My Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi 5.7 will not start well in the cold


Asked by Jan 12, 2013 at 07:19 AM about the 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab LB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The engine turns over quickly but will not fire, have replaced spark plugs twice now, it now has NGK split-fire plugs still no better,  It starts much better in the warmer weather. Is there a cold start sensor on these engines, I have not been able to find one.

14 Answers

Does it eventually start after cranking for, say, 10 seconds or so? It should not take any longer than that..if it does my best suggestion is have the fault codes read, write them down and bring them back here to this forum. I know of no "cold start sensor", it's all in the ICM, or Ignition Control Module

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no fault codes are showing. its a pain to start for the first time of the day from cold there after it's ok. is the ignition control module easily replaceable? and where is it?

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usually they are on the drivers side firewall or fender.

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Instructions Replacing and testing the ignition module. 1 Use your flat tip screwdriver to gentle push the holding clamps away from the connecting plug that plugs into the ignition module. Take care not to put too much pressure on the holding clamps as this will cause them to break requiring replacement of the connector. 2 Gently pull the connecting plug away from the plug end in your ignition module. Move the connector and any wires surrounding the ignition module away from the module to prevent damaging them when removing the module. 3 Use your Phillips screwdriver to loosen the mount screws by turning them counter clockwise. Remove the screws by hand and set them aside. 4 Gently lift the ignition module out from its mounting surface and set aside. Place your new module on the mounting surface and install the mounting screws using your Phillips screwdriver turning them clockwise until snug. Do not over tighten these screws as it will damage the threads and make tightening impossible. 5 Plug the wire connector into the socket on your ignition module. Make sure it is seated properly and plugged in all the way. A loose connector can cause the model to operated erratically. With your ignition key turned to the "On" position, use the DVOM to check for voltage to and from the connector. Connect your test light to the negative side of the ignition coil and turn over the engine. If the test light goes on and off, the ignition module is properly installed. Read more: How to Replace an Ignition Module |

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Now these things are like $ make sure that is what's wrong first!!!!!!!!!!

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Check your static fuel rail pressure. If your leaking back it takes time to repressurize the system.

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Hopefully someone is still monitoring this thread but I'm having the same problem on a 04 ram 2500 5.7 ( hard to start cold but no other time). My truck is throwing a p0456 code which is small evap leak detected. Anybody have any ideas of where to start my search?

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I have a 2003 1500 hemi also with the same cold start problem. It starts up fine if it's warm. ???

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Installed a block warmer on my 06 1500 dodge 5.7 and it solved the problem! I only plug it in when it's supposed to get down below 15 but it starts right up and because it heats the coolant the heat blows hot as soon as it starts ! Cheap fix well about 130$ from jeggs


Thanks Timdenihan, I will look into that. Be Blessed Brother


I bought my 2003 Hemi in July 2014, a propane kit was installed in it, so I can run on gas or propane. Does anyone else have this set up. I sure would like to find out more about this addition. The previous owner also installed a solar panel on the toolbox with 4 12volt batteries that are inside the toolbox, with a 1500 watt converter under the passenger seat, so basically I have 1500 watts of electricity where ever I go. The owner passed away some time ago, I bought the truck from a guy who purchased all his stuff from the guys wife, he turns around and sells the stuff on ebay. I found the truck on craig's list for a good price. It only had 64k miles on it in July when I bought it, I got a real good deal. Does anyone have this stuff or know anything about it. Anxious to talk to you about it. Sincerely, Hemicat


I was having the same issues. Turns out my pcv valve was stuck closed. After the engine was forced to run for a couple mins it would run fine. But the first start up of the day was rough. Try unplugging the hose to the Pcv and see if it starts good. I'm almost certain this will solve alot of problems that people are having with cold starts. I've replaced everything up to this point.

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Hi Jason, my problem turned out to be the flash lube for the LPG conversion it has on it. We re-routed the tubing and make sure it is kept filled up. It is starting fine now.


Hey Guys, thanks for your input. My problem ended up being bad plugs. The guy who owned the truck before me installed a propane system that with a push of a button will switch over and run on propane or gas. I don't know if anyone else has this kind of system, but it is actually pretty cool. I paid someone to change my plugs due to cold weather conditions and no garage to do the work in. He said the plugs were gapped almost twice as much as they should have been, causing very poor starting when cold. I'm not sure if he did this for the propane set up, but I will find out after I replace a few parts on the propane system that are making the switch over from gas to propane impossible. Once again I haven't had an opportunity to do the work due to poor weather conditions and no garage. I plan on doing the work within the next couple of weeks though and I will keep you posted on the progress. Blessings Ya'll, Hemicat

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