How to Start a Poulan Chainsaw – Troubleshoot the Starting Problems

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Do you own a Poulan Chainsaw? Are you clueless about how to start a Poulan Chainsaw? If the answers to these questions are yes, then you are in the right place.

Starting any chainsaw especially the Poulan Chainsaw requires that you follow the laid down procedure on the start process.

Knowing that there are various guides and videos available on the internet on the starting procedure. Selecting the best one becomes a big problem.

In this article, I am going to take you through a clear guideline on how to start a Poulan predator chainsaw and other models.

There are various brands of Poulan chainsaw from the Poulan 2050 chainsaw to Poulan pro 5020. Each of these chainsaws has a common starting procedure with minor differences.

You only need to use this guide and the manual provided by the manufacturer.

How to Start a Poulan Chainsaw - Troubleshoot the Starting Problems

Before Starting The Poulan Chainsaw

With every process, you need to ensure everything is included before running any machine. That is why when starting the Poulan chainsaw there are some things you need to check on before heading on to the starting procedure. Here is a checklist for the Poulan chainsaw.

  • Ensure the chainsaw has the right mix of fuel and oil
  • Make sure the chain and bar are lubricated properly
  • Ensure that each part is intact
  • Don protective gear and clothing which includes gloves, helmet, ear defenders and goggles
  • Ensure the working area is clear of pets and other people not engaged in cutting wood

Having made sure that your checklist doesn’t have any issue. It is now time to start your Poulan Chainsaw.

How to Start a Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020 – Simple 7 Steps Guide

Step 1: Remove The Bar Cover

Before doing anything you need to remove the bar cover.

Step 2: Activate The Chain Brake

You will then need to activate the chain brake by pressing on it. It is located at the top handle.

Step 3: Move The Choke Lever

When the chain brake is activated. You will move the choke lever to the full position. In most models moving the choke lever will lock the throttle to the starting position. If it doesn’t you have to lock the throttle in the required starting position.

Step 4: Turn The Switch On

If the Poulan Chainsaw you own has an on/off switch. You only need to move the switch to the on position. It is mostly indicated by the symbol “I” and not “O”.

Step 5: Depress The Primer Bulb

If your Poulan Chainsaw has a primer bulb. You will press it 4-5 times to draw fuel to the carburetor. The air in the carburetor is removed and fuel gets in. Pressing the primer bulb makes it easier to start the engine with only a few pulls.

Step 6: Position The Chainsaw

If the chainsaw has a step-through rear handle, you can set the saw on the ground by placing the toe of your shoe through the handle. You will then hold the handlebar using your left hand.

If the step-through rear handle is not available on your chainsaw just hold the handlebar and firmly press the chainsaw on the ground.

Step 7: Pull The Starter Rope

The last step involves pulling the starter rope 1-5 times. When the engine starts and then stops after the 5 pulls. You should push the choke to half position and pull the rope to start the engine.

The engine will fire up and allow about 30 seconds for the engine to warm up. You can go ahead and start using your chainsaw after releasing the chain brake or release the trigger to turn off the engine.

Troubleshoot The Starting Problems

So you have undertaken every step in the guideline above but your brand new Poulan chainsaw won’t start. You try repeating each step but to no avail.

Various questions in your mind linger on what could be the problem. You are even contemplating giving up or initiate a return since you believe it might be faulty.

However, before giving up there are things you can look at to troubleshoot why your Poulan chainsaw won’t start. Here are some of the causes of starting problems.

Flooded Engine

The distinct indicator of this problem happens when you smell fuel from the chainsaw. Flooding of the engine is caused by pressing the primer bulb too many times. You can also confirm flooding of the engine by removing spark plug and checking whether it has some moisture.

Removing the excess fuel can be done in two ways. The first method is to allow the chainsaw to stay for around 15-20 minutes so that fuel can evaporate from the engine. You can then go ahead and repeat the starting procedure.

The second way involves turning the choke off, activating fast idle, turn on the on/off switch and pull the starter rope when the chainsaw is firmly on the ground.

If the engine doesn’t start after 15 pulls, you have to remove spark plug and replace it with a new one. Drain the fuel in the engine through spark plug hole after removing it before placing the new spark plug.

Bad Fuel

Your chainsaw may not start due to bad fuel in the fuel tank. This can be chainsaw oil mix ratio is not correct or using fuel left in the engine. The correct mixture of oil and fresh fuel should be one gallon of unleaded gas and 3.2 ounces of Poulan 2-cycle oil.

The oil and gasoline mixture recommended should be used in the Poulan chainsaw without any additives. This is because adding any additives will damage the fuel system and the engine.

You should also clean the fuel tank and use fresh fuel since the fuel left after the chainsaw was used has been robbed off some components of the oil and gasoline mixture.

Spark Plug

Spark Plug

The spark plug needs to be checked to ensure spark is produced. You can do this by holding the rubber boot of your Poulan pro Chainsaw spark plug and grounding the other end on the metal of your chainsaw engine. If there is no spark the spark plug might be defective.

The spark plug could also be damaged if you notice some cracks on the porcelain insulator, burned electrode or carbon builds up on the spark plug.

You can clean the spark plug using a wire brush and some gas for carbon build-up. For the other problems, the spark plug has to be replaced.

Replacement of the spark plug can be done by adjusting the gap of the new spark plug to 0.0026. Thread the spark plug into the cylinder, use a socket to secure the spark plug.

From there install the spark plug boot and you are done. You can then try starting your chainsaw using the set guideline.

Clogged Carburetor

If there are clogs on the carburetor, this will hamper the starting process of any chainsaw. The clogging can result if you leave fuel in the tool for long. When such an instance happens, some components of fuel can evaporate and leave something sticky which causes clogging.

To solve this, you need to clean the carburetor using a carburetor cleaner. In an instance where your chainsaw engine doesn’t start after cleaning, you can undertake Poulan chainsaw carburetor adjustment or you can consider replacing the whole carburetor.

Spark Arrestor

Spark arrestor is a small screen that prevents the sparks given off from the engine to reach your clothing. It is usually made of fiberglass. This screen can become affected by soot over time causing the engine to stall after starting or run roughly.

To fix the problem, you have to remove the spark arrestor and clean it using a wire brush. If cleaning doesn’t solve the problem, you just have to buy a new one as a replacement. It is recommended that the spark arrestor should be replaced after 25 hours of use.

Ignition Coil

Ignition Coil

Ignition coil sends the required voltage to the spark plug. It is the work of the ignition coil to transmit the needed voltage on the spark plug so that a spark can be produced igniting the fuel.

When this happens the engine automatically fires up. If you have looked at your spark plug and it is in good condition or replaced with a new one and the engine doesn’t start. The ignition coil might be the problem.

An ignition coil tester is used to determine whether the ignition coil is damaged or defective. If that is the case, you need to replace the ignition coil. Once you have replaced you can try starting your Poulan chainsaw.

Final Verdict

Poulan chainsaw starting process isn’t complicated and the steps are fairly easy to master over time. As a beginner, the process may be smooth without any problems.

However, if you experience any issue you have troubleshooting solutions that you can undertake. If the above doesn’t work, you can seek the help of an expert.

Ensure that you maintain your chainsaw properly and replace the faulty parts with recommended Poulan chainsaw parts. You should also keep safety measures when starting or using the Poulan Chainsaw.

The above steps on how to start a Poulan chainsaw will help you start your Poulan chainsaw with ease as long as they are correctly implemented.

You May Also Read:

1. How to Start a Stihl Chainsaw – Starting Problems and Their Solutions
2. How To Sharpen A Chainsaw With A Dremel – A Handy Easy Guide (2020)
3. How to Sharpen a Chainsaw Blade with an Electric Sharpener – Quick 10 Steps Guide
Robert Terry

Robert Terry is a specialist author at He is very enthusiastic about woodworking and carpentry. His writings have been published in the wood magazine before. His passion for working with wood and woodworking tools lets him explore many pieces of informative content and resources. Besides working as a creative writer, he loves to share his skills and experiences with the woodworking and carpentry community.

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