# Engine wont start unless I heat up the engine first

## Summary:

I'm having a problem with my car, it wouldn't start one morning so I just figured maybe the spark plugs had gotten damp overnight, so I got my hair dryer and pointed it at the back of the engine toward the back set of plugs, after bout 30 minutes of this my car started right up,
I took my car to the shop and they had it for 3 straight weeks even changed the spark plugs but they never could figure out what was wrong with it. Now that it's getting cooler weather it's taking bout 2 hours of having the hair dryer blowing on the back of the engine for it yo start up, does anyone possibly know what the problem could be, thank you..

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256bits
Gold Member
First question - Does it at least turn over?
Second question - What year of car? Does it have electronic ignition?
Third question - Does some of the hot air blow on some of the other electrics under the hood?

Moonbaby39
Yes it turns over great, it's a 2003 pontiac grand am, 6cylinder, yes the hot air blows over the whole back of the engine, I set the hair dryer where it's leaning on the edge of the coil packs to hold it in place that way I can go sit down while it's heating up

First question - Does it at least turn over?
Second question - What year of car? Does it have electronic ignition?
Third question - Does some of the hot air blow on some of the other electrics under the hood?

I know that J.C. Whitney sells engine block heaters that you plug into a normal wall outlet.

diogenesNY

Moonbaby39
I know that J.C. Whitney sells engine block heaters that you plug into a normal wall outlet.

diogenesNY
I was reading about one of those in the book that came with my car, I looked and mine didn't come with one, but in the book it says it's for really cold weather but my car started doing this back in June when it was just getting hot outside , in July and August when it would get in the 90's the car would actually crank up by itself without the hair dryer but if it didn't hit above 90 I had to use the dryer

anorlunda
Staff Emeritus
I suspect you'll get better answers on cartalk.com.

Moonbaby39
I suspect you'll get better answers on cartalk.com.
Ok thank you , I'll check that out

Ranger Mike
Gold Member
i suspect fuel issue. Why? When it's cold it takes longer for gasoline to turn into vapor, and the easiest way to make more vapor is to have more gasoline. So by running the engine rich you have more gasoline to turn into vapor, and then you'll have enough vapor to ignite and start the engine, once you have warmed up the engine, the engine will supply enough heat to covert the liquid gasoline into a vapor.
So if you have fuel supply problem to begin with, you can crank the engine all day and you will not be able to fire the engine up. No vapor at cold temperature. The hair dryer heats up the aluminum manifold enough to get the limited fuel supply available to vaporized enough to fire.

The good news is that the 16 year old fuel pump is still operating so you may not need to drop thegas tank to change it. The fix may be as cheap as a $5.00 fuel check valve - see video - Last edited: Moonbaby39 and diogenesNY i suspect fuel issue. Why? When it's cold it takes longer for gasoline to turn into vapor, and the easiest way to make more vapor is to have more gasoline. So by running the engine rich you have more gasoline to turn into vapor, and then you'll have enough vapor to ignite and start the engine, once you have warmed up the engine, the engine will supply enough heat to covert the liquid gasoline into a vapor. So if you have fuel supply problem to begin with, you can crank the engine all day and you will not be able to fire the engine up. No vapor at cold temperature. The hair dryer heats up the aluminum manifold enough to get the limited fuel supply available to vaporized enough to fire. The good news is that the 16 year old fuel pump is still operating so you may not need to drop thegas tank to change it. The fix may be as cheap as a$ 5.00 fuel check valve - see video -

I will have this idea checked out for sure, I replaced the fuel pump 3 years ago when the original one up and died on me, but this one could be dying now, thank you for replying to me

JBA