The semi trucks have a powerful engine to power all the components like wheels, steering, and tires. Sometimes, after turning on the ignition key, you will listen to the crank, but the engine will not start. In such situations, drivers use starter fluid to start it.
How To Use Starter Fluid On Semi-Truck? Starter fluid is a volatile liquid that quickly starts an engine in cold or emergency situations. With few exceptions, it is prohibited to use in semi trucks due to the presence of diesel engines. If required, spray it on the air intake system to start the truck. However, it can damage the engine over prolonged use.
The drivers should have sound knowledge about the alternative methods to start an engine quickly. Block heater grid heaters and fuel additives are alternative ways to start an engine in cold weather.
What is a starter fluid?
Semi-trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles use a mixture of fuel and air for combustion. This combustion, in return, produces energy to drive the vehicle. This vehicle travels long distances on rough or snowy roads and can cause different engine problems.
The engine is sometimes hard to start by turning on the vehicle’s ignition. In such situations, the starter fluid helps the driver to start the engine. As the name indicates, the starter fluid is used to start semi-trucks or other vehicles.
These fluids are highly inflammable due to the presence of volatile compounds. These volatile compounds are highly explosive in nature.
The highly flammable substances in the fluid help in the combustion process in the engine. They provide it with the necessary temperature and ignition to burn the fuel and air mixture.
This fluid is made of different compounds like diethyl ether, heptane, butane, propane, and carbon dioxide.
The main ingredient in the formulation is diethyl ether, which is highly explosive in nature. The chemical composition of the fluid can vary depending on the manufacturer and brand.
This fluid is formulated in the form of an aerosol, and carbon dioxide is used as a propellant in it. It is also available in spray or mist forms in cans or bottles.
Can you use starter fluid on semi trucks?
The starter fluid is highly explosive in nature. You can not use it in all conditions to start a vehicle. It depends upon the type of engine present in the semi trucks that encourage or discourage its usage.
Almost all types of semi-trucks are equipped with diesel engines. In these engines, the air is compressed at high temperatures and mixed with the fuel for combustion in the cylinder. The air in the engines is compressed to gain enough temperature to start auto-ignition.
There is no way you can control the combustion process in the chamber. Diethyl ether in the starter fluid requires a lower temperature for ignition as compared to the engine fuel. It can pose a risk of detonation in the engine.
Nowadays, heavy trailers are equipped with glow plugs or intake heaters inside the engines. All these equipment produce the necessary heat to ignite the air and fuel mixture. They also help in starting a vehicle when it is difficult to do so.
Technological innovation has made the semi-rucks adaptable to all kinds of temperatures. They function well in snowy or cold regions. That’s why diesel engines in vehicles do not require starter fluid in these conditions.
The starter fluid is suitable for gasoline engines, and trailers with such engines encourage the use of starting fluid.
How do you use starter fluid on semi-trucks?
The starter fluid is usually available in a spray can with a nozzle for application. It is a highly explosive and inflammable liquid. Using it on a vehicle is a simple but tricky task for everyone. It will take just two to three minutes to spray it on the targeted area.
You need to be very careful before using it on the semi-trucks. First of all, park the truck in a well-lit and open area. Then, wear safety gloves and a face mask before spraying it. It will protect you from getting into direct contact with such explosive material.
Keep all the other sources of ignition or flame-like match box or petrol away from it. Do not spray it in sunlight to protect it from sunlight. Do not let the kids come near it while using it.
It is usually applied to the air intake system of the engine. Remove the cover of the air intake filters. Open the nozzle and hold it in an upright direction. Then, spray a mist of the formulation on the targeted area for 2 to 3 seconds.
The quantity of the fluid used depends upon the size of the vehicle’s engine. After spraying, try to start the engine by turning on the ignition of the truck. Avoid using too much fluid at a time to prevent any trouble. Using a good quality fluid can give instant results.
When to use starter fluid on semi trucks?
The use of starter fluid is strictly prohibited in diesel engines due to its harmful effects. Today’s semi trucks are equipped with all the alternative equipment to deal with stubborn engines in cold and winters.
In case of the absence of glow plugs or intake heaters, you can find alternative ways to start a stubborn engine.
However, some manufacturers produce starting fluid for diesel engines. The manufacturers claim their product to be completely safe and effective to use on the diesel engine in the semi-trailer.
You should always consult any professional mechanic to choose the right product for your vehicle. Check all the chemicals and other ingredients present in the formulations.
Get all the knowledge about the effects and risks associated with the compounds present in the starting fluid. You should be certain that by using these products, the glow plugs will not turn on.
But there are certain conditions where it is necessary to use the starter fluid in the semi-trucks. In snowy regions, the engine is difficult to start, even in the presence of grid heaters or glow plugs. In such instances, you can use the starting fluid to kick-start it.
If a semi-truck is not in use for a long time, it can be challenging to start. In such conditions, these fluids can also help start the engine. If a vehicle does not start due to any other reason, this liquid can also be used to start it.
Is it safe to use the starter fluid on a semi-truck?
Besides being safe, it does come with some other disastrous effects on the engine. The starter fluid should be the last option to start the semi-truck engine in cold weather or emergencies.
Certain products are safe to use in these vehicles. But prolonged use of them can cause damage to the engine.
It is not advisable to use such dangerous liquid more often. It can cause many problems in the structure and function of diesel engines.
It can start pre-ignition in the engine and cause damage to all the other parts. Starter fluid can cause all the components of the engine to corrode faster. The rods and pistons are more vulnerable to the damage.
It also deprives the lubrication oil of all its lubricating properties. The internal parts start to wear faster due to friction. Faults in the components can affect the functioning of diesel engines.
You also have to be careful about the quantity because excessive amounts can cause detonation issues in the truck.