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Thread: Are chainsaws supposed to leak oil?

  1. #1

    Are chainsaws supposed to leak oil?

    My chainsaw leaks bar oil when it sits around out of use. Is this normal? I'm not sure where the leak is coming from.
    George

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Conklin View Post
    I'm not sure where the leak is coming from.
    Where is the leak at? Around the fill cap? Near the gear? If you clean the saw up after it's been unused for a while, does it leak again? Can you clean it well, put it of clean paper (white paper towels) and see where it's leaking?

    G

  3. #3
    My 31 year old Mac leaks a little where the chain oiler meets the bar for the chain. It seems do it for a short period of time after I use it. Then things are okay.
    Ken
    ------



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Conklin View Post
    My chainsaw leaks bar oil when it sits around out of use. Is this normal? I'm not sure where the leak is coming from.
    George,

    A suspected oil "leak" is common on saws, but it may not be an actual "leak" (as in a defect).

    If the saw only shows a leak after you've used it but the bar oil level in the tank doesn't go down, then the "leak" is probably the residual oil from the bar and chain dripping off the bar.

    If the saw leaks oil all the time and the oil level in the tank does go down, then there are a few possibilities:
    • The tank or an oil line is leaking
    • The cap is leaking
    • The tank vent is plugged and the tank is forcing oil thru' the system from pressure building in the tank



    To check for actual leaks quickly you can remove the bar and chain, clean the saw very well, drain the oil tank, flush it well and then refill it with a blend of mostly gasoline coloured with a bit of chain oil. Set the clean dry saw on a cardboard and watch it for a few days. Gasoline is very quick to find small cracks and a leak should be apparent quickly.

    If you don't see any leaks, you can drain the fuel/oil mix from the oil tank and refill it with chain oil. reassemble the bar and chain and test cut. When you're done set the saw on a cardboard and watch for oil to drip from the bar over the next few days.

    Tank vents are in different places depending on the saw. If these tests (above) don't solve it, let us know what make and model of saw you have and we can advise further.

    cheers for now

    John

  5. #5
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    A small amount is normal, thats just whats sitting in the chain oiler mechanism when you switch off. The bar has no oil seal where it matches up to the oiler passage, so some seeps out. Sit the saw on some cardboard to catch the drips.

    If you get an Exon Valdez type oil slick under the saw, then you have a problem, maybe a crack in the oil tank or oiler mechanism.

    Ian

  6. #6
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    Great info guys, the only thing I can add is, "Did you buy new chain oil recently...? if so, did you get electric chainsaw chain oil by mistake?" The electric chain oil is a LOT thinner than regular chain oil, could be a factor.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    Agree with the rest. It is probably from your chain oiler. Nothing to worry about unless it is a large amount.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  8. #8
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    lutefisk capitol, USA
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    Does it have a Harley motor? Both my gas and electric ones drip oil from the chain oiler.

  9. #9
    Thanks for all of the replies.
    It's not leaking around the cap and it is a lot of oil! All of the oil in the tank will leak out over time.
    I guess it's time to take her into the shop.
    Thanks again.
    George

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Conklin View Post
    All of the oil in the tank will leak out over time.
    This symptom really sounds like a plugged oil tank vent. It could be a leaky gasket or a cracked tank, but plugged tank vents are very common, far more common than actual "leaks" from defects.

    If you want to take a bit of time to look at it before it hits the shop, get me the make and model of the saw, and I'll tell you where the tank vent is and how to clean it.

    cheers

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