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I have a ~1yo Husqvarna chainsaw. It used to start on the first pull. Now it will only start if I'm also pulling the "trigger" that is used to run the chain. If I prime it, pull the choke, and pull the starter cord, it will not start. But if I squeeze the trigger and pull the starter cord, it starts usually on the first pull. I put the brake on so I don't lop my arm off starting it, but it's pretty awkward to pull the cord and squeeze the trigger. The air filter and plug look fine, and I've only ever run no-ethanol gas in it with the recommended oil mixture. I could probably pull the thing apart and clean it, but was hoping somebody could point me toward a particular component to suspect.

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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about small engine maintenance rather than home improvement.
    – keshlam
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 17:08
  • You could try asking over at the Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair beta site. Anything engine related looks to be on topic there.
    – Doresoom
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 17:39
  • Some chainsaws have a "lock" on the trigger so you have it hold itself on full throttle to start it.
    – John
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 22:04
  • @John: Really? That sounds counterproductive from a safety point of view, as I understand the beasts. (I must admit I've never used one, but don't they have a centrifugal clutch on the chain drive?)
    – keshlam
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 6:43

3 Answers 3

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Some saw manufacturers, when starting is difficult, specifically direct the user to lock the throttle "On" to start, then depress the throttle immediately, to bring it to idle. If you do mess with the idle screw, make sure that you do not increase the idle speed such that the clutch drives the chain to move when idling.

You might try "flashing" the choke a couple times while the saw is running (choke the engine for a brief moment) as this helps clear air from the fuel system (The choke restricts airflow, creating a higher vacuum pressure that pulls air out of the fuel system.)

If you have messed with the carburetor, make sure you follow the user manual. Most have 3 adjustments: Low Speed fuel/air mixture, High Speed fuel/air mixture, and Idle Speed.

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Definitely not my area of expertise, but maybe check the idle speed? I would think that if this is too low, not enough fuel will be delivered when the throttle isn't engaged.

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I have a Husqvarna chainsaw as well, from the information you provided it could be two things from my experience.

  1. The prime bulb is failing or clogged. Try priming it 10x before trying to start it.

  2. Bad gas / tank is has gunk build up. What I would suggest is go to lowes/home depot and buy a can of 50:1 can of gas, and the 2 stroke gas cleaner. They will be right next to each other.

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