10 Common Stihl MS 271 Problems & Troubleshooting

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By Marvin Tucker

Farming Equipment

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Stihl chainsaws are extremely powerful and known for their efficient cutting performance. Stihl MS 271 (AKA: Farm Boss) is no exception to this rule. This chainsaw can help you in a variety of forestry projects. Stihl MS 271 promises you longer running times without getting thirsty.

However, until this moment, there is no gas or electric chainsaw that is flawless. The same rule applies to zero-turn and brush mowers.

The most common Stihl ms 271 problems are usually easy to handle. Most of these problems revolve around engine starting difficulty, overheating, or an engine’s failure to go idle.

The Most Common Problems with Stihl MS 271

Despite different complaints about problems with Stihl, this chainsaw remains trustworthy and a preferred choice by various users. The causes for these common issues are other, and the fixes depend on the critical issues.

While you can handle most of these issues, sometimes bringing your Stihl MS 271 to a technician is way better.

1. The Saw won’t start

This problem is one of the most Stihl ms 271 issues and is commonly found in zero-turn mowers such as the Kubota z421. The engine is the first place to look when your Stihl MS 271 fails to start.

There could be a problem with the engine seal. This part of the crankshaft is responsible for connecting the engine to the transmission. It is also supposed to prevent oil leakage while transferring energy from the engine to the transmission.

If there is damage or wear in these seals, the oil will get to the spark plug and might flood it. In this case, the plug won’t work, and the engine can’t start. To avoid all this, you must change the damaged seals and dry up the wet spark plug.

2. Non-working Chain brake

The chain brake is an essential safety feature on your Stihl MS 271. You will need to look at the brake spring when the brake is not engaging or disengaging. 

This spring is supposed to hold the brake and keep it adequately attached to the chain. If it becomes faulty, the whole brake system will fail. It can be easily replaced if it is indeed damaged.

3. The Saw is not delivering maximum power

When you use your Stihl MS 271 a couple of times, you will get used to a certain level of power. When the engine suddenly loses power, there could be a problem in the fuel system.

For instance, the fuel pump or hose could be damaged. It can also be kinked due to its current position. You will have to change its position to avoid kinks in a fuel hose. Otherwise, you will have to replace it with a new one.

4. The Saw Overheating

Your Stihl MS 271 is not supposed to become too hot. However, if it does, adding bar lubricant oil may be an issue. Usually, you depend on the saw’s oil adjustment screw to determine the need for new bar oil.

If this adjustment screw is no longer functioning, you won’t be able to estimate the right amount of necessary oil correctly.

There could be some wood deposits jamming the screw, which makes it open all the time. It can also suffer from normal wear and tear. In this case, you must get another one and reinstall it in the correct position.

Another essential contributor to the overheating issue is a worn-out chain. The chain will typically suffer from wear from years of frequent use and heavy cutting.

It would help if you sharpened the chain to avoid annoying dullness that ultimately leads to overheating the saw. If sharpening is no longer restoring the chain’s efficiency, you will have to replace it with a brand-new one.

5. Rust accumulating on the chain

Ignoring proper cleaning will cause rust to accumulate on the surface of the chain. Rust buildup will lead to losing the sharpness of the blade. Typically, the cutting efficiency will be negatively affected too. In this case, you must clean the chain and blade to remove rust buildup.

One of the ways to remove the rust is by using white vinegar on all the rusty parts. Soaking or submerging the machine can be more effective than using a piece of a damp cloth. After properly cleaning and drying the machine, you should add lubricating oil to make the chain run smoothly.

6. The Saw losses speed quickly

You will get frustrated when you try cutting a tree using your chainsaw, and it suddenly loses its speed. In this case, there are various components that you must inspect. This includes the air filter, throttle, carburetor, or fuel hose.

Checking on fuel and air filters is a standard maintenance procedure that can prevent some bad things from happening in the first place. In the case of rapid speed loss, you will have to free up the filter from clogs or buildup. You can get a new one if unclogging is not working.

Sometimes, the throttle shutter gets jammed, preventing its whole opening. In this case, you should check this shutter and make sure nothing is blocking its regular motion. Also, this could result from a frayed throttle cable that needs replacement in this case.

7. The Saw runs but doesn’t cut

The chainsaw should do its job without problem when the engine runs smoothly. However, in rare cases, the chain does not cut despite the engine’s start. This is entirely the chain’s fault. It usually indicates a loss of sharpness.

This is why the chain cannot cut and produces fine powder instead of wood chops when cutting. To solve this problem, make sure the chain is correctly sharpened.

Also, avoid hitting the chain with solid surfaces, such as rocks, when cutting down your wood. This can bend, break, or damage the chain. Eventually, it will lose its cutting ability.

8. Loss of Tension

Your Stihl MS 271 needs proper tension to go deep in any tree. But with frequent use, the pressure can become weaker. When you feel the tension is losing its efficiency and power, you can easily adjust the tension level.

Try to pull the chain to test its tightness. You must adjust its tightness to get the desired tension if it feels saggy. To overcome this issue, you might want to check the tensioning screws. If there is damage or tear, you will need substitutes.

9. Presence of Leakage

When you spot signs of fuel leaks, you will need to inspect the fuel system thoroughly. You may see the leak or smell the gas. Usually, if there is a leak, there could be a problem in the fuel lines. This issue may cause less fuel to reach the engine and cause it to leak outside the lines.

This calls for replacing the faulty lines. Sometimes, the leak can happen when the tank cap malfunctions. The reason could be as simple as a loose cap requiring proper tightening. But it can be a faulty cap that leads to leaking fuel, and the appropriate fix is to replace it with another one.

10. The Saw does not go idle

Your Stihl MS 271 should go idle when its engine is turned on, but you do not press its throttle. So basically, you should not cut it. But if your saw is not idling, you must check the air filter.

If cleaning is necessary, then use an air compressor or a brush to clean it up. If it has holes, you will have to use another filter. You will also need to ensure the throttle cable is working correctly.

Idling requires the throttle shutter to maintain its open and close motion. Another part you must check out is the idle adjustment screw, which is located on the carburetor. You can use a flat screwdriver to reach this screw and reset it.

Stihl MS 271 problems: are they a deal breaker?

While some customers have issues with their Stihl MS 271, the benefits far outweigh the minor drawbacks. This saw is what you could need in a powerful gas chainsaw. It can go very deep in a tree without needing any force from your side. It is made to last and work for years, which explains its price.

The saw won’t be a burden to hold for hours of work. You won’t feel like carrying a heavy tool while making tree cuts. It also has no vibration technology, making moving the saw a breeze.

Also, the Stihl MS 271 is backed with safety features such as an efficient brake system and air filtration technique.

Just keep in mind to only use this saw where it perfectly fits. It is not the correct type of saw for cutting large trees. It is intended for chopping small to medium-sized trees.

Also, your Stihl 271 MS is not one of those needy machines that require daily maintenance. Minimal yet efficient routine maintenance can spare you many common Stihl ms 271 problems.

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