4 Common Stihl 500i Problems

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The Stihl 500i isn’t for the faint of hearts. It was meticulously forged for professional loggers and arborists for efficiently felling, bucking, and processing huge trees.

It boasts an impressive herculean power output, generating up to 6.8 horsepower, making it one of the most notorious chainsaws in Stihl’s lineup. But even as powerful as the Stihl 500i is, it is not immune to mechanical problems.

That brings us to today’s topic, ‘Stihl 500i problems,’ where we will discuss a series of issues that develop throughout use and potential fixes.

4 Common stihl 500i problems

1. The Engine Won’t Start

Starting problem isn’t a thing for Stihl 500i chainsaws only. It is common amongst other Stihl and Kubota chainsaws.

In fact, most machines are susceptible to a difficult start if the fuel in the tank is too low, old, and contaminated. Or the fuel line is clogged.

Sometimes, the choke is not just in the closed or “on” position when starting a cold engine. Starting an issue is never one to panic. You have to take care of the little things.

If the Fuel level isn’t up to the recommended gauge, top it. And ensure you are using a quality fuel, free from contaminants. Remove old or stale fuel and replenish with fresh fuel.

 All fuel lines MUST be replaced if damaged and clean if clogged.

 A fouled spark plug can impede the engine from starting from a smooth start. Cleaning or replacing it is the only thing that solves this problem.

 2. Bogging Down Or Loss Of Power When Accelerating

It can be indicative of several potential issues. Here are some common symptoms, causes, and troubleshooting steps:

If your Stihl 500i bogs down when firing the throttle or struggles to maintain its cutting speed, several underlying causes exist, such as fouled spark plug and old or contaminated fuel.

However, the most likely culprits are air filter and exhaust system blockage.

A clogged air filter will restrict sufficient airflow to the engine. And 9 out of 10 times, it results in a power loss. Ensure the filters are well-cleaned.

Also, an obstructed exhaust port or muffler will hold on to exhaust gases, drastically dropping the engine performance. Clear any obstructions in these areas for a free-flow discharge.

But a malfunctioning fuel injection system or carburetor can also trigger this problem, so can a blocked fuel tank vent.

Once a vacuum is created in the tank, as a result of a blocked vent, fuel distribution will be altered. So do your utmost to clean the fuel tank vent.

Anything carburetor issues should be taken to a mechanic, as it is technical and demands professional experience.

3. Smelling Or Seeing Smoke While Sawing

It can’t be any more than a chain or bar problem.

Cutting with a dull chain will strain and overwork the chain bar. This increased friction or pressure will generate black smoke or a burnt smell.

It would be best to sharpen the chain to enhance your cutting performance. You can use a chainsaw file or a specialized chainsaw sharpening kit.

Wear protective gloves and safety glasses and follow the user sharpening guide.

After a successful sharpening, give it a good lick on lubrication and tension the chain –not too tight or bogus.

 4. Engine Running Hot

It is normal for your Stihl 500i engine to heat up when used for an extensive period -especially under the sun. 

However, it becomes a problem when it runs hotter than it should. Whenever that happens, chances are the air cooling fins are clogged; there isn’t sufficient lubrication or correct fuel mixture.

So, if you aren’t feeding the oil reservoir enough lubrication, excessive friction will happen, resulting in overheating.

Endeavor to clean the cooling fins and air filter and use the appropriate fuel mixture per the manufacturer’s recommendation.

 Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes The Stihl MS 500i Unique?

The standout feature of the MS 500i is the fuel injection technology.

The ONLY chainsaw with such advanced tech optimizes fuel delivery, resulting in improved fuel efficiency, instant throttle response, reduced emissions, and better power-to-weight ratio.

Lastly, it was designed exclusively to deliver Professional-Grade Performance for tackling the most demanding cutting tasks. It excels in felling large trees, cutting firewood, and other forestry applications.

The MS 500i also offers best-in-class durability with a stiff reputation for longevity.

Can I Use The Stihl MS 500i In Extreme Weather Conditions?

No, it can’t. Stihl MS 500i won’t be at peak performance for long under extreme weather —freezing or scorching temperatures.

Cold weather (below Freezing) will affect the engine and prevent it from starting immediately. You can revive it by following the cold-weather starting procedure.

Meanwhile, the engine is most likely to run temperature in hot weather. The chains and bar will inevitably get wet whenever it storms, reducing cutting efficiency and posing a safety hazard.

I’d like to know if there is ever a chainsaw proof of extreme weather conditions.

How Long Does The Stihl Ms 500i Last?

I can’t assure you of a specific year. The only thing I can boast of is a properly maintained Stihl MS 500i chainsaw lifespan will exceed your expectations.

 However, how often you use it will also influence its longevity. But overall, Stihl chainsaws can stand the test of time, even for a while.

Where Can I Find Replacement Parts For My Stihl MS 500i?

The MS 500i replacement parts and accessories are readily available in any Stihl authorized Dealerships, online retailers, or local equipment store specializing in chainsaws, lawnmowers, and other outdoor equipment.

 Stihl-authorized dealerships are your best bet. They have an expansive network or outlet with authentic parts, and their workers are knowledgeable enough to assist you with the best deals.

I would rather place my orders on Stihl’s official website than other online retailers because you are getting the real MC Coy straight from the manufacturers there.


While the above Stihl 500i problems might seem frightening, they are deal breakers.

 This is not me being optimistic. You can easily avoid these problems by not overworking the unit and performing routine maintenance.  

 A good way to start is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines strictly.


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