Why Won’t My 16 Inch 38cc Craftsman Chainsaw Start? A Comprehensive Guide to Resolving the Issue

Why Won't My 16 Inch 38cc Craftsman Chainsaw Start?

Craftsman chainsaws are renowned for their quality and durability, but like all machinery, they can sometimes experience issues.

One common reason why Craftsman chainsaws won’t start is a clogged or damaged carburetor. A clogged carburetor can prevent the machine from starting up, and it is also possible for the fuel filter to be blocked or damaged.

In this blog post, we delve deep into the topic of why won’t my 16 inch 38cc Craftsman chainsaw start and how to resolve this issue effectively.

Introducing the Craftsman Chainsaw: A Brief Overview

Craftsman chainsaws are a popular choice among homeowners and professionals alike. With their perfect blend of power and functionality, these chainsaws are designed to handle a variety of tasks efficiently.

However, there can be instances when the chainsaw refuses to start. Let’s take a closer look at the potential reasons and solutions to this problem.

Why Won’t My 16 Inch 38cc Craftsman Chainsaw Start? Common Reasons and Solution Tips

Identifying the root cause is the first step in resolving the issue. Here are the probable reasons and their respective solutions:

Fuel Problems

  • Symptoms: The chainsaw does not respond despite repeated attempts to start it.
  • Solutions:
    • Check if there’s fresh fuel in the tank.
    • Ensure that the fuel mixture is correct as per the manufacturer’s specifications.

Spark Plug Issues

  • Symptoms: Chainsaw shows signs of life but fails to start fully.
  • Solutions:
    • Remove the spark plug and inspect it for wear and tear.
    • Clean or replace the defective spark plug if necessary.

Carburetor Malfunctions

  • Symptoms: The chainsaw stalls or sputters before it can start.
  • Solutions:

Faulty Ignition Coil

  • Symptoms: There is no spark generated to ignite the fuel.
  • Solutions:
    • Check the ignition coil for any signs of damage.
    • Consider replacing the ignition coil if it seems faulty.

Air Filter Blockages

  • Symptoms: Chainsaw struggles to start and generates smoke.
  • Solutions:
    • Clean the air filter thoroughly.
    • Replace the air filter if it is too dirty or damaged.

Clutch Problems

  • Symptoms: The chainsaw engine runs, but the chain doesn’t move.
  • Solutions:
  • Starter Rope Problems
    • Symptoms: The starter rope doesn’t pull or retract slowly.
    • Solutions:
    • Inspect the starter assembly for any issues.
    • Replace the starter rope if it is broken or worn out.

Essential Tips to Prevent Starting Issues

Preventing the issue from occurring in the first place is always better than finding a cure. Here are some proactive measures you can take:

  • Regular Maintenance: Periodically check and maintain your chainsaw to prevent common issues.
  • Proper Storage: Store the chainsaw in a clean, dry place to prevent moisture-related problems.
  • Consult the User Manual: Refer to the user manual for proper starting procedures and maintenance guidelines.

Why Won’t My 16 Inch 38cc Craftsman Chainsaw Start? Other Common Issues

  • Remember, it’s always crucial to keep safety in mind when troubleshooting and repairing chainsaw issues. If you’re not confident in carrying out these tasks, consider seeking help from a professional. Don’t ignore minor issues; they might lead to significant problems over time. Regular maintenance and care can go a long way in keeping your Craftsman chainsaw in excellent working condition.


Finding your 16-inch 38cc Craftsman chainsaw not starting can be quite frustrating, but understanding the potential causes and their solutions can be a big help.

Regular maintenance and following the user manual’s guidance can prevent such issues and ensure a long and fruitful life for your chainsaw. Remember, when in doubt, consulting with a professional is always a wise decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the proper fuel mixture for a 16 inch 38cc Craftsman chainsaw?

Generally, a fuel mixture ratio of 40:1 (gasoline to oil) is recommended, but always check your user manual to confirm.

How can I clean the carburetor of my Craftsman chainsaw?

Cleaning the carburetor usually involves removing it from the chainsaw and using carburetor cleaner to remove any debris or build-up.

How often should I replace the spark plug?

A general guideline is to replace the spark plug after every 100 hours of use, or once a year, whichever comes first.

Can I repair the ignition coil myself?

While it is possible to repair the ignition coil yourself, it is recommended to consult with a professional to avoid further damage or voiding the warranty.

How do I know if my chainsaw engine is flooded?

One of the signs that a chainsaw is flooded is the presence of a strong smell of fresh petrol coming from the muffler. Detecting this scent can help identify the issue with the chainsaw.

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