How Do You Start Engines With Starting Fluid?

Start a stubborn engine easier by spraying starting fluid into the air intake and cranking as normal. Starting fluid is extremely flammable, so avoid contacting the battery terminals when using the product. Use of the product often reduces the normal starting time of electric start engines or hand-crank small engines.

  1. Check the owner's manual

    Starting fluid is not appropriate for all vehicles, especially those equipped with glow plugs. Check the owner's manual for specific directions for using the product before use.

  2. Locate the air intake for the vehicle

    On an automobile, it is generally under the hood or accessed through the front grill. On small engines, the air intake is the air filter. Do not remove the air filter or filter cover from either type of engine when using starting fluid.

  3. Apply the starting fluid

    Keep the can upright and spray short, two-second blasts of the product into the air intake. Immediately try to crank the engine. Starting fluid is made of ether and evaporates quickly; however, you should not spray more fluid when the engine is cranking.

  4. Allow the engine to warm and proceed as normal

    Once the engine starts, allow time for it to reach normal operating temperature. Proceed using the normal operating procedures. If the engine does not start, have a mechanic check the ignition system.