: cold idle problem

11-16-10, 01:15 AM
Hey guys: I have an 81 Fleet with the 368 6.0l engine. When I start her up in the colder weather she really runs rough and when pulling away she has next to no power. After about 4-5 minutes she is right as rain again. Can anyone pinpoint the problem. Other than that she runs solid. She has the digital fuel injection system. Hope you can help.THX.

11-17-10, 06:42 AM
it would be best NOT to drive off as soon as you fire up the car. Let the car idle for about 5-10 minutes, to warm up and then drive off.
I have had the same issues with mine but now I just sit there with the car running for about 10 mins. I have the same engine as your 81 but it is not the variable displacement like what you have and mine is carburated
Try it and see if it'll work out for you.

11-17-10, 08:36 AM
Yeah, my '87 has the same issue on really cold starts. I need to let it run for a few minutes before I even think about driving it.

Probably not related, but what oil are you using? If your oil is too thick it could be taking longer to get to where it needs to be when it's cold.

Robin Banx
11-19-10, 05:17 PM
Does the Idle Speed Control motor work? On cold start, it should pull the idle up to 1100 - 1300 rpm and then gradually let it back down as the engine warms up. My 81 does this on cold start and it pulls just fine cold or hot.


11-19-10, 07:22 PM
My '86 is the exact same, I always wait until there's heat coming out of the vents before leaving, which is usually about 5-10 minutes depending how cold it is. I also use the block heater when it's colder than -10.

I've noticed the gas mileage is absolutely horrendous if the engine is cold. One time I left before the engine was warm, it used a quarter tank of gas to drive about 15 kilometers on the freeway! Then on the way back (when the engine was warm) the needle didn't even move.

11-22-10, 08:13 PM
When all else fails find a set of facory service manuals for it. There is probably something wrong with a sensor or adjustment somewhere.
You shouldn't have to warm up any car for 5-10 minutes. Use the money you're wasting on gas to get it fixed.