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#558347 - 12/19/04 03:30 AM Sluggish start when its 20 below zero.
JustinH Offline


Registered: 04/17/04
Posts: 3260
Loc: Texas
Well today we had a wind chill of 20 below zero, and I haven't started my truck in a couple days, so it sat until this morning sunday to go to the store.

Its a 98 f150, with a 4.6. Totally tuned up, running 0w30 german castrol for the winter. Truck runs fantastic. Battery is good everything is good.

When its that cold it won't start with the remote starter because the remote starter just cranks it for a second, then quits, then tries again five seconds later. So I have to physically go outside to start the truck which sucks.

Then I had to crank it for a long time before it would start.

So, I thought maybe I had a frozen gas line or water in the tank or something. The fuel filter is new also.

I decided to pick up a couple cans of b12 chemtool, and pour one can in the tank and see how it goes. I'll save the next can for next week. They seemed to be a good value for 2 dollars for a 16oz metal can.

Do you guys think that this is going to help out my sluggish cold starts?

Its weird, it will only struggle to start first thing in the morning. All the rest of the starts, it fires right up.

Thanks,
Justin

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#558348 - 12/19/04 03:53 AM Re: Sluggish start when its 20 below zero.
darkdan Offline


Registered: 09/18/03
Posts: 897
Loc: owatonna, mn
my guess is it's nothing fuel related.

I'd put my wager on spark plugs or battery.

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#558349 - 12/19/04 04:11 AM Re: Sluggish start when its 20 below zero.
JustinH Offline


Registered: 04/17/04
Posts: 3260
Loc: Texas
hmm, interesting. Plugs are new. Battery was load tested good.

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#558350 - 12/19/04 04:20 AM Re: Sluggish start when its 20 below zero.
sbc350gearhead Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 2556
Loc: Columbus Ohio
Hmmmmm. Well....I guess that you could try a different 0w30.

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#558351 - 12/19/04 04:34 AM Re: Sluggish start when its 20 below zero.
Rob Taggs Offline


Registered: 09/08/04
Posts: 807
Loc: Lansing , Kansas
I always had hard starting from Castrol motor oil no matter if it was conventional or synthetic. Tried Havoline conventional and synthetic in winter with way better results. Done this the past two years on Havoline.

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#558352 - 12/19/04 05:02 AM Re: Sluggish start when its 20 below zero.
pbm Offline


Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 5259
Loc: New York
[QUOTE]Originally posted by JustinH:
[QB] Well today we had a wind chill of 20 below zero

I read somewhere awhile ago that windchill temp. doesn't affect your vehicle. In other words if its 0 degrees but -25 with the windchill factor your vehicle only knows that its 0. It sounds to me like a battery problem.

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#558353 - 12/19/04 05:03 AM Re: Sluggish start when its 20 below zero.
Patman Offline



Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 19287
Loc: Oakville, Ontario
moving to mechanical tips section

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#558354 - 12/19/04 05:05 AM Re: Sluggish start when its 20 below zero.
medic Offline


Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 1734
Loc: Bradford, Commonwealth of Penn...
Yes, pbm is correct. The wind chill has no effect on anything that is already at the ambient temperature.

FWIW, my '97 F150 4.6L has always been a bit sluggish when I try to start around 15F or below. I have run both dino and synth oils with similar results - the 0w rated oils may be a bit better, I currently have GC in my engine and haven't noticed much of a difference.

I am surprised that your remote start won't start the engine, but you can with the key. How long do you have to crank it before it starts?

I would also look at the battery and connections if it is turning over extremely slow. A good battery is a must this time of year. I have also found many good summer batteries to be bad this time of year. Cold weather is very tough on a battery that is at the end of it's life cycle.

Check this thread from last year - the effects of cold weather on car batteries are discussed.
web page

[ December 19, 2004, 10:03 PM: Message edited by: medic ]

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#558355 - 12/19/04 05:14 AM Re: Sluggish start when its 20 below zero.
hone eagle Offline


Registered: 11/15/04
Posts: 606
Loc: essex ontario
clean all grounds and terminals-then if the battery is original why not replace it?

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#558356 - 12/19/04 05:17 AM Re: Sluggish start when its 20 below zero.
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 24216
Loc: ME
I agree with pbm, what's the real temp out there, no windchill?

Maybe there's a dip switch on your remote starter you can use to adjust its sensitivity to not starting. Or you could do it manually when it's real cold (I know, defeats the purpose) or at least be where you can hear it trying.

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#558357 - 12/19/04 05:45 AM Re: Sluggish start when its 20 below zero.
car_junkie_moron Offline


Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 201
Loc: Fort Worth, TX
quote:
Originally posted by JustinH:
Well today we had a wind chill of 20 below zero, and I haven't started my truck in a couple days, so it sat until this morning sunday to go to the store.

Its a 98 f150, with a 4.6. Totally tuned up, running 0w30 german castrol for the winter. Truck runs fantastic. Battery is good everything is good.

When its that cold it won't start with the remote starter because the remote starter just cranks it for a second, then quits, then tries again five seconds later. So I have to physically go outside to start the truck which sucks.

Then I had to crank it for a long time before it would start.

So, I thought maybe I had a frozen gas line or water in the tank or something. The fuel filter is new also.

I decided to pick up a couple cans of b12 chemtool, and pour one can in the tank and see how it goes. I'll save the next can for next week. They seemed to be a good value for 2 dollars for a 16oz metal can.

Do you guys think that this is going to help out my sluggish cold starts?

Its weird, it will only struggle to start first thing in the morning. All the rest of the starts, it fires right up.

Thanks,
Justin

Actually I have a same problem on my camry and someone said that fuel pressure regulator is bleeding off pressure back in tank. Guy said he has seen it hundread times. Since camry 99 has it right on the fuel pump I decided to not mess with it my self. I went to pepboys today and they said its not that its your starter. they tested it and proved their doubt. I was in hurry and didn't changed it today. Hopefully in couple of days I might give pepboys a shot.

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#558358 - 12/19/04 05:53 AM Re: Sluggish start when its 20 below zero.
ZR2RANDO Offline


Registered: 06/10/02
Posts: 885
Loc: North Carolina
Yeah, wind chill just affects how we feel in the cold conditions (due to evaporative cooling effect of temp and humidity and wind speed on our skin) cars only care about the real temp.
I had an electrical connector on top of my fuel tank for the fuel pump/level sensor assembly once that had a weak internal connection. Worked just fine as long as temps were decent, but when it got cold- no go. I started noticing there was no fuel pump sound in the mornings and no start-up, later in the day pump sound was kickin and truck would crank just fine. I finally jiggled the correct connector and found that I made it work. I had to unplug the connector and bend one of the internal contacts, and it has worked fine since then. Cold makes metal contract, so a loose connection could become a non-connection, as in my case.
Good battery and recent memory tune-up? Fuel pump working ok? All good questions this time of year.
Looking forward to the answer.
Rando

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#558359 - 12/19/04 07:08 AM Re: Sluggish start when its 20 below zero.
BlazerLT Offline


Registered: 08/15/04
Posts: 2359
Loc: Canada
quote:
Originally posted by JustinH:
hmm, interesting. Plugs are new. Battery was load tested good.

Remeber, windchill is only a human application. Nothing else feels windchill other than humans.

-5f out and -15f with windchill, the temperture the truck is is -5f.

Your battery is not quite up to snuff if it is not starting like that.

Suggest charging it or replacing it.

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#558360 - 12/19/04 07:48 AM Re: Sluggish start when its 20 below zero.
Neil Womack Offline


Registered: 06/09/02
Posts: 718
Loc: Central Texas
[Off Topic!]

Are you people craze going outside when its below freezing. Just kidding my antifreeze blooded brethren.

Batteries lose a lot of their starting power when cold.

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#558361 - 12/19/04 08:17 AM Re: Sluggish start when its 20 below zero.
medic Offline


Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 1734
Loc: Bradford, Commonwealth of Penn...
quote:
Originally posted by Neil Womack:
[Off Topic!]

Are you people craze going outside when its below freezing

Ummm, its -2F out right now and I'm doing my best to stay inside. Hard to believe I was riding my motorcycle yesterday.

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