MS 201 TC M hard to start

Arborist Forum

Help Support Arborist Forum:

stihlclimbing1

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
11
Location
United States
This saw was purchased new in April 2022. Occasionally used by me alone, careful to use non ethanol gas with Stihl synthetic oil at proper mix. Saw started quickly (2-3 pulls) when new but after 10 hours of use became hard to start after sitting for a day or so. Now it routinely takes 9-12 pulls to start it. I use it about once a week. Dealer checked it out and found nothing wrong, but suggested replacing the M-Tronic carburetor as a next step. I am used to running old stihl 020 AV supers with top handle (have 2 that no longer run) and decided to try the MS201 TC M as a replacement. If this 201 is so hard to start now, what will it be like when it is older? The 020s ran with minor repairs and adjustments for near 40 years!
 

RMB

New Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
2
Location
Kern County
I can only assume that it is still under warranty. I would let the Dealer replace the M-Tronic Carburetor and see if that fixes the problem you are having.
 

ZeroJunk

Addicted to ArboristSite
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
5,905
Reaction score
2,029
Location
Browns Summit NC
They don't warranty carburetors. If it starts and runs properly after 9-12 pulls I think I would just pull it 9 to 12 times. You can chase your tail on these pretty quick. The solenoid and the ignition module talk to each other through some kind of voodoo. If it becomes unusable it could be just the solenoid, the complete carb, or the ignition module . The program will only show an electrical issue if that. So, you get stuck replacing parts that may have nothing to do with the behavior.
 

stihlclimbing1

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
11
Location
United States
It is still under warranty and the dealer is being really good about it--agreeing with me that it should not be so hard to start. Remember this is a climbing saw. Who wants to waste time pulling 10 times to start a saw in a tree? Dealer will call me when the new part is there. I also heard that there are different revisions of the solenoid valve, one being supposedly new and improved and less prone to failure. I hope I have the new version....Not sure if the Carb comes with the solenoid or it is a separate part. I dont want to be too pushy about it but I do have high expectations for Stihl products, although this is my first experience with a fully electronic carburetor... Thanks for your response.
I can only assume that it is still under warranty. I would let the Dealer replace the M-Tronic Carburetor and see if that fixes the problem you are having.
 

stihlclimbing1

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
11
Location
United States
Maybe I'll ask if I can keep the old Carburetor...Anyway, once it it running it does perform fairly well but I don't think it is as powerful as the old 020 AV super was. I'll post the results after they change the carb.
 

fastduc

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
14
Reaction score
10
Location
CA
Sounds like you have done your due diligence, and the dealer is also standing behind their product as they should. If I might suggest a few basic moves, I would replace the spark plug with a qualty NGK plug, make sure your air filter is "flowing freely". Also try regular 89 octane pump fuel, just because your fuel is "ethanol free" doesn't mean it is "good fuel". People want to immediately blame the electronics for problems but don't keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result.
 

ZeroJunk

Addicted to ArboristSite
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
5,905
Reaction score
2,029
Location
Browns Summit NC
It is still under warranty and the dealer is being really good about it--agreeing with me that it should not be so hard to start. Remember this is a climbing saw. Who wants to waste time pulling 10 times to start a saw in a tree? Dealer will call me when the new part is there. I also heard that there are different revisions of the solenoid valve, one being supposedly new and improved and less prone to failure. I hope I have the new version....Not sure if the Carb comes with the solenoid or it is a separate part. I dont want to be too pushy about it but I do have high expectations for Stihl products, although this is my first experience with a fully electronic carburetor... Thanks for your response.

So, you are saying that it takes 10 to 12 pulls after it has already been running ? Yeah, that sucks.
 

chipper1

Living Life to the Full
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
40,744
Reaction score
268,647
Location
GR. MI.
Maybe I'll ask if I can keep the old Carburetor...Anyway, once it it running it does perform fairly well but I don't think it is as powerful as the old 020 AV super was. I'll post the results after they change the carb.
The perception of performance is less because it's quiet compared to an 020/200, but they out perform them when both are stock, and they get better fuel economy, which means the average cut time is actually even less.
I've ran mtronic and Autotune saws for quite some time, with very few issues, and all the issues were resolved without doing anything with the computer (even though sometimes the computer was reprogrammed to the newest program).
 

stihlclimbing1

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
11
Location
United States
Sounds like you have done your due diligence, and the dealer is also standing behind their product as they should. If I might suggest a few basic moves, I would replace the spark plug with a qualty NGK plug, make sure your air filter is "flowing freely". Also try regular 89 octane pump fuel, just because your fuel is "ethanol free" doesn't mean it is "good fuel". People want to immediately blame the electronics for problems but don't keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result.
I just dropped it off today and they have a new carb with solenoid valve to put in under warranty. The best gas I can find in my area is Sunoco 91 octane ethanol free. I was using Stihl synthetic oil mix since the dealer offered an extended warranty if I used it. Last time it was in they changed the spark plug when the saw had only run about 15 tanks of fuel since new. Thing is, when I first got it--it did start with only a pull or two. By about 10 hours use it required 10-12 pulls to start from cold. If it is still warm, it will restart fairly easily. Let it sit a few hours, and it requires at least six pulls. And the weather is still warm. Hope it works in winter.
 

stihlclimbing1

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
11
Location
United States
The perception of performance is less because it's quiet compared to an 020/200, but they out perform them when both are stock, and they get better fuel economy, which means the average cut time is actually even less.
I've ran mtronic and Autotune saws for quite some time, with very few issues, and all the issues were resolved without doing anything with the computer (even though sometimes the computer was reprogrammed to the newest program).
Thanks for your reply, the TC201 is at the shop, getting a new carb which includes the solenoid. It still feels like it is losing its prime and there is no primer bulb on these. I hope it will run better when they call me to pick it up. It will do a normal hot restart when starting it frequently such as in a tree. But cold starts and starting after sitting idle for a few hours are annoyingly l lot of pulls. I am hoping I do not have to resurrect one of my worn out 020s because even if I do get it running, parts are becoming quite scarce. Thats why I let the moth out of my wallet and bought a TC201.
 

chipper1

Living Life to the Full
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
40,744
Reaction score
268,647
Location
GR. MI.
Thanks for your reply, the TC201 is at the shop, getting a new carb which includes the solenoid. It still feels like it is losing its prime and there is no primer bulb on these. I hope it will run better when they call me to pick it up. It will do a normal hot restart when starting it frequently such as in a tree. But cold starts and starting after sitting idle for a few hours are annoyingly l lot of pulls. I am hoping I do not have to resurrect one of my worn out 020s because even if I do get it running, parts are becoming quite scarce. Thats why I let the moth out of my wallet and bought a TC201.
Pretty sure the 201 rear handle I have has a bulb, I think it's an earlier mtronic model, I like it a lot. I also have the 200 in the rear handle and top, great saws too, the 200s drink a lot more fuel.
I also like the return to run on the master switch and the captured bar nuts on the 201, both those features save time per cut as well.
Sure they'll get yours starting properly.
 

ZeroJunk

Addicted to ArboristSite
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
5,905
Reaction score
2,029
Location
Browns Summit NC
I'm still curious about the warranty part of it . We don't warranty carbs and if your dealer can get the money back from Stihl I would be interested in knowing how .

It is still some possibility that it is the ignition module, and I can tell you that you pretty much have to take the whole outside of the saw apart to replace it.

I had one a few weeks ago. I replaced the solenoid, then the carb, then the ignition.

As soon as I started the saw in the triangle/choke position you could tell that it was different, and the ignition from the start. The diagnostic program really useless in this.

Usually it is the solenoid with these M tronics, but doesn't have to be.
 

ZeroJunk

Addicted to ArboristSite
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
5,905
Reaction score
2,029
Location
Browns Summit NC
Something else I just thought about. I had a MS201TC a couple of months ago where the throttle linkage would not hold in the triangle/choke position. Pulling it one time just the jar would make it come off of choke.

Of course, that would not explain being hard to start warm.
 

stihltech

Addicted to ArboristSite
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2002
Messages
2,588
Reaction score
348
Location
western NY
Carbs are warranty at this shop if they fall under the criteria. Kudos to a dealer doing their due diligence. Would do a whole check sheet. New is no guarantee of perfect.
 

stihlclimbing1

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
11
Location
United States
Well my local dealer did back me up with warranty even though the saw was purchased back in April--even thought the repair shop said a commercial saw like this (MS201 TC) only has a 3 month warranty. The one who sold it to me said it was standard 2 year warranty and by purchasing the Stihl "Ultra" oil mix it would be extended to 4 years. So maybe they replaced the carb and solenoid out of courtesy--maybe it was actually covered by warranty. I'll not press the point. What matters is it is fixed and starts easier than before. The most pulls it required was 3 to start. Big improvement over the 12 pulls it used to take. On morning it started on the first pull. They did not say they found anything wrong with it. Perhaps the new carb has the new, improved solenoid valve that was mentioned in another thread about this saw. So far so good! Will update thread in a month to see if stihl is starting properly.
-Stihlclimbing1
 

singinwoodwackr

Addicted to ArboristSite
AS Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
5,994
Reaction score
13,396
Location
Free State of Idaho
I had 2 of these a while back…same problem, rebuilt the carbs, no joy. Owner ok’d new carbs…back to work. 😁
stihl mechanic where I get parts said it was a fairly common thing with the early m-tronics and recommended the replacements.
the newer saws are sure easier to work on compared to the 020 av.
 

stihlclimbing1

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
11
Location
United States
Thank you (all) for your comments. I used my MS201TC several times since the carb and solenoid were replaced by the local Stihl Dealer. Saw starts consistently with no more than 4 pulls even if about 32 deg F. Once or twice it started on first pull. I need to check my manual to see at what temperature I need to switch the carb over to the "COLD" setting. My gut says well below 32 F would be right but I should see what the manual says. These M-tronics like to do the thinking for me, guess I should just stick with cutting. And yes, the 020AV is a little complicated to take apart. Once I missed a "hidden" screw and broke an ear off the case while trying to ease it apart. Later learned by watching video that I did not even have to split the case to get at the ignition parts. I've got two of them in a box in the garage attic. One is an AV the other is an AV Super. I can't bring myself to thow them out, maybe I'll try a new ignition module and new fuel tubing if I can find the parts in the Spring. I've had them for 40+ years. Like old friends.
 

Latest posts

Top