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Chain Saw: Engine Lacks Power

If your chainsaw engine is lacking power, check the muffler, piston, spark plug, and cylinder for damage and wear. Our repair and symptom guide will help you identify and fix your problem. Check the manual related to your model for more specific repair instructions. Our instructions are a general guide.

Carburetors
Carburetors
Your chainsaw’s carburetor is intended to provide the optimal mix of fuel and air that will allow combustion. If your carburetor is not tuned properly, the mix can be off, and this will result in a lack of power in your chainsaw. Fortunately, most carburetors come with adjustment screws that will allow you to make the mixture richer (more fuel) or leaner (more air), depending on the problem you’re having with your specific model.
Your chainsaw’s carburetor is intended to provide the optimal mix of fuel and air that will allow combustion. If your carburetor is not tuned properly, the mix can be off, and this will result in a lack of power in your chainsaw. Fortunately, most carburetors come with adjustment screws that will allow you to make the mixture richer (more fuel) or leaner (more air), depending on the problem you’re having with your specific model.
Air Filters
Air Filters
A plugged air filter will not allow enough oxygen to enter your chainsaw’s engine for combustion. Sometimes the filter can become so clogged with dirt and debris that your engine will not run at all. However, if you’re noticing a loss in power, it may only be partially clogged, and in this case, it is usually possible to simply clean the air filter. You will find the air filter under the air filter cover, and once you’ve located you will be able to inspect it for clogs. You should maintain your air filter’s cleanliness as a part of your regular maintenance routine, to keep your engine running at peak performance.
A plugged air filter will not allow enough oxygen to enter your chainsaw’s engine for combustion. Sometimes the filter can become so clogged with dirt and debris that your engine will not run at all. However, if you’re noticing a loss in power, it may only be partially clogged, and in this case, it is usually possible to simply clean the air filter. You will find the air filter under the air filter cover, and once you’ve located you will be able to inspect it for clogs. You should maintain your air filter’s cleanliness as a part of your regular maintenance routine, to keep your engine running at peak performance.
Mufflers
Mufflers
A plugged muffler, spark arrestor, or cylinder exhaust port will restrict the exhaust gases from exiting the engine and reduce the engine power. These parts get plugged with carbon caused by a rich fuel mixture. You may be able to clean these parts, and remove the carbon deposits that have been building up. However, it may be in your best interest to replace them, to keep your chainsaw running at its best. It is important to maintain the proper mixture of fuel and air in your engine, so these carbon deposits are not able to build up. You can do this by ensuring your carburetor is properly adjusted at all times.
A plugged muffler, spark arrestor, or cylinder exhaust port will restrict the exhaust gases from exiting the engine and reduce the engine power. These parts get plugged with carbon caused by a rich fuel mixture. You may be able to clean these parts, and remove the carbon deposits that have been building up. However, it may be in your best interest to replace them, to keep your chainsaw running at its best. It is important to maintain the proper mixture of fuel and air in your engine, so these carbon deposits are not able to build up. You can do this by ensuring your carburetor is properly adjusted at all times.
Pistons
Pistons
The piston and the cylinder in your chainsaw’s engine work together to provide compression that is required for combustion. Your piston has a ring that can break or fall off, and this will severely diminish your engine’s ability to create proper compression. This will result in a lack of power for your chainsaw, as the engine will not be running at its highest level of performance. Often, if the piston ring is replaced, it will solve this issue. However, if the piston itself or the cylinder is worn you will need to look into replacing them.
The piston and the cylinder in your chainsaw’s engine work together to provide compression that is required for combustion. Your piston has a ring that can break or fall off, and this will severely diminish your engine’s ability to create proper compression. This will result in a lack of power for your chainsaw, as the engine will not be running at its highest level of performance. Often, if the piston ring is replaced, it will solve this issue. However, if the piston itself or the cylinder is worn you will need to look into replacing them.
Spark Plugs
Spark Plugs
The spark plug is designed to provide the spark that ignites fuel in your chainsaw’s combustion chamber. Over time, spark plugs can become weak, and will not provide an adequate spark. This will cause your chainsaw’s engine to lose power. Often it is best to simply replace an old spark plug, as they are inexpensive and relatively easy to install. To make this repair, simply disconnect the old spark plug from the boot (being sure the ignition switch is set to off), and then disconnect it from the engine. Replace it with a new plug, and re-attach the boot. Be very delicate when removing, repairing, and putting in a new spark plug. This part is extremely fragile and susceptible to breakage if you are rough with your repair.
The spark plug is designed to provide the spark that ignites fuel in your chainsaw’s combustion chamber. Over time, spark plugs can become weak, and will not provide an adequate spark. This will cause your chainsaw’s engine to lose power. Often it is best to simply replace an old spark plug, as they are inexpensive and relatively easy to install. To make this repair, simply disconnect the old spark plug from the boot (being sure the ignition switch is set to off), and then disconnect it from the engine. Replace it with a new plug, and re-attach the boot. Be very delicate when removing, repairing, and putting in a new spark plug. This part is extremely fragile and susceptible to breakage if you are rough with your repair.
Cylinders
Cylinders
The piston (specifically the piston rings) and the cylinder together maintain the compression in the engine. If the piston rings or the cylinder are worn, it will not provide an optimal environment for combustion and power will be reduced. You will need to take apart the engine to inspect the piston ring and the cylinder for damage. If the cylinder is worn, you will need to replace it, to provide proper compression for combustion.
The piston (specifically the piston rings) and the cylinder together maintain the compression in the engine. If the piston rings or the cylinder are worn, it will not provide an optimal environment for combustion and power will be reduced. You will need to take apart the engine to inspect the piston ring and the cylinder for damage. If the cylinder is worn, you will need to replace it, to provide proper compression for combustion.

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