Many problems can develop from the uncontrolled fuel injection during cranking and starting of diesel engines. Some of the problems are related to excessive wear as a result of the high peak pressures reached upon combustion after misfiring, the relatively low rotating speeds and the lack of formation of a lubricating oil film between the interacting surfaces. Another problem is the emission of high amounts of unburned hydrocarbons and white smoke. Experimental results are given for a single cylinder and a multicylinder diesel engine, for the instantaneous angular velocity and cylinder pressures from the starter-on point until the engine fires. The causes of misfiring during cranking are investigated. The role of the increased blow-by gases on the autoignition process at the low cranking speeds is analyzed both analytically and experimentally. The contribution of the instantaneous angular velocity at the time of injection, on the autoignition process is investigated. The need for electronic fuel control during cranking is emphasized.