Ever had a MSR stove fail?

3:45 p.m. on February 26, 2011 (EST)
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For those of you who use MSR stoves, have you ever had any failures? Do you replace any parts such as O rings? How long have you been using the stove and how often do you use it? If you have had any issues, what failed? Just curious what the most common failures with these stoves are.

I’ve had my Simmerlite for 5 years and use it for about 4 days out of the month on average. I haven’t changed any parts. The only problem I’ve had is when the fuel line (the clear one inside the bottle with the filter) gets turned around backwards and comes unported.  The fix was as simple as turning the hose around.  Did take a half hour to figure out the problem. 

5:03 p.m. on February 26, 2011 (EST)
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I have an MSR Whisperlite I bought over 20 years ago. I use only white gas.

I have installed the annual tune up kit once, last year I believe, and I keep the stove clean and the pump lubricated.

The only malfunction I have ever had was a failure of the pump to build pressure, this was caused by a dry pump cup and was remedied by simply lubricating it with the oil that came with the stove.

My stove has been very reliable.

9:42 p.m. on February 26, 2011 (EST)
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I've used a couple of whisperlites which have failed.  Needed a cleaning/overhaul and worked fine.  The only stove brand which has never failed on me in the bush is Optimus.

2:12 p.m. on February 27, 2011 (EST)
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Alan what were the symptoms, and was it a problem you could fix in the field?  What particular part needed cleaning?

7:53 p.m. on February 27, 2011 (EST)
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Nope.Have never had any stoves of any type fail in the field over 40 years.I do like to do maintinence on my gear in order that I not have problems,this covers all gear I use.

5:47 a.m. on February 28, 2011 (EST)
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The only malfunction I have ever had was a failure of the pump to build pressure, this was caused by a dry pump cup and was remedied by simply lubricating it with the oil that came with the stove.

You can use butter or almost any oily substance to provide a temporary fix in the field, to remedy a dry pump diaphragm.  But as others suggested pump fuel stoves are very trusty if you bother attending to preventative maintenance before you travel.


I own a MSR Firefly I have used since the 1980s.  The only problem I had with this stove was when it leaked fuel from the coupling joining the flexible fuel line to the stove.  I devised my own repair, which unlike the OEM coupling, can be field repaired.  Regardless of this problem I love this stove. It is hot as the XKG, but has better simmering characteristics and a more stable pot stand.  The Firefly was pulled off the market a few years after its debut, my guess because of a law suit arising from the aforementioned failure mode.

I had a MSR Superfly canister stove fail a few years back; a friend also had problems with the same model.  I haven’t replaced it yet, for no particular reason.  I think my friend’s habit of spilling stuff on the stove was the common cause to both failures.  So don’t camp with my friend!


9:42 a.m. on March 4, 2011 (EST)
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WISam, it's been a long time, but I remember both whisperlites (one a friend's stove and one used on a NOLS trip) had problems with the fuel line clogging.  This was eventually fixed via disassembling the fuel line and cleaning it.  Field repairable yes, but also a pita.  I'm not certain of the specific cause of the line clogging, my friends still use their whisperlites and seem to like them.

The first Peak 1 I bought in the 1980's was the only other stove I had problems with.  I think that particular stove was simply defective.  It would run fine once, then die.  It did this over and over again.  I eventually brought it back to REI and got a refund.  A couple of years ago I bought another via ebay and that one works fine.

2:36 a.m. on March 10, 2011 (EST)
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Check with MSR for repair kits. I've seen them in stores.  My old XGK is so old, no kits are sold, but a call to MSR got me the parts I needed. The kits have "O" rings in them, not sure what else. Be sure to change the "O" ring on the pump as well, otherwise you may wind up setting it on fire if it leaks. Don't ask how I know this.

2:58 a.m. on March 18, 2011 (EDT)
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simmerlite and nooooo problem except the top screw had fallen out one trip.  Had the whittle a stick every time to use it.  Oh yeah and the first time the valve was bad from the factory but MSR has always been first rate on service.

10:19 p.m. on March 21, 2011 (EDT)
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I've seen a couple whisperlite fail on winter trips but it was -30C. Mine also failed in the summer but it was running on mexican auto fuel. I don't thrust them in the cold.

I've also had some problems with the Dragonfly, mostly the inline filter of the fuel tube freezing up. It's small and easy to lose too.

Never had problems with my XGK and i use it a lot in winter down to -35C.

If i had to buy a summer stove i might try the omnifuel because of the versatility and simmer control.

Hope this helps.

April 26, 2018
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