Cold Start Up Hesitation - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars

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Old 06-16-2009, 01:06 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1
Default Cold Start Up Hesitation

Hello All. I just registered and this is my first post to find some answers since I can't find any.

I live in Los Angeles so the weather is always quite warm. In the morning when I go to work and start my car, the engine starts up. No problem. However, when I begin to accelerate there is a hesitation and a jerk that almost feels like the engine kicks into another gear or something.

I asked my nissan dealer and he wasn't sure just by what I was saying, but he said maybe there is an idle engle rpm and then it kicks into a moving rpm mode.

This is almost exactly what it feels like. I can accelerate very very slowly in the morning without it hesitating but once I need to go up the hill and push a little harder and the engine kicks in harder.

It does not do this if I have been driving for a while, go into a store and then come back out. Like I said, it is only when the engine is cold, usually before and after work.

Anyone else experiencing the same thing or can come to any conclusions?
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:59 AM
Pretty Darn Active Enthusiast
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 269
Default Re: Cold Start Up Hesitation

I drive my mom's NAH every few weeks but am unsure if I feel what you're describing. I will say the NAH's power transitions are more abrupt than on my Prius and it feels like it cuts the gas engine more agressively/the cut itself is more aggressive.

Perhaps you can borrow someone's ScanGauge to watch the engine RPMs since the NAH has no tach and also look at ignition timing?

To be slightly OT, people believe the Prius has 5 stages of operation (see PDF attached to I can confirm some of this on my Prius since I recently got a ScanGuage, esp. the change of IGN going from -10 to something >0. I wouldn't be surprised of the NAH similar stages (it definitely has stage 0).
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:31 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Boston
Posts: 164
Default Re: Cold Start Up Hesitation

My car is a bit more harsh when it's not warmed up yet. I live in New England so I should know something about cold weather starts!
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Old 06-19-2009, 06:36 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 84
Default Re: Cold Start Up Hesitation

The engine is rougher when cold (as is true of every car I've ever driven); one of the ways this shows up is in a rougher transition from battery to engine. I haven't noticed any actual hesitation, but I definitely feel the transition - whereas a warm engine transitions almost imperceptibly.
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