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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For years, my Grandfather, my Dad, and myself would start a car that has been sitting for a long time, by dripping a little bit of gas in the carb follwed by a shot of WD-40. A few weeks ago, someone who I work with said that this is bad for an engine and that I should only use "proper starting fluid" when priming a motor. I asked my Dad why he uses WD-40 and his reply was,"Because I always have ten cans of WD-40 laying around, but none of starting fluid. Besides, my old man has done it for years and he has not had trouble."
Who is right? Are we hurting our cars by priming them with WD-40?

Thanks,
 

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I would prefer WD-40 to starting fluid anytime. You can use too much starting fluid and put the motor to sleep. At least with the WD it has some lubrication properties...
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ya starting fluid dry's out an engine isint it just for deisel engines though
 

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Starting fluid is primarily ether, which is extremely volotile and dry. I doubt if it contains any lubricant. WD-40 on the other hand contains some lubricants (petreoleum jelly for sure - don't ask me how I know - it is a secret formula) and a lot of solvents in the mineral spirits/kerosene range among other things. I doub't if it would be much help in starting and engine on a cold morning.
 

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Never tried WD for that, but I have used spray carb cleaner with good results.
 

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Your dad is right,and you can sometimes start deisel engines with wd 40..
 

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WD-40 is highly combustible, and that might lead to helping an engine start on a cold morning, a'la starting fluid..
 

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Starting fluid which is normally used on diesel engines, some say it is ok for gas but not on any of mine. The starting fluid dries out the cylinders, takes away th oil and everything else.If you give a diesel to much you get what is called diesel lock and there is no way you can turn that engine over until the starting fluid dissapates.WD-40 on the other hand is an oil and not a starting fluid.It would be mnore like adding a bit of oil to your gas which would help lubricate the cylinders, opposite of the starting fluid.
Diesel engines will become dependant on the starting fluid if it is used all the time, somemachines I have seen and operated had to have a shot even in the summer before they would start, bad habit to get into and it is best not to use it at all.
Don
 

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This is your diesel technician here speaking! Either works on trucks where they are designed to take the shot, i.e. "cold start kits", butif you guys try it on a GM 6.2 diesel or a light duty "normal people truck..... YOU'LL BE SORRY!!!! I have gotten away with paint, wd-40, anything aerosol on trucks, just don't get caught! Either will dry a gas engine out in a heartbeat, and you could spray until your heart's content, and it won't start. Without a little oil in the cylinder to SEAL, a gasser won't start.
 

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

WD-40 is highly combustible, and that might lead to helping an engine start on a cold morning, a'la starting fluid..

<hr></blockquote>

no its not... it doesn't burn that well, actually. carb and choke cleaner on the other hand... watch out. how do i know? lets say i used to "experment" back in the day... /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

as for starting fluid not starting a car, not sure about that... but i do know it works wonders for the snowmobiles (2 strokes) when they aren't cooperating.

- Jason
 

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I've been using WD for years. It's not the WD lubricant we're starting engines with, it's the butane PROPELLANT. It works just fine and you're getting a little lube in the bargain. I really like to use it on engines that haven't been started in a long time. For a troublesome engine that "started fine yesterday", carb cleaner or whatever's handy will work fine. I'll look for the blue can first though. It's one of the few uses I actually have for WD anymore.
 

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"no its not... it [WD-40] doesn't burn that well, actually"

WD-40 isn't combustible and doesn't burn that well? I find that strange, because right on the can it says, and I'll quote, "DANGER - Contents are flammable. Keep spray away from heat, sparks..." it goes on to say, "Unplug electrical tools, motors, and appliances before spraying or bringing the can near any source of electricity."

That sounds an awful lot like a combustible substance. And flammable, which is merely a synonym of combustible means "Easily ignited and capable of burning rapidly" (Webster's Abridged, 2002)

So yeah... What were you saying again? /forums/images/icons/wink.gif Care for a rebuttal? Shall we discuss how gasoline isn't flammable either? =)
 

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Check your most recent purchased cans of starting fluid and you wont find ether as a ingredient. Ether is a controlled substance now, I guess too many people were sniffing the contents...
 

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Straws is right, if you use starting fluid on a pickup, it can about literally blow the heads off when the glow plugs kick in. WD-40 won't hurt your engine, like everyone else has said it's better for the car than starting fluid. (By the way, I'm a trained diesel mechanic too)
 

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I'm actually differentiating "propellent" from "contents". Sure it's mixed together. But is your wife spraying butane on her hair? No, she's spraying some lacquer stuff that keeps her hairdo looking nice. The butane is just the means to get the gunk from the can onto her hair. Likewise WD40. You used to be able to get WD40 in a "pump" bottle. It was useless as an ether substitute, because it wouldn't burn.
Liquid Wrench states on the can that it is NOT flammable. The actual liquid is no more or less flammable than WD40. the big difference is that Liquid Wrench is not packaged with a flammable propellent such as butane.
Just they way I'm looking at it.
 
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