ford E350 won't start when cold.


Asked by Sep 15, 2016 at 12:53 PM about the 1996 Ford E-350 XLT Club Wagon Passenger Van Extended

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a Ford E350 with 7.5 liter gas engine. It runs
great when the weather is nice but on cold
mornings it won't start. It cranks over just fine. But
the engine won't catch. This morning
temperatures were about 50 degrees so no where
near freezing. And it still wouldn't start. We
struggled with it all last year too. When I heat the
top of the engine with a space heater it will
eventually start. I've already checked for spark and
replaced the distributor cap and rotor.
My guess is that the fuel injectors are gummed up
or something so they have a hard time opening.
But it runs fine in warm weather. Does anyone
have experience with this?

2 Answers


I eeked it along through last winter and Now a year later the car is still doing the same thing. I got the heat gun out late at night in the cold and started warming various ignition components. (careful not to burn plastic or ignite fuel) I started with the ignition control module. Nothing. I moved to the ignition coil and warmed it up for a few minutes and the car started! So I pulled the spark cable off (the one that carries High Voltage from the coil to the Distributer) it came off far easier than I expected and Lo and Behold the contact on the ignition coil was all pitted from arcing and the boot on the cable was clogged full of gunk. lacking the parts to fix it, late at night and time for bed I used a cotton swab to clean out as much of the gunk as I could, then I injected it with some anti corrosion contact grease (intended for use in household electrical panel boxes) and reinstalled the cable. I made sure I pressed it on tight to get a good connection. Next morning was very cold (around 25° F) and the van started first try. Hurray! its fixed! I will be replacing the coil and the cable as soon as I can get all the parts and my teenager to do the work. If you are having this problem check the coil and the cable, and the distributor and rotor. unplug and carefully inspect the connections. if that doesn't turn anything up try the heat gun or a space heater to warm various components before buying parts. (I was going to purchase new injectors, glad I didn't). warm one thing at a time and try to start before warming another component to narrow down the search.

2 people found this helpful.

2010 E350 same problem... seems to be worse in cold weather! the vans 5.4L blew a spark plug out off the head last month (notorious for this ford motor) I got it fixed, but the van has always had a hard time starting on cold mornings... i am not sure i understand what i do know.

Your Answer:

Ford E-350 Experts

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    Tracy Hooks
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    Opal Allen
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