Cold start

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Cold start

Postby JPLap11 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:03 am

I'm currently training for PPL and it's getting cold down here (below 0°C). I'm flying a DA20-C1 and it's quite hard to start on those temps. I've read another thread on that in the members section and had a question pn one of the posts. Here is what was said and my question will follow.
"Re: Very Cold Start

PostFri Mar 06, 2015 4:24 pm


I'll bet you flooded the engine. I have done many cold starts in the temperature range you describe (yes, even in S. TX it occasionally gets below freezing). Throttle wide open. I never prime for more than 5 seconds, less the warmer it is. Throttle back to about an inch open. The other thing I do is wait for 10-15 seconds after priming before I crank the engine, to allow the fuel to vaporize better.

The other possibility is that you froze the spark plugs.


Another guy said he waited 1 minute after priming. So should I be waiting with master switch on, fuel pump on but fuel prime off or should I be waiting with everything off and then getting everything back on just when cranking? I guess at that point, fuel prime would be off when cranking?
Thanks a lot guys!
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Re: Cold start

Postby Sandy » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:17 am

My son was having a starting issue with his Comanche. Turns out that it was none of the above.... His problem was with the spark plug gaps being too large. After mechanic at the (very small) field where he was stuck came over and replaced the four accessible plugs with properly gapped ones, it turned over immediately.

Fuel - Compression - Ignition => Start/Run, but whoda thunk that ignition was the problem?
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Re: Cold start

Postby 1911Tex » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:47 pm

Rick: I posted recently on this subject in the DA20 folder.....I had the same problem and replaced the "Vibrator" 12v 1.3amp battery and boom, starts very quickly again. $22 at your local Battery/Bulbs store. Mine is a Duracell Ultra battery. Some folks call it a "Shower of sparks battery" which initiates a hot spark on the single starter mag. Hope this helps.
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Re: Cold start

Postby Pascal » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:16 pm

Like Larry said, replace the Duracell vibrator battery once a year. It is cheap to replace and the engine gets harder to start as the battery fades.

It took me a while to find the recipe to reliably start my DA20-C1 1999 in cold temps. Here's what works for my aiplane:

Tanis heater plugged overnight with engine blanket. Unplug the Tanis heater after the walk-around, so that the engine does not cool off during the preflight inspection.

Both pumps on, full throttle for ten seconds, then throttle one inch open. Yell CLEAR! Then wait a second or two, then crank. When the engine starts, throttle 1000 rpm, prime off, alternator on.

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