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Author Topic: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?  (Read 15547 times)

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Offline Hexa Fox

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New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« on: September 28, 2013, 02:52:02 PM »
Hey guys I came here looking for some advice and professional help. I would consider my self an "Adept Arborist", and realize I have a lot to learn. Any way a few months ago I bought this particular saw and have had nothing but trouble with it since the day I have bought it.

When I first bought the saw it started just fine but now I would say I have put around 5-10 hours on it max and having a lot of trouble with it. I took it to my local Stihl dealer where he poured my fuel out and put that MotoMix stuff in it and eventually got it started and assured me nothing was wrong with my saw. He instructed me not to worry about putting non-ethanol fuel in the saw and just buy Premium 93 fuel for my mix.

The thing is I can not get this saw to run off gas anymore at all. Even if the fuel mix is freshly made it makes really no difference. Right now it has fuel mix in it that is no older than three weeks and it will not even try to start. I have heard several times that some of the new saws will only run off of the MotoMix. Problem with it is that it is way to expensive for me.

I do not know if it is the saw is faulty or it is just picky and will only run off of that MotoMix stuff. I am really scared to take it back out to my local dealer because I am 90% sure he is just going to dump my fuel out again and put some MotoMix in it and charge me another $40.00 and tell me there is nothing wrong with the saw. This is very very frustrating and I am very unhappy with the saw. All my neighbors have old Stihls and they are monsters compared to this one. I have let several of them look at it and they just tell me Stihl should get involved and take care of me.

I spend the extra couple hundred dollars for the name Stihl because I trusted it and now it is definitely letting me down. Any pointers or advice? I would really appreciate it.
-F0X

Offline Cut4fun

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2013, 03:19:02 PM »
I had a brand new 290 come to me, a stihl dealer couldnt fix it  :D.  I figured it out in about a hour.  Carb kit in it was bad new with slits in check valve flaps.

Your case I am thinking carb tuning, or fuel line or impulse line. Then a again combination off all and stiff carb diaphragms.  Cant really tell just guess at this point.

Offline SawTroll

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2013, 03:51:38 PM »
It is one of the worst chainsaw designs ever by a major brand - but I still don't think this is normal.

Take it back to the dealer if it is new!
Information collector.

Offline Hexa Fox

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2013, 05:32:02 PM »
I had a brand new 290 come to me, a stihl dealer couldnt fix it  :D.  I figured it out in about a hour.  Carb kit in it was bad new with slits in check valve flaps.

Your case I am thinking carb tuning, or fuel line or impulse line. Then a again combination off all and stiff carb diaphragms.  Cant really tell just guess at this point.

Before I took the saw to my dealer the first time I was told that my issue sounded like a Fuel Line or Carburetor Issue. I am now convinced that these saws are just made like they were before. Because as soon as my dealer poured the old fuel out, put in the MotoMix, and cleaned it up some he started it up pretty easy then assured me it was fine.

I am very scared that they are just going to do the same exact thing again and assure me again that there is no problem with my saw.  This is really going to frustrate me because I can not afford this fuel. What do you guys think? Do you think Stihl should step in and make this right or what? My neighbors tell me that they use fuel and mix that has sat for years and there saw is still a beast. Then mine will not start at all with two week old gas in it?

For my next saw I am looking at either an Echo CS-8000 or Husqvarna 372-XP both with their standard 24" Bars. The Echo's engine is bigger by almost 10CC but not sure if I would trust it. I was looking hard at either Husqvarna or Stihl before and of course because of the experience my neighbors have had with theirs over the years it was an easy decision... One I can say I am very, very sorry that I made right now...
-F0X

Offline beenthere

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2013, 05:48:06 PM »
Seems your issue is with your dealer. Not the saw model, and not Stihl.
But is just as I see it, and how your chances are best to get a running saw.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline Hexa Fox

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2013, 06:18:37 PM »
Well all I know is it sounded ridiculous that people have told me that the new Stihl Saws require MotoMix to run properly. Now that I see it with my own two eyes is even more ridiculous. I would almost guarantee that if I went out and bought a can of MotoMix and replaced it with the fuel in there now it would probably start after I played around with it some. I am not certain though, but that is exactly what my Stihl dealer did.

Okay I should have been more clear about what I meant by "Stihl dealer". I did not by the saw off of this particular dealer. I bought it from a local Southern States, which also might have been a mistake. I took it to them because they are a "Authorized Stihl Location" which means they do warranty work. I guess there was no problem with my saw he had to charge me for the work.

Okay so what should my next move be?
-F0X

Online ladylake

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2013, 06:20:19 PM »
It is one of the worst chainsaw designs ever by a major brand - but I still don't think this is normal.

Take it back to the dealer if it is new!

  By all means take it back to a dealer but a different one, the one you used sounds like a bad one.  wsteve
Timberking B20 15000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Suffolk  setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Online ladylake

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2013, 06:23:18 PM »
Well all I know is it sounded ridiculous that people have told me that the new Stihl Saws require MotoMix to run properly. Now that I see it with my own two eyes is even more ridiculous. I would almost guarantee that if I went out and bought a can of MotoMix and replaced it with the fuel in there now it would probably start after I played around with it some. I am not certain though, but that is exactly what my Stihl dealer did.

Okay I should have been more clear about what I meant by "Stihl dealer". I did not by the saw off of this particular dealer. I bought it from a local Southern States, which also might have been a mistake. I took it to them because they are a "Authorized Stihl Location" which means they do warranty work. I guess there was no problem with my saw he had to charge me for the work.

Okay so what should my next move be?


  The best thing is to take time and learn how to tune and fix a saw yourself, it's not that hard and you'll save lots of $$$$    Steve
Timberking B20 15000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Suffolk  setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Offline Hexa Fox

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2013, 06:34:56 PM »
  The best thing is to take time and learn how to tune and fix a saw yourself, it's not that hard and you'll save lots of $$$$    Steve

Finally someone that speaks my language. I fix everything I have ever owned with my own very two hands. Our Tractors, Dryers, Washers, Computers, and everything else. I have never really had any experience taking apart a chainsaw but they do not look very complicated compared to some of the stuff I have dealt with.

The only reason I am here instead of trying to figure out what is wrong with my saw for my self is that since it is so new I do not expect to be in the scenario I am in until I am close to my grave. That is why I bought a saw with "Stihl" written across it. So I really think Stihl should take care of me on this. I realize that everything is getting cheaper and cheaper but this is just ridiculous.
-F0X

Online thecfarm

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2013, 07:34:05 PM »
Hexa Fox,welcome to the forum. They are out there,bad saws,bad dealers,good saws,good dealers. If it won't run right now what will it be like in a few years? I myself would not work on it. It should be under warrenty and if you did adjust and the "bad" dealer knew about it,would they help you? There is a dealer out there that will help you.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Hexa Fox

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2013, 08:02:04 PM »
Hexa Fox,welcome to the forum. They are out there,bad saws,bad dealers,good saws,good dealers. If it won't run right now what will it be like in a few years? I myself would not work on it. It should be under warrenty and if you did adjust and the "bad" dealer knew about it,would they help you? There is a dealer out there that will help you.

My father is 53 years old and he said the same thing. Respectfully I take the mindset that a good majority of people (except ones I know personally) are out to screw me over... That has served me pretty well in life and saved me a lot of time and money so far. My father on the other hand is the complete opposite, in that he will take the mindset that everyone is out to do well. With the way things are I just can't see things that way anymore...

I have been screwed over by many different businesses. Therefore I have learned to try and absorb as much knowledge as I can and do things for my self. So it definitely pays off.

So I will probably end up taking it back to the same dealer and giving him another chance. He is very friendly and took the time to teach me some tips and tricks. So should I assume that there is definitely a problem with my saw at this point? Should I take the mindset that my saw is faulty and it is not just Stihl making cheaper saws? Because I have heard more than once that this was the model to buy. Then I turn around and hear it was a mass produced garbage saw...
-F0X

Offline beenthere

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2013, 08:11:43 PM »
Quote
Okay I should have been more clear about what I meant by "Stihl dealer". I did not by the saw off of this particular dealer. I bought it from a local Southern States, which also might have been a mistake.

Everyone here wants to help get you through this.
What you just made more clear, leads me to wonder who did buy the Stihl saw from a dealer.
And did someone else run the saw before you got it, or was it new out of the box so to speak?

A lot can happen to a saw and it sounds like you may not know just "who did what" in this saws' early days.

Can you fill in any of that info for us.

I'd find it a bit difficult to believe that Moto-mix would be a cure for what ails the saw, but we learn new things every day. One has to wonder what it cures. ;)
south central Wisconsin
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Offline Hexa Fox

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2013, 08:24:13 PM »
Everyone here wants to help get you through this.
What you just made more clear, leads me to wonder who did buy the Stihl saw from a dealer.
And did someone else run the saw before you got it, or was it new out of the box so to speak?

A lot can happen to a saw and it sounds like you may not know just "who did what" in this saws' early days.

Can you fill in any of that info for us.

I'd find it a bit difficult to believe that Moto-mix would be a cure for what ails the saw, but we learn new things every day. One has to wonder what it cures. ;)

I really appreciate the help offered by each of you so far. It might help me sleep better tonight until I do something with it on Monday.

Okay I realize that I made a mistake by buying it from Southern States. I do not know if you have them over there but they are like Home Depot just a lot smaller and sometimes referred to as "really crappy". So I went there and bought the MS290 right off the shelf, no box or anything. I forgot to open and smell the gas tank. The kid (younger than me) said he had to take it in the back and start it to make sure that fired and everything. He forgot to give me all the tools and stuff that came with the saw so I had to go back. I never got a box or anything like that. I did get the manuals for it though.

So it is definitely a lesson learned. I was in a rush to get a Saw and the next nearest place I knew about was about an hour away. So it was probably a rushed poor decision and you can be assured I will not make it again.

The real question is what do I do now that it is done? Should I contact Stihl directly or something? I use this saw to make money but like I said I have less than ten hours on it.
-F0X

Offline Hexa Fox

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2013, 08:32:36 PM »
Plus I thought the MotoMix things was laughable when I first heard it from my next door neighbor. I guess the only way to find out for sure is to buy another can of it and switch it up and try. Either way as soon as I ran out of the can of MotoMix I bought and what was put there by my dealer (about four fill ups all together) and put regular gas in and let is sit for less than a week it will not even try to start.

Also to make it clear I know how to start the saw. I have it on the choke that does not automatically rev it when it first starts. Then of course when it "burps" or acts like it wants to start you just flip it to On and it starts right up if it has MotoMix. Another thing that bothers me is I have to let the saw sit and idle for about thirty seconds before I can use it. If I try to use it before then it will just die. I was also assured that this was normal. However, my neighbors tell me as soon as theirs fires up they can use it immediately... so yeah.
-F0X

Offline Hexa Fox

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2013, 08:44:24 PM »
So this got me thinking... I was told to never use the "Full Choke" which is the thing at the very bottom. I just took it outside at 8:30pm EST and put it all the way down. Instead of starting and revving up it "burped" or acted like it wanted to start after two pulls. I switched it to On and it fired... So maybe I am still an Amateur and not as Adept as I thought I was... Sorry for wasting your time guys. I guess all the problems I had with it when I first got it made me less patient with it now...

Okay so I am using about two-three week old 93 Sunoco Gas in it. Because here where I live on the East Coast the best thing we can get in non Ethanol is 87 and my dealer told me it was really sh!tty and not to use it. So basically how often do you guys change your fuel and basic stuff about your mix? I was told to throw my stuff out after three months max. He told me to throw it in a lawn mower or truck or something. He said the little bit of oil would not hurt it.

I only mix up a gallon of it anyway. By the way I am very anal about the mixture being perfect. I definitely turn it into Rocket Science when I am making it.
-F0X

Offline JohnG28

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2013, 08:57:29 PM »
Good that you got it figured out. Sometimes simple things elude us all. The motomix is not all that a saw will run on for sure. As for fuel, don't use 87, it will not do you any good and will probably suffer in performance. I use 91 or 93 and mix with Stihl ultra synthetic. If it sits for a couple months you probably want to mix new, the ethanol will soak up moisture and can damage the engine. Throw it in the mower or truck with a full gas tank and it shouldn't hurt anything. Also, Stihl don't come in a box or anything, they always sell ready to go with tools and manual. When you start it up run it full throttle, not idle to warm up. It doesn't take long. As soon as you get good response when revving it up it should be good to go.
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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2013, 09:45:13 PM »
I ALWAYS use the highest grade in all my small engines that is at my local station. I go through gas,so it does not sit much more than a month,that is 4-5 gallons at a time.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Hexa Fox

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2013, 11:27:34 PM »
I ALWAYS use the highest grade in all my small engines that is at my local station. I go through gas,so it does not sit much more than a month,that is 4-5 gallons at a time.

Well according to just about anyone that makes small engines you are suppose to avoid "High Test" or "Premium" at all costs. They tell you it will void your warranty if they figure out you are using it. I just bought a Craftsman ZTL 8000 (24HP Kohler Zero Turn) and you are suppose to use non-ethanol. So right now I am using that cheap 87 non-ethanol stuff from the Liberty Station in town. I figure I will be putting cheap stuff in my mowers anyway so why not just make it non-ethanol. From now on though I am going to try to find 93+ for my Stihl Saw and Weed-Wacker.

Okay so lastly and by far the most controversial subject. How do you guys here prefer to sharpen your saws chain? Please keep in mind that I am not just your weekend warrior type kid and will be using my saw often. I have heard many different things but heard that if you learn to use a file it is they way to go for anyone. There are so many other options though. Things from Grinders, Timberline Chainsaw Invention, and even Rigs that can make it easier. People tell me that nothing will get your chain cutting better than learning how to properly use a file.

Stihls little kit looks really simple and if I may "idiot proof" as well. You just take the file and guide then line it up and one direction, equal pressure/strokes, and file down the rakers if needed and be on your way.
-F0X

Offline beenthere

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2013, 12:14:54 AM »
I hand file.
Often after each tank of fuel.
If I had to remove the chain to take it to a grinder to sharpen, then I prolly would let it get much duller before sharpening. And I don't think that would be wise.

But we have all the different sharpening variations by members happy with the way they sharpen their chain, and that is what really counts. Not my preference any more than theirs. I just like my chain real sharp. ;)
south central Wisconsin
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Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: New Stihl Farm Boss (MS290) Problematic Saw?
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2013, 12:38:32 AM »
I touch up my chain after I fill-up the tank, every time.  Hand file.

I went to a Stihl dealer and was looking at both the Husky and the Stihl.  They didn't give me the time of day.  So I went a couple more miles to another dealer and bought the Stihl.  He went through the saw with me showing me all the stuff to do, especially starting.  Yep, full choke, 1 or 2 pulls until burp, the "half" choke and off you go!
John Sawicky

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