After several years of having to waste time on a jobsite repairing a broken pull cord, I’ve made changing them at year-end standard practice. Sure, we’ll still have one break now and again during the season, but fixing them before they’re broken seems to take one small headache out of a day that can be filled with them. When I have time (which is almost never) I’ll take a few moments and check the cords for each of the saws, and replace them if worn. We also keep spare cords with each crew for job site repairs.
One thing to note – I love the elasto-start system for our Stihl brick saw. The way the cord is configured to give a little at the end of a pull seems to extend the life of the cord. It’s so good that I like to use the Stihl cords for all of our saws, whether they are Stihl or not.
When attaching the starter cord assembly to the saw, you may need to pull the cord just a few inches to get the assembly to seat properly into the saw. If when tightening the bolts to the assembly you notice there is a bulge in the assembly or that it isn’t possible to tighten all the bolts, not having it seated properly is likely the cause.