush or by using compressed air to blow out any dirt or debris.

    If that doesn’t work, you may need to repair or replace the switch entirely.

    To repair and replace a faulty switch, follow these steps:

    1. Identify the faulty switch by checking the wires connected to it for any damage or lose connections.
    2. Disconnect the wires from the switch and remove the switch from the chainsaw.
    3. Check the switch with a multimeter to see if it is faulty. If the switch is faulty, replace it with a new one.
    4. Install the new switch into the chainsaw and reconnect the wires to the switch.
    5. Test the switch to make sure it is functioning correctly by starting the chainsaw.

    If the above steps do not solve the problem, it may be necessary to take the chainsaw to a professional for repair.

    Stihl saw with faulty switch

    Remember to always disconnect the spark plug before attempting to repair or replace any parts on the chainsaw.

    It is important to note that the switch is a crucial component in starting the chainsaw. If the switch is not working correctly, it will prevent the chainsaw from starting up.

    Therefore, it is necessary to keep the switch in good condition by regularly checking for any signs of damage or wear and tear.

    14. Setup The Switch Properly

    Setting up the switch as recommended by Stihl is a must to prevent Stihl saw from not starting up.

    Here’s how to set up the switch properly to make it possible for your Stihl saw to start,

    1. Press the primer bulb until the fuel is visible.
    2. Pull the starter rope using the throttle closed position until the engine starts.
    3. Switch quickly to the starting throttle position after it fires. Otherwise, it could flood the engine and result in the engine not starting.
    4. When the engine starts running, depress the throttle trigger lockout immediately and tap the throttle trigger so it returns to idling speed.
    5. The starting lever will switch to the “I” normal running position.
    Stihl saw setup with a new switch

    15. Replace The Primer Bulb

    If the primer bulb of your Stihl saw is not starting up, broken, or getting cracked, you’ll probably have to buy a new one and replace the existing one.

    Using the broken, old primer bulb on Stihl saw restricts the fuel line to the carburetor and stops the machine from starting up and running smoothly.

    New primary bulbs for the Stihl saw

    Replacing the primer bulb is easy and does not cost much.

    16. Repair Or Replace The Fuel Line

    Blocked fuel line make it impossible for Stihl saw to start up.

    Follow the below steps to repair and replace the clogged fuel line,

    1. Start by removing the fuel cap and draining any remaining fuel into a container.
    2. Remove the air filter cover and the air filter to access the carburetor.
    3. Use a pair of pliers to disconnect the fuel line from the carburetor.
    4. Use a pair of scissors to cut the end of the fuel line that was attached to the carburetor.
    5. Cut a new piece of fuel line to the same length as the old one and attach it to the carburetor.
    6. Reconnect the fuel line to the carburetor with the pliers.
    7. Replace the air filter and cover.
    8. Fill the tank with fresh fuel and try starting the saw.

    By following these steps, you should be able to repair or replace the fuel line on your Stihl saw and get it running smoothly again.

    Working with Stihl saw after fixing the fuel line

    17. Replace The Fuel Vent

    If you’re having trouble starting your Stihl chainsaw, it could be because of a clogged fuel vent.

    But no need to worry, replacing the fuel vent is actually pretty easy!

    Here’s how you can do it:

    1. First, make sure your saw is turned off and the engine is cool. Then, locate the fuel tank vent on your chainsaw. It should be a small plastic or metal piece on the fuel tank cap or elsewhere on the saw.
    • Next, use a pair of pliers to carefully remove the old fuel vent from its position. Be gentle, as you don’t want to damage the fuel tank or cap.
    • After that, take your new fuel vent and carefully insert it into the hole where the old one was. Make sure it’s snugly in place and won’t come loose.
    • Finally, try starting your Stihl chainsaw again. Hopefully, replacing the fuel vent will have fixed the issue and your chainsaw will start right up!
    Fueling a Stihl saw

    If your chainsaw still won’t start, it may be time to check other possible issues like the spark plug or carburetor.

    But for a clogged fuel vent, replacing it is a quick and easy solution to get your saw up and running again.

    18. Clean Or Replace The Spark Arrestor

    The Spark arrestor gets dirty over time due to dust, dirt, and carbon-based material. This can cause Stihl saw not to start.

    First, remove the spark arrestor and clean it well using a wire brush.

    If you can’t get the mesh spark arrestor screen clean or if it’s messed up, you need to swap it out for a new one.

    New spark arrestor for Stihl saw

    Don’t ever run your Stihl saw without this screen, and definitely not with one that’s got a hole in it.

    If you do, the saw could shoot out hot stuff that could start a fire or give you some nasty burns. So be safe and keep that screen in good shape!

    19. Mix Fuel Properly

    Use ethanol-free two-stroke engine oil to prepare fuel to insert into the Stihl saw to avoid issues.

    To mix fuel properly for your Stihl saw and fix the “won’t start” issue using two-stroke engine oil, follow these informal steps:

    1. Choose the right gas: Use gasoline with an octane rating of 89 or higher, and always use fresh fuel.
    2. Get the right oil: Use Stihl’s two-stroke engine oil or another high-quality oil that is ISO-L-EGD and JASO M345 FD-certified. Never use automotive oil, which can damage your saw.
    3. Get the right ratio: The ratio of gas to oil should be 50:1, which means 2.6 fluid ounces of oil per gallon of gasoline.
    4. Mix it well: Pour the gasoline into a clean fuel can then add the oil. Close the can and shake it vigorously for at least 10 seconds to ensure a thorough mix.
    5. Label the mixture: Clearly label the fuel can with the date, the fuel mixture ratio, and the type of oil used.
    6. Use it within a month: Always use the fuel mix within 30 days, as it can begin to break down and lose its effectiveness over time.
    Mix 2-stroke engine oil for Stihl saw

    By following these simple steps, you can properly mix fuel and ensure that your Stihl saw starts and runs smoothly.

    Is There A Trick To Starting A Stihl Chainsaw?

    Yes, starting a Stihl chainsaw can be a little tricky, but there are a few tricks you can try to get it running smoothly.

    First, make sure the chainsaw is on a level surface and the chain brake is engaged. Then, check the fuel level and make sure you have the right fuel mixture – this is super important!

    If the fuel is bad or mixed incorrectly, your chainsaw won’t start no matter what you do. Next, prime the carburetor by pressing the primer bulb until you see fuel in the bulb.

    Now, set the chainsaw on the ground and put one foot on the back handle to hold it steady. Pull the starter rope until the engine fires, then quickly move the choke to the “off” position and pull the starter rope again until the engine starts.

    Finally, engage the throttle trigger lockout and blip the throttle trigger so the chainsaw settles into an idle.

    With a bit of practice and patience, you’ll be able to start your Stihl chainsaw like a pro!

    reasons why Stihl saw won't start

    That’s it, folks! Now you know what are the reasons that cause Stihl saw won’t start and how to fix Stihl saw won’t start using many different ways.

    Let’s answer some frequently asked questions as well.

    Why Does my Stihl Saw Have Spark And Fuel But Won’t Start?

    If your Stihl saw has spark and fuel but won’t start, it could be due to a few reasons,

    • Air filter: A clogged air filter can restrict airflow to the engine, causing it not to start.
    • Carburetor: The carburetor could be clogged or dirty, preventing fuel from reaching the engine.
    • Compression: Low compression can prevent the engine from starting.
    • Ignition coil: A faulty ignition coil can result in a weak spark or no spark at all, which can cause the engine not to start.
    • Fuel lines: The fuel lines could be clogged or damaged, preventing fuel from reaching the engine.
    • Spark plug: A dirty or faulty spark plug can cause the engine not to start.
    • Flooded engine: If you repeatedly try to start the chainsaw and it doesn’t start, the engine could become flooded with fuel, making it difficult to start.

    Due to the above reasons, Stihl saw won’t start after fueling.

    It’s best to systematically check these components and troubleshoot the issue to identify and fix the problem.

    Why Won’t My Stihl Saw Start When Hot?

    A common reason for a Stihl chainsaw not starting when hot is a flooded engine caused by an overly rich fuel mixture or a clogged air filter.

    To fix this issue, follow these steps:

    1. Turn off the saw and let it cool down for a few minutes.
    2. Check the air filter and clean or replace it if necessary.
    3. Check the spark plug and replace it if it is fouled or damaged.
    4. Check the fuel mixture and adjust it to the correct ratio of gasoline and two-stroke oil.
    5. Start the saw with the choke off and use the starting throttle position.
    6. If the saw still won’t start, remove the spark plug and dry it off, then try starting the saw again.

    If the problem persists, it may be caused by a faulty ignition system, carburetor, or other mechanical issues.

    It is recommended to take the saw to a professional repair shop for further diagnosis and repair.

    Engine of Stihl saw

    Why Won’t My Stihl Saw Start After Running?

    There could be various reasons why a Stihl chainsaw won’t start after running, such as clogged air filters, malfunctioning spark plugs, carburetor issues, or fuel supply problems.

    To fix Stihl saw won’t start after running, one can try the following:

    • Check the air filter and clean or replace it if necessary.
    • Check the spark plug and replace it if it is damaged or dirty.
    • Check the carburetor and adjust it if needed or clean it if it’s clogged.
    • Check the fuel filter and replace it if necessary.
    • Make sure the fuel mix is correct and fresh.
    • Let the saw cool down before trying to restart it.

    If none of these solutions work, it’s best to take the saw to a professional for further inspection and repairs.

    How Do You Start Stihl Saw Without Flooding It?

    To start a Stihl chainsaw without flooding it, you need to follow these steps:

    1. Make sure the ignition switch is off.
    2. Push the decompression valve to release compression.
    3. Set the master control lever to the cold start position.
    4. Press the fuel pump bulb several times until fuel can be seen inside the bulb.
    5. Put the choke on.
    6. Put the chainsaw on the ground, with the bar and chain free to turn.
    7. Hold the front handlebar down with your left hand and hold the starter handle with your right hand.
    8. Pull the starter handle until the engine fires or turns over.
    9. If the engine fires, move the choke lever to the half-choke position.
    10. Pull the starter handle again until the engine starts.
    11. Once the engine starts, release the throttle trigger and let the engine idle for a few seconds.
    12. Disengage the choke by moving it to the off position.
    13. Pull the throttle trigger to check the engine’s response.
    14. Start using your chainsaw.

    Did I cover all you wanted to know about: Why Stihl Saw Won’t Start And How To Fix That?

    In this article, we deeply discussed why Stihl saw won’t start and how to fix that in many different methods with simple tricks and techniques. Most of the above solutions were gathered from experts’ and manufacturers’ advice.

    If your Stihl saw won’t start, it could be due to a variety of reasons like an empty fuel tank, dirty filter, or faulty ignition system. To fix it, replace the fuel, clean or replace the filter, check the spark plug, and inspect the carburetor, air filter, and choke. Moreover, repair the damaged parts like starter cord, kill switch and keep maintenance in check.

    Furthermore, I’ve answered some frequently asked questions as well.

    So, the next time your Stihl saw won’t start, don’t fret! Check for the common issues we mentioned and apply the solutions we shared.

    With a little bit of troubleshooting and maintenance, you can keep your chainsaw running smoothly for years to come.

    And if you still face any challenges, feel free to drop me an email, and I’ll be happy to help.

    Don’t forget to share your feedback and any additional tips you may have!

    Walter Parker is a woodworking enthusiast. He is passionate about woodworking projects & plays with woodworking tools having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Woodworking Planet. He wants to make people love woodworking! Read More About Him! Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

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