[Vwdiesel] WD-40

Shawn Wright swright at zuiko.sls.bc.ca
Sat Dec 18 18:53:28 EST 2004

> > Could WD-40 be a better choice for a starting fluid than either? I know it
> > works great on 2 cycle engines where your not suppose to use either due to
> > the dry cylinder starts it can cause.
> > 
>   First, NEVER use starting fluid WITH glow plugs.  Pull the fuse, pull 
> the relay, make sure they're all dead first... SOMETHING before using 
> it.  Generally nothing more will happen other than cranking over really 
> hard.  
>   I don't think you can buy starting fluid WITHOUT upper cylinder lubricant.
> Also you only need a vapor of it, no need to saturate like some people 
> want to do.  Just a spritz from the can, in the intake snorkle, and that's 
> usually plenty.
>   I've actually never tried WD-40.  Usually can find a can of ether on one 
> of the tractors if needed.  WD-40 seems to grow legs and walk away, or 
> has a broken nozzle or is empty.

I tried WD-40 when I had 3 of 4 glow plugs dead (temp was about 3C), but had no 
luck at all. As I had no other choice, I eventually got it going by jumping from my 
Westy and cranking for several minutes, which finally seemed to build up enough 
heat to do it, along with shorting the busbar to the battery I didn't know at the time 
how many plugs were working). I considered towing with the van, but I had my young 
kids with me, and could not see any safe way of doing this. I did check the starter for 
overheating regularly and it was fine - these starters are very tough in my experience, 
I still have the original one from my old '85 with nearly 500k on it, and it's never been 

Shawn Wright
I.T. Manager
Shawnigan Lake School

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