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The 8th generation (E110) of Toyota's best-selling compact car.

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Diesel in cold weather now needs to be warmed before it will fire

I’ve had this car for years with little trouble. It’s the last year before I replace her, but she’s stopped starting in cold weather only a few months before I have the money for a new car. I can get her started by pointing a fan heater at the engine block for five-ten min, but it’s not ideal.

The engine turns over very well. But could the cold be zapping some of the battery power preventing the warming of the engine?

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Diesel engines won’t start at low temperature, that’s why engineerings installed Glow Plugs to heat up the combustion chamber.

If your Glow plugs works fine so you have to put contact, wait until the spring led goes off, then remove contact, repeat that multiple times (5 to 10 ) and your engine should start correctly.

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This model doesn’t feature a glow plug symbol on the dashboard. I do hear a click in the engine after a few dozen seconds after setting the key to the lock position. This could be the glow plugs turning off.

The last time the engine wouldn’t start, I flipped the key position between off and on about seven times, waiting for the engine click before each off position. It didn’t seem to help.

The frosty weather has passed for the moment so I’ll revisit this if it happens again.


There is another option that might be related to your problem and it's that the pistons will shrink a little bit (cold weather) and that result to a bad compression.

In order to work properly, the combustion chamber of a diesel engine must be hot and under pressure, otherwise the diesel won't burn.

Try to start your car in a descent when she's cold, just let her fall until reaching a speed around 20Mph switch to first or second gear then release the clutch, make sure that you have enough adherence to the ground and your breaks works properly before doing that.


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Yes it could be the battery, the cold will kill a battery and if you replace the battery turn the key back or foward to the on postion which ever shows the engine block heater light and wait for it to go off or to 10-15 minutes

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put the key in the one postion and wait 5-10 minutes before trying to turn it over and make sure you have good volts on your battery


Thanks for the advice. It’s hard to know if I’m doing it correctly because this model lacks an indicator for the glow plugs/engine block heater. I do hear a click in the engine a dozen seconds or so after putting the keys to the “on” position. I’ve been guessing this is the glow plugs turning off.

I tried cycling on for 15 seconds, off, on for 15 again, etc. and then finally trying to start it. I was hoping this would heat the engine but it still failed to fire.

While it’s still cold right now, it’s not as cold and the engine is starting every morning. I’ll keep an eye on it until it gets colder again or I get a new motor.


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stewartlawrence will be eternally grateful.
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