Q: Hard cold starts

asked by on

Hi I have a 2001 Nissan Xterra with trouble staring when cold . I've replaced the fuel pump fuel sending unit fuel filter fuel relay and finally fuel pressure regulator . After I replaced the regulator the car is a lot easier to turn on then before still hard to start when engine is cold. I live in Texas so it doesn't get real cold . There's quite a bit of stuff I've already replaced I am getting spark n fuel I don't know what else if could be . I've found a couple vacuum hose leaks replaced and runs a lot better when it finally starts . Any help would be appreciated. Thank you for your time .

My car has 225265 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Make sure your battery and starter are in good enough condition to turn the engine over at high enough RPM’s to start properly in low temperature conditions. Due to the relatively high miles, I would first check and confirm cylinder pressures, via compression test, to see what your starting conditions are.

Faulty components in the exhaust gas recirculation system and any idle speed air controls (if equipped; try starting car when cold with accelerator pedal completely depressed and see if that makes any difference) would be relevant to look at.

Other possible faults to check are the condition of the distributor, cap and rotor, [plugs],(https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/spark-plugs-replacement) and wires, engine timing which could be off (also timing belt, if old, could have slipped a tooth or two). Due to the age and mileage, the fuel injectors could even be partially plugged. Keep in mind, you may very well not have a single cause of this condition but rather there is a combination of degraded components that together cause hard starting during cold weather which is generally the most difficult time to start an engine in any event. If you need help with a diagnosis, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to inspect the starting problem and guide you through repairs.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Hard cold starts

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: Car hard starts, rough idles , fan on all the time and stalls when accelerating.

Hello. The symptoms you are experiencing can be caused by many things. A few things I would look at are the fuel, ignition, and engine management systems. If there is an issue with the components to any of these systems...

Q: Can a knock sensor keep my car from starting?

Hello. A bad knock sensor will not keep your car from starting. The knock sensor's purpose is to detect the sounds of pre-ignition in a running engine and convert it to a signal for the electronic control unit (ECU) so...

Q: Pick up shuts off when slowing to half stop then accelerating

Hi UK. Thanks for submitting your question today. Usually good fuel economy and mysterious engine shutting off issues is not related to a single component failure. If the fuel efficiency is good and the Frontier runs good (except for when...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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.