It is unavoidable that a DI diesel engine exhausts a blue and white smoke at starting, especially in the cold atmosphere. In the experiments presented here, a small DI diesel engine started under the conditions of coolant and suction air whose minimum temperatures were 255 K and 268 K, respectively. The flame was photographed by high-speed photography, the temperature of flame and the soot concentration were measured by two-color method, and CO2 concentration was detected by luminous method. The engine cannot be started over several cycles when the coolant temperature is 255 K and suction air temperature is 268 K. As the temperature of coolant and suction air are decreasing, the maxima of the cylinder pressure, the flame temperature, the soot concentration and CO2 concentration are decreasing. Luminous small dots or small lumps of flame become scattered in the piston cavity.