6 Most Common Stihl MS 261 c-m Problems & Troubleshooting

Stihl MS 261 is made to change the way gas chainsaws work. It is one of those hardworking saws that don’t get thirsty. This chainsaw is backed by the innovative Stihl M-Tronic technology, increasing the engine’s efficiency. All of these great features, however, do not protect the chainsaw from the presence of some common Stihl MS 261 C-M issues.

Some people describe adverse incidents with these issues. The bulk of these problems is unrelated to production flaws. They happen with the Stihl 500i. Generally, these issues occur due to a lack of proper maintenance or misusing the saw.

These problems include starting failure, a smoky smell, or poor chain acceleration. This article will take an in-depth look at these common issues and troubleshooting methods.

The Most Common Problems with Stihl MS 261 c-m

Stihl MS 261 c-m is one of the best chainsaws out there. Like other chainsaws, it has a few problems and issues. Some minor issues won’t ruin your experience with the saw. However, they require some work from you to fully fix them and prevent their reoccurrence in the future. 

1. Starting Failure

This is similar to what you’d experience with Husqvarna 572xp. Your Stihl MS 261 engine is not defective. But sometimes, a few issues could prevent it from starting properly. The first issue you should investigate in this case is the lack of fuel. You’ll need to check the gas levels inside the tank. Refilling the tank with the right type of fuel is the right action.

Also, it would be best if you excluded engine flooding. Flooded engines will not run, and there are signs to confirm this doubt. The spark plug, in this case, won’t be able to fire and will feel wet. In this case, you must clear the “flooding” reason. It would help if you emptied the combustion chamber of all leaked fuel. The next step is drying up the spark plug.

2. Improper Idling

Idle adjustment is vital for cooling down the chainsaw. After hours of operation, the machine should have some idle time that allows the engine to restore its average temperature. Without idling, there would be no opportunity for cooling down. Then the other option would be to turn the machine off after use. But this can lead to gradual thermal damage.

Idling failure can occur when the carburetor ices, which results from a storage period when the gas cools inside the engine. To properly overcome this icy situation, you will need to give the saw engine the chance to heat up. Then, when the heat reaches 10 degrees Celsius or 50 degrees Fahrenheit, this should fix the icy carburetor issue.

3. A smoky odor while cutting

This is not only one of the exclusive Stihl ms 261 c-m problems, as other chainsaws share the same issue. When you cut wood using the Stihl MS261, there should be no unusual smell. But when the wood you are cutting smells smoky, you will need to look deeply into the chain.

The cut wood may smell like it has been burned if the chain is dull. As a result, make sure to sharpen the chain as needed. Another issue that should come to your mind is a lack of lubricating oil on the chain and the bar.

Ignoring this step means that you are risking the longevity of your saw’s bar and chain, as they will heat up and might get irreparable damage. It could also lead to engine overheating, like in Stihl MS 271. So, adding sufficient bar oil is mandatory whenever needed.

4. Weak Acceleration

If everything is OK in the chain mechanism, acceleration should work fine. But when you find some bogging down during acceleration, you should suspect the chain oil. But if you have already checked its levels, you should look at the chain’s tension level.

Proper tension of the chain is necessary for the safety and correct operation of the chainsaw. It should be tight with a little bit of looseness. When overtightened, the chain will not accelerate and may eventually break.

So, you will need to readjust the tension level to be tight enough without sagging or over-tightness.

5. Insufficient air inside the Engine

When there is less air inside the engine, the engine will not burn fuel and won’t be able to run efficiently. The most obvious sign of poor air levels is the presence of excessive black smoke.

The first stop for air inside the chainsaw is the air filter, which should free the air from all dirt and debris. But the filter itself can get clogged with these airborne contaminants.

To guarantee the best air quality and proper levels, maintain the filter’s cleanliness. You can replace the filter if cleaning it is not possible.

6. Decreased Fuel supply

Without enough fuel, the engine will not run properly. It could start bogging down or stalling. Gradually, the machine can become completely dysfunctional.

To ensure proper supply, you must use only the recommended fuel type mentioned in the user manual. Also, maintain an appropriate blend of oil and gas to avoid making the engine rich or lean in terms of oil.

A thorough inspection of fuel lines is mandatory for the early detection of gas leaks. These lines could be damaged or torn. So, you will need to replace them to avoid this problem.

Another important thing is ensuring the cleanliness of the fuel tank to prevent the accumulation of old gas deposits. Commercial cleaners for fuel tanks can be helpful in this matter.

Stihl MS 261 c-m Problems: are they a deal breaker?

You will easily find the winning side when you compare the pros of the Stihl MS 261 with the typical Stihl ms 261 c-m problems. This chainsaw is about high-quality, innovative technology, durability, and top specifications.

The machine is not challenging to use or care for. Stihl MS 261 is also easy to carry, as it is only 10.8 pounds (nearly 4.8 kilograms). The engine capacity is 50.2 cc, and the horsepower is 4. As a result, you can expect nothing less than stellar performance.

Problems like starting difficulties, weak acceleration, and the rest of the list will not ruin your experience with this chainsaw. They are only the exception and happen to a very few unlucky users. But generally, with proper maintenance and care routines, you can avoid them or at least reduce their severity.

You can perform the required maintenance efficiently if you have good DIY chainsaw care. But if not, you can quickly bring it to a local dealer or specialized technician.

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