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Old 01-19-2016, 01:39 PM   #1
ninjasquirrel2
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Default Won't start in cold weather

I've been having this problem for a while now and I'm fed up and looking for a solution. My 06 ion won't start when it's cold out. I live in Indiana so this is a very annoying issue. I've tried changing the starter, the battery and the ignition switch but unless I start her up every 4 hours or so this keeps happening. I can only get her to start with a jump after that and in these troubling times it's difficult to find anyone willing to do this. I've read that this is an issue with the security system but I'm not so sure. The starter is cranking and I can hear the fuel pump working but it is as if the engine is seizing up. Anyone else have this happen? And if so, how did you resolve it? Thanks for the advice in advance.

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Old 01-19-2016, 02:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Won't start in cold weather

Just realized I typed 06 instead of 03. Sorry about that. I also wanted to mention I have also replaced the spark plugs as of June last year.

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Old 01-19-2016, 03:46 PM   #3
actnbill
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Default Re: Won't start in cold weather

Is it turning over and not starting or just getting a 'click' when you turn the key ??

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Old 01-19-2016, 04:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Won't start in cold weather

Some more car history may help narrow the problem down. Mileage, maintenance done besides spark plugs? Everyone owning a vehicle is cold country deals with freezing weather starts with all the usual preparations like using the right oil, antifreeze, mini tune up, throttle cleaning, etc.. Extreme cold have owners adding engine pre heaters to warm engine oil. With the starter turning the engine, this is either a weak spark or fuel issue.

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Old 01-19-2016, 05:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Won't start in cold weather

Thanks for responding! No the engine won't even try to turn over. I just hear the click of the starter engaging. It has 90 k miles on it but it has been doing this since I bought it 5 years ago. It only had 30k on it when I bought it. I've replaced the fuel lines as well. I use standard oil that's recommended by the owners manual.

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Old 01-19-2016, 10:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Won't start in cold weather

With a new starter and battery, hearing the starter click boils down to battery, battery cables or starter. Freezing weather tests the conditions of good maintenance while exposing little mistakes.

1-An inexpensive battery may not have the capacity it has during warm weather. You can have it tested at most auto stores selling car batteries if in doubt.

2-Battery cables must be clean and free of any corrosion, including connections to the starter and grounds (chassis and engine block).

3-There are rebuilt starters that aren't as good as they were planned to be and many here find out. Some are better than others.

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Old 01-19-2016, 11:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Won't start in cold weather

There's no corrosion on the terminals but I will have to check the starter and engine block. Thanks for the tip. As for the starter I bought it brand spanking new and not a rebuild. I bought my battery at advanced auto so ill go in and have it checked on my day off to make sure it's working properly. I'll post updates when I can

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Old 01-20-2016, 12:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Won't start in cold weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjasquirrel2 View Post
I've read that this is an issue with the security system but I'm not so sure.
I can guarantee you 100% that it is the security system. What you've described and what you've done is an exact carbon copy of what I went through last winter. Since I bypassed the security system in my '04 Ion, I haven't had a problem since. But there is only one proper way to do the bypass; check out newrockies.com

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Old 01-20-2016, 11:58 AM   #9
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Default Re: Won't start in cold weather

Haven't had a chance to check the terminals or battery yet but she started up fine today. Then again its 19 degrees out instead of 8 degrees like it has been the past two days.

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Old 01-20-2016, 06:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: Won't start in cold weather

Try this out before you go buying other items you may not need.
My daughter's & wife's car had same issue - no start when it was well below freezing and all you would get is a click. It wasn't power related as our batteries were all good along with connections. It was security issue as mentioned before.

Warm up the key before you put in ignition and let it sit there awhile (10-20 seconds.) If it starts, then it's your switch. They used some funky lubricant in the switches that gets thick & won't let key make contact with the internals.

Do a search here as there are threads about it.

Is your key worn? That may be causing some issues too.

Once we took ours in for the ignition switch recall, never had the problem again.
Good luck & let us know how you make out.

...
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'07 Ion2
'00 SL1 (just died)

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Old 01-20-2016, 07:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: Won't start in cold weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Titor View Post
I can guarantee you 100% that it is the security system. What you've described and what you've done is an exact carbon copy of what I went through last winter. Since I bypassed the security system in my '04 Ion, I haven't had a problem since. But there is only one proper way to do the bypass; check out newrockies.com
The theft-deterrent system (Passlock) does not disable the starting circuit. It disables fuel delivery. The starter will still engage even if Passlock is active and fuel delivery has been disabled.

It sounds to me like the OP has a weak connection somewhere which would be bypassed during jump starts. The colder the weather is, the more current the starter draws. The weak connection is preventing the starter from receiving enough power to turn the engine over. This would explain why they hear the click (starter solenoid engaging) and nothing else. I would recommend inspecting the battery cables; specifically where the ground cable gets bolted to the bracket near the battery. I've always felt that was a weak grounding point because it relies on that chintzy bracket to conduct all power to/from the battery.

...
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:32 PM   #12
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Default Re: Won't start in cold weather

The key isn't worn and I've changed out the ignition switch. If it does it again I will try warming up the key. I will still also check the terminals as suggested I just haven't had the opportunity. I will keep you informed

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Old 02-14-2016, 05:34 AM   #13
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Idea Re: Won't start in cold weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjasquirrel2 View Post
The key isn't worn and I've changed out the ignition switch. If it does it again I will try warming up the key. I will still also check the terminals as suggested I just haven't had the opportunity. I will keep you informed
My guess is the following.

1. Battery regardless if you just changed it. I'm sorry to say, but even if you purchased a "New" battery if it is not "Fresh" it will be garbage when cold. You have to look for two things on your battery. Will be a manufacturing date, which will tell you when the battery was manufactured and you will also have a CCA Rating Cold cranking amperes (CCA) is the amount of current a battery can provide at 0 F (−18 C). You should have a battery rated for 600 CCA or greater. Give your battery a good charge overnight with a external battery charger set to 12V 6A leave it overnight or a full day if you can.

2. Your starter solenoid could be "****ed" or acting up. Solenoid does not come with a new starter i don't believe. but is what makes it activate. A starter solenoid (or starter relay) is the part of an automobile which switches a large electric current to the starter motor, in response to a small control current, and which in turn sets the engine in motion.

To help in cold starts you may consider installing a Block Heater available at junk yards. It will keep your engine warm and make that oil a lot more easy to pump when you first start it. Also depending on what type of oil you put it, you may also put in some 0W30 in the winter. I believe it has starting temperature as low as -40C as compared to 5W30 which is only rated down to -5C.

Good Luck!!!

...
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:04 AM   #14
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Wrench Re: Won't start in cold weather

Also you may want to check and make sure your Alternator is charging your battery properly.

When car is stop you should read 12V before you try to start it. When you try to start the car the voltage should not drop lower then 11-10V at the lowest (while cranking).

Finally once the car is started up and while its running you should read 14.4V or close to that.

You can do all this with the help of a multi-meter and a partner.

...
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:31 AM   #15
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Cool Re: Won't start in cold weather

My car stays outside all year long and when its plugged in, the block heater keeps the entire engine bay warm including the transmission.

They are rated at 300W if you look on the actual block heater itself. Its screws on to the back of the engine with a 10mm bolt.

The difference it makes I tell you!!!! When its -20 the temperature needle will start to rise seconds after the engine is started instead of 5-10 minutes. It will start to spit out some heat shortly after about 1-2 minutes.

Also while it keeps the engine warm, the temperature of the oil will be higher making it it easier to crank and the oil much easier to pump.

When I get light snow on the hood of the car, the snow will actually melt on the hood so I know the engine bay is mild or somewhat warm.

Perfect example this morning..... some light snow all over the car except directly on the hood as the engine bay keeps warm. See Picture.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCF1682aa.jpg (212.8 KB, 4 views)

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