Daimler cars for many years past have had electric starters as
part of their standard equipment and carelessness in the matter
of starting now only adds to the labour of the battery instead of
stressing the muscles of the driver 's back. Any Daimler engine
will start in a few seconds from cold if the adjustments have
been made properly, and it is sheer waste of electrical energy to
allow the starter motor to revolve indefinitely without a sound
of response from the cylinders.
Experienced motorists know perfectly well that there are, in general, only two things that ordinarily prevent an engine from starting. One is the absence of the spark and the other is an inadequate amount of petrol vapour in the charge that enters the cylinders.
The spark cannot take place unless the ignition is switched on, and neglect of this little point, although amusingly frequent as a cause of non-starting, is obviously a matter over which the driver of any car has complete control. The spark itself will be useless, however, unless the cylinder contains a charge of properly combustible mixture, and this condition is entirely determined by the adequacy of the petrol supply. When the engine is hot, the petrol that is drawn out of the carburettor jets by the suction of the engine vaporises immediately and a proper combustible charge enters the cylinders without delay. The engine starts, in fact, as soon as the starter motor has begun to turn it round.
Even when the engine is cold, but the weather is warm, the petrol will carburret the air readily enough, but when both the engine and the weather are cold the petrol mist in the induction pipe tends to condense on the cold surfaces and the charge that actually enters the cylinder may thereby be impoverished to a point at which it cannot be fired by the spark.
In order to overcome this difficulty, Daimler carburettors are fitted with a primer by means of which a properly rich mixture for starting purposes can be obtained with the throttle practically closed. There is then no difficulty in starting within a few seconds.
Before starting up beginners should make a point of moving the change-speed lever sideways in the quadrant in order to be sure that the gear is in neutral. Serious accidents have been known to occur through engines being started with the gear in mesh,