Simulations using CFD and chemical kinetics models have been applied to gain a better understanding of the effect of the recirculated gases on the autoignition process during cold starting of a direct injection diesel engine. The cranking gases recirculated (CGR) contain fuel vapor and partial oxidation products which affect the autoignition process in different ways. Some hydrocarbons (HCs) species enhance the reaction rates and reduce ignition delay. Meanwhile other HCs species and the partial oxidation products of the autoignition process have an opposing effect. The simulation covered a wide range of the hydrocarbons and aldehydes concentrations and their effect on the ignition delay in a 1.2L Ford DIATA 4-cylinders, water cooled, turbocharged and intercooled diesel engine. The simulated opposing effects of HCs and HCHO on the ignition delay are validated by experimental results at room temperature.