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13 Reasons a Remington Chainsaw Won’t Start (FIXED)

If you’re like most homeowners, you don’t use your chainsaw regularly. Allowing gas to sit in the chainsaw for long periods is often the primary reason a chainsaw won’t start.

Keep reading for other items that can cause your starting problem along with troubleshooting tips and repairs.

A Remington chainsaw will not start when it isn’t getting sufficient air, fuel, and spark.

This can be caused by an incorrect choke setting, old fuel, plugged air filter, faulty ignition coil, bad spark plug, plugged fuel filter, dirty carburetor, or plugged spark arrestor.

It may also not start when the on/off switch is bad or the engine is flooded. Before performing repairs, always remove the spark plug boot. Follow all safety precautions in your Remington operator’s manual.


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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.

Common Remington Chainsaw Starting Problems

1. Bad Switch or Wrong Choke Setting

A Remington chainsaw has an on/off switch for safety. The switch must be placed in the ON position before you attempt to start the saw.

In addition to having the switch in the right position, you must also engage the choke to start a cold engine by pulling the choke knob out. The choke restricts the airflow to allow more fuel and less air to start the engine.

This is needed to start a cold engine. Once the engine warms up, the choke must be disengaged (pushed in) to allow the engine to get sufficient air it needs to run.

SOLUTION: Make sure the on/off switch is placed in the on position. A faulty switch or bad ground wire can also be the reason a chainsaw won’t start.

2. Old or Bad Fuel

Old gas can cause many problems in the chainsaw including starting issues. Gas can become less effective and begin to break down as quickly as 30 days after purchase.

Ethanol is used in most gasoline today and it naturally attracts moisture from the air. This mixture of water and ethanol will leave behind a sticky varnish over time that can gum the fuel system and cause corrosion.

Because this can cause fuel restrictions resulting in starting problems, follow these tips to minimize the effects of old gas:

  • Only use gas that contains no more than 10% ethanol.
  • Consume fuel within 30 days of purchasing before it begins to break down.
  • Add a fuel stabilizer to fresh fuel to keep it from breaking down so quickly.

Read more about selecting the right gas and oil for your Remington chainsaw here.

SOLUTION: When you are having starting problems and you find the fuel is old, empty the tank and fill it with fresh fuel.

Add a fuel additive like Sea Foam Motor Treatment or STA-BIL to help reduce moisture and clean the fuel system.

Start the chainsaw to allow it to run through the chainsaw and work its way through the fuel system once you are able to get it started.

3. Wrong Fuel in a 2-Cycle

One thing you don’t want to get wrong is the type of fuel you add to your Remington chainsaw. Getting this wrong can cause permanent engine damage.

A 2-cycle Remington chainsaw requires a gas-to-oil mix at a ratio of 40:1.

  • 40 parts: Unleaded gas with a minimum 89-octane rating and a maximum 10% ethanol content.
  • 1 part: Premium 2-cycle air-cooled engine oil. Do not use regular motor engine oil.

NEVER run straight gas through a Remington chainsaw. It runs very dry and can cause the engine to seize due to the lack of lubrication. A mistake like this could result in having to replace your chainsaw with a new one.

Ethanol-free fuel mix

Because ethanol in fuel negatively affects your chainsaw’s performance, using an ethanol-free fuel is best, but more costly.

While it is more costly, it is a convenient option to have sitting on the shelf so you don’t have to run out to the fuel station and mix the fuel. You can purchase this type of fuel in canisters from your local hardware store.

SOLUTION: If you find you have placed the wrong fuel mix in the fuel tank, drain the tank and add the right gas-to-oil mixture. Attempt to start the chainsaw.

When the engine won’t turn over or is running terribly, have a small engine mechanic test the engine to determine if running the wrong fuel causes permanent damage.

4. Plugged Air Filter

Sawdust and dirt go flying through the air when operating a chainsaw. To keep this dust from getting into the cylinder and wearing on the engine, an air filter is installed to ensure the engine receives clean air.

When the air filter isn’t regularly cleaned or replaced, sawdust and dirt can build up on the filter preventing sufficient air from passing through the filter and into the carburetor throat.

A lack of air can make it difficult to start a Remington chainsaw and keep it running.

It’s good practice for the average homeowner to replace the air filter each year and clean it several times throughout the season. If you use your chainsaw more often than this, you’ll have to check, clean, and replace it at more frequent intervals.

Take time to inspect your air filter to prevent overheating the engine and causing damage. I know, this is one more step but takes less than a minute to check the condition of the filter.

SOLUTION: Remove the air filter and clean it if it’s a little dirty. If the filter is extremely dirty or damaged, it must be replaced. Never run a chainsaw without an air filter.

Steps to clean a Remington felt chainsaw air filter:

  • Remove the air filter cover.
  • Carefully remove the air filter. Be careful not to allow any dirt to fall into the air intake.
  • Remove any dirt that is remaining in the filter housing or air filter cover with a dry clean cloth.
  • Wash the air filter in a mild detergent and water.
  • Rinse until the water runs clear.
  • Allow the filter to completely dry.
  • Reinstall the filter and make sure it securely seals the opening to the air intake so dirt will not bypass the filter.
  • Reattach the air filter cover.

5. Bad Spark Plug

The spark plug provides the spark required to start and keep a Remington chainsaw running. The spark plug is a wear item that should be changed annually for the casual user.

A dirty or damaged spark plug can cause the spark plug to misfire causing running issues.

SOLUTION: Inspect the spark plug and clean it with a wire brush if it is in good condition and just a little dirty. Replace a spark plug if you find it is very dark in color, has a burnt electrode, or has broken porcelain.

Ensure the spark plug is gapped to the manufacturer’s specification and the wire is securely attached. These things can also cause starting problems.

6. Faulty Ignition Coil

If the spark plug is in good condition, but you still aren’t getting spark, check the ignition coil. The winding on the ignition coil can separate and short out.

When this happens, the spark plug won’t get the voltage required to create a spark. This will cause your chainsaw problems.

SOLUTION: Identify a bad ignition coil by checking it for a break in continuity. Replace the Remington ignition coil if you find a break.

7. Plugged Fuel Filter

The fuel filter is used to keep dirt and debris from entering the fuel system. The filter is a cylinder-shaped part that is located inside the fuel tank. You will find it attached to the fuel line.

When the filter isn’t changed regularly or when dirty fuel has been used, it can become plugged not allowing sufficient fuel to pass through the filter. This may cause the saw to fail to start or run sluggishly.

SOLUTION: Replace a dirty fuel filter.

Replace a chainsaw fuel filter:

  • Wipe around the fuel cap to keep any dirt from falling into the fuel tank when removing the fuel cap.
  • Remove the fuel cap.
  • Take note of how the filter is positioned in the fuel tank to ensure you place the replacement filter correctly.
  • Use a clean bent wire to hook the fuel line and pull the fuel filter out of the tank.
  • Hold the fuel line securely while pulling the filter out of the fuel line. Don’t let go of the fuel line.
  • Install a new Remington fuel filter by inserting the male end into the fuel line making sure it is secured to the fuel line.
  • Place the filter in the fuel tank and reinstall the fuel cap.

8. Bad Primer Bulb

A cracked primer bulb that won’t fill up with fuel won’t function correctly to get fuel to the carburetor.

SOLUTION: Replace with a new primer bulb.

9. Clogged or Punctured Fuel Line

A fuel restriction can be created when the fuel line becomes clogged. This can prevent the chainsaw from starting.

SOLUTION: Remove the clogged fuel line and use carburetor cleaner to help loosen the clog. Spray compressed air through the line to remove it.

If you are unable to remove the clog or you find the fuel line is dry, cracked, or punctured, it’s time to replace it with a new fuel line.

10. Dirty Carburetor

The carburetor regulates the amount of fuel that is mixed with air to create combustion in the cylinder. Old fuel may clog the fuel passageways in the carburetor so it no longer functions as designed. This can keep your chainsaw from starting.

SOLUTION: If you are a little mechanical you should be able to handle cleaning your carburetor. Clean the carburetor by taking it apart and using carburetor cleaner to clean it.

If the carburetor does not function after being cleaned, you may need to rebuild it or replace it with a new carburetor.

11. Bad Recoil Starter

A chainsaw uses a recoil to start the engine. A bad pulley; loose or missing spring; or broken clips can keep your recoil from working.

SOLUTION: You can attempt to replace the spring and restring the recoil. If it does not work because other components in your recoil are damaged, such as the clips or the pulley, you are better off just replacing the recoil assembly.

12. Plugged Spark Arrestor

The spark arrestor is a small screen in the muffler that can get plugged with soot. A plugged spark arrestor will prevent airflow causing a chainsaw not to start.

SOLUTION: Remove the spark arrestor and clean it with a wire brush. Replace the mesh spark arrestor screen when you are not able to clean it sufficiently or if it is damaged.

Never run a chainsaw without this screen or with a screen that has a hole in it. Without a screen, hot material can come out of the saw potentially starting a fire or causing burns.

13. Flooded Engine

The engine can become flooded when the choke is in the closed position and the starter rope was pulled many times.

It can also happen with the switch off and the starter rope being pulled multiple times or when the primer bulb is pushed too many times.


How to Fix a Flooded Engine on a Remington Chainsaw

  • Place the on/off switch in the on position.
  • Place the choke knob in the open/run position. (The choke knob must be pushed in towards the machine.
  • Press the throttle lockout and squeeze the trigger while pulling the starter rope over and over. This can take anywhere between 5 and 15 pulls before it starts. Your chainsaw engine will sputter first. Continue to pull 2 to 3 more times and it should start.

Remington Chainsaw Starting Problems & Solutions (Quick Reference Chart)

Bad Switch or Wrong Choke SettingEnsure the choke is on to restrict airflow when starting a cold engine. Remove the choke once the engine has warmed so it continues to run.
Replace a bad switch or bad ground wire.
Old FuelReplace fuel that is older than 30 days with fresh fuel. Add a fuel stabilizer.
Incorrect FuelDrain the fuel. Use a gas and oil mixture at a ratio of 40:1 in current Remington chainsaws
Plugged Air FilterRemove a plugged air filter and clean it. Replace the filter with a new one if it is very dirty, wet, or damaged.
Bad Spark PlugReplace a bad spark plug. Make sure the electrode gap is correct and the spark plug wire is securely in place.
Faulty Ignition CoilReplace a bad ignition coil.
Plugged Fuel FilterRemove the old filter from the fuel tank and install a new fuel filter.
Weak Primer BulbReplace a cracked primer bulb.
Clogged, Dry or Cracked Fuel LineRemove a clogged fuel line and remove the restriction. Replace a fuel line if the clog can’t be removed or the line is dry or cracked.
Dirty CarburetorRemove and clean the carburetor. Rebuild any damaged parts or install a new carburetor assembly.
Bad Recoil StarterReplace a damaged or missing spring. Restring the recoil starter if needed. Replace the recoil starter when it is damaged.
Plugged Spark ArrestorRemove the spark arrestor from the muffler. Clean it using a wire brush and reinstall it. Replace a damaged spark arrestor.
Flooded ChainsawFix this by using the method listed above.
Remington Chainsaw Starting Problems & Solutions

Still Having Problems with Your Troy-Bilt Chainsaw?

Check out my handy guide Common Troy-Bilt Chainsaw Problems for handy charts listing problems and solutions to many common problems chainsaw owners encounter.

This is a great guide to keep bookmarked. It covers problems with a chainsaw not starting, bogging down, or dying. You can also find information on a chain not turning, the engine only running with the choke on, and more.

In addition, you will find links to more detailed information on each issue.