When your cold engine does not start what could be the possible causes and what are the possible solutions you are going to do?
Check the following that could be causing the problem:
1. No gas in the tank.
You would say my car has a working fuel gauge why do I doubt that there is a gas in the tank. This is only if your car is a little bit old and electrical connections to show you that are already non-functional. And obviously, this is not one of the problems if you have just refilled your fuel.
2. Loose or corroded battery terminals and/ or starter.
3. Weak sparks.
4. Worn or dirty contact points.
This is only for four-stroke engines that need contact points. Compression ignition Diesel engines ignite the fuel-air mixture by the heat of compression and do not need a spark. They usually have glow plugs that preheat the combustion chamber to allow starting in cold weather.
5. Incorrect contact point gaps (for four stroke engine)
6. No fuel in the carburetor (for four stroke engine)
7. Dirt in the fuel line or carb (four-stroke engine)
8. Over-choking or flooding (four-stroke engine)
9. Weak battery
10. Defective condenser
11. Burnt ballast resistor
12. Defective ignition switch
13. Defective solenoid or starter motor
14. Loose electrical connection going to the check valve (for diesel engine)
Here are the possible solutions you can do to solve the problem.
1. Check if there is gas in the tank.
2. Clean and tighten battery terminals. Corroded dirty connections create high resistance that limits the available current. Apply some grease to the connections to prevent the build-up of new corrosion. If the engine does not start, do step 3.
3. Remove one spark plug wire from the spark plug. Hold it approximately 1/4 inch away from the unpainted part of the engine while cranking the engine. If there is only a weak spark, do step 4 and 5. If there is a strong spark, do step 6.
4. Inspect for worn, dirty or oiled contact points. The best way is to remove contact point assembly. It is difficult in most cases to get a good look at the points while they are still in the distributor. Before removing anything, study the arrangement of screws and washers.
5. Refer to your car owner’s manual for the correct contact point gaps.
6. Remove the whole air cleaner cover. Operate the accelerator linkage several times while watching inside the carburetor bore. Fuel must be seen coming out (squirting) inside the carburetor bore. If you cannot see any fuel coming out, there may be dirt in the fuel line or carburetor. Do step 7. If you see fuel coming out but still the engine does not start, do step 8.
7. Disconnect the fuel line from the carburetor side, and let someone crank the engine, for a few seconds. If fuel comes out, put the line back in place then try to start the engine. If it does not start, operate the accelerator linkage again then watch for the fuel coming out inside carburetor bore as in step 6. If still no fuel squirts out carburetor need cleaning or tune-up. Also, remove the fuel line and blow out the dirt with a compressed air sprayer if this is available. If you see fuel coming out but still the engine does not start, do step 8.
8. Do not pump the accelerator pedal while starting the engine. Push the choke in. Next, push the accelerator pedal slowly to the floor and keep it steady there. The first revolution will clear away the excess gasoline until the mixture is correct to start the engine. If it does not start maybe you have a weak battery. Do step 9.
9. Try push starting. But if no one can help you push, do the next solution. For the four-stroke engine, remove the spark plug and clean electrodes. Lower their voltage requirement by decreasing the gap. If the engine still does not start, remove one or two spark plugs from every other cylinder in the firing order and place cables where they will not be grounded or throw sparks.
Firing order is 1-3-4-2, remove number 1 and 3 or 4 and 2. This will reduce mechanical resistance to speed up cranking. If the engine fails to start, do the next solution. If the engine starts, make a steady RPM and let the battery be charged for a few minutes then put back spark plugs as fast as you can. At the same time do not let the cable touch the plug while you’re replacing it. Be sure the charging system works. Get help from other motorists by hooking up booster cables from their car battery. If the engine still does not start, do step 10.
10. Change the condenser with one that has the same rating for your car. Before removing anything, study the arrangement of screws, washers and electrical wires. They all have to go back the same way.
11. Remove or bypass the ballast resistor by connecting a jumper wire (in other words, short out the resistor terminals).
12. Turn ignition on to see if wipers and signal lights operate. If not, check for disconnected ignition switch or burned link. If all are working replace the ignition switch.
13. Check the line going to the check valve of the injection pump.
14. Consult a competent mechanic to do the job.