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Old 12-01-2012, 11:12 AM   #1
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Starting a Stihl chain saw

I have an almost new Stihl 18" chain saw Ms 250. Works great for me, if I can start it. My friend with lots of Stihl saw experience starts it on two pulls. The dealer starts it on two pulls. I can never start the blasted thing cold. I always end up flooding it. It's getting kind of embarassing to ask my friend to drive over here just to start my saw. I just can't get it right, no matter what Ido.

Here is what I do. Put it on full choke, pull the cord & listen for that initial berp of a start. Then I move the trigger to start & pull again. It Never starts. But this is the way the dealer & my friend start it. My friend says I'm flooding it because as soon as you set it on full choke you are running gas into the carb. He says I need to put it on full choke for the cold start, but do not mess around with it. Just set it & quickly pull the rope, then switch it up to start position & pull the rope again & viola!


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Old 12-01-2012, 11:43 AM   #2
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I have a Stihl Farm Boss, similar to your saw. Instructions for starting are the same as your saw. I have noticed that if I run the saw out of gas, which I sometimes do, it takes more pulls on full choke to get it started (often as many as five pulls) than if I start it cold when I have not run it out of gas, in which case it only takes two pulls on choke to get it to fire. My understanding is that if you run it out of gas, you need more pulls to get enough fuel into the cylinder to fire, or maybe you need to fill the lines, not really sure. I recently started it after it had sat idle for six months, run dry, and it took five pulls or so to get it going.


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Old 12-01-2012, 12:07 PM   #3
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I have the 290 farm boss. I put on full choke pull 3 times...usually on the 3rd pull it will fire. Then move to middle postion pull one more time,and she's running. If I run it out of fuel, it is atleast 5 pulls on full choke. Does your saw where you have put it full throttle when going on choke? I normally, choke and pull the cord quickly.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:39 PM   #4
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I think when you get that burp then turn the choke off that burb tells you you have gas.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by maddog1 View Post
I just can't get it right, no matter what Ido.
You know, it's almost like these things each have their own special voodoo tricks. I've got the same saw. Generally, it rocks. I've found the standard starting procedure to work most of the time. But one other 'approved' method is to do quick short pulls. I'm assuming you've got the so-called easy start system where you DON'T yank the cord all the way out, but just pull it out slowly until it gets to that kick point. Anyway, it's ok to do the quick pulls if you keep them short and that might be something to try.

Of course, if it's not starting normally, you've got to ask yourself why and maybe think about check some of the basics like you've got nice, clean gas and filter and such. I'd foolishly tilted my lawn mower just wrong one day to clean under the deck and somehow oil soaked the filter. Started became an issue. Just cleaning the filter completely solved the problem.

Good luck! Great saw when running and if you keep the teeth sharp!

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maddog1 (12-11-2012)
Old 04-05-2013, 04:26 AM   #6
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I have a Husqvarna 261 18" that is temperamental starting too. My two stroke guy tells me 1) set choke, 2) pull trigger once, 3) yank once or twice and off she goes. Then let her warm while easing off the choke. Don't touch the throttle until she's happy w o choke. IF it doesn't start withtbefirst two pulls, I'm screwed
Time to drop the AF and yank away after trying to blow out the fuel from the carb. Sometimes I end up having to pull and dry the plug.
She runs like a scalded ape.....once she fires. But I curse like a scalded ape if she doesn't fire right up!
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:52 AM   #7
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I bought a Stihl 2 stroke line trimmer last year. There is a definite starting procedure thats listed in the manual. If i dont follow the steps exactly its a pain to start. If i follow the steps correctly then it starts on the second pull.

Read the manual

By the way i love that Stihl trimmer. The best outdoor power tool ive ever owned.


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