Q: Starting in the morning

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I put in a new battery in my vehicle about a week ago. I went to the auto store to get a electrical test done. Battery, alternator, and starter checks out fine. The vehicle will not start in cold weather. If it is warm or hot outside it starts after a couple cranks. Im trying to out what may be causing the problem?

My car has 207000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Cold weather can effect your car in a number of ways. To start, we need to know if the engine is cranking but not starting. If the engine is not cranking, or has a slow crank on cold mornings, your attention needs to turn to the battery or starter relay.

In a no or slow crank situation, the cold cranking amp rating on your vehicle’s battery may be lower than is needed. This would mean you need to replace the battery for a new one, or one with higher cranking amps. If the engine cranks but won’t start on cold mornings, look to your oil viscosity and condition, and the antifreeze level and condition. Both fluids when dirty or burned will not have the antifreeze properties the engine needs. Frozen or partially solid oil will stop the engine from cranking over.

If the problems are not cranking, or oil related, also check your fuel pump. Fuel pumps that are weak will have a harder time pushing fuel in cold weather. A fuel filter that is dirty will also cause a huge strain the fuel delivery in cold weather. Both components on the fuel system need to be inspected.

The fuel pump can be heard priming when the key is turned to accessory. If you can hear it attempting to prime but it sounds slow, it’s a sign the pump is weak and needs to be replaced. The fuel filter will have to be removed to be inspected. If you need assistance with this, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can diagnose your starting issue and help you fix it accordingly.

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