Car starts up then cuts off two seconds later in cold weather

Also i have a snow icon on the dash that lights up

My car has 162000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Anytime a car doesn’t want to idle, the first thing you want to do is check for air leaks. There are a handful of vacuum lines and large rubber molded parts under the hood that air passes through and if any air is getting into these from the outside, the car will have trouble idling. Look under the hood at all the rubber parts and hoses and make sure everything is connected and there are no cracks or leaks. Otherwise, there may be a problem in a temp sensor or an air sensor that is not allowing the car to compensate for the cold weather. An engine needs about 20-30 % more fuel to start and run cold than it does when it is hot, so the sensors are there to tell the ECU to enrich the mixture. Properly diagnosing this kind of problem requires that you have the right equipment. If you contact Your Mechanic, they can send a qualified technician to come to your home or office and check out your car and advise you as to what steps need to be taken to fix it.
As for the snowflake icon, It is supposed to come on at low outside temps. It’s intended as a warning about possible ice on the road and wont have anything to do with your stalling problem.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

There are three major causes for a stalled engine: A lack of fuel, a lack of air flow and improper ignition. Running out of fuel is one of the most common causes of engine stalling, but dirty fuel injectors or a plugged fuel filter can also be the culprit. Your engine needs air to run properly as well.
If your car is stalling when it`s cold or stalling intermittently, your fuel mixture might not be adequate. This usually happens when the mixture of fuel and air isn`t rich enough.
This is a tell-tale sign that there is a hair line fracture in the ECU`s circuit or in one of the coil`s windings that separates and loses connection when it gets hot and expands. Another thing that can cause this is the carb. It may be getting too much fuel once it`s warmed up.
Some of the most common sensors that lead to engine stalling include the mass airflow sensor (MAF), engine coolant temperature sensor (ECT) and manifold absolute pressure sesnsor (MAP). The idle air control valve (IAC) and exhaust gas recirculation valve (EGR) are also well known for causing engine stalling.
Faulty Battery

A classic reason why your car starts for a second then dies is battery depletion. The car needs electricity from the battery to start. However, if your car starts then dies immediately, then the fault could be a lack of charging or damaged battery.

This symptom often points to an issue with either your exhaust system, fuel or dirty or worn out parts. In internal combustion running vehicles, and incomplete combustion will cause a sputter. And while a sputtering engine might not seem like a serious issue, it often results in an expensive repair when ignored.
If the engine stalls while idling or driving, the engine may be running out of fuel or not receiving enough fuel pressure to keep it running. The most likely cause of this kind of stalling would be a fuel pump that is not spinning fast enough or is intermittently cutting out.
Lack Of Fuel

The most common and obvious reason your car may start then die is the fuel shortage in your engine. This happens because there`s not enough fuel in the fuel rail, and there`s no fuel pressure to keep the engine alive. The reason isn`t always you forgetting to fill up your gas tank.

Coolant Sensor

If your vehicle`s coolant reads that the engine is too hot it will stall the vehicle.

A failing camshaft position sensor begins losing its ability to quickly transfer data. Mismatched fuel delivery and ignition timing, even if off by a few milliseconds, will cause your vehicle to sputter, accelerate poorly, lack power, stall or even shut off.
Another symptom commonly associated with a problematic crankshaft position sensor is intermittent stalling. If the crankshaft position sensor or its wiring have any issues, it can cause the crankshaft signal to be cut off while the engine is running, which can cause the engine to stall.
Malfunctioning spark plugs can make an engine stop for a while and resume its normal functioning. It can happen when you are driving. The engine can also sound rough when idle. The misfires affect the proper functioning of your car`s engine due to failing spark plugs that have no power to ignite the fuel-air mixture.
You Need New Spark Plugs

Another common cause is a worn-out spark plug. Your car`s spark plugs are responsible for igniting the air/fuel mixture in the combustion chambers. This powers your car`s engine and keeps it running. If you have old spark plugs, this is a very likely cause for your car stalling.

The starter operates automatically when you depress the clutch pedal before selecting a gear. If the starter and battery are designed to handle “stalling the engine” every time you stop at a red light, a few more unintentional stalls are unlikely to harm anything.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

My car isn’t starting, it’s really cold out. I was wondering how can I start it with this cold weather
ANSWER : Hi there. Given the description of not being able to start your vehicle, when it is cold and jump starting the vehicle without any problem. This leads me to believe the battery does not have enough cold cranking amp capacity. The engine needs to turn over fast enough to start. This may be nothing more than a weak battery. I recommend having this confirmed by a certified technician from YourMechanic.

My car will not start Intermittently. I purchased a new battery 2 weeks ago and yesterday the car wouldn’t start. Got a jump and
ANSWER : The issue you are having is probably due to an intermittent fault in the starter motor itself or a deficiency in the starter electrical circuit, for example a large voltage drop due to a poor ground or a high resistance connection. These issues can be readily diagnosed and resolved on a mobile basis if you request a hard starting diagnostic. If you request that diagnostic, the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you promptly. Based on Toyota’s Factory Service Manual, the battery should not be disconnected if the vehicle engine is running. The battery acts as a large resistive voltage sink and consequently taking the battery out of the circuit, while the alternator is still running, can create a voltage spike on the car’s electrical system which is not good for voltage sensitive components such as the engine computer. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

I put the wrong key in my car and a few weeks later my car just shut down and it will not start I believe it’s the computer but…
ANSWER : Hi there. What had happened is the wrong key set the security to the vehicle. This is to prevent the vehicle from starting with the wrong keys. Try removing the battery cables (+) and (-) for 13 minutes. During that time, put the original key in the ignition and turn it on. Activate everything in the car even though there is no power. Then remove the key and hook up the battery cables. The computer should have reset and reset the security. If the security is still being tripped, then I recommend seeking out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you

I have a cold weather auto start feature in my auto start remote.
ANSWER : Hi there. The cold weather timer is a great feature to have, but you can adjust the time for the auto start to stay on for. I recommend setting the timer for 20 minutes to allow the engine to warm up. The hardest thing to do on an engine is start it up and shut it off before it warms up. This will gel up the engine oil and causing the engine to fail due to lack of engine oil. If you need further assistance with your auto start system, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

Push start will not start on a 2012 Dodge Journey after hooking up subwoofers and amp car did start after hookup but never started
ANSWER : Hi there. Unfortunately, we’re unable to offer technical assistance when aftermarket components or electrical upgrades are installed, as there are simply too many different things that could be causing your ignition problem. I would recommend contacting a local audio visual installation company or local automotive shop that completes electrical repairs to get some ideas, or purchase a service and repair manual for your Dodge to review the relay schematic to determine which ones you need to check and replace. This video might help you learn how to check for damaged relays – so you might want to watch it.

New battery & fuel pump. Hours later car starts and shuts down 3X in a row. Finally it starts, 48 hours later, won’t start at all
ANSWER : Checking all the fuses was a good move. I would also want to put a scan tool on it and check for diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) as well as seeing the data that the computer is seeing.

A fuel pressure test would be a good idea to verify correct pressure and so that you’d be able to eliminate that possibility. It should be 58psi on your Magnum.

I also recommend getting your battery tested (I know, it’s new, have it tested anyway) and be sure it’s charged to at least 75%. And yes, loose battery cable connections can result in electrical problems.

If you need some assistance with this, consider enlisting a certified mechanic who can perform the checks I’ve mentioned and diagnose your starting issue firsthand. The mechanic can then perform the necessary repairs once the problem has been isolated. Good luck.

Fuel pump engages. Batery good, alternator good volts, jump start helps when wont start. Temp does not matter. Intermittent?
ANSWER : Hello. Thank you for writing in. There are several reasons your vehicle may only start when jump starting. The first and most common is a build up of resistance that is causing you to need a boost of voltage to get the engine started. This may be due to poor battery cables, a bad ground connection, a poor starter solenoid, and a couple of other issues. The first thing you want to do is perform a visual inspection of the starting system. Make sure there is no corrosion build up in the battery cables. You can also check the resistance across these wires and make sure you have a solid connection between components. You then want to make sure the starter solenoid is doing its job. It is responsible for taking the small amount of electricity sent by the ignition and turning it into a huge electrical charge that is strong enough to push over the engine with the help of some gear ratios in its favor. Do some more testing, and stick to the basics before assuming its something seriously complicated.

Battery and oil light come on when trying to start car, take keys out try again car starts no problem and lights go away
ANSWER : Of course, don’t switch gears without being fully stopped, unless your Owner’s Manual or the manufacturer has alternative advice. However, the gear shift issue has no relation to the no-start problem you are describing. Inasmuch as you only have 6,000 miles on the car, the "constant on and off" that you believe has occurred is meaningless in comparison to the expected total vehicle service life. That is, assume what you perceive as "constant on and off", during merely 6,000 miles, might be equivalent to using the car "normally" for three years. A new car should be trouble free for at least 5 years, unless there is a defect, so your "constant on and off" is not a causal factor for any fault on the vehicle. What you might have is a defect in the ignition switch, or perhaps the immobilizer system, but if the problem is not in the switch itself, clearly there is an electrical problem.

If your vehicle is under warranty, by law the dealer MUST repair the issue you are describing within a prescribed time frame and number of "attempts", otherwise the dealer will run afoul of Federal and state Lemon Laws that give you very specific rights, and recourse (contact an Attorney; we are Mechanics, NOT attorneys). Consequently, if the vehicle is still under warranty, to save yourself money do be sure to seek a resolution from the dealer. If the vehicle is not under warranty, obviously a certified Mechanic from YourMechanic could identify the electrical fault and resolve this for you. If you want to go that route, please simply request a no start diagnostic -electrical system and the responding certified mechanic will get this taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.