CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Car won't start

My car won’t start this morning when i was trying to head to work. The temprature is probably around -30. I can hear the engine trying to fire but the minute i release the key it stops. The car was pluged all night and boosting it didn’t work last week when i faced the same problem.

One possibility is a defective coolant temp sensor/CTS.

The CTS might be telling the computer that the engine is warmed up when it’s actually stone cold.

See this link for an explanation of how it works:

http://www.kemparts.com/TempTalk/tt13.asp

I see that link did’nt work, let me try this again.

http://www.kemparts.com/TechTalk/tt13.asp

Please Provide The Following Information:

Model Year:
Car Make:
Car Model:
Miles (or kilometers)) on car:
Engine size (if known):
Transmission: Automatic or Manual?
Gasoline or Diesel?
Temperature: -30 F or -30 C ? [Note: I just checked. There isn’t much difference at this temperature level.]

So this has happened twice? What was “plugged” in all night, a battery charger, battery heater, or engine pre-heater? Where is the preheater installed (if you know), dip stick, cooling system, etcetera?

When was the vehicle’s last maintenance? What was done? Any additional information would help us to help you.

By “boosting it” you mean that someone tried to start it from another vehicle, using cables, last week at work, correct? Was it “plugged” in both times, or one or the other?

Thanks!

“The engine is trying to fire, but the minute I release the key it stops”

Try this, turn the key one click & see if ALL of the idiot lights come on including the check engine light (computer is powered up).

When you turn the key one click, you should also hear the fuel pump run for 2 seconds. Do you?

As common sense answer mentioned what are you driving???

Perhaps the fuel line is frozen. Are you getting fuel to the engine?

IF it is a frozen fuel line, how would you deal with that besides trying to jump the battery (if you are running low)

If the fuel line is frozen, no amount of jumping will help. The vehicle must be moved into a garage or repair shop where the temperature is above freezing, and you have to wait until the ice in the fuel line melts. It usually doesn’t take too long once you get the vehicle inside, but there’s no other way to thaw out a frozen fuel line. At least none I know of.

After the fuel line has thawed, adding some DryGas or similar product to the fuel tank will help remove the water. A fuel filter change would also be a good idea if you suspect water in the line.

This doesn’t happen often, especially since most gasoline now contains ethanol, but when it does the vehicle is immobilized until the temperature goes above freezing.

I wouldn’t jump to solutions without knowing more.

What would be the other problems could come up with a situation that a car won’t start in -7 degree weather. I tried remote start and when I first heard the car start, I heard some kind of squeaky noise… I thought by that, the car started, but I thought harder and that actually started, but died out. I wonder if the fuel line or pump is the problem, or is there something else that went wrong. During that time too, the battery started dying, which is why I was wondering about the jumping part.

Thanks,

Show’s Over. You Can All Go Home! I Think Blen Dejened!