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Husqvarna 550xp, 555 and 560xp starting and running issues.

Husqvarna 550xp, 555 and 560xp starting and running issues.
 
I own all of the above saws and I have had absolutely no problems with any of them.  However, I have heard from other chainsaw instructors that many people are having issues with the starting and running of these saws.  I have also noticed that some people are having problems with the very same saws that I have found no issues with.
 
I have taken the time to try to find out what was going on, so I thought I would share my opinions.
 
Running
 
All of these saws have high revving lean-burn engines.  They give slightly more power than their predecessors and much better emissions.  However, they really do not like running on part throttle.  They run superbly flat out and they accelerate very quickly, but if you like to cut using part throttle, then you'd better get another saw because they run really rough at part throttle.  This is where the older 346, 353 and 357 really score because they run beautifully at part throttle.  That's just the way it is - so you could say 'great for experienced users, but maybe not the best for beginners'.
 
Starting from cold
 
The 500 series saws don't start as easily as the older saws.  If you follow exactly the same sequence as usual, i.e. 6 pushes on the primer, choke out, pull until it fires, close choke, pull again, then the saw will behave pretty much the same as the older saws.  However, they very often die again.  I have found that you need to pull the choke out again (leaving out the priming).  If you do this then many starting problems are avoided.
 
Another issue is that once the saw has started, it will die if you apply too much throttle too soon. I have found that the best thing to do is to let the saw run on the auto part-throttle without touching the trigger until the saw has 'cleared its throat'.  This may well be best done without the brake applied (although please follow manufacturers recommendations).
 
Starting from warm
 
It is here that there have been most problems.  The 346, 353 and 357 will happily start from warm with one pull even if left for several minutes.  The 500 series seem to 'go cold' very quickly.  When starting from warm, always try to start without applying the choke again.  Very often I have found that people simply don't pull the cord fast enough.  If there are difficulties with this, then use the decompressor and really give it a short, sharp yank.  If it really has gone cold, then use the choke again.  In this case it normally fires first pull, but it is extremely easy to miss, and people tend to keep on pulling with the choke on, with obvious consequences.  So I would recommend that if you have to start from warmish with the choke, then only give it one pull with the choke on, even if you don't hear it fire (because it probably has)
 
In summary, I have found these to be very reliable and powerful saws.  I would still pick up the 346 in preference to the 550, but the 550 wins on power, lightness and acceleration - its a great saw.
 
I hope this helps anyone experiencing these problems.

 
 
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