Stihl Chainsaw wont Idle? (Reasons and Solutions Revealed)

Chainsaws not idling is a quite common issue. Stihl is a very popular company yet their chainsaws may also face this problem. And knowing the reasons behind it or the solutions to this problem can be challenging and that’s totally relatable!.

Why the Stihl chainsaw wont idle?

There might be several reasons behind the chainsaw not idling. Firstly, the air filter might be clogged. Secondly, a jammed-up spark arrestor can be a cause as well, this is a result of putting excess oil in the gas-oil fuel mix. Corroded electrodes of spark plugs could be another problem.

The rest of the article will show the reasons behind the Stihl chainsaw not idling. So let’s see what the article offers!

Reasons Behind Stihl Chainsaw Not Idling

stihl chainsaw wont idle

1. As mentioned before, the problem might also be a jammed-up spark arrestor. This occurs when too much oil is supplied in the gas-oil fuel mix. Resulting in a lot of unburnt fuel. So a basic knowledge of gas-oil mixture is required.

As oil combusts at a higher temperature than that of gas. Soot from excess fuel blocks up the spark arrestor preventing exhaust gasses from escaping properly.

2. The air filter might be clogged. And because of this, the engine is running a rich air-fuel mixture. And this causes loss of power along with bad throttle response.

3. Spark plug with corroded electrodes may be another reason. The spark is too weak because of the carbon buildup of the electrodes. This will result in incomplete combustion of the fuel-air mixture.

4. It might be a case of the ethanol in cheap gas that corrodes the soft rubber tubing. This is the thing that carries fuel into the carburetor. Bad fuel lines can cause the chainsaw to run idle for a couple of seconds before shutting off.

5. The screw determines the fuel mixture at various rpm levels be it idle, low, or high. modern chainsaws are made with at least 2 adjustment screws. One used for low and the other used for high rpm. 

It is highly recommended to not tamper with the high adjustment screw. As it is very common to blow the chainsaw engine by setting it aggressively.

6. A dirty clutch drum that has dried up, caked residue inside can also be a problem. This lessens the distance of the clutch pads that have to be traveled before they engage with the drum.

So these are the common issues due to which the chainsaw might not Idle.

Solutions for the Stihl Chainsaw Not Idling

1. We can start by looking at the excess soot issue caused by unburned materials. To tackle this problem we must first maintain the ratio of the fuel.

After this, we must clean up the soot caused by the unburnt fuel as it is also responsible for clogging up the chainsaw chain. In the case of a chainsaw chain replacement, these products can be recommended.

2. Proper inspection of the air filter must be done. And in case of clogging replacing the air filter is a must to avoid not idling issues. And good air filters can be tough to come by. So we recommend these great options.

Stihl advices, a spark plug should be replaced every 100 service hours.

3. Using a torch, while checking the fuel line can help detect the problems regarding it. After that, replacing the faulty fuel line can solve the problem of the fuel ratio. And stop the idling issues.

4. Tugging the starter rope will allow a person to get an estimation of the compression levels. Also, taking the chainsaw to a professional can be easy where they can do a compression test. Thus ensuring proper idling.

5. The manufacturers usually install limiter caps on the screws. These prevent consumers from setting the engine tune and carburetor too high. Tuning the carburetor can be difficult. 

Checking the chainsaw owner’s manual can be informative. As different manufacturers use different labels for these adjustments. Stihl employs “H”, “L”, and “LA” which mean HIGH, LOW, and IDLE respectively.

6. A handheld digital tachometer will help. It can reliably tune the chainsaw’s idle and high rpm speeds. Point it at the spark plug. And it will display the rpm of the engine. Good recommendations for tachometers are as follows.

7. A T- screw driven in a carburetor will cause to receive a leaner air-fuel mix the engine. This causes higher rpm. Screwing in a counterclockwise motion will pull it outwards which supplies a richer air-fuel mix to the engine. This usually results in a lower rpm.

8. Using some brake cleaner and wiping the inside of the clutch drum clean will solve this issue.

And these are the easy solutions to the mentioned reasons for the chainsaw not idling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What will happen if you put too much fuel in a chainsaw?

Answer: The chainsaw will run lean if the fuel line is damaged. Running a lean mixture for an extended period will cause irreversible harm to the engine’s internals.

Question: How fast does the chainsaw go while pressing the trigger?

Answer: The chainsaw will reach its high rpm within a second; but, no matter how hard you push the trigger, it will not move above the low to mid-rpm range.

Question: What will happen when you don’t lower the RPM on a chainsaw?

Answer: The chain continues to spin even if you let go of the trigger, and it might catch you off guard, causing serious injury.


Now to conclude our discussion, we hope that you know why Stihl Chainsaw won’t Idle. Hope that this article was helpful for you. Yet, if you still face issues, consulting a professional is recommended.

Till next time, best of luck!

Kevin Smith

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