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Can You Use Wd40 as Starting Fluid? (Read This First!)

An engine is the core component of each and every vehicle and the quality of its performance also greatly impacts the user’s driving experience. Therefore, it is crucial that the owners of the vehicles make sure that their engine is using the right starting fuel. 

In the extract below, you will learn whether you can use wd40 as starting fluid or not.

Can you use wd40 as starting fluid?

WD40 can be used as a starting fluid because of its great combustibility as well its lubricating properties – which eases engine to start in a cold morning. WD40 gets rid of water from the ignition distributors and allows the spark plug to ignite and start the engine well.

A starting fluid is a fluid used to help with the internal combustion of engines due to its volatility and combustibility. 

It is exceptionally helpful during winters or cold weather where it gets difficult to start combustion engines – the starting fluid provides a ‘push’ to start the engine to start combusting the fluid.

Apart from starting fluid made specifically for vehicles, you can use other items around the house that can provide the same functionality as the starting fluid. 

One such item is the WD40, which is great for use when the spark plugs are wet that prevents the engine from proper ignition. The WD40 is a water displacer that drives away the moisture from the ignition distributors. 

Traditional starting fluids are made of ether which is effective at starting engines because they dry out the engine and create an optimal condition for ignition. 

WD40, on the other hand does not remove the oils from the engine like starting fluids but absorbs moisture out and helps with starting the engine by lubricating the motors and other moving parts to ensure optimal performance.

Another reason behind using WD40 as a starting fluid is its availability. WD40 is a multipurpose product that is used both indoors and outdoors – due to that, people are more likely to find WD40 lying around their house instead of starting fluids.

People are usually reluctant to use a product in their cars that isn’t meant for that purpose, but surprisingly WD40 performs better than most starting fluids 

Does wd 40 work as starting fluid?

WD 40 can work as a starting fluid. A starting fluid helps with the internal combustion of the engine to make it start burning fuel. The traditional starting fluid mostly contains ether which helps dry out the spark plugs and provides the optimal condition for ignition. 

On the other hand, WD-40 is a fluid that isn’t built specifically as a starting fluid but as a multipurpose fluid. Its ability to remove moisture and good flammability and volatility allows it to be used as an excellent starting fluid.

In order to use WD-40 as a starting fluid, you must open the hood and check the air intake – different cars have the air intakes at different locations so look for it carefully.

Next, remove the air filter from the intake to allow you to spray the WD-40 directly into the air intake.

3 reasons why wd40 can be used as starting fluid

There are not many situations where a product made for one purpose can be used for another purpose, but WD-40 is one significant exception. Below described are the few reasons which makes WD-40 a viable replacement for starting fluid:

Can absorb moisture and is volatile:

One of the core reasons why starting fluids are so effective at aiding the engine’s ignition is that they dry out the spark plug and then evaporates away – which leaves the spark plug dry and in the perfect condition for ignition. 

WD-40 can be used as a starting fluid because it contains both of these characteristics which makes it an ideal choice to use as starting fluid. 

WD-40, when applied, absorbs moisture from the spark plug and evaporates away with them – which leaves the spark plug dry and ready for ignition.  

Helps in the ignition:

Another helpful property of WD-40 is its flammability, it not only dries the ignition but also creates an environment that allows easier combustion. 

It is widely available:

The starting fluid is a fluid that is specifically made for cars and vehicles and is mostly used for that purpose. However, WD-40 is a multipurpose product which is used for household purposes as well as a starting fluid in cars or vehicles. 

Starting fluid vs wd 40 – What are the differences?

Although both WD-40 and starting fluid can be used to start engines, it should not be assumed that both of them are the same. 

They both resolve the issue of a cold engine that cannot go into ignition but apart from that – they are very much different. Below stated are some of the differences between them:

Starting fluid is specifically made for starting engines:

Unlike WD-40, which is a multipurpose product, the starting fluid is specifically made for starting the engines of a car. 

WD-40’s use is not limited to just helping the ignition of engines but also it is mostly used to lubricate and protect metallic objects from corrosion as well as removing moisture. On the other hand, starting fluid is specifically made to dry out and aid in the ignition of the car engine.

Functionality of both are different:

WD-40 is a common fluid found in most homes where it is used to lubricate metallic objects and protect them from corrosion. It is a penetrating oil which removes moisture from the metal surface as well as lubricates it to protect them.

Difference in ingredients:

One of the core differences that distinguishes the starting fluid from the WD40 is their ingredients and composition. Although both of them can serve a common purpose, they are made for different applications – which is reflected by their ingredients. 

The ingredients found in starting fluid is mostly ether but WD40 is a penetrating oil with a mixture of various ingredients.

How to use wd40 as starting fluid?

As we know that we can use WD40 as a substitute for the starting fluid, the next thing we can do is use it properly to ensure that our cars are operating optimally. 

However, in order to do so, there are some steps required to properly use WD40 as starting fuel on your vehicle – those steps are detailed down below:

Checking compatibility with your vehicle:

Before proceeding to use WD40 as starting fluid, you must check whether it is safe to use it on your car. Not all car manufacturers design their car’s engines to be compatible with using WD40 as starting fluid.

Locate your car’s air intake:

Next, locate your car’s air intake by opening the hood of your car and then checking for the air intake. 

Cars of different brands and manufacturers tend to place the air intake at different locations, so if you cannot find the air intake – check and refer to your car’s manual.

Remove the air filter:

Before spraying WD40 into the air intake, you need to remove the air filter first.

Spray the WD40 appropriately:

Once that’s done, hold the WD40 can several inches away from the air intake and then press at least three sprays. Replace the air filter back into the air intake afterwards.

Turn on the engine to check:

To ensure the success of this procedure, turn on the engine and check if the car starts right away. If it fails, you may repeat the steps all over again and retry until it starts – otherwise, your car engine may have some problems.

What can I use instead of starter fluid?

Like WD40, many other items and fluids can be used as a viable starter fluid for cars as well. 

Starter fluid is mostly made of ether, however, other items or fluids are composed of various other ingredients – which means, they might not provide the same effectiveness as the intended product. 

Regardless, below listed are some of the items and fluids which can be used as a substitute for the starter fluid:

  • WD40
  • Carb Cleaner
  • Any type of premixed gas
  • Any flammable aerosols such as brake cleaners, hair sprays etc
  • Propane
  • Dichloromethane

Final Thoughts

Because of its high combustibility and lubricating properties, WD40 can be used as a starting fluid, making it easier to start an engine on a cold morning. WD40 removes water from ignition distributors, allowing the spark plug to ignite and start the engine properly.