1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Warning To Any Potential Stihl FS45 String Trimmer Buyers

Post in 'The Gear' started by rwh442, Aug 18, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. rwh442

    rwh442 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    Southeast Indiana
    If anyone is thinking about purchasing a Stihl FS45 string trimmer - don't. I can honestly say that the one I have has serious carb issues. Absolute junk.

    The Chinese made Zama carb seems to me to be deteriorating internally. It ran good the first year. Since then I have had to take apart and clean the carb about four times. The carb body looks to be corroding inside. The needle valve has been stuck a couple of times. Carb cleaner and the air compressor usually "fix" the problem. Once it starts it always runs great.

    I have Stihl 026 and 032 saws and an SH85 blower that uses the same fuel mix, from the same fuel tank, that have sit WAY longer before running than this FS45 POS.

    I had to take the carb apart again tonight to get it running. Running it out of fuel for the whopping two weeks of storage has helped some, but not tonight.

    Buyer beware.

    I read of replacing the Zama with a Walbro used on the Stihl pro trimmers. Anyone ever done this? I can't recall the Walbro model.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Rob you should be talking to your dealer, those units carry a 2 year Homeowner warranty. If there is a problem with the carb then Stihl WILL stand behind it. (Or at least that has been my experience). If the problem is fuel related the it won't be covered under warranty. If the body of the carb is corroding (White powder?) it's usually from a contaminated fuel supply. Are you using any fuel additives? I would try running just gas & oil mix. If your getting small amounts of water in your fuel you might not be noticing since the ethanol in newer gas will absorb small amounts of water. (Just like diesel fuel.)

    I've seen dozens of FS45's come through my shop and others and generally they have been super solid units. Sorry you're having so much trouble with yours.
  3. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,947
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Mine's been fine. Still not crazy about those valves and the governor.
  4. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Loc:
    Northeastern Ohio
    I may be wrong but I think those trimmers are Chicom. Would be better to buy a weedeater at walmart.

    http://www.stihl.com/isapi/default.asp?contenturl=/unternehmen/presse/tagespresse/499.htm

    Sprecken ze Chinese anyone?
  5. rwh442

    rwh442 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    Southeast Indiana
    The carb is corroding inside (white powder) in some spots. Looks dirty also. It has looked like that every time I have taken it apart, with different oil/gas mixtures over the last year or so.

    If my gas/oil mix is contaminated (Shell gasoline, Stihl oil mix) then my other three Stihl products must love running on that mix over the past 10 years. I can only guess the FS45 carb materials are inferior to that of my other Stihls.

    All the Stihl's have filters in the tanks too. So again I can't explain the dirty look inside the FS45 carb other than deterioration/corrosion internally.
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Rob, have you tried the warranty route?
  7. rwh442

    rwh442 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    Southeast Indiana
    No - I have not tried the warranty route yet. I actually thought it was out of warranty (1 year). I'll wait until it pukes again in a couple of weeks and try that.
  8. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,514
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    Maybe that carb aluminum was formerly a radar on a freighter
  9. rwh442

    rwh442 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    Southeast Indiana
    Toy robot maybe? Wait - that would be plastic.
  10. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Loc:
    Northeastern Ohio
    Maybe Stihl will take it back and ship it to China for use in their new stealth bomber
  11. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    5,007
    Loc:
    Hamilton, IL
    mine's not more than a year old yet, but it runs and starts flawlessly. haven't taken it apart to see the carb, cause nothing seems amiss. maybe I'll do so now, but i have really been enjoying it. I know it's at the low end of their trimmer line, but it's still wayyy better than the crappy Weadeater brand ones I had been using.

    I'm not actually sure when I bought it, but I'm pretty sure I posted about it here, let me see if I can find that thread.

    edit: bought mine in early July of last year. So just one year of light duty work. my yard isn't that big. Still hopeful that yours is not the rule, and more the exception. Pursue warranty and report back.
  12. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana
    My FS45 has been trouble-free for over a year since purchase.
  13. kettensäge

    kettensäge Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Messages:
    441
    Loc:
    N.E. PA.
    I have a FS46, I think the difference is curved VS. straight shaft. Was a little hard to start until I got used to it and tweaked the carb a little. No issues except for the replacement of the knob on the spool. Bought new in '99.


    Try dumping the fuel rather than running it dry. Mine only gets used once a month and stays filled all summer. I dump it into the leaf blower and set it on the side till spring. Same with the saws and leaf blower, when the season is over. I just dump the fuel into my 2 stroke mix can. The small amount of oil that will remain after the gas evaporates might stop it from corroding. Some will say it's better to run it dry, but just dumping it works well for me. I have done it this way with both E-10 and regular gas.

    Either way the carb problem will need to be fixed first. If you are seeing dirt in addition to corrosion maybe there is a filter issue that isn't present on your saws or blower.
  14. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    FS45/46 are both curved shaft units. the 46 is longer and doesn't hurt my back so much, lol. It's pretty rare around here to see a 46 on the shelf, usually a special order item. Engines on the FS45/46 and FS55 are the same bombproof Homescaper engine. FS55 is the straight shaft version.
  15. Loco Gringo

    Loco Gringo Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    416
    Loc:
    Western North Carolina
    Ethanol?
  16. rwh442

    rwh442 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    Southeast Indiana
    I typically use 89 octane Shell. As far as ethanol - don't know how much if any is in it. I would suspect none but will check the next time.

    I looked at Stihl's warranty and it does mention its warranty is void on any ethanol blended gasoline use. Now how would they ever find that out? Sounds like a way out.

    Don't get me wrong - I really like my other Stihl products. But this FS45 carb deal had me rather mad the other night. Google the problem - you either have people that love this thing (4+ stars) or give it the same rating I give (1 star). NOTHING in between. Bad batch of carbs? Phase of the moon? Dunno.
  17. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    5,007
    Loc:
    Hamilton, IL
    That's how most ratings go. Nobody sits at home and says, gee, I feel moderately satisfied with this product. I just have to go tell the world about my not-strong feelings.

    Get somebody who is pissed or thrilled and they definitely want to share that.
  18. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,032
    Loc:
    Fowlerville MI
    It has a epa carb with a small brass fuel plunger with a oring. The O ring rots from the E-fuel and then the brass plunger rubs on the carb body and puts fine scratches in the body then air leaks past it and runs like crap. Good news is the carb is like 20-30 dollars. Mine did it with like 10 hrs on it.

    Rob
  19. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    190
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley - Northeastern MA
    Same thing happened with the fuel cap on my BR550 Backpack Blower. Stihl had a recall on certain s/n#'s and had to replace the cap because the ethanol in the gasoline distorted the cap which compromised the seal.
  20. rwh442

    rwh442 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    Southeast Indiana
    So I go to the Shell station and look for Ethanol signage - nada. Do they even post this?
  21. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    190
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley - Northeastern MA
    My local stations have it displayed on the front of the pump. Usually says something like "may contain up to 10% ethanol".
  22. RIDGERUNNER30

    RIDGERUNNER30 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    226
    Loc:
    Eastern, Kentucky
    Hey Rob H, I have fs55 trimmer went threw three carbs this year, my local dealer replace two of them. They told me that ethanol blended gas was the problem, The carbs had a white powder in them. I found a gas station that sells 100% gas no ethanol and have not had a problem with my trimmer or saws. find you some good high octane gas if a your local gas station does not have it check a local airport they have 100% avg gas ,
  23. rwh442

    rwh442 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    Southeast Indiana
    So guys its starting to sound like I have been poisoning my trimmer with ethanol blended gas - but without my knowledge. I stopped at the local Shell station and saw no signage/posting of ethanol mix. I know the owners and will ask them the next time I see them - if he knows or will tell me.
  24. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Loc:
    Northeastern Ohio
    I run 10% ethanol in all of my 2 stroke equipment.... even my poulan trimmer that will not die. It's not the gas unless it's super old. Probably a pos carb.
  25. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,947
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    I used the trimmer yesterday. Turned it over to work on the string head. Gas lid popped off, while not looking there of course, and it all came out. Coulda sworn that cap was on, and it's the new one.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page