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Brakeclean instead of starter fluid?

So my 85 snow blower has a couple of times busted primer push button, I tied off the line and a shot of starter fluid and it is good to go. Snowed again, and may need more starter fluid, and the local parts store is sold out, I remember old timers using brake clean instead of starter fluid, sure I am going to have to try it if I run out of starter fluid, I bought a spray can just in case, any experience in your books?

All it really needs to do is be able to explode. I’m sure brake cleaner would do fine. My brother always used to just use WD 40. Brake cleaner, carb cleaner, electronics cleaner etc. Most are quite flammable.

Thanks for that @cigroller more info than I expected.

works but very toxic exhaust. make sure you do it outside, not that you would be running snowblower indoors

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Brake cleaner will make it start just fine. Just beware the the exhaust is much more toxic than gas or starting fluid and can cause lung damage.

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Wow, so I need to put out my cigarette before the chance of inhaling toxic fumes, @asemaster I thank you for the heads up. I am not sure of the medical state in our wourld, I was unfortunately not wearing safety glasses, and got a giant blob of paint in my 1 working eye, ethyoline glycol base, seek immediate attention, so I flushed my eye as best I could, went to the emergencey room, They put in a dye, and no scratches, you are good to go, diminished vision in the only eye I have left,m sure it has been years, but thinking I was not treated properly.

Well, my experience is that brake cleaning solvents are non-polar, either hydrocarbons or chlorinated carbons (generally dry-cleaning fluid).

HCs are flammable, chloro-carbons aren’t. They are however, suspected carcinogens. At some point, the Powers That Be decided risking cancer, 20 years from now, is worse than risking blowing up me and my garage, today. (I woulda figured it the other way around, myself.) As a result there’s less chloro-carbon stuff out there.

In any event, don’t try burning the chlorinated stuff: it won’t catch, and you’ll be making phosgene if it does fire up. Just put some gasoline in a plastic bottle with a squirt nozzle, and aim it at the carb intake. It works real well for me when overhauling small-engine stuff: it it runs on a splash of gas, it needs a carb overhaul.

I’d stick with meanjoe’s suggestion. Brake cleaner might work, but is likely pretty toxic. I don’t think WD-40 is flammable enough. Or just pick up another can of starting fluid for a couple bucks–best solution.

I have a 2 stroke roto-tiller that can be a real problem to start. In desperation, I gave it a shot of carburetor cleaner right into the air intake and it fired right up.
One thing I found out that helped with the tiller is using pre-mixed, ethanol free 50:1 fuel. That minimized the starting problem with the tiller. This last week, when I had to get my snow blower out, I bought the pre-mixed fuel (the snow blower is a 2 stroke). I’ve never had a starting problem, but it started on the first pull after sitting idle since last spring. The fuel is expensive–about $5 a liter, but its worth it to me.

@Triedaq I have not seen the premix, and I am currently using last years leftover gas. The gas was seafomed, and the plastic can sealed. I got tired of replacing the primer rubber push button on the old 1985 snowblower, thus the need for gogo juice. It is running fine.

Thanks to all for the info on the dangers of brakecleen, it is the non chlorinated variety.

Now that the driveway is clean I’ll return the brakeclean, to the auto parts store that is within walking distance, and drive to another store. I wanted to snowblow before driving on the snow, and had enough starting fluid to get the old machine going, and still a few more shots of starting fluid left.

@Barkydog–I found the premix two places–a place called “Small Engine Warehouse” in my community and at Rural King–a chain farm store. My snow blower does fine on gasoline from the pump mixed with 2 cycle oil. The rototiller has always been a problem to start and as small as my garden plot is, the premix is worth the price in what it saves in aggravation.

I did get my generator out yesterday. I don’t know how old the gas in its tank is, but I had treated it with Stabill. The generator started on the second pull. I hope I don’t need to use it, but we have 8 to 12 inches of snow predicted and a temperature down to 17 below zero. If our power goes out, I want to be able to run the controls and blower on the gas furnace.

I have now seen the canned premix in most everyplace that does small engines, including at least one of the big-box corporate chain “home center” places. I also now keep it around all the time. If I know I’ll end up burning up a lot of fuel I don’t use it because its too expensive. But I do keep it in machines that I know I might need here or there once in a while. So it’s in my chainsaw right now because I have no immanent plans of going out cutting for a day. The next time I do cut for a day I’ll use conventional gas mix, but then empty it out at the end of the day and run the carb dry. But then, if I need to do some quick clean up, I’ll use the premix and then don’t have a problem leaving it in there for when any of those quick clean-up jobs come up.

Brakeclean is toxic if its chlorinated if you use non chlorineated its much safer but still dont breathe echaust😂 pretty much anything volatile liquid will work as starting fluid

Glad to see my posts from so many years ago, but yes a good reminder, I only bought the non chlorinated, the parts store was out of starting fluid, and my mechanic buds said it smelled better, needed something to get the snowblower going, as stated the rubber primer bulb is busted, second time since 1989, and switched to starting brakeclean fluid or whatever.

Brake cleaner is not a good product to use for starting anything. It’s non-combustible.
Use some of your wife’s hair spray. It’s almost pure alcohol.

You’re kidding right? Most brake cleaners are flammable…I know the generic stuff I get at Autozone is!

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Well, spray BrakeCleen into a running motor and see what happens.

I have never used brake clean as a starting fluid by I have used starting fluid as a parts cleaner and it is quite effective.

Years ago most aerosols used R-12 a a propellant but that got eliminated 20+ years ago and I wonder what replaced it? Some tire inflators have used butane which would make a great starter fluid. Everything is either dangerous or a health hazard these days.

Scroll down and note that it says extremely flammable lol

As far as Brakleen (I’m assuming is what you’re talking about), go here, you can see the flammability warning on the can…

I’m only saying that when I sprayed Brakleen into a running motor, it stalled.
Maybe the fact that I did that years ago has a bearing on the flammability as Rod_Knox pointed out.