How to Troubleshoot a Stihl 017

Updated February 21, 2017

The STIHL 017 Chainsaw is one of the best-selling chainsaws; however, it can malfunction at times. Instead of taking your STIHL 017 to a repairman, take some steps to troubleshoot the problem first. This may save you costly repair bills. Problems may occur with the air filter, spark plug and gasoline. Refer to your user manual for a diagram of parts for your STIHL 017.

Empty any old fuel out of the chain saw. Old gas can accumulate water and prevent the saw from starting. Open the gas cap and pour the old fuel out into a container. Replace it with fresh gasoline. If it still doesn't start, you may have a clogged fuel line.

Perform a fuel test if your chainsaw won't start. Take the air filter off and spray a mixture of 50 parts fuel to 1 part of STIHL oil directly into the carburettor. Try starting the chainsaw. If it still won't start, you may need to have the carburettor replaced.

Unscrew the spark plug and remove it with a spark plug wrench. Clean the end of the spark plug with a rag soaked in cleaning solvent and scrape it with a wire brush to remove any corrosion. Replace the spark plug and try to start the saw. If the chainsaw won't start, you may need to repair the saw.


Always wear safety goggles when running the chainsaw.

Things You'll Need

  • Fuel for chainsaw
  • STIHL oil for chainsaw
  • Spray bottle
  • Spark plug wrench
  • Cleaning solvent
  • Rag
  • Wire brush
  • Safety goggles
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About the Author

JIm Cooper is an attorney and business consultant. He serves on the board of many corporations. He is also a published writer with more than 30 years of experience. Cooper's articles have been published in "American Executive," "Men's Health" magazine, "Newsweek," "Marie Claire" and "Mademoiselle" magazines.