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Nissan Altima 2003 Startup Issues

When the weather is warm (50 degrees and above) I experience no problems. However, the colder it gets, the worse the problem gets. The car will start, but then almost die and rev up and down for a while. It will also shoot out a lot of white smoke from the exhaust. If it’s really cold, the car will just immediately die, unless I put the gas on, and immediately shift it out of park. Also, all the lights and electronics dim and when idle. I checked the battery and alternator with a multimeter. They are fine. Bought some stuff to check fuel pressure, but I’ve been researching what the problem might be on the internet for about a month now and the more I learn the more the possibilities add on. I’m hoping maybe asking on here my save my wallet some grief before I try diagnosing this issue with more and more equipment. Oh, and there are no codes, and I already took it to a mechanic and they basically said they don’t know. Thank you for your time.

First, you made no mention of any warning indicators, such as a “check engine light.” I’m guessing that the light has not illuminated? Is that correct?

Also, have you checked your engine oil for its level and visually checked its condition?

Have you confirmed the engine coolant level at full in both the reservoir and the radiator itself?
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

John did state “no codes” so I assume no CEL.
As far as the ‘white smoke’ my guess is just exhaust condensation, since his symptoms only show up when outside temperature is <50 degrees.
Something odd though was shifting out of park to keep it running.
Just observations, I don’t have any ideas for a cure. I’ll leave that for our more knowledgeable responders.

Thanks. I missed that. White smoke, to me, means starting in cold weather, a compromised head gasket, or possibly leaking injector(s).
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

So you need to take it to a better mechanic. And you need to pay them to diagnose the problem.

If you just asked a mechanic what the problem is - much like you did here - not surprised that’s what they told you. If you want it fixed, it will take work to find the issue and that work needs payment.