Starting problems


Cold start:

When I turn it on while the engine is cold I have to press the accelerator in to get it to turn on. When the car is on it will idle decently.

Warm start:

The car will not turn on easily if I had the car running and turned it off. I have to wait until the car is completely cold before it will turn on.

If I continue to crank the engine it won?t start. If I hold down the accelerator down to the floor sometimes it will start, most times the car will half start and white smoke will come out of the intake and a little out of the exhaust. On a rare occasion I can get the car to start if I keep at it and hold the accelerator down to the floor.

I pulled the plugs and I noticed that the surface around the electrode is black but dry. The plug lead that goes over the electrode is whitish.


I think the ‘whiteish’ color may be from dried condensation (like what builds up on battery posts).

Check your plug wires and coil packs for continuity.

The (hot) not starting may be due to a fuel or ignition fault.

Air filter partially plugged?

Perhaps a bad fuel pressure regulator or dirty injectors.

BTW, in future, please get into the habit of posting all pertinent info about your vehicle.

Year/make/model/engine size/ trans type (standard or auto) and mileage. More times than not, this lack of info prevents getting proper answers to problems.


Of course, on older cars, poor ignition would contribute to a warm start condition. If the rotor contact isn’t touching the center button of the distributor cap, you will get poor ignition. I had a wrong rotor in an 87 Tempo once. Ignition coils or other ignition system fault could cause a problem like that. It is hard to diagnose a “car” in the generic sense of the word. Any specifics?