Where should starter fluid be sprayed on an outboard motor?

If you are a boat owner and your outboard motor is giving you trouble starting, you might need starter fluid. Although not a fix-all solution, starter fluid can certainly help in jumpstarting a stubborn motor. But if you’re not sure where to spray the fluid, let us guide you through it.

First, let’s understand what starter fluid is and how it works. Starter fluid is a mixture of ether and petroleum distillates that are highly flammable. It is designed to be sprayed into the air intake system of an engine, which ignites the fuel in the engine to create a spark that starts the engine. However, starter fluid should be used sparingly and should never be a long-term solution for starting an engine.

When you need to use starter fluid on an outboard motor, you’ll need to locate the air intake system. On most outboard motors, the air intake is located near the carburetor or throttle body. Look for a round or rectangular box attached to the motor that connects to the air intake.

Once you’ve located the air intake system, remove the air filter cover and air filter element. With the air filter elements out of the way, you will expose the air intake in the engine. This is where you want to spray the starter fluid. Be sure to hold the starter fluid at least six inches away from the intake, and spray in short bursts. Make sure you don’t over-saturate the intake with starter fluid, as this could cause damage to the engine or even an explosion.

After you have sprayed the starter fluid into the air intake, replace the air filter element and cover. Attempt to start the motor normally. If the motor still doesn’t start, you may need to repeat the process, or consider calling a professional for further assistance.

When using starter fluid on an outboard motor, be sure to locate the air intake system, spray in short bursts, hold the can at least 6 inches from the intake, and never over-saturate the intake. With proper use, starter fluid can be a useful tool for jumpstarting a difficult motor, but it should never be viewed as a long-term solution to starting an engine.

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