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Stihl kit - Starting issues

I and my team are big fans of Stihl. Robust machines that get the job done year in, year out. We run FS400/450 strimmers, BG & SH85 blowers, Kombi's, andvarious hedge cutters. One area of frustration though is starting issues, particularly on the blowers and strimmers. We alternate getting them professionally serviced and servicing them ourselves, with little difference to this problem. Occasionally we have had to replace carb's or coil packs. Does anyone else else suffer this issue, and more importantly found a general cause and solution?

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  • PRO

    I think one thing I would do is either leave servicing to a dealer (so yourself let's be honest not much to do) always keep mix the same. I used to use the stihl ultra (the expensive one and I used the one shots making it more expensive still. However no starting a problems (actually I lie I had an fs 410 turn into a pig but that was a bit of grass in the carb how it got there no idea!)  I only do one garden bar my own now and all kit still goes as it should despite so little use.

    i do honestly think it's the stihl ultra that's made a differenceSorry meant to say do service yourself or get dealer to do it. Just stick to one the. You have control 

    • PRO

      Fascinating Richard, thank you so much for that suggestion! Will will definitely try it. 

  • Not tempted by Battery?

    I don't have enough personal experience to know if they are way way more reliable, but electric-motor should be significantly less hassle than any ICE and 2-stroke in particular.

    Including not using it for months on end, and storing it hanging up / upside down, whatever.

    • PRO

      Hi Kris,

      No, I'm not convinced by battery power yet. On busy days we are running our kit for several hours. I don't believe the battery run time is up to it. Then there is the cost of switching over. Finally, noise pollution isn't appreciably better either. We are sticking with petrol for now, but keeping an eye on the development of battery power. I'm sure the time will come, but not yet 🙂

    • PRO

      ... but not always as functional / powerful as current ICE gear... but certainly usable for resi use in most circumstances....

      Starting ICE Stihl gear normally requires a 'sequence' or knack that you get familiar with when you're using them 5-6 days a week.

      We still back up our Stihl battery gear with spare ICE gear especially when major works ( like this morning cutting servel hundred metres of business park hedging ....).

      Currently experience shows long reach battery hedge cutters can / do strip gears due to a more lightweight construction to save weight for  power requirements.

  • Sometimes a particular model has a particular knack.   My FS130 was always a pain to start............. then I tried never using the choke and it started first pull.   My FS94 was a bit tricky... then someone on here mentioned pressing the primer 10 times... leave it for 30 seconds.......... and it then starts first pull.   Worth experimenting...... even holding the throttle open whilst pulling the starter cord.   If all else fails, a can of Easystart usually does the trick with a quick quirt in thto the carb.    Dealer servicing?....... really not worth bothering with for what they do.........  never needed to replace an air filter (just squirt some carb cleaner into it.... disolves any oil............. and then use compressed air) ............... or a fuel filter in 20+ years....  In fact I'm still on the same original spark plugs that came with the machines.     All the Stihl gear still starts/runs perfectly.   The 4 stroke gear does need the valve settings done however this really is a very simple 10 minute job.   

    • PRO

      Yeah, I agree with you Graham on so many points above. We have developed similar knacks with different machines also. It is interesting to hear some of yours. I also agree about dealer servicing, which is why we alternate. We find cleaning the units properly once or twice a season is also important, especially with the gunk that collects on two strokes. Recently we bought a new FS56 as according to the dealer, our old one was captut (it would not run for very long and would stall). I kept the old unit, bought a carb and coil pack on line, put it back together, and voila! It works fine. 
      thanks for your input, it's very reassuring and helpful  : )

      • PRO

        I discovered something very peculiar about my Stihl km 94 multi tool , I always stored it  and travelled with it vertical resting it on the engine end and it was an absolute nightmare to start . 

        For some reason i noticed by chance when i store it horizontal flat it starts first or second pull and runs problem free all day . 

        I have cordless and its fantastic to use but for me the stihl 2 stroke km 94 multi tool is hard to beat when its working to optimum performance particularly with the hedge trimmer accessory .


        • PRO

          Hi John,

          Yes, we discovered the same. Also if it rolls onto its side (the air filter side) it can soak the the air filter in fuel, again making it horrible to start.

          • I think you'll find.... well it's that way in my FS130............ the breather pipe from the tank feeds into the back of air filter housing   If the breather isn't functioning correctly, it causes these problems...... a new breather costs a pittance and will hopefully cure the problem.  To get the old breather out of the tank..... screw a woodscrew into the centre of the breather and then pull.... don't try prysing it out or you'll damage the tank. . 

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