Poulan Chainsaw won’t Start: Troubleshoot by easy 5 Steps

Poulan Chainsaw won’t Start

When it comes to problems with starting a Poulan chainsaw, several factors are linked to being the cause: fuel, spark plug, carburettor, and many more. How do you begin identifying all these in the saw and, more importantly, get your chain saw working again? This article: Poulan Chainsaw won’t Start, has been written to address all this. 

Read up, and see tips that can help you diagnose the problems and fix your brisk chainsaw back up again. Happy reading!!!

Common Reasons Why a Poulan Chainsaw will not Start:

Fuel Problems

It is one of the first culprits that can cause starting problems on a Poulan saw (any saw for that matter). A chainsaw is a 2-stroke engine that runs on a fuel mix of fresh unleaded fuel and several ounces of Polan 2 cycle engine oil to get the required fuel ratio of 40:1. If you’re not doing this, you are causing starting problems in your saw.

Aside from using fresh fuel, the tank’s fuel level may be too low and won’t supply to the engine.

Blocked or Worn out Fuel Filter

Another possible reason for starting the problem is a clogged fuel filter. By design, the air filter prevents debris from getting into the fuel tank. If it becomes blocked or torn, dirt could get stuck into 1 or 2 saw parts and cause Malfunctioning. Difficulty in starting is one of such.

The Controls

Sometimes, we forgot to engage the different controls. And we begin wondering why the saw isn’t starting. Do checks, is the start switch ON, and is the throttle locks and chain brake engaged? Was the saw set on IDLE?

A Faulty Spark Plug

Spark plugs ignite sparks in chainsaws. A faulty spark plug equals no spark and no start. A way to know the spark plug is defective is when you notice that it is corroded (most times, it looks burnt and the porcelain layer is cracked). It is logical to say that your Poulan chainsaw may not start when you notice the spark plug corroded.

Faulty Spark Plug

A Faulty Ignition Coil

Closely related to the spark plug is the ignition coil. This part of a chainsaw transfers voltage to the spark plug. If one or two wires are cut or burnt, it won’t work, and the Chainsaw won’t power up.

Air Filter

The air filter traps dirt, dust and debris from reaching the combustion chamber and allows sufficient air to get in. If it is blocked, sufficient air won’t circulate, the engine heats up, and the saw may stop working because of this.

A Faulty Starter Cord

this may be another reason for your saw not powering up. The starter cord is an indication of the engine’s compression. If the compression is low, the cord will sag when you pull it, and the engine won’t start.

Blockage in The Carburettor

This usually happens when fuel has stayed on the tank for so long that it becomes stale. The debris accumulates and causes blockage in the carburettor, and when the carburettor is blocked, the Chainsaw will hardly start.

How the Carburettor is Linked to Starting in a Chainsaw

The carburettor determines the fuel that mixes with air before entering the engine. It works with three adjustment screws: H-high adjustment, L-low adjustment, I- idling. Adjusting any of the screws wrongly may prevent your Poulan chainsaw from working.

Chainsaw Carburator Replacing

Flooded Engine

If too much fuel gets into the combustion chamber, the Engine becomes flooded and it will definitely stall starting.


When the exhaust is scored, damaged or coated with too much soot, you may find that you have difficulty starting.

How to Fix Poulan Chainsaw Troubleshooting?

Fuel Check

Check that you are not using stale fuel, discard and empty the tank if the gas has spent over 2weeks in the saw. Replace with fresh fuel, using the correct fuel and oil mix.  Also, make sure you put in sufficient fuel that will enable the engine to work.


If the issue is a blocked carburettor, clean it thoroughly using a carburettor cleaner. You may also adjust the carburettor screws. Lastly, if the carburettor is bad, replace it with a new one.

Spark Plug

When you inspect the spark plug, check if it is firmly fitted in. If not, tighten it and restart the saw. If that does not work, remove the spark plug and inspect it. Is it covered in soot? Is the porcelain layer cracked? Does it spark when in contact with a spark tester? Do you observe the air gap between the ground and the center of the electrode? All these are pointers that show if the spark plug is faulty. If you notice any of these things, get a new spark plug suitable for your Poulan saw.

Blocked Air Filter

Clean the air filter thoroughly by soaking in hot water and soap and washing clean. If it’s worn out or torn, replace it.

Chainsaw's Air Filter Cleaning

Starter cord

If you notice that it sags, replace it at a Poulan service center. You can’t repair this yourself.

Why Poulan Chainsaw won’t Start when Hot

There could be several reasons for this:

  • The spark plug is failing, so there won’t be sufficient spark, especially as the engine is warmed up.
  • Vapour lock.
  • Blocked air filter, causing insufficient air in the combustion chamber.
  • The Ignition module is packing up.
  • There may be insufficient fuel.

Tips for Preventing Starting Problems


Regular checking and routine maintenance such as a thorough clean-up after each use, using fresh feel and the correct fuel oil mix.

Routine Inspection

Do not leave your Chainsaw to drop dead before you start finding ways to fix it. Always take out time to do regular inspection and see if any parts need replacement.

Repairs and Servicing

Always do well to replace one out and old parts that are faulty even before the saw starts malfunctioning.


Now you know why your chain saw has been acting up. If, however, your saw did not respond to any of these checks? See a recognized Poulan Chainsaw Repairer.

13 thoughts on “Poulan Chainsaw won’t Start: Troubleshoot by easy 5 Steps”

  1. I have a Poulan 2375. Several weeks ago I replaced all fuel lines and put a new carburetor on. The saw ran great on two occasions when used. During the second use after filling with 40:1 fuel, it would not start. The motor has good spark, compression, and fuel to the engine but it still will not start. What could be the reason it will not start.

  2. have a poulan pro pole saw prunner put fresh gas in tank i prime it but no gas comming through the gas line any suggestion

  3. I have had three Poulan saws in my life time. The first was purchased in the 70’s. I gave it to my btother when I took a job in CA in ’82. He just found the coil is gomne and cannot be replaced. We moved to CO in “96 and I bought another. Had it repaired twice but in 2015 when it became hard to start. decided rather than repar it, I’d buy a new one. From day one starting has been an issue. I took it today for a service review and the shop said “Poulan isn’t the same as it was. All are hard to nearly impossible to start. Best get something else”
    What a turnabout!

  4. Saw would not start. Replaced carb, did not help. Remove plug, showed spark when turned engine. Replaced fuel filter in tank. Engine has not even offered to start.

  5. I have known about twenty people who have naught Poulan saws and all have been a total pile of sh.. I’m buying a sthill for 179 40 more than Poulan but ten times better saw


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