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Can You Use Brake Cleaner as Starting Fluid? (Answered)

Starting fluids are an essential requirement for engine health as It is not uncommon for people to run out of starting fluids. Running an engine without any starting fluid can be very risky; therefore, you must find something to use as a starting fluid for the time being.

So, if you think of replacing something with starting fluid during emergencies, it is only justified. And brake cleaners are primarily available at our garages; they should pop in our mind first.

Let’s explore if brake cleaners are an excellent alternative to starting fluids.

Can you use brake cleaner as starting fluid?

Brake cleaner can be used as starting fluid. However, it is advised not to use it unless emergency as brake cleaner is chlorine-based and contains toxic chemicals that give a dry start and emit a lot of gases. Only the brake cleaners that come as aerosol should be used as a starting fluid.

Brake cleaners come in very handy to make your vehicle more efficient and increase vehicles safety. And starting fluids give your vehicle the perfect ambiance to start. Although they serve different purposes eventually, you can use brake fluids as starting fluids.

On the contrary, brake cleaners remove oils from the combustion chamber, and a drier engine start is offered to the engine than gasoline or usual starting fluids. As a result, the exhaust emitted after braking fluids is more harmful and toxic than usual starting fluids.

This is why you should not make a habit of using brake cleaners as a starting fluid. You may damage the engine in the long term and continuous usage. But it is better than starting an engine without anything at all.

The drier combustion chamber exhausts more toxic gasses if an engine is started without any starting fluids. Thus, you may put brake cleaners in the engine in case you run out of starting fluids.

The latter should be skipped among the aerosol-based brake cleaners and the ordinary can-based brake cleaners. The aerosol brake cleaner is easier to use and more appropriate as a starting fluid.

However, you can use braking fluids more relentlessly on single-stroke engines. As two or more stroke engines require oil-based lubrication, brake cleaners are unsuitable.

Therefore, you must not put a lot of brake cleaner in your engine. Instead, you may spray a small amount for a start and save your engine from damage of any kind.

Is it safe to use brake cleaner as starter fluid? Can I use brake cleaner instead of starting fluid?

Brake cleaner is safe to use as starting fluid. However, you should not put a lot of brake cleaner in your engine at a time. Overuse of brake cleaner damages the engine, so you may only consider using a brake cleaner as a starting fluid during an emergency.

Brake cleaner is a potent cleaning agent that will reduce oil from the combustion chamber. The oil-based lubrication is required for a smooth start and proper functioning for the engine. As a result, brake cleaner will damage your engine if used multiple times.

So, replacing starting fluid with brake cleaner is not a good choice. You may use brake cleaner as a starting fluid a few times in an emergency. But using brake cleaner as a replacement to starting fluid will be more impairment.

When you can use brake cleaner as starting fluid?

Brake cleaner is considered safe to use as starting fluid. It is one of the most commonly used starter fluids in emergencies. A dry carburetor may not perform well; hence, these liquids are used.

Despite that, brake cleaners do not replace traditional gasoline or oil-enriched starting fluids. A usual starting fluid is more flammable, which helps the engine have a good start. 

But brake cleaners only contain small quantities of flammable chemicals, so they are not very efficient starting fluid. Using brake cleaner regularly as starting fluid may emit harmful and toxic gases

Notwithstanding, a brake cleaner can come in very handy in times of emergency. Even its little flammability can save your engine from exhausting lots of black gasses. Therefore, you can use brake cleaner as starting fluid in times of emergency, but regular use can damage your engine.

What happens when you use brake cleaner as starting fluid?

Brake cleaners and starting fluids are different chemical objects, and they have different roles to play. But they are interlinked and a modest replacement for each other.

Especially, your vehicles can be started with brake cleaners by using them as a starting fluid. Although they are different products, using brake oil in an emergency is an easy solution for difficult problems.

Here is what happens when you use brake cleaner as starting fluid –

It works:

Brake cleaners contain a small number of flammable contents. Flammability is one of the main functions of starting liquid. Being flammable, brake cleaners offer a drier engine with a better capacity and performance.

So, if you use brake cleaner as starting fuel, the engine will work alright.

It emits toxins:

A significant drawback of brake cleaner as starting fluid is that brake cleaners might remove stain or oil and turn a combustion chamber drier. So sometimes the fluid can enter an engine, but a lot of toxic and harmful gas will be emitted for that.

So, if you use brake cleaner as starting fuel, the engine will produce a lot of smoke and gasses.

It damages the engine:

Long-term use of brake cleaner as starting fluid is unappreciated. Doing this can only lead to permanent damage to the engine and its inside. Dried combustion can be harmful to lives and properties surrounded.

So, it is okay if you use brake cleaner occasionally as a starting liquid.

Is starter fluid the same as brake cleaner?

Starter fluids are oil-based and perform great for lubrication. These fluids are flammable, and in the combustion chamber, they help throttles run smoothly with a great start.

On the contrary, brake cleaners are powerful cleaning agents. These cleaners are mainly used to clean dirt off the brake plates and remove stains, oils, and paints for rigid braking.

So, starter fluids are not at all the same as brake cleaners. Chemical content is different between these two, but their function is also different from each other. One is very good at cleaning, and another helps the engine start in good energy.

Moreover, brake cleaners do not contain a very high amount of flammable chemicals. So, it may help a little, but as a regular starting fuel, brake cleaners will not be a good choice and emit lots of toxic and harmful gasses.

Starting Fluid vs Break Cleaner – What are the differences?

Brake cleaners and starting fluids are different automobile chemicals that are required in day-to-day life. They serve a different purpose, and their ingredients are also very different.

Although, in emergency cases, you can replace starter fluids with brake cleaners. But linger use can lead towards a wounded engine.

The difference between starting fluid and brake cleaners is acute and rigid. Here are the differences between brake cleaner and starting fluid:

  • Starting fluids are mostly oil-based. They keep the engine lubricated and allow throttles to work smoothly. Brake cleaners are very good as a cleaning agent, and they can clean the strongest of oil stains and paints.
  • Starting fluids contain flammable contents. They help the engine during the combustion process. Brake cleaners contain a small number of flammable contents, so they work very ineffectively.
  • Aerosol-based brake cleaners are easier to use. Among the two types of brake cleaners, aerosol-based brake cleaners are easier to use and can be an adequate emergency replacement for starter fluid.
  • Starting fluids are not harmful at all. Especially in terms of skin touch. But brake cleaners are high on toxins. So, you may wear a mask, protective glasses, and mask while using it.
  • Starting fluids do not produce exhaust that is severely toxic or harmful. But brake cleaners create a drier environment inside, which leads to producing toxic smoke in large quantities.
  • Starting fluids cannot replace brake cleaner at all. But brake cleaner can be used as a replacement for starting fluid.

Final Thoughts

So, brake cleaners can be used as starting fluid, but it should not be a permanent replacement; instead, brake cleaners should be only used during emergencies. Brake cleaners wipe off the oil from the combustion chamber, give a drier start, and cause toxic exhaust in large quantities.