When it's cold out side it takes my rangie forever to start. I have to crank it until the battery is almost dead before it starts and then it idles very low @ about 500 rpm. When it's above 40 outside it fires right up and idles fine. any input???
Its the cold start sensor, happened to me a few years ago. Sensor located just behind thermostat housing, there are two and you will see the wiring plugs going to them. I am sure it is the front one. Cheap repair, lucas part is about £6.
Be careful though, steel into alloy! ease it out gently and take time putting it back in to avoid cross-thread. Fiddly job but not hard.
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It depends on what battery you want to put in the car. That'll depend on where you live - if you're in the colder states, I'd want at least 750 cold-crank amps (CCA), so it can reliably start the car in the dead of winter. Personal preference - I love the Optima Red-Top deep cycle (dry cell) batteries. They're monsters - same size as a typical battery but huge power, great recovery time, and they seem to last forever (I had one in a car for 9 years). About $130 for it, but worth the money.
Have the battery tested at the local auto parts dealer. you may have a dead cell. the radio and lights will work fine because they do not require that much voltage. The colder it is the harder it is on the battery and the more juice the process will require. At the same time the battery will have less to offer the colder it gets. If one of the cells is dead you are not going to have enough power to turn that frozen engine over.
It idles briefly since it gets gas from your cold start valve. This means your cold start valve is good. It dies since after that cold start valve will close as it designed that way so fuel from injectors will take over. But apparently fuel is not coming from injectors. And injectors is controlled by injector module. Injectors are normally closed until injector module tells them to open. Check out your fuel injectors and Injector Module. You can buy NOID from any auto part store to test your injectors. If there is no light on then there is a problem with Injector Module. If there is light on the injectors then bad injectors. Here how NOID looks http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/ta36330.html
When it won't start up or crank over, do you have headlights or other accessories? It might not be the battery at all. It might be the starter.
If you have headlights and accessories but no starter cranking, then slide under the passenger side behind the front wheel and locate the starter. Give it a couple taps with a hammer and try starting it. If it starts, the starter is the problem.
If you stop by a service shop, auto zone or O'Reillys or even a walmart auto center they can check your battery and charging system for free or a minimal cost.
check the voltage of the b+ terminal of the ignition coil (primary side) with a cheap multimeter while cranking. low voltage to the primary will cause low voltage on the secondary. also recheck all ground paths from the ignition module. ensure good connection from coil to module. note: new parts are not "known good parts" until it runs.--> IG.MOD.