Cutting tree with chainsaw

Common problems with the STIHL 500i

The STIHL 500i is a popular chainsaw known for its power and ease of use. It is a powerful and versatile chainsaw. Moreover, due to the complexity of the machine and its parts, issues may arise from time to time that can require repair or replacement.

In this article, we will discuss the common problems you may encounter while operating the Stihl 500i and some potential solutions. Let’s take a look.

Common Problems with the STIHL 500i And Possible Solutions

stihl 500i

Chain Tensioning

One of the most common problems with STIHL 500i is the improper tensioning of the chain. If it gets too loose, the chain may come off from the bar resulting in injury or damage. Furthermore, a lot of tension can cause damage to the drive links.

Quick Solution

  1. To check and adjust the chain tension, ensure the chain brakes are engaged, and the lower guard is off.
  2. Secondly, ensure that the chain is in the middle of the bar.
  3. Tighten the tensioner until the chain is not more than a quarter of an inch away from the side of the bar.

Carburetor Problems

Carburetor issues are also common problems you may encounter with this machine. Improperly adjusted carbs can cause the saw to run rich, lean, stutter, or have poor idle.

Quick Solutions

  1. To adjust the carburetor, the chainsaw should be warmed up
  2. The idle speed should be adjusted to around 2,400 rpm.
  3. Next, the idle mixture screw should be fitted and the idle adjusted to 1,400 RPM with the throttle lever in the full idle position.

Easy worn-out starter rope

Another common problem with the STIHL 500 is that the starter rope gets easily worn out. This can be due to several things, such as improper re-winding, too much tension on the rope, or the rope being too short.

Quick SolutionReplace the rope: To replace the rope, the starter should be disassembled, and the spool replaced.

Premature Wear

The STIHL 500i can also experience premature wear due to excessive vibration or incorrect lubrication. However, this can be easily rectified by using the correct grade of oil, checking the air filter, and using the proper fuel mix.

Clutch failure

The clutch in the STIHL 500i is a complex part that can experience wear and failure over time. If you notice that the saw fails to disengage the chain brake or begins to slip, the clutch may need to be replaced.

Quick Solution

  1. The oil tank and starter assembly will need to be removed.
  2. Once these are off, the clutch should be checked for wear
  3. The entire unit must be replaced if more than 5mm of play is detected.
stihl chainsaw

Kickback failure

Kickbacks can be dangerous and easily cause injury or death if not handled properly. To rectify this when it occurs with the STIHL 500i, you must ensure that the bar is properly tensioned and lubricated and use the correct safety gear and preventive techniques.

These techniques include using the appropriate chain, sharpening the chain regularly, keeping a steady pressure, and not “bumping” the throttle.

Starter failure

One of the most common issues with the STIHL 500i is that it does not start as quickly as some users would like.

Quick solution: This is often due to a dirty spark plug and can be easily remedied with a quick cleaning. The carburetor could be clogged or out of adjustment if the problem persists.

Pull cord failure

It is also common for the pull cord of the STIHL 500i to jam up and stop working. This is usually caused by dirt and dust getting stuck in the pull cord casing. The best way to clear this obstruction is by using a small brush. If the problem persists, it is likely time to change the pull cord.

Vibration issue

The STIHL 500i is known to produce more vibration than many other chainsaws. To counteract this, it is important to check for cracks or broken parts in the handles.

Sometimes this vibration can be caused by a dull chain or incorrect chain tension. If you cannot fix the problem alone, it is best to take it in for professional service.

Turn off failure

The STIHL 500i can sometimes become difficult to turn off. If this happens, it could mean that the spark plug is not completely unscrewed. To fix this, it is important to ensure the spark plug is unscrewed and then try turning the chainsaw off again.

Gas Leaks

One of the most common problems people experience with the Stihl 500i is the presence of gas leaks. This issue could be due to a few things, such as a faulty air filter, a damaged fuel line, or other causes. However, to determine if the air filter or fuel line is the issue, examine both parts for damage or signs of wear and tear. Simply replacing the faulty part will solve the problem completely.

Chain Loose/Bent

The chain on the Stihl 500i can often become loose or bent over time. Also, it would be best if you never attempted to adjust the chain on your own, as it can be dangerous and tricky to do safely.

This problem can be caused by a few things, such as a chain being too tight or a chain that was damaged from the start. To fix this issue, adjust the chain’s tension or replace it with a new one. You can also sharpen the chain to ensure it has maximum performance.


If the Stihl 500i chain saw is vibrating too much, the carburetor may have an issue. It is important to adjust the carburetor correctly to remove any excessive vibration.

Also, try cleaning it to remove any dirt and debris. Once the carburetor is clean, adjust it correctly to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Spark Plug Problems

If the Stihl 500i chain saw is not performing as it should, it could be due to a faulty spark plug. The spark plug can become faulty for various reasons, such as improper maintenance or a build-up of dirt and debris.

It is important to inspect the spark plug, clean it if needed, and replace it with a new one if it has been damaged or significantly worn.

Oil failure

Failing to keep the oil levels on the Stihl 500i chain saw at the appropriate levels can result in poor performance. To keep the chainsaw running smoothly, check the oil levels regularly and top up when necessary.


The STIHL 500i is a powerful and reliable chainsaw, but like any machine, it can experience problems from time to time. In addition, with proper maintenance and care, most issues can easily be resolved.

Understanding the common issues and how to fix them can help keep your STIHL 500i running smoothly and safely. However, if you find yourself dealing with a problem that you can’t fix, seeking help from a professional can easily resolve the issue.

Share this article <3

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *