Hard Cold Starting Issues

Recently my Figgy starting showing a reluctance on initial cold-engine startup.  I say cold-engine in consideration of our very mild ambient temperatures here in Austin.  The symptoms?  On first start, the engine won’t take additional throttle without dying, and even then usually quits running after a few seconds.  It would normally take 3-4 starting attempts before the engine would continue running, roughly, then a minute or so before operation smoothed out.

Upon contacting the helpful guys at The Figaro Shop, Didcot, England, it was suggested that I replace both the Cold Start/Idle Valve (their part ENG037.. 100 GBP) AND the Temperature Sensor (ECU) in the Inlet Manifold  (Part ENG035 – 22GBP)

Neither part is particular difficult to change out, and both are located on the NEAR Side (Passenger’s side) of the engine.  I first replaced the cold start valve, since it is near the top of the engine and pretty accessible, with just 2 bolts to remove (and a couple of connecting hoses).  Don’t worry, once you have the new part in hand, you will have no problem locating the old one on the engine.

I was hopeful that this part alone, being the most expensive, would resolve the problem, but, sadly, there was no change in operation after its replacement (leading me to assume my old valve is still good, and it now resides in my spare parts bin)

Then I moved on to the temperature sensor unit.  This is a bit more difficult to spot on the engine.  It will be helpful to remove the two clamps on the black  S-shaped air inlet duct and remove that duct to give better visibility and access to the sensor.

The sensor is on the same side of the engine, and well below, the cold start valve.  It screws almost horizontally into the intake manifold.  First, remove the 2-pin electrical connector to the sensor.  Have your new sensor, and its supplied crush washer, ready for install, since a small amount of coolant will leak when you remove the old one.  Do NOT use any sort of sealant on the threads, since that could interfere with proper grounding.  The washer’s purpose is to provide necessary sealing.

Then, using a 19mm deep socket and a short 1″ extension with your ratchet, you will have no problem unscrewing the old sensor.  Make sure the sealing washing comes out with the sensor.. you don’t want two washers in there.

Screw in the new sensor, tighten it with the 19mm socket, plug in the 2 pin connector (noting it will only fit the sensor in one orientation.. if it doesn’t slip right on, turn the connector over 180 degrees and try again)

Finally, replace the air inlet duct.  Check the two grounding wires, upper and lower, just adjacent to the air duct, since it can be very easy to dislodge these from there connectors while rooting around in there.

That’s it!  You should be good for many smooth starting miles now!

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