Car is Hard to start. When it does it runs bad and then stalls. (Cold Weather)

I have a 2003 Buick La Sabra. It hasnt had a problem yet, untill this winter. Yesterday when i went to start it, it took about 5 minutes. later that day i went to start it and it wouldn’t start at all. So i tryied jumping it. Took Awile but i got it started after that. but the engine was running very bad. Like in a shaky and not smooth way. It would stall about every few minutes.

It has just got really cold and i thought that was to have something to do with it, and i noticed my engine coolant was down by a lot. Not empty but way below the line, even though it is very cold out side. Also my batter might be pretty old.

I really need help, pleas help me


How many miles on the car? Last time maintenance was done? What was done (plugs, wires, etc)? How old is the battery? How cold is “really cold” ? Details would help . . BTW . . . don’t bother pumping the gas, it’s fuel injected and this won’t help to start it unless you flooded the engine. Rocketman

My first thought is fuel. Maybe you have a plugged filter or fuel pump going out. Is your oil mixed with coolant? You might have a head gasket issue. If it is you will need a tow. You need to have it serviced.

150 miles mostly high way. battery cold be 3 or 4 years old. its gets around -5 below at times the last few days.

Cold, and really really cold weather challenges a motor, especially at start up. Seems like every 3rd post lately is about cold weather starting, not surprising since most of the country is getting record cold weather.

Your battery is fine, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to crank the car for 5 min. Most likely you need new plugs, and plug wires. Your car has a coil pack so there isn’t a distributor cap, and rotor; but in cars that have them they get replaced too. These are the items that most often are “marginal” yet work well enough in warmer weather that the car runs OK - until it gets cold, or as now really really cold.

You may need the coolant temp sensor for the computer checked. It may be reading warmer than it should. This will keep the engine mix too lean while the motor warms up. Does the engine run smoothly when warm? If you do not use the gas pedal at all will it start?
There is also an air temp sensor built into the mass flow sensor at the throttle body. You could have a bad reading again telling the engine the wrong air/fuel mix. This will make a poor spark problem even worse. Unfortunately this needs a mechanic to sort out. The sensor readings while wrong are still in a “normal” range so no fault will be set. You may get engine codes for misfire that are only caused by the air/fuel mix.
The battery maybe old but just cranking the engine for 30 seconds in cold weather can really stress a battery. It sounds like the starting issue is in the engine control, the battery is just getting more work than it should.