What Causes a Chainsaw To Seize?

Using a chainsaw isn’t as easy as it might look because, other than the fact that it is quite dangerous if you don’t know how to use it properly, it could easily end up becoming problematic. One of the most common problems that chainsaw users often face is when their chainsaw seizes. So, what causes a chainsaw to seize?

The reason why a chainsaw seizes is that the lack of lubrication on the piston. When the piston got stuck due to lack of lubrication, it seized the chainsaw engine up. In some cases, the same can happen if the chainsaw’s carburetor is too lean or if it was not functioning properly.

A seized chainsaw should be quite the problem for chainsaw users, especially when they are in the middle of an actual job. That is why you have to make sure that you are taking care of your chainsaw properly and that you are regularly lubricating it. In that regard, let us look at what makes a chainsaw seize in greater detail so that you would know how to avoid this kind of problem.

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What causes a chainsaw to seize?

When you are using a chainsaw, you have to understand that this tool is a machine that is run by different moving parts that are all powered by an engine. In that sense, all of these various moving parts need to work well if you want the chainsaw to function at its best. A single moving part that would end up failing would actually also make the entire chainsaw fail.

In that regard, one of the most common problems that chainsaw users often face is when their chainsaws seize up. This means that the chainsaw suddenly starts moving the moment the engine seizes up. Such a problem can be problematic, especially when you are in the middle of important work that you need to get done in a hurry. 

But what causes a chainsaw to seize?

Well, again, let us go back to the fact that a chainsaw is a machine that is made up of different moving parts that all need to be working if you want this tool to actually do what it is supposed to do. When one of those moving parts is not working well, there is a chance that something similar to the chainsaw seizing will happen.

Of course, similar to how your car needs to be oiled up for the moving parts to work well, your chainsaw also needs lubrication. Again, a chainsaw is powered by its own engine or motor that functions similarly to any other engine in the sense that it needs to be oiled up for the moving parts to work well.

So, when a chainsaw isn’t properly oiled, what happens is that the piston could get stuck as a result of the lack of lubrication. This can cause some damage and would force the engine to suddenly seize up. That’s why it is important to make sure to use the right fuel mix, as most chainsaws require a 50:1 ratio of fuel and oil.

Meanwhile, a chainsaw can seize up when the carburetor was set too lean or whenever it isn’t functioning properly. This can happen when the chainsaw has sat unused for a very long time because the ethanol in the fuel can actually cause the carburetor to lean out. Such a problem can also happen if you are not using the right fuel ratio because of how an excess in ethanol can oxygenate and cause the carburetor to lean out.

While this cause isn’t the most common, another factor that can lead to a chainsaw seizing is when there isn’t enough airflow in the cylinder. This can happen if the cooling system was blocked or clogged with different debris that can regularly accumulate over time as you are using the chainsaw. The engine would overheat and end up seizing due to the lack of airflow in the cooling system.

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How do I know if my chainsaw has seized?

If you want to know if your chainsaw has seized, it really is quite simple. A chainsaw that has seized will end up stopping in the middle as you are using it, similar to how a car will end up stopping in the middle of the road whenever there is something wrong with it.

Seizing in a chainsaw happens in the engine as this is what powers the entire tool. If there is something wrong with the chainsaw, the engine will end up seizing and come to a sudden halt due to that problem.

Can a seized chainsaw be fixed?

For those whose chainsaws seized, you will be happy to know that this problem can still be fixed. You can actually do it yourself, or you can have someone fix it for you for a fee, of course. 

However, you should know that there are some cases where a seized chainsaw can be too difficult to fix that your local repairman might end up charging you a hefty sum for it. In that case, you might as well go out and buy a new chainsaw if you are going to get charged hundreds of dollars for the servicing fee on your seized chainsaw.

How to fix a seized chainsaw

If you want to fix a seized chainsaw yourself because you realized that having someone fix it for you can be quite expensive, it is actually possible for you to do so. This is true if the reason why your chainsaw seized is quite simple such as when the carburetor leaned out as a result of the chainsaw sitting out unused for a very long time.

You can try to fix a seized chainsaw simply by pouring oil in the plug hole and waiting for a few days for the oil to free it up. This is a simple solution for chainsaws that seized after sitting out for an extended period.

However, if your chainsaw seized because of a damaged piston, you need to take it to your repairman to have it fixed because this is something that you can’t DIY at home. Again, chainsaw servicing can be expensive. In that case, it might be better to just buy a new one.

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