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Cold car problems

I have a 2001 neon and it will not start today at all it is below -30 here and i tried boosting nothing tried gasline antifreeze nothing. the whole time it sounds like it is about to start but then dies off the engine is vibrating a lot when it is trying but will not catch all the way any suggestions will be much appreciated as I do not know that much about cars

Wait for a warmer day if starts then. Sorry about simple answer but at these low temps it could be a plethora of reasons and the problem vanish with a rise in mercury.

If the gas you’re using is an E10 blend, you won’t get the engine to start until the temperature reaches -14 degrees.


sorry but I’m not sure what e10 gas is I use regular gas

E10 is regular gasoline blended with 10% ethanol. It’s become very common, and has almost replaced “regular gas” as the standard.

Have you noticed stickers on the gas pumps in your area stating “contains up to 10% ethanol?”

That’s E10.

If E10 = 10% ethanol which is prevalent in NH, 1/3 the state would not start their cars. This is no happening.

What weight oil is in the engine. Heavy(10-40 or heavier) oils will not allow hydraulic lifters to totally release valves at extremely cold temperatures.

Other than reduced gas mileage we’ve seen no side effects of E10 here in NH. However, it does not get to -30 ambient here either, so I’d be interested in hearing from people who live in North Dakota or Minnesota on this.

In truth I suspect there’s something else causing the problem. A long overdue tuneup, a weak ignition component, something of that sort. Worn out plugs, resistance anywhere in the circuit (such as burned rotor contacts) and such won’t easily give you enough heat energy in a -30 degree cylinder to cause detonation.

And how old is the battery? Are the cable connections clean? A corroded cable connection is resistive and creates a voltage drop as seen by the starter and ignition system.

How’s the car been maintained? How many miles does it have on it?

We have been on 10% forever here in WI, 21 below real temp and no gas problem for cars parked outside, but I agree with tester the car probably won’t start till it gets warmer.

I dunno. I’d be inclined to check the cable connections at least. I don’t know if I’d want to pull the plugs at that temp, as things can get brittle, but if it wouldn’t start anyway I might chance it. Things like overdue ignition components I’d change.

I’d try to get it started. If it’s got gas and good spark it should fire. While I don’t generally advocate ether (starter fluid) this case might be the exception.

If the spark plugs haven’t been changed in a long time, my money’s on them. The car may run great for a long time on worn out or improperly-gapped plugs, but in bitter cold, it might not be good enough to allow the car to start. I learned this one from experience. Of course if your fuel line is frozen, the only thing likely to make it start is some time in a warm garage. Fuel line antifreeze is fine for preventative maintenance, but won’t ‘unfreeze’ an already frozen fuel line.

You could also (carefully) use starting fluid to help it start. Be careful with this stuff and don’t use too much—it’s VERY explosive.

thank-you sooo much for trying to help but was going to bring it to a mechanic because it wouldn’t start at -10 either but when I went out to meet the tow-truck my windows were all smashed out. long story short the car started once it sat in the garage to get the windows replaced.
thanks again for all the input