cold weather slow starting - Unofficial Honda FIT Forums


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Old 01-11-2011, 02:12 PM
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cold weather slow starting

On mornings when the car has sat outside and it is cold (~22 degrees or colder) the car is very sluggish starting before the engine finally fires.

Is this common?

Zach
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:27 PM
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Honda seem to spec marginal batteries in their vehicles. Have it checked before the end of the full replacement warranty runs out. The battery in our Honda Element was slow to turn over from day one and after four years it just quit after sitting a long weekend in below freezing weather.
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:41 PM
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every now and then when it's cold out, the car seems to "Chug" a little bit before kicking over. it was ~10F this morning and I had no problem starting up however, I do turn the key two clicks and let it sit for about 3-5 seconds before turning the key to "start". Seems to help - not sure if it's real or just all in my head. My integra had issues turning over in really really cold weather. The Battery was 8 years old and I had been told at about year 4 that I needed to replace it. at about that time(yr 4) I added a 450W amp and stereo and along with that came a .5 farad "cap". The biggest benefit of the cap was that on cold mornings, it provided the extra Juice needed to turn over the car. (Thinking about just installing it for that reason alone - still have it).

I've never had a Honda not fire up on me... but a few have sounded like it was close in cold weather. (we get down to -10F in the winter)

~SB
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:29 PM
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To the above ^:
The only thing that turning the key to "On" before starting to "Run" changes is that it allows the fuel system to prime itself. Other than that, if anything, battery voltage would drop slightly from having the electrical system running, so it is, most likely, as you suspected, in your head.

To the OP:
There are four major conditions that would cause slow starting in cold weather:
Cold fuel (very unlikely to be #1 in a gas engine at only 22 degrees F)
Bad starter (very ely in a car less than a year old)
Cold oil (again, unlikely at such a relatively un-cold temperature)
#1- (Farther takes the cake ) Honda's crap battery. Check into battery warmers- they run about $20-40, and plug in like a block heater. They wrap around the battery, and, when run on a timer, will have the battery warmed up a bit before you start it. Set it for 30-45 minutes before you head to work in the morning and you should have easier starting.
A block heater would help SOME, but probably not as much, given the tiny, junk batteries Honda runs as OEM.
The more expensive solution is a deep-cycle battery. Optima's are great, but expensive ($125 on the cheap end). They're pretty bulletproof. If you have the coin, and are that concerned, it's not a bad idea, but if your battery's less than a year old, you can check with your dealer about a warranty replacement- Mark W.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:03 PM
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Well, if it's in somebody elses head it's in mine too, only it does help the car turn over faster when starting from dead cold in very cold temps. Two clicks of the key turn, wait five seconds [about five seat belt dings], and it'll turn over faster and happier. I've tried not doing it and doing it- there is a difference. And as long as the car starts better, I'm considering it's in the FITS head, not mine- and I'll take it.



Dan
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:28 PM
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Well, it's ALWAYS a good idea to let your fuel system prime before starting- that'll promote good long-term wear, and give easier starts every time. BUT it's not going to make THAT much of a difference- Mark W.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:44 AM
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Put it this way, when I do the routine it's a faster, more robust turnover. In extreme cold, it's worth the little effort. I should add this isn't at all necessary in warm temps- only cold. And even in cold temps, once the car is warmed up it'll turn right over without doing it again. I'm not saying the battery isn't a real problem for the OP though. Fit batteries can be suspect, from what I've read over a couple of years. But you might want to give the routine a try and see if it helps the matter. It may be just the ticket.

Dan
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:46 AM
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I always let the fuel system prime. Im sure it starts harder when you just get in and turn. Its easy enough and takes 2 secs. just wait till you hear the fuel pump whine go off.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:16 PM
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Not withstanding any mechanical/electrical issues... slower starts on cold mornings are pretty much a given and really nothing to be alarmed about.

One way to make the starts easier is to get an engine block heater installed.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul56 View Post
Not withstanding any mechanical/electrical issues... slower starts on cold mornings are pretty much a given and really nothing to be alarmed about.

One way to make the starts easier is to get an engine block heater installed.
It has been below freezing here for the last 4 weeks at least. I have not had any problem with starting. Vroom Vroom.

I do think my Swifts went South though.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:18 PM
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It has been below freezing here for the last 4 weeks at least. I have not had any problem with starting. Vroom Vroom.

I do think my Swifts went South though.
It's not your springs Bill... The fluid in your shocks is probably the consistency of Andy Granatelli's STP. Oh, I always let my injectors get primed before hitting the starter, it takes a little longer in cold weather.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:49 AM
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It's not your springs Bill... The fluid in your shocks is probably the consistency of Andy Granatelli's STP. Oh, I always let my injectors get primed before hitting the starter, it takes a little longer in cold weather.
Of course you are correct. I knew that. Whatever it rides more like a go-kart. I have dentist appointment Monday morning. Will take in a handful of fillings to be re-inserted.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by thaduke2003 View Post
"...A block heater would help SOME, but probably not as much, given the tiny, junk batteries Honda runs as OEM.."
You might be surprised at just how much the OEM block heater not only assists a marginally engineered or even charged battery...but how it produces a nice 'quiet' start vs what the engine is programmed to do when dead cold.

I would never go without one again in regards to these smaller engines; as it took but one time to hear the difference and I was convinced.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:02 PM
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Use synthetic oil, it will help the engine starts easier in the cold.
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:04 AM
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primed fuel ?

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Originally Posted by thaduke2003 View Post
Well, it's ALWAYS a good idea to let your fuel system prime before starting- that'll promote good long-term wear, and give easier starts every time. BUT it's not going to make THAT much of a difference- Mark W.
I dont know about this at all but would ask regarding fuel system being primed. Does the fuel system loose prime when shut off?
It has to reprime each start?
I could understand this if I ran out of fuel. It sounds like good thinking but is it a myth?
You see It isnt any where cold as 22 degrees anything where I am at but my coincidently today cranking speeed on my Honda sport fit was so slow i didnt know if the car would start.

thanks for your attention and hmmm!
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul56 View Post
Not withstanding any mechanical/electrical issues... slower starts on cold mornings are pretty much a given and really nothing to be alarmed about.

One way to make the starts easier is to get an engine block heater installed.
Now that is true and that would be good for engine life in so many ways. Thats what fire departments do.... keep the apperatises warm. Start and go....
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Old 01-16-2011, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Vacca Rabite View Post
On mornings when the car has sat outside and it is cold (~22 degrees or colder) the car is very sluggish starting before the engine finally fires.

Is this common?

Zach

Common beausethe batteries aren't very good. Check all coonections between battery and starter and to ground but when its cold the stock batteryisn't very good at cranking the starter.
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Old 01-16-2011, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by mahout View Post
Common beausethe batteries aren't very good. Check all coonections between battery and starter and to ground but when its cold the stock batteryisn't very good at cranking the starter.
This is where the "cap" (capacitor) I had in the car aided greatly. The car would display very little of the common "cold car" symptoms. The integra would fire up with no issues.

~SB
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