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Frigid Air = Won't Start?

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Active Member
Apr 15, 2010
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It's been super - I mean super! - cold in the Ottawa Valley the last few days. It was -34C (-29F) at the airport at 6 a.m. this morning - the day I planned to take my Warrior, PZT, to my mechanic for her annual. She lives in a heated hangar and I waited 'til afternoon (-22C) to be on the safe side. Check oil and do walkaround in the hangar then out onto the ramp to start. She cranked really strongly but not even an offer to start. Lots of prime - no joy. Throttle back and forth (I don't really like to do that) - still no joy. Back in the hangar, take out a plug - dry. Open the primer line - good squirt of gas. Take out all top plugs (for safety!) and turn over by hand - good impulse click and spark. Also note all plugs dry.

The only thing we can think of is that the outside air is so cold that it won't volatilise the fuel. Priming just results in fuel pooling at the bottom of the intake manifold as an inert liquid. Incoming air just doesn't pick up any flammable vapour.

Try again later in the week - up to -7C(!) in a couple of days.

Any opinions or comments?

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