Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Starting in the morning

asked by on

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.

A: Cold weather can effect your car in a numbe...

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.

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!

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: 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.

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....

Q: For several years now I've had issues with my electronic throttle light coming on

If replacing all the components that pertain to the throttle did not work, then the only thing left is the engine control module (ECM). I have seen where the ECM has fixed the same issue on other same vehicles. Make...

Q: Engine sometimes cranks, sometimes doesn't. Battery is fine.

Hello. There are a variety of reasons for why the car may not start. This may very well be a loose wire or bad grounding to the battery or potentially even a bad starter relay (this is usually noticed by...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
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...