My Husqvarna 345 Chainsaw Chain Turns When Idling

Written by eric blankenburg
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The chain on a Husqvarna 345 chainsaw should never turn when idling. This poses an incredibly dangerous situation for the sawyer, as he may slip while walking or may accidentally touch his leg with the chain still spinning. Never operate a chainsaw when the chain spins while idling. Stop the Husqvarna and immediately solve the idling problem.

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Idling Problems

The chain spins during idling because the clutch is still engaged. During normal operation, the centrifugal clutch on the 345 will no longer hook onto the drive sprocket once the engine drops below 2,800rpm, the engine's idling speed. If the chain still spins when idling, the drive sprocket is still engaged below the normal idling speed. To solve this problem, the idle speeds on the carburettor will need adjusting. However, carburettor adjustment can be tricky, so before adjusting the carburettor, clean the air filter and check the gas supply.

Clean Air Filter

The air filter purges any dust particles from the air supply before it mixes with the fuel. Without enough air in the system, the idle speed will decrease and the chain may start spinning during idling. Pull the foam air filter pad out of its box above the carburettor. Brush off the pad with a soft-tipped brush and slap it against your palm to shake out any dust. Don't wash the pad in soapy water, as this may weaken the filter element. Replace the air filter if it's too dirty to clean with a brush or your hand.

Clean Fuel System

A dirty fuel system can also cause idling and chain problems. If the fuel flow is restricted in the carburettor, the mixture of fuel and air will be off and so will the combustion. The fuel tank, fuel hoses and fuel filter will get dirty over time from fuel impurities. Old or bad fuel will speed this process up and cause idling problems. Also, if you try to adjust the carburettor with a dirty fuel system, once the system is cleaned again, the adjustment can be dangerously wrong. Clean out the entire fuel system, replace the hoses and filter if necessary and fill the tank with fresh 345 fuel.

Adjust the Idle

Located on the side of the engine, three carburettor screws set the carburettor's idle, low and high speeds. When the chain turns during idling, the idle screw adjustment is off. With a small screwdriver, turn the idle speed screw clockwise until the chain starts speeding up (keep the bar and chain away from anything it can hit during this process). Move the screw counterclockwise until the chain stops spinning. Move the screw in clockwise again and find the highest idle speed before the chain starts spinning on its own. Leave low- and high-speed carburettor adjustments to a professional, as improper adjustment can destroy the carburettor and engine.

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