starting fluid question?????

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by TheBigGW, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. TheBigGW

    TheBigGW LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 150

    Hello all just wondering what you mechanics think of this. had a problem with starting a 5hp briggs, clean carb and all that, still could not get it started. A friend took off the spark plug and sprayed starting fluid in the spark plug hole then put the plug back in and tried to start on the 3rd pull the piston froze. Locked up the engine. My questions are has this ever happened to anyone? Did putting the starting fluid in the cylinder cause the engine to seize up. Just looking for some input on this thanks for all input.
  2. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,459

    I have been a dealer since 1985. I owned & operated a landscape maintenance & irrigation business from 1983 until 1996.

    My dealership sells and services several brands of outdoor power equipment, all brands of box store equipment, all brands of RV generators and several brands of home standby generators.

    I have not allowed any starting fluid to be used in my business for 30 years so the answer is:

    NO WAY!

    If an engine won't start on gasoline, diesel, propane or natural gas my techs fix it.

  3. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    Same here, I don't allow the stuff in the shop......

    Had this engine been sitting up any length of time ?
  4. teckjohn

    teckjohn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    It goes thru the air filter or the carb.. never in the spark plug hole... I see you keep it close for those fords
  5. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,327

    I've never seen a mechanic use that stuff...a few backyard bubba's...oh yeah...
    Ether instantly washes away all your lubrication...I can see where it could sieze an engine..
  6. TheBigGW

    TheBigGW LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 150

    I was just asking about the damage. thanks to all.
  7. fastlane

    fastlane LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    No! The starting fluid did not cause the piston to seize up.
  8. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,327

    If the crank locked up...prolly not...
    If the piston dug into the cylinder and siezed long enuf to snap the rod...perhaps...

    Opinions on starter fluid all depend on which side of the trailer you are on..
    Most Techs dont like it and wouldnt use it..
    Landscapers like anything that will crank it they can just get-r-dun..
  9. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    Since you didn't answer my question, I'll go ahead and explain why I asked.

    I've had many engines come in the shop that hadn't been ran in quite some time, A engine left sitting can cause carbon build-up on the head and piston to dry out. Once this carbon dries it can break loose at the first pop of trying to restart, I've seen enough carbon that would keep a piston from coming up all the way thus locking the engine up.

    This may not be your issue but at-least it's added to this thread for others to see and have a direction to go should they have a like issue, It doesn't necessarily have to be a galled/seized piston from starting fluid.
  10. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Messages: 2,247

    Are we talking about starting fluid/ether, carbchoke/brake cleaner or both?

    I'll have to admit that with 30-50 push mowers waiting in the bull pen every morning for 3-4 weeks in the spring, carbchoke/brake cleaner was one of my primary diagnostic tools, particularly on work orders that specified a "will not start" issue. A shot of carbchoke cleaner and a crank quickly reveals a fuel issue.

    Never used ether nor was choke/break cleaner overused. Never experienced any problems in doing so.

    If I'm wrong in doing so, let the "whuppin" begin.

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