Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My car starts and then dies several times before it will stay running, but only when it's cold

asked by on

When I go to start my Toyota it will start then dies does this several times then will stay running. Changed the fuel filter and mass flow sensor also took it to the shop and they couldn't find anything wrong.

My car has 213000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. One of the most overlooked issues that can cause hard starting when it’s cold is a malfunctioning engine coolant temperature sensor. If the coolant level is low, the coolant temperature sensor can send false information to the computer, causing a hard start or a cold start poor running condition as you’re describing above. The best way to diagnose this is to connect a digital scanner to the sensor and manually compare the temperature on the sensor to the temperature on the meter. If you don’t have access to this, contact a mobile technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to come and complete an inspection and diagnose why your car is hard to start in cold weather.

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
  • My car starts and then dies several times before it will stay running, but only when it's cold

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: Rear window stuck.

It is possible that the latch has failed or there may be a wiring issue in the rear lift gate. Sometimes a wire can break from being flexed over and over by the action of opening the tailgate. I would...

Q: 2003 Ford explorer.i put it in reverse and pressed the gas and it wouldn't move

The transmissions on the Explorers had issues with the reverse and drive band servo binding in the shaft hole on the transmission case. The transmission case would need to be modified by inserting an over-sized bushing in the case, or...

Q: clicking/cluncking at low speeds wth a vibration or missing coming from drivers side

Hi There, What you are describing is a common sign of a failing CV joint. A CV (Constant Velocity) joint is a shaft that connects the transmission to the wheels, essentially transferring the power from the drive train directly to...

Related articles

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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
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.