Starting fluid can be sprayed into the carburetor bore, the air intake or a spark plug hole of an engine. Starting fluids are used more often on carbureted engines as opposed to fuel-injected systems.
Diethyl ether, oil, stabilizers and hydrocarbon propellants are the basic ingredients of starting fluid. While the autoignition temperatures for gasoline and diesel are 596 degrees Fahrenheit and 493 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively, the autoignition temperature for starting fluid is only 320 degrees Fahrenheit. This lower temperature allows starting fluid to boost engine starts in cold weather and on engines experiencing low fuel pressure. Starting fluid can be used in car, motorcycle, lawn mower and marine engines.