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Author Topic: Stihl ms181 intermittent restart problem  (Read 787 times)

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Offline olivetree

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Stihl ms181 intermittent restart problem
« on: May 06, 2018, 02:51:54 AM »
Hi, hope someone can help please.

Every April and May I process lots of olive tree prunings to make logs for a future winter. Chainsaw works fine. Refill fine, restart fine except sometimes it will not restart.  This can happen two minutes after refilling or irritatingly after say a two hour break . In all cases it starts perfectly next day.

I am reasonably technically competent but don't want to spend my life trying to fix my chainsaw. I have too much else to do, particularly at this time of year. I just need it to work hence buying a Stihl. I have taken it in several times over the last two years to be sorted. The dealer "cleans carb and replaced fuel filter, new plug" and of course it starts fine for him. Ideally I would try a different dealer but I live in rural Spain and the next one is a long way away.

I am wondering if it is a simple problem with the choke/on/off switch? It seems a bit flimsy but the wires are all connected.

Anyone any ideas please?
My doctor has diagnosed me as paranoid. I wonder who else he has told?

Offline Vladislav500

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Re: Stihl ms181 intermittent restart problem
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2018, 05:53:30 AM »
Hi!
There are lots of reasons for that. The main ones are as follows:
-low cylinder compression (scored or worn cylinder/piston)
-clogged carburetor (needs carb clean and change air and fuel filters)
-other carburetor issue (needs carb work)


Have you ever changed the air filter ? You've told about the fuel one only.


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Offline olivetree

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Re: Stihl ms181 intermittent restart problem
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2018, 12:40:28 PM »
Thanks for your reply.

Had a new airfilter June last year.

Had carb "professionally" cleaned last June also.

Interesting about your low compression suggestion. Wouldn't that always cause problem starting? This is the chainsaws third season so maybe the cylinder is worn. I do a fair amount of 90% speed running sawing up to fifteen inch logs but not hour after hour or day after day. How long before the cylinder/rings need renewing?

Been out most of the day today and used five tanks of fuel. At least seven stops, maybe ten. One for a couple of hours. Each time restarted as I would expect. Hot start just one pull. The two hour restart was choke then normal position and started second or third try. 
My doctor has diagnosed me as paranoid. I wonder who else he has told?

Offline Vladislav500

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Re: Stihl ms181 intermittent restart problem
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2018, 01:33:02 PM »
Hi!
You can remove the muffler and take a look at the piston/cylinder , are they scored or not.
If yes thats very bad if not then You need to do a compression test. Engine will need at least 100 PSI (8Bar) to run well. If its value 8 Bar or higher it means that the engine is still ok and there is another reason. 
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Remington Mighty Mite 500
McCULLOCH: PM 310, Euromac PM 374,Euromac PM 480
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Offline Bosco

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Re: Stihl ms181 intermittent restart problem
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2018, 10:26:17 AM »
I had a similar situation on a ms180,then it happened to my leaf blower, I threw out the gas remixed and so far no problem.

Offline woodsdog2015

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Re: Stihl ms181 intermittent restart problem
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2018, 04:25:57 PM »
Sometimes if a saw starts then doesn't want to stay running after a period of time it could be the ignition coil.  
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Offline Canadiana

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Re: Stihl ms181 intermittent restart problem
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2018, 09:10:18 AM »
What temperature is it when the saw is used? Is it dry and dusty? Do you work the saw hard?
The saw is more fun than the purpose of the wood... the forest is trembling 🌳

Offline Canadiana

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Re: Stihl ms181 intermittent restart problem
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2018, 09:21:11 AM »
You mentioned this is a stihl saw but which model?
The saw is more fun than the purpose of the wood... the forest is trembling 🌳

Offline olivetree

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Re: Stihl ms181 intermittent restart problem
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2018, 12:54:53 PM »
Hi. An update on the Stihl MS181.

I have been busy as hell working four different plots. Each owner wants rid of the timber as quickly as possible. It is a quirk of olive trees that they are each host to thousands and thousands of benign insects under the bark. Cut a limb off and at this time of year the insects bore their way out and fly off in search of a new host. To re enter the host they go in via a new tender shoot which then drops off. Seriously affects the yield. Up until a few years back all prunings were burnt but EU laws make this a thing of the past with big fines for offenders. The branches up to wrist thick are minced up in the olive groves. Logs are stored under polythene and the millions of emerging bugs (small midge size) die.

Anyway enough lore.

Went back to the Stihl dealer for a new airfilter and two new chains. Talked to him about the problem. First thing he said was " I have stopped selling that model- too many electronics". Charming :D :D. His prognosis was the coil. About 40 euros in price. 50 dollars at a guess

Since then I have been working the saw quite a bit each day. Saw up a ton, load into small trailer and haul back home and stack. So maybe three tankfulls on the trot then an hour or two of stacking and travelling. I have just used a gallon of mix (using stihl oil) since I visited the dealer with no problems till today. Partly because I rightly or wrongly now refuel with motor running and partly because I organise it for sawing first job of day while it is cooler for working. Yes it does do long runnings at near max revs, olive wood is a hardwood, some is up to 16 inch in diameter and the ambient temp is about 27 deg C. - about 80 F. It is dry but not very dusty.

Around 11.30 this morning I switched off and drove to next job and it wouldn't restart. No spark at plug. So I came home did other work and four hours later after having it in the cool, it restarted so I erm drove cross country to next job with it running in the 4x4 with head out of window. Not clever but I couldn't afford for it to not work when I got there.

I am going to live with it and when this peak of work is over in a week or so take it in for a service and a new coil.  Oh and have a lie down after a cold beer or two.

My doctor has diagnosed me as paranoid. I wonder who else he has told?


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