10 Most Common Stihl FS 38 Problems & Solutions

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By Marvin Tucker

Farming Equipment

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Are you trying to get your Stihl FS 38 trimmer up and running but aren’t having any luck? It can be frustrating when a piece of machinery won’t work as it should.

That’s why we’ve created this blog post to help troubleshoot your Stihl FS 38 trimmer easier.

From checking spark plugs and fuel lines to testing the kill switch, our detailed step-by-step guide will provide the tools for successful troubleshooting so you never have to worry about an overgrown yard again!

In this article, we’ll cover a range of common issues that you may run into with your Stihl FS 38 trimmer, as well as the solutions needed to get it up and running again.

The Most Common Problems with Stihl FS 38

If you own a Stihl FS 38 trimmer, then you know that it’s a reliable piece of equipment—but even the most reliable trimmers can experience problems from time to time.

Here are the most common problems owners of the Stihl FS 38 have experienced and how to fix them.

1. Engine will not start

One of the issues that Stihl FS 38 trimmer users face is that the engine won’t start. This could be a lack of fuel in the tank, an incorrect oil and fuel mixture, or clogged air filters.

To repair this issue, start by checking the fuel levels in your trimmer. If there needs to be more fuel in the tank, fill it up and try again.

If you find enough fuel, but your trimmer won’t start, try cleaning or replacing the air filters.

If none of these solutions work, there may be an issue with your carburetor, and you may need to consult a professional mechanic for help. 

2. Trimmer line gets caught or stops spinning

Another common problem with the Stihl FS 38 is that the trimmer line can get caught or stop spinning while in use. This may be caused by different factors, such as a loose part on your trimmer, a dirty trimmer head, or even damage to the trimmer line itself.

To fix this issue, start by checking all the parts on your trimmer to ensure that they are tightly fastened and in good working condition.

If you find any loose parts or other issues with your trimmer head, try cleaning it thoroughly and rereading the trimmer line.

If these solutions don’t work, you may need to replace the damaged trimmer line or consult a professional to help get your trimmer back up and running.

3. Poor power and performance

If you are experiencing poor power and performance with your Stihl FS 38 trimmer, it may be due to a build-up of debris in the combustor.

To fix this issue, clean the combusted chamber and fuel injectors on your trimmer.

If you find too much debris in these areas, you’ll need to replace the spark plug and fuel filter on your trimmer.

If none of these solutions work, it may be time to consult a professional mechanic to help get your trimmer back up and running.

4. Hard starting 

If your Stihl FS38 trimmer is experiencing hard starting issues, it may indicate something wrong with the ignition or fuel system.

To fix this issue, check the spark plug on your trimmer and replace it if necessary.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, you’ll need to clean or replace the fuel filter on your trimmer. Additionally, ensure that the fuel tank is full of clean and fresh gasoline.

If you are still experiencing issues after taking these steps, it’s best to consult a professional to diagnose and resolve the problem.

5. Smoke and fuel odor

If you notice excessive amounts of smoke or a strong fuel odor coming from your Stihl FS 38 trimmer, it might signal a problem with the engine.

Most of the time, this can be caused by issues related to the carburetor, such as clogging or improper adjustment.

You’ll need to clean or replace the carburetor on your trimmer to address this issue. Additionally, ensure the fuel tank is filled with fresh and clean gasoline.

6. Carburetor problems

If your Stihl FS 38 trimmer is experiencing issues with the carburetor, an underlying problem may be causing this issue.

Some common causes of carburetor problems include clogging or improper adjustment and damage to the fuel lines or filters.

You’ll need to clean or replace the carburetor on your trimmer to address this issue. Additionally, it’s essential to regularly check and maintain all of the fuel lines and filters on your trimmer to prevent this issue from occurring.

7. Spark plug problems

If your Stihl FS 38 trimmer is experiencing issues with the spark plug, it’s crucial to identify and address the root cause of this problem.

Some common causes of spark plug issues include damage to the electrode or ignition cable and problems with the wiring or electrical components.

To resolve this issue, you’ll need to replace the spark plug on your trimmer or consult a professional for further assistance.

While all power tools can experience issues from time to time, with proper maintenance and care, you can minimize the risk of problems with your Stihl FS 38 trimmer.

Following these tips, you can keep your trimmer running smoothly and provide years of reliable performance.

8. The Engine Has Too Much Vibration 

If your Stihl FS 38 trimmer has too much vibration when running, your first step should be to check all nuts and bolts on the engine and ensure they’re appropriately tightened.

Furthermore, you should frequently inspect all parts for any visible wear or tear; if found, replace them immediately.

Finally, check that your air filter is clean; if not, replace it with a new one. 

9. The Trimmer Is Not Cutting Evenly 

If your trimmer isn’t cutting evenly, ensure that the blade is sharpened correctly and not worn down or damaged.

Also, double-check that you’re using the right type of cutting string for your particular model; different models require different types of string so make sure you’re using one specifically designed for your model.

Finally, inspect all parts of your Stihl trimmer for wear or damage; if anything needs to be replaced due to excessive wear or damage, do so immediately.  

10. The Trimmer Is Leaking Gasoline 

If you find that your Stihl FS38 is leaking gasoline from any part of the engine, it could mean that either something isn’t tightened properly or something needs to be replaced entirely (eg., a gasket).

Check all nuts and bolts on the engine to ensure that they are tight; if they are not tight enough, then tighten them up accordingly.

If tightening doesn’t solve the issue, you may need to replace certain parts, such as gaskets or o-rings, to permanently repair it. 

Stihl FS 38 Problems: Are they a deal breaker?

The Stihl FS 38 trimmer is a reliable piece of equipment, but even reliable machines can experience issues from time to time—as outlined above!

The most common issues reported with the Stihl FS 38 include problems with the carburetor, spark plug, and engine vibration.

If you’re experiencing any of these problems, it is important to address them promptly and carefully to minimize potential damage to your trimmer. 

If you have experienced any issues with your Stihl trimmer other than those listed here, contact an authorized dealer near you for assistance in troubleshooting and repairing it! 

However, the Stihl FS 38 can provide years of reliable performance with proper maintenance and care.

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