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Thread: Starting issues in cold weather.

  1. #1
    Van Fan Roger's Avatar
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    Starting issues in cold weather.

    Curious if anyone has any suggestions for me, regarding a starting issue.

    Over the winter months, I have to fight to get my van started. The colder it is outside, the more time it takes. And it's not really a situation where the van starts after extended cranking -- it seems to require multiple attempts, turning the key to start, and back off, then back on with maybe some sputtering attempts at starting, back off, and then on again and it finally takes off. My mechanic buddy suggested I try leaving the ignition at on, for a bit, before turning it to start. The thinking was, the fuel pump might need a bit to get going. That didn't help, as far as I could tell. And just cranking on it non-stop, doesn't seem to get it anywhere... just made me worry I was gonna crank the life out of my battery if I didn't give up.

    Once it is warmed up and going, I won't have any issues throughout the rest of the day. It's mostly something I have to deal with for a completely cold start, in cold weather.

    Warm days, like we're having here in Kansas now, this has become a non-issue. The van starts right up in the morning, no problem, regardless of how long it has sat there. No issues the last two weeks.

    I know it isn't the cold start injector, because that's been replaced. I'm wondering if it isn't the cold start injector time s/w? Anyone have any experience with this? Advice? Think it could be something else, that I should check out?

  2. #2
    Van Fan Loganator17's Avatar
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    Re: Starting issues in cold weather.

    Maybe your brushes on the starter have become warn? I had a similar issue in November. I would turn the key and wait for ~10 seconds before the starter would engage. I could here the starter turning, but no spark would occur for several seconds. It got to be so bad I was hitting the starter with a hammer to get it to engage. Is this the problem you're experiencing? If so, I just took the starter off and opened the cover plate. There are two copper brushes inside, mine were unevenly warn and a little corroded. I rubbed the brushes with sandpaper, until they were shiny copper again. I cleaned out the sandpaper dust and replaced everything- Haven't had a problem since. I think new brushes are available online for cheap as well, but I'm not sure where (although I seem to recall seeing them on this site somewhere). I figure mine will probably become warn again, but hopefully not for a while...

    Logan

  3. #3
    Van Fan Roger's Avatar
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    Re: Starting issues in cold weather.

    Doesn't seem to be a starter issue. The starter is engaging, and turning the engine over when I crank on it. The starter is also relatively new, something I had to replace when I bought the van, which I've only been driving regularly for about a year. I'll note that it did have this same issue when I bought the van. We swapped motors since then, when it turned out the head gasket was blown in the original. I thought maybe it was hard to start because of that, but the problem was still there after putting a remanufactured motor in it. So the problem lies somewhere in the components that weren't replaced... we reused all the sensors we didn't break removing. But the van isn't throwing any codes. We didn't replace the fuel pressure regulator either, but if it were bad, I don't know that cold versus warm weather would make any difference.

  4. #4
    Van Fan Roger's Avatar
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    Re: Starting issues in cold weather.

    Guess I wasn't real clear in my earlier description. Sorry about that. When I wrote turning it on and off repeatedly, I meant cranking and stopping, cranking and stopping. On a cold, cold day, it can take a lot of attempts. I was grateful I work from home, for the most part. Figured I wasn't going anywhere fast, some days this winter.

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    Re: Starting issues in cold weather.

    there is a cold start injector circuit with a temperature sensor......my cold start system died and I rigged up a push button cold start button wired directly to the cold start injector.............but if your injector is dead you will need to replace it..... I think ,more than likely that it is a power issue with the injector not getting a electrical signal

  6. #6
    Van Fan Roger's Avatar
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    Re: Starting issues in cold weather.

    Yeah, it's a new injector... gonna have a look at the circuit next time I'm in the shop. I think your guess is a good one. Thanks.

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    Re: Starting issues in cold weather.

    Hey Roger - Did you ever figure this out? I'm running into a similar issue. All summer I was fine and I left my van in the garage about a week and come to find it experiencing the same thing. I crank about 10 seconds, stop - try again and repeat for 3 or 4 times before finally firing up. The van has no troubles cranking though and seems to do so with just as much power as before.

    Just figured I'd ask before I start diving into it deeper. Got new cables/cap/rotor/plugs that I'll get working on soon. Thinking it could be the coil too?

    Thanks for any help!

  8. #8
    Van Fan Roger's Avatar
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    Re: Starting issues in cold weather.

    Quote Originally Posted by swamptony View Post
    Hey Roger - Did you ever figure this out?
    Honestly, I don't know that I ever resolved it. I went through a lot of ignition components, sensors and vacuum stuff, and it seemed to help some. Wish I could be of more help.

  9. #9
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    Re: Starting issues in cold weather.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
    Honestly, I don't know that I ever resolved it. I went through a lot of ignition components, sensors and vacuum stuff, and it seemed to help some. Wish I could be of more help.
    No worries, thanks for the reply! The problem seems pretty intermittent, so I'll keep monitoring it. It has only happened a few times so far. Going to replace plugs, wires, cap, and rotor tomorrow and will see if that helps.

    Thanks!

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