Chainsaw Not Getting Gas: Troubleshooting and Solutions

Chainsaw Not Getting Gas: Troubleshooting and Solutions

As an avid chainsaw user, nothing is more frustrating than pulling the starter cord only to have the engine sputter and die. A common culprit behind chainsaws not getting gas or fuel is gunked up parts like the carburetor, fuel filter, or faulty spark plugs. Properly diagnosing and fixing these issues ensures your chainsaw runs smoothly for limbing trees or cutting firewood. 

In this blog post, I’ll cover the leading causes of chainsaws not getting gas and provide actionable solutions to get your saw running like new again. Let’s rev up and dive in!

In the introduction, I briefly covered the importance of proper fuel flow for chainsaw operation and outlined the main topics covered. Now, let’s explore the likely suspects behind why your chainsaw isn’t getting gas.

Chainsaw Not Getting Gas: What Could Be the Problem?

Chainsaw Not Getting Gas: Troubleshooting and Solutions

Several fuel-related components can cause your chainsaw engine to starve for gas. Here are the most common culprits and how to identify them:

Fuel-Related Issues

Stale gasoline is the number one cause of fuel flow problems in chainsaws. Over time, gas oxidizes and creates gum-like varnish that clogs up carburetors, fuel lines, and filters. If your saw hasn’t been used in a while, old gas is likely the culprit. Cracked or loose fuel lines are another issue, creating air leaks that disrupt proper fuel flow. And a plugged fuel filter prevents gas from reaching the carburetor. Checking these areas can quickly identify fuel-related problems.

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Spark Plug Issues

While they don’t affect fuel flow directly, faulty spark plugs prevent proper ignition when gas is present. Typical problems include fouled/dirty plugs or incorrect heat ranges. Inspecting and replacing worn spark plugs often solves chainsaw fuel issues surprisingly.

Air Filter Problems

A clogged air filter starves the engine of air, affecting the fuel-to-air mixture. This results in poor performance, including not getting gas. Simply cleaning or replacing dirty air filtersrestores airflow and power.

Other Causes

Less common causes include defective ignition coils providing weak/no spark and low compression in the cylinder. Testing coils and compression can pinpoint these problems.

Now that we’ve covered the likely suspects behind chainsaws not getting gas, let’s discuss solutions for troubleshooting and fixing these issues.

How to Troubleshoot and Fix Chainsaw Fuel Problems

Targeting fuel components systematically makes diagnosing issues easier. Here are practical steps to pinpoint and remedy fuel flow problems in your chainsaw:

Checking and Replacing Gasoline

Fresh, high-quality gas is vital for proper engine operation. Mixing gasoline (preferably non-ethanol) with 2-stroke engine oil at the right proportions prevents premature wear. Properly storing the fuel mixture also maintains freshness. Replacing old gas with a newly mixed batch fixes many fuel flow issues.

Inspecting and Replacing Fuel Lines and Filters

Check for cracked, loose, or obstructed fuel lines that disrupt fuel transfer to the carburetor. Replace damaged sections with appropriate diameter fuel line tubing. Then, remove and check the fuel filter—replace if clogged. This ensures the fuel system is clean and transfers gas efficiently.

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Cleaning and Rebuilding the Carburetor

A gummed-up carburetor is a very common cause of fuel starvation in chainsaws. Carefully remove the carburetor and clean it thoroughly with carburetor or brake cleaner spray. Inspect all jets and passages for varnish buildup—soaking helps dissolve deposits. Rebuilding the carburetor with a kit restores proper fuel mixing and atomization.

Spark Plug Maintenance and Replacement

Remove the spark plug and check the electrode gap and porcelain insulator condition. Adjust the gap if needed and clean any carbon buildup with a wire brush. If the plug is worn, replace it with the manufacturer-recommended plug. Installing a new properly gapped spark plug provides strong ignition.

Air Filter Cleaning and Replacement

A simple visual inspection reveals if the air filter is dirty. Remove the air filter and tap it to dislodge debris. Alternatively, gently blow it with compressed air. If overly dirty, replace the filter altogether. Proper air filtration is vital for fuel-air mixing.

Addressing Other Causes

If the above steps don’t solve fuel issues, test the ignition coil with a multimeter for faults and replace if defective. Compression test the cylinder and have the engine serviced if low. But fuel and spark problems are overwhelmingly the main reasons for chainsaws not getting gas.

Thoroughly going through these troubleshooting steps isolates problematic components affecting fuel supply in your chainsaw. Now let’s discuss some maintenance tips to prevent these problems in the future.

Preventative Maintenance for Chainsaw Fuel Problems

Like other power equipment, taking proper care of your chainsaw is essential for longevity. Here are some key maintenance actions that reduce the chances of fuel flow problems:

Proper Fuel Storage and Handling

Store your gasoline/oil mix in a sealable container approved for fuel. Adding fuel stabilizers prevents oxidation during storage. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper mix ratios. And avoid using old gas—replace with fresh fuel every 30-60 days. Good fuel handling prevents gummed-up components.

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Regular Chainsaw Maintenance

Perform periodic maintenance like checking/replacing the spark plug and air filter per the manual. Inspect the fuel filter and lines—replace if worn or damaged. Clean the exterior of the saw to remove sawdust and dirt near the air intake. And get the carburetor professionally cleaned/rebuilt if needed. Proper care and servicing ensures long-lasting performance.

In summary, I’ve covered a wide range of troubleshooting tips and preventative maintenance practices to keep your chainsaw running smoothly. Let’s wrap it all up.


Chainsaws are powerful yet sensitive power equipment. When your saw isn’t getting gas, methodically checking fuel system components, air filters, spark plugs, compression, and other areas pinpoints the root cause. Replace defective parts and properly clean or rebuild clogged areas like the carburetor and fuel filter to restore normal fuel flow. And keep your chainsaw in tip-top shape by using fresh stabilized gas, replacing worn parts, and having scheduled service performed. Investing a little time into proper troubleshooting, maintenance, and component replacement goes a long way toward maximizing performance and productivity. So grab your tools, get your hands dirty, and get that chainsaw running like new again!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prevent my chainsaw from getting fuel issues?

Using fresh stabilized fuel, replacing components at recommended intervals, cleaning air filters, and proper carburetor maintenance helps avoid many fuel-related problems.

What is the proper fuel mix for my chainsaw?

Check your operator’s manual, but most chainsaws need a 50:1 gasoline to oil ratio. Use high-quality 2-stroke engine oil and non-ethanol gasoline for best performance.

How often should I clean or replace my chainsaw’s air filter?

It depends on usage, but checking/cleaning the air filter every 5-10 hours maintains proper airflow. Replace yearly or if damaged.

Can a bad spark plug cause my chainsaw not to get gas?

Yes, a faulty spark plug can prevent ignition even with proper fuel flow. Inspect and replace worn spark plugs which commonly causes fuel starvation issues.

How do I know if my chainsaw’s carburetor needs cleaning or rebuilding?

Symptoms like difficult starting, stalling, hesitation, or improper idle signify a dirty carburetor needing service. Complete disassembly and cleaning or a rebuild kit fixes most carb issues.

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