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Old 01-17-2005, 09:04 AM   #1
jbondjr
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Cold Start Issue

I have an 04 SVTF and on cold days it doesn't like to start properly. If I try starting it, it will act like its starting up (start the motor, but then die). All subsequent startups after this don't even start the engine. If I step on the gas a bit, it will start up, and all subsequent startups work perfectly fine for the rest of the day (without applying gas).

Again, this only happens on cold days. If I leave the car out and it warms up here (I am in Atlanta) it starts up fine. I have had the car in at service twice (one was a general checkup where they couldn't determine the problem, and the other was for interior problems), and they could not replicate the problem because it's, like I said, only at INITIAL startup. The day could be freezing cold all day and after the initial startup it will work like a champ all day.

I guess the only way to have the dealership replicate this problem is to give them my car overnight, but, judging by other stories on here (and the 3 hour avg wait time by the dealer to get to my car), I am better off resolving this with help form you guys and a little work on my end.

I have had the battery checked and no indicator lights come on. I am only using premium fuel in the car, and again this only happens once and I won't see it again for the rest of the day. The car came with some "bonuses" that might be the cause of it. The most troubling one is an A/F meter (doesn't looked hooked up though) that might be messsing with one of the O2 sensors. This doesn't seem likely as the thing only lights up and doesn't read for jack. I am leaning towards fuel pump or fuel injectors, but I would like a second through 100 opinion .

Thanks

James


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Old 01-17-2005, 09:40 AM   #2
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i totally get the exact same situations as you, but only happens sometimes, not all cold mornings! but have you ever smelled some weird unburnt fuel smell, that smells really bad? cause for me, in the morning, when i start the car, i hurry up and go back inside to warm up, but on my way back indoors, i walk by the exhuast and smell the gawd awful smell, that doesn't usually smell like good gasoline, or good exhuast fumes, it has this weird half burnt fuel smell! not the usual good stuff! lol
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Old 01-17-2005, 11:56 AM   #3
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I believe the reason it smells odd when the is statred when it's cold is because for the CAT to do it's job properly (which is converting a lot of the emissions from the engine to water and carbon-dioxide) it has to reach a minimum operating temperature (not sure of the actual temp). At least that is my recollection, correct me if I am wrong.

As far as not starting properly when it is cold, it could be any number of things but maybe check the throttle body (had mine replaced twice, first time the car wouldn't start one cool morning at all). Just a thought.
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Old 01-17-2005, 12:43 PM   #4
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well if you have the cold weather package, find a plug and plug it in at night, this will help a whole lot when you start the car up in the morning.
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Old 01-17-2005, 01:20 PM   #5
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I was wondering what that plug was all about. You can't be serious about having to plug it in... Really!!! ... that is wild.. but, um.. do I have to plug it in overnight?

BTW I do have the cold weather package, so I know what plug you are talking about. What does it do?
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Old 01-17-2005, 01:23 PM   #6
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It's for the Engine Block Heater, keeps the engine warm in cold weather for easier starting and to keep the coolant from freezing in the engine
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Old 01-17-2005, 01:30 PM   #7
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I was just outside to start up my car and it wouldn't start so I came on here to see if anyone else has this problem. Surprisingly this post was at the top of the list. Thats kind of weird. But yeah I have always had this problem up here in WI, but usually I can get it to start, but today it refused. Luckily I do have the cold weather package so I can plug it in. So now I am waiting for a bit hopefully it will warm it up just enough so I can fire it up. Well I just thought I would let everyone know my problem.

jbondjr: the plug is for your engine block heater and no I suppose you don't have to plug it in but I know living in WI it helps out quite a bit when you want to start it up after a cold night.
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Old 01-17-2005, 09:06 PM   #8
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i never had that problem even if i don't park in my garage. but i always plug it in when it's really cold, you just start the engine and it's already warm.
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:18 AM   #9
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i live in florida and believe it or not it gets cold here too lol...i noticed a definite rough start for my focus whenever we've had a freeze or near freezing weather.later in the day when it warms up it starts just fine though
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:26 AM   #10
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lol, sorry jbondjr, but i was really into your post until i read that you lived in atlanta. now, i know, don't go bashing me for jumping to conclusions, and able2roll is right as well that you do get freezing temps, but i just went to work this morning with -7 on the thermo and -25 on the wind chill factor. my zx3 HATED me this morning. you could buy some heet (sp?) and put it in the night before a big chill, it usually helps mine start up a bit better, plus prevents fuel from freezing in the lines (pretty important). other than that, not sure
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