Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car starts but dies a few seconds later. If I give it any throttle when it does start it kills the engine.

asked by on

I have a 1984 porche 944. It has worked like a charm for the past 5 years but last week things turned for the worst. It just got really cold here in utah and my car is now struggling to get running.

More specifically, the car turns over and starts just fine but dies immediately after starting. If I keep cranking the engine over and keep trying to start it eventually it does start and run just fine. Also, when it has finally succesfully started without stalling, I have to let it sit and idle for about 10 minutes before doing any actual driving. If I try to give it any sort of throttle during that initial idling period it just kills the engine.

But like I mentioned earlier, if I do let it idle and warm up, eventually I can drive it like normal without any problems. If the engine is warmed up and I turn it off, it can sit for several minutes and it will start up again just fine without any of the above issues occurring.

Can you help me?

My car has 200000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

As a general rule, car engines do not like cold weather and do not do operate as well in cold weather. When you start your car in the morning and turn the key to on, the coolant temperature sensor immediately reads the temperature of the coolant and relays this to the computer indicating that the coolant is cold. The computer then knows at this point that it needs to enrich (add more fuel) the air/fuel mixture at startup due to the change in air density. When you start the car, you will notice that it idles high for a period of time until the engine warms up. This is the enrichment cold start process. This is done with what is called a cold start injector which injects more fuel into the motor until the engine reaches a specific operating temperature. The computer simply feeds a little extra gas through the fuel injectors to start the engine and then maintains a certain amount of fuel supply to the motor until it is warm. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to take a look at your vehicle and diagnose your cold start issue.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  • Home
  • Questions
  • Car starts but dies a few seconds later. If I give it any throttle when it does start it kills the engine.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: 2004 Nissan Altima- Won't move when the code reads p0420 on the scanner. Did my transmission go? Is it my catalytic converter like code said?

Hi there. The code P0420 means that the catalytic converter is below threshold and cannot burn off any emissions in the exhaust stream. The O2 sensors have pickup this fault and put the engine into limp mode. As for the...

Q: Excessive oil consumption and sooty exhaust

Hello there, A few different items can cause oil consumption. The most common is oil leaks, valve stem seals, PCV faults, or engine mechanical issues. Porsche 911's are known to have some oil consumption that is considered normal due to...

Q: push button starter switch inoperative

Hello there, many common faults will cause your 2010 Volvo XC70 to have issues starting. You have done great in replacing the battery already as this is the cause in many cases. Other potential causes are the starter, fuel pump,...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.