Preparing your STIHL for the Upcoming Season


Preparing your STIHL for the Upcoming Season

The first task to complete when preparing for the season is to get to know your equipment. Read the owners and operating manual. Information pertaining to most of the routine/regular maintenance procedures can be found in the manual. 

The second task is to make sure that you have the appropriate safety equipment. Including hearing protection, eye protection, safety pants, proper footwear, gloves, etc. Having shop rags on hand is also recommended for clean-up. Make sure you have a clean work space to accomplish small tasks like cleaning, sharpening, draining fuel/oil, etc.

The two areas to focus on: the engine/motor and the attachment or cutting tool. It is crucial that both the engine and attachments are in good working condition in order to get the best performance out of your STIHL power tool.


If you followed the recommended storage procedure outlined in the owners manual, you will simply need to refill your fuel tank with fresh fuel. Depending on how long your equipment has been in storage, you may find that during the initial start-up and running process, the equipment may not idle or accelerate properly. This occurs when the carburetor diaphragms "loosen" up on their own over a short period of time. However if the engine performance does not improve, bring it on in to Eis Implement to get it checked out.

If your STIHL equipment was not prepared for a storage period 30 days or longer, then there is a number of steps that must be taken before attempting to operate the equipment. First, check and make sure that all of your safety devices on your STIHL equipment are in place and working properly. Ensure that the throttle interlocks, and that the chain catchers, chain breaks, guards, deflectors, limit stops, anti-vibration components, and the on and off switch are in good working condition before attempting to operate the equipment. Take the time to make sure that all of the outer covers are securely fastened and that any screws and fasteners are tight.
Remove the air filter cover and check the condition of the filter. Air filter maintenance depends on the model of equipment. The air filter can be cleaned by removing and lightly tapping the edge of the filter to remove any dirt, or by using a soft bristle brush to clean the surface. Before removing the air filter, make sure that you engage the choke mechanism to prevent any dirt from entering the carburetor. When you have removed the filter, closely inspect the air filter housing for signs of dirt ingestion, any signs of of dirt or debris inside of the filter box indicates that the filter should be replaced. If in doubt about the type of filter your equipment  uses, and whether or not it can be serviced, bring it on on to Eis Implement and we will take a look at it for you.
Remove the spark plugs, and either clean it or replace it. A spark plug that is heavily fouled with oil or soot indicates that there is a problem with the engine that needs to be addressed. Under normal conditions the electrode of a spark plug should have a light tan or brown color. The electrode can be cleaned with a stiff wire brush, reset the electrode to 0.020" or 0.005mm and re-install. If you decide to replace the spark plug, call us and ensure that you are purchasing and installing the correct size. Installing the wrong size spark plug can lead to catastrophic consequences. If there are any questions contact us for more information. 
The next step to get your STIHL ready for the season, is to drain any remaining from the fuel tank and to dispose of the remaining fuel into your portable fuel container. Today's fuel has a relatively short shelf life, and as fuel ages the chemical properties change and the fuel will become corrosive. Old fuel will not only damage the fuel system components, but will also cause piston and cylinder failure.  STIHL equipment utilizes high performance engine technology that requires a minimum of an 89 octane rated fuel. As fuel ages, the octane rating of the fuel drops. Low octane fuel causes pre-ignition and detonation which will destroy these high performance engines. Drain the fuel tank and replace it with an 89 octane fuel mixed with your STIHL 2 cycle oil at a 50:1 ratio.
The various attachments incorporated into your STIHL will require your attention, and may need to be serviced. Chain saws for example, have a guide bar and a cutting chain that need to be serviced on a regular basis. The guide bar should be cleaned and rotated routinely, and the chain should be kept sharp at all times. Tools to accomplish these tasks are available here at Eis Implement. Remember your STIHL equipment is here to make your job easier. If you find that you are forcing your STIHL to cut, then the blade/ chain needs to be checked, and either sharpened or replaced. STIHL brush cutters are often use a line head for cutting. The line head should be dissembled and cleaned and re-spooled with the appropriate line. 

STIHL Chain Saw Carving Bars

Using a chain saw for carving is a specialized skill that requires a special type of guide bar. The truth is that chain saws were never designed to be a carving instrument. However, it has become an essential tool for an artist working with wood!

The condition of the cutting attachment is as important as the condition of the engine. Always make sure that you take the time to properly maintain and sharpen your STIHL attachment. Detailed instruction on preventative maintenance for your STIHL can be found in the owner's manual/operating manual.

Some people are not comfortable with performing maintenance on their own equipment. Others do not have time, space, or inclination to take the necessary steps to ensure that their STIHL is kept in good working condition. Here at Eis Implement we are here to answer questions, and service your STIHL equipment