Chainsaw Primer Bulb Temporary Fix (Explained)

Use a can of carb cleaner sprayed into the breather/filter assembly. If that doesn’t work, try gently tapping on the side of the bulb with a screwdriver or other tool. If none of these things work, you may need to replace the primer bulb.

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Need to use your chainsaw but cannot buy a primer bulb right away?

Don’t know how to repair the existing one?

Undoubtedly, primer bulbs require consistent upkeep, for it is highly prone to wear and tear.

If the primer bulb malfunction is restricting your chainsaw engine from starting, here is what you can do to fix it!

Chainsaw Primer Bulb Temporary Fix

what is Chainsaw Primer Bulb

A chainsaw primer bulb is a small, rubber bulb located on the chainsaw’s carburetor or fuel system. Its main function is to draw fuel from the fuel tank and into the carburetor to assist with starting the engine. When pressed, the primer bulb creates a vacuum that pulls fuel into the carburetor, making it easier to start the chainsaw.

Steps to Fix a Chainsaw Primer Bulb for Emergencies

Generally, the primer bulb is located in line with the carburetor.

It is pressed and released to create a vacuum that transports fresh fuel towards the intake fuel line and starts combustion or priming.

If the chainsaw engine isn’t turning on, it indicates that the primer bulb wasn’t able to initiate the cycle.

Follow these steps for problem identification:

Put some gas in the fuel tank. Press the primer bulb multiple times, and see if it fills up the gas.

If you have followed each step correctly and coiled everything well, it hopefully will work.

Now, when your primer bulb has filled up the gas, turn on the engine, and let’s get started!

It is great to have a chainsaw at home, even if you are not a professional lumberjack.

You can do your woodwork all at home without much headache.

However, often your chainsaw may come to a halt and not work.

Repairing it from a mechanic will cost you time and money.

Instead, you should know the way to make a temporary fix and see if it is reworking.

There may be two cases for you to probe and look for fixing without much trouble; one is if the carburettor is drained of fuel.

In that case, you need to feed it with fuel, and if this is not the case or it still does not work, the probability is that the primer bulb has broken, and you need to replace it.

Fixing the primer bulb

There are three steps to the process.

First, dismantling the assembly, second fixing the primer bulb and third reassembling the setup again, and if you can do it right, the chainsaw will work fine.

Here is the know-how.


Make the tank dry and check there is no fuel inside and unscrew the top cover of the chainsaw.

This will help you take out the saw from the body. Unscrew the side and get off the starter assembly.

Next, take off the air filter socket and the air filter.

Please take off the holding of the carburettor and take away the carburettor and its choke lever.

The primer fuel line is to be removed from the carburettor next.

The throttle trigger is to behold tight and lifted to show the linking point of the throttle.

The link has to be pulled off and disconnected.

Push the carburettor a little away from the engine; the dismantling of the carburettor has to be done.

Taking out the primer bulb

The primer bulb has to be removed from the carburettor. 

Putting a screwdriver in the holder of the primer bulb and pressing it will make the bulb come out.

Then, with a plier with elongated tongs, the fuel lines must be taken out from the primer bulb. There will be two fuel lines.

Fixing the primer bulb

Detect the intake and the return ports of the primer bulb.

Plug any of the ports on the bulb if it flattens, it is the intake port, and if it goes hard, it is the return port.

Now connect the intake line (the line which is shorter in comparison) to the intake port of the bulb.

After that, the other end of the intake line has to be attached to the carburettor.

Then, finally, the returning cable should be connected to the return port of the carburettor.

Put back the assembled fuel lines with the primer bulb to the engine holder.

Press to put it in the right place of the engine holder.

Reassembling the Chainsaw

Follow the reverse steps you have dismantled.

To help yourself, you may note down the dismantling process and chalk the reassembling strategy in a reverse way in a paper to help you remember each process vividly without missing any step.

Final Thought

Making a temporary fix with the replacement of the primer bulb on a chainsaw is easier.

Most of the time, it saves the hassles of taking it for repair and saves you dollars.

Above that is the satisfaction that you have repaired it of your own.

So why wait for someone else to fix your chainsaw when you can do it?

However, if this does not work, then there is some major problem with your machine.

It would help if you then thought of taking it for a repair.

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