Trouble starting 1997 Mitsubishi Montero Sport XLS

Hello! This is my first time on a car forum, so bear with me! I’m having trouble starting my 1997 Mitsubishi Montero Sport in the cold. I’m in Alaska so the winters are really cold. At night it reaches the negatives. As far as I know, the previous owners didn’t have trouble starting it in the winter. Yesterday I put gas in my car and when I went to start the car it wouldn’t even try to crank. I got the car jumped later that day and it ran fine, just couldn’t turn it off until I was home. It has an almost brand new alternator and starter. I just put a brand new battery with 850 CCA in it last night. I plugged the block heater in, though I’m not positive that it’s working anymore. This morning I went to turn it on and it TRIED to crank but very slowly. Tried to jump it with an extra battery, nothing. I’m not sure if my starter might be extremely cold, engine is too cold, battery is too cold. I’m thinking I might need a battery jacket, but I’m not sure that that’ll fix the issue. Anything helps! Thank you!!

Start checking for resistance in the cables throughout the starting system. Check for good battery grounds to the frame and to the engine. Check for low resistance connections to the starter itself through the battery cables.

On a 23 year old truck, assume that EVERY major battery connection and ground is corroded and needs cleaning up. Once you determine the voltage and ground are getting to the starter, then consider the starter may be worn out.


My only concern about this is that it has always started up perfectly fine for me in summer. It has slowly but progressively gotten slower and slower at turning over as the temperature gets colder. Could the cold weather just cause the corrosion to finally show through and effect the battery?

Cold has negative affects on stater and battery. But the first line of attack is doing what @Mustangman suggested. When the circuit is clear it should overcome the negative effects of the cold unless there is a mechanical problem. First things first.

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What viscosity oil is in the crankcase? If the oil is too thick, it will o.k. in the summer months, but in cold weather, it may be too high a viscosity and is therefore too thick to let the engine turn over as it should.

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Cold temps make the amps needed to spin the engine higher. Cold makes the battery weaker.

Any problems with the wiring that normally would not affect starting will appear when it gets cold.

The oil in my car is 5w-30. I forgot to mention that my car started last night right after I put the new battery in, though it did crank somewhat slowly. Is something draining my battery? Or is my engine too cold?