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Is starting fluid ok to use for a vacuum leak

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That is Either & a very flammable liquid
& health hazard
Not too good for vacuum leaks, from my perspective,
others may tell you otherwise
Whatever leaks your after, many not be able to be found
with any spray product,need a large leak to get an rpm
change & for small hoses,won't work,need smoke machine
for them

Posted on Jul 23, 2013


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My boyfriends Toyota Tundra is leaking brake fluid. Sometimes a horrible white smoke billows out of the exhaust pipe just after starting up the truck. It quits after a few minutes. Where do you think the...

The white smoke has nothing to do with the brake fluid loss. Look around the brake master cylinder, brake lines and joiners and brakes for signs of moisture. They should all be clean and dry any build up of dirt could be a hydraulic leak. The white smoke is more likely from warn valve guides.

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My daughter has a 2001 chevy impala has been dying at stop signs a few times, now transmission wont move in drive it will move in reverse fluid level ok thinking a vacuum line leak somewhere?

Connect vacuum gauge to test. Also, use 6 feet of hose one end in ear and other poking around under hood to listen for leaking vacuum.

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Vacuum leaks

If you are losing Brake Fluid, do not drive this with the engine revving. Not sure what you have the leak from; but a bad Brake booster can cause only a Vacuum leak, not a fluid leak.

If the engine is revving, do not drive. Start the engine, then take a spray bottle of water and mist the intake gaskets, vacuum lines and Brake booster. A leak will pull in water and change your RPM or stall the motor. When you find out where the leak is, you can fix it.

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My 1990 ford ranger running rough obvious vacuum leak idles 7oo rpm and while in gear with the break on truck nearly dies but idles ok but not great in park

Use a length of rubber hose to listen around for the leak.
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In the past we have used starting fluid to find vacuum leaks. Start the engine, let it idle. Spray quick shots of starting fluid at your vacuum lines in isolated areas. When the starting fluid find the vacuum leak the engine will react to it... usually by going up in rpm. Depending on your engine computer, it may stall the engine. Either way you will find your vacuum leak. Get starting fluid or "ether" at Autozone or O'Reilly.

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Low / uneven idle problem can cause by a lot of components.

Dirty air filter

Dirty injectors + o-rings

Vacuum leak at intake manifold and vacuum hose.

Bad Idle Air Control Motor (IAC)

Low compression (170 psi + is OK)

Start cleaning and repair these trouble spots and see is there any improvement.


For more advance DIY'er then you may try this.

Use a can of Berryman carburetor clean to locate the vacuum leak.


This is a 20-30 minutes job.

Vacuum leaks can occur in following locations.

Intake manifold AND/OR vacuum lines.

Intake manifold is not accessible unless the engine head if off.

You can still check the potential leak by spraying some Berryman near the intake manifold.

Listen for rpm increase after you introduce the Berryman (FUEL) at idle.

Do the same starting from the brake booster unit (the round unit) on the drive side fire all.

Carefully listen for increase of RPM right after to spray the Berryman to the potential vacuum spot.

Get a friend to HEAR the ROM increase or monitor for RPM on the tech.

DO NOT AIM the Berryman into any heat source.

PLEASE RATE my answer if it is useful to you.

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