Skip to Content

Troy-Bilt Chainsaw Loses Power (9 Causes & Solutions)

You’re trying to get the job done, but your chainsaw is no longer giving you the power you require.

A Troy-Bilt chainsaw loses power when the engine receives intermittent spark, reduced airflow, or restricted fuel flow.

The power loss can be a result of a dirty spark plug, plugged air filter, clogged spark arrestor, plugged fuel filter, clogged fuel lines, or a dirty carburetor. Your carburetor may also need an adjustment.

Keep reading and I’ll explain more about why your Troy-Bilt may be losing power. Follow all safety precautions before performing repairs including removing the spark plug wire and waiting for all moving parts to stop.

This post may include affiliate links. Purchases made through these links may provide a commission for us, at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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.

Lack of Air Causes a Troy-Bilt Chainsaw to Lose Power

A good supply of air is required to keep the chainsaw running. When looking for a reason the saw loses power, check for items that can restrict airflow like a plugged air filter and clogged spark arrestor.

Plugged Air Filter

A clean air filter is a necessary component to have installed on your chainsaw. This filter keeps dirt and debris from entering the carburetor throat to prevent damage and wearing of the engine.

When using your Troy-Bilt chainsaw, you are creating some very dirty conditions. Airflow can become restricted when the air filter becomes plugged with dirt and debris because it isn’t being cleaned or replaced regularly.

A plugged air filter will cause a loss of power. When you experience this, check the filter. Clean it or replace it if necessary. Never run your chainsaw without an air filter. Doing this can result in significant engine damage.

How to clean a Troy-Bilt chainsaw air filter:

  • Remove the engine cover.
  • Remove the air filter.
  • Wipe out any dirt from the air filter housing.
  • Brush dirt from the filter or shake it to remove the dirt.
  • If needed, wash it in warm mild detergent and warm water solution. Rinse in cool water until the water runs clear. Allow the filter to completely dry.
  • Reinstall the clean filter. Purchase and install a new air filter if the old filter is extremely dirty, damaged, or unable to seal properly.

Clogged Spark Arrestor

You will find a spark arrestor on many Troy-Bilt chainsaws. This is a small mesh screen installed to prevent hot exhaust material from leaving the muffler.

When the screen becomes plugged with carbon buildup, you may experience a loss of power where the Troy-Bilt chainsaw won’t run at full RPMs. This is because the engine isn’t able to exhaust sufficiently.

This screen should be checked often and cleaned to prevent buildup. To do this, first, disconnect the spark plug wire and allow the muffler to cool.

Carefully remove the spark arrestor screen. Clean it using a metal brush. If you find any damage or holes in the screen, replace it with a new spark arrestor screen.

Reattach the engine exhaust cover and engine cover once you have installed a new or clean spark arrestor. Reattach the spark plug wire if you are done performing all repairs and maintenance.

Lack of Fuel Causes a Troy-Bilt Chainsaw to Lose Power

Your Troy-Bilt will begin losing power when there is a lack of fuel in the engine. This can be due to fuel restrictions caused by a plugged fuel filter, clogged fuel line, or dirty carburetor.

The carburetor may only need an adjustment to fix the amount of fuel mixed with air.

Begin by checking the fuel supply to ensure it is fresh. If the fuel is older than 30 days, drain the fuel tank and fill it with fresh fuel. You can find more information on fuel for your Troy-Bilt chainsaw here.

Plugged Fuel Filter

The fuel filter is attached to the end of the fuel line to strain the fuel as it comes out of the fuel tank. Its purpose is to keep dirt and debris from entering the fuel system.

When the fuel filter is not changed out regularly or you are using very dirty fuel, it can become plugged keeping a sufficient amount of fuel from flowing through the filter. This lack of fuel flow will cause a Troy-Bilt chainsaw to lose power.

Wipe around the fuel cap before slowly removing it. Pull out the filter by hooking the fuel line with a clean bent wire or using a pair of needle nose pliers. Replace the filter. Place the filter back inside the front right corner of the tank.

Clogged or Punctured Fuel Line

Old fuel sitting in the chainsaw is likely to leave behind varnish and sticky deposits that clog the fuel line. This can restrict fuel flow.

When you find there is a clog in the fuel line, remove the fuel line and clean it to remove the clog using carburetor cleaner. Spray the carburetor cleaner into the line to loosen the clog. Then blow compressed air through it to remove the clog.

Repeat spraying the cleaner and blowing compressed air until the line is free of the blockage. Replace with a new line when you find it is dry or cracked.

Another thing to look for is a punctured fuel line. A punctured line can introduce air into the fuel system. Additional air to the cylinder can make your Troy-Bilt lose power when there is no longer a correct mixture of fuel and air.

Dirty Carburetor

The carburetor mixes the correct proportion of air and fuel required for your Troy-Bilt chainsaw to start and continue to run.

The passageways can become clogged and the small components can fail to function correctly which can be the reason the chainsaw stops running.

Old fuel is a big reason why a Troy-Bilt carburetor will stop working. You may be able to clean or rebuild your carburetor to get it working again. You will have to replace the carburetor if this doesn’t work.

Carburetor Needs Adjustment

The carburetor may need to be adjusted to change the RPMs at idle speed and at full throttle. There are adjustment screws on the carburetor to make these adjustments.

The screws are labeled “L” for low speed and “H” for high speed. Let the chainsaw idle and adjust the low-speed screw clockwise and counter-clockwise until you find the “sweet spot” where it runs smoothly and not sluggish.

Next, adjust the “H” to get a good smooth RPM at full throttle. Don’t over-adjust and allow the RPMs to increase too much or you will damage the engine.

Troy-Bilt does have some limits to the adjustments you can perform to the carburetor. If you are having problems with the carburetor, bring your chainsaw to your local Troy-Bilt dealer.

A special tool may be required so only your dealer can make the necessary adjustments.

Lack of Spark Causes a Troy-Bilt Chainsaw to Lose Power

Spark is required to ignite the fuel and air mixture to form combustion in the cylinder so the chainsaw will continue to run. When the Troy-Bilt chainsaw isn’t getting consistent spark, it will bog down and lose power.

Dirty Spark Plug

The spark plug is a wear item. It must be replaced regularly. I recommend replacing it once a year for casual usage.

However, if you are using your chainsaw often, you may need to change it quarterly to ensure you are running a good plug.

The spark plug will become dirty over time causing an intermittent spark and a loss of power. Remove the spark plug and inspect the tip. If it is dirty, but not very dark in color, you can try to clean it using a wire brush.

If you find the spark plug is very dark in color; has broken porcelain or burnt electrode, you must replace it with a new one.

Before installing a new spark plug, check that the spark plug gap is correct. Install the plug and securely attach the spark plug wire. An incorrect gap or a loose wire can cause the chainsaw to bog down and lose power.

Other Item That Causes a Troy-Bilt Chainsaw to Lose Power

Chain Brake is Engaged

The chain brake is a plastic handle that sits in front of the regular handle you use to hold the chainsaw. This is a safety feature installed to protect the user when the saw kicks back.

When the chain brake is engaged, the chainsaw will bog down losing power. Check the chain brake and make sure it is in the off position and didn’t get pushed forward toward the bar.

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.