Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: The car has a very hard time with cold starts.

asked by on

When starting the car for the first time in the morning, it always has a really tough time getting going. The starter motor will rev rev rev really quickly for a few seconds before the engine will begin to stumble. It will stumble for a little while, with these little ignitions here and there but no full start of the engine. This only happens in the cold if after the car has been turned off overnight. Pressing on the accelerator while the starter is turning will remedy the problem somewhat.

I've replaced the battery already. I've also replaced the starter motor. I checked for vacuum leaks around the intake manifold and the vacuum lines. I've also checked fuel pressure, which came back normal. So far everything about the car seems normal. Thanks.

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

First make sure that all scheduled maintenance, particularly critical items such as spark plugs, is up to date. The purpose of that is to rule out the obvious, easy to deal with and already necessary items. If that does not resolve it, you’ll want to check things like the idle air control valve, any air induction sensors or controls such as a mass airflow sensor and global engine sensors, such as the engine coolant temperature sensor which lets the PCM know that the air fuel ratio has to be adjusted for a cold start.
The fact that the problem is mitigated when you open the throttle would suggest a problem with the air metering when cold such as a stuck idle air control valve or other throttle body fault. To resolve this in an organized way, the recommended diagnostic is hard start inspection. At the conclusion of that, the certified mechanic would let you know of the faulty component or system and thence estimate the repair cost for you. If the problem is simply a stick IAC valve, sometimes that can be freed up, that is cleaned, without the need to replace the component.

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

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: During highway driving continuous loss of speed - 2010 BMW 335d

There are known issues with premature carbo buildup in the intake system causing driveability issues with this model. I would check with the dealer for service bulletins for the engine system and driveability issues.

Q: Starts and Stalls and runs for a few minutes only ( Car ran out of Fuel but ran good for 3 days afterward ) 1985 BMW 635

Congratulation on your "Shark" - love the old 6-series! Check your engine coolant temperature sensor (the one for the injection, not the gauge), and the wiring to it. If it is sending a "too cold" signal to the engine, the...

Q: Engine rod knock

Hello and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. The oil to use is a thick 15/40W oil for diesels. This oil is thicker than normal engine oil and can keep an engine from knocking for a little while. If the engine...

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...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
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...