This is a difficult problem to solve and detect because it only happens in minus double digit Centigrade cold weather. I am the original owner of this vehicle, it has been well maintained with oil changes, tune ups, etc. every six months. So there are no old fluids, leaking, or any other issues due to poor maintenance. The battery was just tested and it's OK, the starter was replaced a few years ago - but since this is only a severe cold weather issue I'm told it's not the starter. This is a fuel injection vehicle so there is no carburetor.
Here are the symptoms - on very cold days when the car has been sitting over night it will often - but not always (making it more difficult to figure out) do one of the following:
1) Turning the key in the ignition will turn on the battery, you can hear the electric hum (radio and heater working etc.) but nothing will happen - not even the start of an initial crank. There is no clicking.
2) On an initial key turn the motor will crank at normal speed but not start. Once the key is turned back to the off position and then back on nothing will happen as with the first description.
What's even stranger is that after failing to start the car, if I then leave it to sit for anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour and retry it will eventually start normally - immediately upon turning the key.
So logically it sounds like something is freezing. Except that the non-start should not unfreeze whatever it is an hour later. Nothing has warmed up, nothing has happened. This used to be an intermittent problem but over the years it's happened more often. One mechanic suggested bad gas, but I only use high octane and it happens over a period of too many fill ups to be related to one gas station (I don't always go to the same one), or one bad fill up.
Unfortunately the few shops I've tried to take it to tell me that they can't determine what is wrong unless I leave it so they can experience it, which is going to be very difficult since it's intermittent. They might even get to a point of trying to diagnose the problem when it won't start, only to have it suddenly go on the next attempt.
Could it be related to the fuel injection? Does anyone have any ideas?