Can You Use Starter Fluid on A Lawn Mower?

If your lawnmower has been dormant for an extended period of time, it may be difficult to start. You may have overlooked some maintenance, failed to properly winterize it, or there may be another cause.

You can use starting fluid to help start a lawnmower’s engine, but you should use it carefully. The excessive use of starting fluid can cause damage to a gasoline engine because it causes the engine’s cylinder to heat to an extreme degree.

This article will help you determine the frequency and location of lawn mower starter fluid usage.

What Is Starter Fluid?

The mixture of rich hydrocarbon (fuel), diethyl ether, and carbon dioxide that constitutes starter fluid is volatile and highly combustible. Typically, starter fluid is contained in a spray can under pressure.

When you pull the trigger while carbon dioxide is present, the starting fluid is sprayed out in the direction of the spray. Because of this, it is more likely to react with air and mix with it.

Why Do You Need Starter Fluid?

The starter fluid is a fuel additive that helps a lawnmower’s engine start even when it’s cold outside. Most of the time, it is used when the lawnmower won’t start because there isn’t enough gas in the carburetor. Starter fluid shouldn’t be used instead of regular maintenance. It should only be used in an emergency.

Can You Use Starter Fluid on A Lawn Mower?

 Starter Fluid
Starter Fluid

Yes. Starter fluid is used on a lawn mower to help it start when it is cold or has difficulty starting. The fluid helps to break down any deposits that may have built up on the spark plugs or carburetor, and it also adds extra combustible material to help the engine ignite.

Starter fluid should only be used on a cold engine and should never be used on a warm or hot engine.

However, starter fluid is a highly combustible substance and can cause damage to the engine if used incorrectly. If your lawn mower isn’t starting, it is best to consult the manual or a professional for the best way to resolve the issue.

Read Also: What Causes A Lawn Mower To Leak Oil?

How to Use Starter Fluid on a Lawn Mower

You can use starter fluid on a lawn mower by completing these 4 procedures in order:

Step 1: Locate the Air Filter

Locate the Air Filter
Locate the Air Filter
  • The air filter housing for a lawn mower is usually located on the side of the engine.
  • The air filter housing is typically made of plastic or metal and is designed to protect the internal parts of the engine from dust and debris.
  • To access the air filter housing, you will need to unscrew or remove the cover from the engine.
  • Once the cover is removed, you should be able to locate the air filter housing easily.
  • It is usually located near the carburetor and spark plug.
  • The air filter housing is typically held in place by bolts or clips.
  • You may need to remove the air filter housing to inspect or change the air filter.

Step 2: Remove the Air Filter

  • After locating the air filter, disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug to prevent the engine from starting.
  • Remove the air filter cover and set it aside.
  • Take out the air filter and inspect for any dirt or debris.
  • If the filter is clogged with dirt or debris, use a brush to remove the dirt.
  • If the filter is especially dirty, you may need to use a cleaning solution such as carburetor cleaner or a mild detergent and water.
  • Allow the filter to dry completely before replacing it.
  • Reinstall the air filter and the air filter cover.
  • Connect the spark plug wire back to the spark plug.

Step 3: Spray the Starter Fluid

Spray the Starter Fluid
Spray the Starter Fluid
  • It is often situated behind the backplate of the air filter housing.
  •  Finding the location of the gasoline line leading from the gas tank is a simple matter of following the line.
  • Carburetor is the part of the fuel delivery system that mixes the air from the air filter with the fuel.
  • If you have the time, you should use carburetor cleaner to wipe down the exposed ports and grooves.
  • When the carburetor is clean, the lawn mower starts quickly and easily.

Step 4: Spray the Starter Fluid

  • Ensure the mower is turned off and the spark plug wire is removed before attempting to use starter fluid.
  • Shake the starter fluid can before spraying it into the air intake of the mower.
  • Aim the nozzle of the starter fluid can towards the air intake of the mower and spray for about one second.
  • Re-attach the spark plug wire and start the mower.
  • If the mower does not start, repeat the process.
  • Make sure to use the starter fluid in small doses, as too much may damage the engine.
  • After starting the mower, allow it to run for a few minutes to burn off any excess starter fluid.
  • Dispose of the starter fluid can properly, as it is highly flammable.

Step 5: Turn on the Mower

  • If the choke can be adjusted, set the throttle to about half.
  • Raise the choke all the way up. This will make the mower use a lot more fuel.
  • Pull the starter cord or turn the key to start the mower. The engine should start when the starter fluid is added.

Step 6: Observation

  • Pay close attention to what is going on.
  • If the mower doesn’t stop running on its own, that’s a good sign. However, most of the time, the engine will stutter and then stop.
  • If the engine stops in less than 3 seconds, the carburetor is broken. It needs to be cleaned, adjusted, and if necessary, fixed.
  • Stalling might last 3–30 seconds. This indicated fuel issues. The gasoline, gas, or water may be contaminated. Empty the gas tank and carburetor to fix it. Refill and replace the fuel filter.

Read Also: Lawn Mower Leaking Oil from Bottom! (Why+How to Fix)

When Shouldn’t You Use Lawnmower Starter Fluid?

If you can help it, don’t use diesel engine starter fluid on your lawnmower. You shouldn’t use starter fluid on your lawn mower in the following situations.

  • A 2-cycle gasoline engine cannot use any type of starter fluid. If you notice a problem with starting, it’s best to have it checked as soon as possible.
  • Changing the starter fluid is a good idea if the expert recommends it.
  • A carbureted engine is ideal for using a starting fluid, as the fuel vaporizes through the tiny apertures. Other sprays simply aren’t as efficient as a starter fluid.
  • When it’s cold outside, it can be difficult to start an engine, but a starting fluid can be lit with little effort, allowing the engine to start while also warming the gasoline.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What else can you use as a starter fluid?

As an alternative to starting fluid, you can use gas that has already been mixed. But if the gas isn’t mixed ahead of time, it will dry out the wall of the cylinder, which can cause damage.

Can you use carburetor cleaner as a starter fluid?

Yes. You can use WD-40 or carburetor cleaner, but they give off bad fumes. In any case, it’s best to use the right starter fluid, which is what the manufacturer suggests.

How often should you use starter fluid on your lawn mower?

A lawn mower that is used often shouldn’t need starter fluid. It’s fine to use starter fluid once in a while to get a hard-to-start engine going. If it’s late in the fall or you haven’t used your mower in a while, you might only use it sometimes.

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