How to Troubleshoot a Poulan Chain Saw That Won't Start

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Things You'll Need

  • Work gloves

  • Flat head screwdriver

  • Spark plug wrench

  • Old toothbrush

  • Can of starter fluid

  • Replacement spark plug

  • Replacement fuel lines

  • Replacement fuel filter


Wearing work gloves will keep your hands clean and free from cuts.


Never troubleshoot your chain saw while it is running. Unplug all equipment before beginning repairs.

Chain saw

Repairing your Poulan chainsaw can be easy if you know what you're looking for. This simple diagnostic repair plan lets you identify the faulty mechanism, replace or repair it, and start buzzing again using tools you already have in your tool box.


Troubleshoot Ignition

Step 1

Remove the three screws on the chain saw's face plate.

Step 2

Remove the spark plug with the wrench. Clean the plug with a toothbrush if it looks dirty.

Step 3

Squirt starting fluid into the spark plug hole.

Step 4

Replace the spark plug and try to start the chain saw. If it doesn't start, replace the spark plug with a new one.the


Troubleshoot Fuel Lines

Step 1

Check the fuel lines for corrosion and decay. If necessary, replace them.

Step 2

Gauge the fuel levels. Refill the fuel tank if necessary.

Step 3

Inspect the fuel filter for blockage or discoloration. If the filter appears dirty, replace it with new one.

Troubleshoot Carburetor

Step 1

Turn your chain saw on and let it idle. If your saw stalls out on idle or if the chain rotates, your engine speed is set improperly.


Step 2

If your chain rotates on idle, reduce the engine speed by turning the idle screw counter-clockwise.

Step 3

Increase the engine speed if your saw stalls out by turning your idle screw clockwise.

Step 4

Repeat the adjustments until your chain saw runs at a proper speed and cuts wood without stopping.

Step 5

If the chain saw still doesn't start, bring it in to a Poulan repair shop.



Tiana Pyer-Pereira

Tiana Pyer-Pereira is a Demand Studios writer working from Philadelphia. She began writing professionally in 2007 and has been published on the Be Your Own Boss Blog and the "Monterey County Newspaper." Pyer-Pereira has a degree in English and linguistics from Swarthmore College.