Can You Use Brake Cleaner As Starting Fluid?

Brake cleaner and starting fluid look very similar, so much so that you might ask: can you use brake cleaner as starting fluid? The answer: You can use brake cleaner as starting fluid but not routinely. Read on to know why!

When it comes to using brake cleaner as a starting fluid, bike (and car) enthusiasts have a lot to say! Well, if you are one, you would agree and have an opinion regarding the same. 

So, what do you think? Can you use brake cleaner as starting fluid? If your answer is no, we can understand why, and if it is yes, well, you have done your research and know your stuff! 

Since you are here to know more on the topic, we would like to say that brake cleaner can be easily used in place of starting fluid. But this should be a once in a while thing, you cannot make it a permanent habit.


Can You Use Brake Cleaner As Starting Fluid


It would help if you did not use it for starting the engine regularly since it can cause severe damage to the vehicle and the rider. Want to know more? Read up!

Can You Use Brake Cleaner As Starting Fluid?

Before learning about brake cleaners being used as a starting fluid, let’s first understand what exactly a starting fluid is. 

You might have noticed that your car doesn’t start quickly during cold weather. This is where the role of a starting fluid comes in. It works as a fuel to kickstart your vehicle’s engine. You can use it if all efforts to start your car have failed.

Starting fluid usually contains diethyl ether and carbon dioxide (sometimes butane or propane) and is thus, highly combustible. Apart from being a fuel, it also cleanses the clogged layers of oil from the engine. Thus, it is also a suitable cleaning agent. 

It is recommended to use starting fluid only during an emergency, that is, when the vehicle doesn’t start at all, and not as a routine. If you need starting fluid every time you start a car, it is advised to get your vehicle checked by an experienced mechanic. 

Using Brake Cleaner as a Starting Fluid

Now that you have an idea about starting fluid, we can move further into the topic, that is, can we use brake cleaner as a starting fluid? 

Even though brake cleaner serves an entirely different purpose, it provides the perfect set of chemicals to kickstart a car. 

So, the simple answer is yes; you can use brake cleaner as a starting fluid. However, it should only be done when it is an emergency, as discussed in the above paragraph. It would help if you didn’t make a habit of using it as a starting fluid because it can cause severe damage to your engine in the long run. 


Can You Use Brake Cleaner As Starting Fluid


Brake cleaner removes oil from the combustion chamber, eventually drying up the machine. So, it is advised not to use it regularly to kickstart your engine since the dryness can lead to a complete breakdown. 

Apart from damaging the engine, the exhaust emitted from the brake cleaner is a lot more toxic than that released by other starting fluids. However, you can use brake cleaner as a substitute for starting fluid because if the engine is started without liquid, it can create more toxic gasses. These gasses, if inhaled for a long time, can cause various respiratory and skin problems. 

There are two more points to remember before you use brake cleaner as a starting fluid:-

  • Brake cleaner is available in the market in cans and aerosol spray. You must use the aerosol spray for the engine. 
  • Do not forget to read the content on the aerosol can or spray and make sure that it is explosive or flammable. Yes, brake cleaners are also volatile, so there will be no point in adding them to the engine. 

Rest assured, you can easily use brake cleaner instead of regular starting fluids to start your engine occasionally. 

Is It Safe To Use Brake Cleaner as a Starting Fluid?

Brake cleaner is safe to use as a starting fluid, but not routinely; overuse of brake cleaner can damage the engine since it is an effective cleaning agent and thus, can dry up the oil in the combustion chamber.

It is suitable for smoothening the engine and creates a proper ambiance for the start of the machine. However, if used regularly, it can cause permanent damage to the engine and will cost you big bucks to get it fixed. 

Secondly, if used regularly, brake cleaner, although it will clean or remove stains from the combustion chamber, will also emit toxic gasses that can cause considerable damage to human lungs and skin. 

Thus, you can use it to start the engine when needed but not every time. 


Can You Use Brake Cleaner As Starting Fluid


Is Brake Cleaner the Same As Starting Fluid?

Brake cleaner serves an entirely different purpose, so it is not the same as starting fluid. The primary function of a brake cleaner is to clean the dirt off-brake plates and remove stains and oils from the brakes. Unlike starting fluid, brake cleaners aren’t very explosive. 

On the other hand, starting fluids are used for lubrication purposes, are flammable, and contribute to keeping the combustion chamber running. 

Brake cleaners can be toxic to the environment. They emit gasses that can cause harm to the skin and respiratory system. Starting fluids don’t cause any such harm. 

A brake cleaner can help start the engine in case you don’t have any starting fluid. But it cannot entirely replace starting fluid since they both carry different chemicals. 

What Else Can You Use As Starting Fluid?

Apart from brake cleaner, you can use pre-mixed gas from lawn equipment, chainsaw, ice auger, pre-mixed gas, etc., as a starting fluid. 

One good substitute for starting fluid can also be a small bottle of spray gun filled with a small quantity of gasoline and oil mixture taken from another two-stroke motorcycle. You can use it as gasoline for your vehicle and start the engine. 


Can You Use Brake Cleaner As Starting Fluid


A Few Final Words

Many people consider brake cleaner as a mere cleaning agent and non-combustible. Thus, they are always of the opinion that a brake cleaner cannot kickstart an engine. 

If you think the same as well, it is about time that you give brake cleaner a try and use it as a starting fluid but occasionally. 

Thank you for reading, we hope this article has thrown new light on your understanding of what brake cleaners can do for you! If you have questions, please write to us in the comments box.

You might also like to read: Idle Drops When Brake Is Pressed and 4 Options That You Can Use As A Replacement For Power Steering Fluid

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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