My truck won't start in cold weather unless I use starting fluid.


Asked by Jesse Dec 30, 2014 at 01:51 PM about the 1996 Chevrolet C/K 1500 Cheyenne 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My truck won't start in cold weather unless
I use starting fluid. I've replaced the temp
sensor, fuel filter and the pump is less than
a year old. I was told it could be the maf
sensor sending wrong temp and conflicting
with the temp sensor. Can anyone help me
figure it out?

13 Answers


Bad or low compression could cause this. We will hope that isn't it though!! There should also be an intake air temp sensor. These can be tested so don't go replacing parts without a test. Just something to check.

7 people found this helpful.

Its just when its fairly cold though. Would compression cause this? Its acting like it wants to start, it all depends on what the temp is. The colder it is the harder it is to start. Itll fire off a few times then die out sometimes like its not getting enough fuel and i plan on checking the fuel pressure but its always took a few turnovers to start but it started fine last winter and i dont know how the compression would change in that amount of time. Ill check the air temp sensor tho just to be safe. Its just throwin me for a loop. I would much rather have a carbed engine, I hate this computer crap.

7 people found this helpful.

My son had a ford ranger that acted that way and it had low compression on 2 cylinders, but it doesn't sound like that's your prob. I think testing the pressure is a good place to start. Agree with you on the computers, were stuck with them tho.

4 people found this helpful.

I changed the air temp sensor nothing changed. Once I get it started it runs fine but it if the engine hasn't warmed up much and I kill it, it doesn't want start again, I usually have try to start it twice to get it to start and it put puts for a second until it gets to normal idle rpms...I'm super lost.

12 people found this helpful.

I know the truck is a 96, you should have obd2. Have the computer scanned for codes. Those sensors you mentioned would throw a code. When was the last time it had a tumeup? Your battery could be week, have it load tested. Check all battery connections. Your starter solenoid could be tired too. There is also a chance that it is condensation in the engine compartment.

4 people found this helpful.

What is obd2? The check engine light not on and I I changed the distributer cap and rotor and fuel filter and changed the oil recently and plugs and wires were changed a little under a year ago so it hasn't been too long since Its had a tune up. I've checked the connections they're all good its turns over perfectly so the starter should be good. How would I know if there's moisture anywhere?

10 people found this helpful.

obd2 means you have a computer that can be scanned with a modern code reader. Even though there is no check engine light, there can still be codes stored. AutoZone or someplace like them will scan for codes for free. I have googled your problem. There are several sites that have responses to questions like yours. There are Chevy forums that would be more specific to your vehicle. One of the weird things that I read was that people would cover the engine under the hood at night to keep condensation from forming. Google some sites and check it out. If you get the codes read, post them here.

5 people found this helpful.

Could be bad computer sometimes bad computers won't code

1 people found this helpful.

Did you ever find out what it was... My truck 89 silverado is doing the same as yours

1 people found this helpful.

Had same issue couple days ago and figured out it was my ignition switch. I have a 2000 Chevy Silverado ... so 17 years of use the ignition switch was bound to wear out as well the ignition key cylinder.The temperature i would recall having issues at were 62 degrees Fahrenheit and below anything above that the truck started right up no issues. The way i found out was as soon as the key was in start position i held it at the exact moment the truck wanted to crank/start. Didn't force the key all the way back to start, Just as soon as the truck wanted to crank/start i would hold it there and BOOM! had it up and running. I replaced the old ignition switch and ignition key cylinder and tried it on cold night... Started right up no slow crank or anything. Solved my problem and hope this Helps you with yours. Another thing that would help back this up is cold temps can make the battery not send as much power as needed to start your vehicle so contact in the Ignition is what matters,unless your battery is very old and could possibly be an issue as well. I would have taken pictures of the old ignition key cylinder and compared it to the new one but its long gone now... but the old one was nasty looking and worn out that it didn't even need comparing to know it was bad. Hope This Helps Anyone That has had the issues i had in cold temperatures.

5 people found this helpful.

Having the exact same problem. Any fixes yet?

1 people found this helpful.

My 2002 Chevy Express 3500, 5.7 engine, does the same thing. When I turn the key on and listen for the relay that runs the fuel pump, 10 or 12 times it starts. Or when I spray in a little starting fluid, it starts. The fuel pressure is fine. Replaced the air intake temp sensor, about $20., did not help. Outside temperature went up to sixty degrees today, it started rigtht up. The longer it sets, the harder to start. Kinda seems like there may be a check valve, maybe in the tank that is letting the fuel drain back to the tank. A mechanic said to change the fuel pressure regulator.... Truck runs great, climbs hills fine, even when overloaded....?

6 people found this helpful.

My Chevy express 2500 does the same thing. Did you figure this out?

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