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 December 09, 2016

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.

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