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Since batteries lose almost half their cranking power at freezing, and since diesels require much higher fuel temps to start than gasoline engines, many recommend using a block heater whenever the temperature is under 35-40 degrees if starting becomes a problem.
You don't say whether it is petrol or diesel engined or whether the engine is cranking fine but won't fire.
Certainly an engine must crank quick enough but even then if it is the best diesel engine ever made it is unlikely to start below freezing without an artificial starting aid. Such an aid is already installed but must be in good condition. Heater plugs do fail sometimes or get tired and lazy so they need checking and sometimes the timer relay fails to switch them on. Good injector spray patterns are also needed for good starting.
Petrol engines need enrichment of the fuel/air mixture for cold starting and a very good spark at the plugs. Worn spark plugs is the most common cause of poor starting and if the ECU isn't getting the right information about temperature it will be unable to make the correct fuel adjustments.
A good injector spray pattern is also important.
Check voltage while your car is running and radio is not working. Some engine at low temperatures are using much more electrical power (diesel glow plugs, electrical air heater) which can affect other devices inside your car.
in cold weather diesel gels up and sometimes causes a no start issue..a cetane fuel additive helps with this issue. if temps go below 20 degrees, add a quart per tankful of cetane to the fuel to help start on cold mornings. also diesels require more amperage to crank than gas engines do..thus a stronger battery is needed..
only 2 things can maake a diesel run rough at start up ,,1--- air in the system 2----- 1 or more of the glow plugs not working. this sounds like the latter ,if you have a couple of glow plugs not working ,it will miss on those cylinders until it warms up ,and the smoke is mostll exesive fuel when it does fire . recommend you check the glow plugs
Gasoline engines work with a spark plug, where an electrode ignites the fuel mixture. Diesel engines operate on the principle of heat and pressure. Compression ratios are very high in diesel engines and when the air is compressed into a very confined space it heats rapidly, then the fuel is injected and combusts.
Most diesel engines have a "wait to start" light when you first turn the ignition to on. If the temp is below normal, I might would allow for a few extra seconds for the glow plugs to heat up. The block heater will help though, b/c it raises the temp on the engine and allows for it to build the heat neccesary for combustion.
check the glow plugs usually nd external check would indicate power to the plug but in your case i would suggest you to pull atleast a couple of plugs and makes sure that they are getting hot you will find that the plugs are not working replace the glow plugs and the engine will have no problem in starting adn if you live in a cold region make sure that our electric corde is plugged in all night since the diesels need to be warm to operate necause they strictly work on heat from the engine and they do not have spark plugs to ignite the fuel.