Car Hard to Start

Reader Question

Hi Austin! I am Jojo from the Philippines. I own a Mitsubishi Lancer ’94. My problem started a month ago when I’ve noticed my car’s very rough idling every morning.

I usually leave for work at 7 a.m. and this car is becoming a headache. It’s idling is very rough to the point that the engine stops running. So I have to wait for few minutes until the engine is heated up so that I will get a good idle.

I’ve have also noticed that if I park may car in an uncovered area under the scorching heat of the sun and I start the engine, I’m gonna get a good idle.

My question is, how is heat associated with the the idling and power of the engine?

My brother also has same car as mine but when he starts it every morning, he’s not getting the same problem. I tried to have my carburetor checked but the problem stayed.

I would really appreciate your views regarding my concern. Thank you!

Hello there Jojo,

If your vehicle has a carburetor I would probably suspect you have a “choke” problem. I would leave your vehicle over night with your mechanic and have them check the choke when the engine is COLD like it is first thing in the morning. The choke richens the fuel mixture when the engine is cold and the weather is cold outside to help with first starts.

Once the engine is hot…or the weather is hot outside the choke is not needed. Usually there is a small adjustment that can be made to the choke to help with cold starts.

I would also inspect a few other items that could cause starting complaints like you are having.

1. Worn out spark plugs

2. Worn out spark plug wires

3. Dirty fuel filter

4. Worn out distributor cap and ignition rotor

5. Ignition timing not set correctly

All items listed above are part of a basic “tune up”, but when they are overdue for a change can cause a poor running condition, slow starting, reduced fuel economy etc. etc.

Please share this with your friends,

Austin C. Davis

Posted in: Running Problems

2 Comments on "Car Hard to Start"

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  1. dennis says:

    I have the same exact problem with my lancer gli ’94 (efi engine) for months now, which part of the engine do you think needs to be replaced? Thanks.

    • Austin says:

      If you have a carburetor, I would be suspect of a choke or carburetor problem. if you have fuel injection, I would be suspect of a fuel delivery problem like a weak fuel pump or restricted fuel filter. of course, worn out spark plugs and wires could also cause this issue and should be ruled out.

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