Q: Dies out at start, squealing/whistling sound, battery light comes on when it dies and wont stay running unless hold my foot the on gas.

asked by on November 21, 2016

Bad on cold mornings.

My car has 200000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A motor needs more fuel to run cold than it does after it warms up. There are number of conditions that can exist that will create this problem. First I will address a few things you mentioned in your question.

The squealing sound is commonly a belt slipping when the motor is cold. This will not contribute to your car dying unless there is a pulley the belt turns that is not turning. In which case, the belt will squeal non stop. I am assuming the squeal goes away once your car warms up.

You also stated there is a whistling sound. If this sound could be a vacuum leak, which would make the fuel requirements even higher if this is the case. The whistling could be associated with the belt noise as well, but I can not be certain without directly inspecting your car. Also, it is normal for the battery light to come on when the car dies. If you turn your key on without the starting the motor, you will see all the lights on your dash turn on for a moment. This is a bulb check sequence. Some will stay on and others will go off after the bulb check with the key on and the motor off.

Some things than contribute to your car dying when cold but running when warm are low fuel pressure, vacuum leak and a faulty ECT (engine coolant temperature) sensor. These are the items that need to be checked first.

If you should require help with this diagnosis, I recommend the following inspection to help you out. Car starts and dies

Good luck!

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