Q: Cold Starting Problems

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battery is fine, but it's snowy and cold outside (single digits). cleared off the car and went to start it. didn't want to stay started. took 5 tries and car did 'start' but not a normal start - didn't sound like all parts engaged and there wasn't any exhaust heat or 'steam' coming out of the tail pipe. normally a loud engine, but sounded very puny and the check engine light is now on. (mileage is high 200k range). Been a solid car for the 5 years of ownership with only minor, normal routine repairs.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi There, 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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