Wont Start When Cold! Help!



I have a 2002 Nissan Sentra GXE. Engine is 1.8. First time it wouldnt start was about 29 degrees. Finally started about 10:am.Auto Zone said use Seafoam. Did this once again about a week later, Started as day warmed up.We have been experiencing about of week of below freezing temps and has not started since. Husband tried ether with no luck. The only way it will start is if he warms the coil pack with his torch. It sounds like it wants to start but just wont fire. Can you tell me what could possibly be causing this?


If the coil pack is failing due to cold temps, you may need to replace the coil pack. This is definitely not normal for the coils to fail due to cold.


This coil pack has 4 seperate coils. Is it normal for all four coils to fail at once?


When was the last time the spark plugs were replaced? Current mileage on the odometer? Mileage when spark plugs were changed? If the original plugs are still in the car this could cause poor cold starting. If the motor has a lot of miles might be running low compression another reason for hard cold starting.


I dont know if the spark plugs have ever been changed. I bought this at a used car dealer several months ago when i totalled my trail blazier.The only thing I have done is change the oil once. The mileage is about 101,265.


These days the 100K mile mark is a common one for spark plug & wire replacement. So odds are those plugs need to come out - it will be obvious if they are the originals. New wires should go along with it.

I’d also replace the fuel filter and air filter. I’d have someone check the condition of the coolant and the transmission fluid.

Basically - you bought a 100K car from a dealer. Chances are that its 100K mile service was never done. No on trading in the car would do it. The dealer you got it from also has no incentive to do it.


Agree with cigroller. Start at the glove box and see if there are any old service receipts. If yes, sort them by date and/or mileage and write up a summary of what has been done on the car and when.

If there are no service records then you have to assume that nothing has been done. I’d take the car to a good mechanic and get all the fluids changed; coolant, brake fluid, trans fluid, differential, etc. The only exception is power steering fluid; take it out with a turkey baster and refill with some fresh fluid yourself. You’ll need new plugs for sure and likely new wires and a distributor cap and rotor if the motor has them, and a new air filter. After this you should be running better.

You need to find out if the motor has a timing belt. If yes, it should be replaced. Sometimes a mechanic will put a sticker in the engine compartment when a new timing belt is installed. If you have a belt and no sticker is evident, get it changed.

All this will cost money. If the car is a basic junker you are just driving until you can recover from the totaled car then just drive it into the ground. If it is a decent car and you need it to last a few years, then you need to get all the maintenance noted above up to date.