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Thread: Glow plugs, what do you think?

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    Default Glow plugs, what do you think?

    I've had poor starting for some time, even when the engine is warm. Today I removed the glow plugs and when I tested them only one works. The others are completely dead. My question is, how does an engine even start with only one glow plug, and is this likely to cause general bad starting? Also what are the ebay ones like at £20 a set?

    Thanks

    Phil

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    Full Member chrisvectra's Avatar
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    me personally id stay from the ebay ones a decent motor factor or even from vx would be best
    and knackered glow plugs would cause bad starting bud
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    Regular Member alcutler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Croxley View Post
    I've had poor starting for some time, even when the engine is warm. Today I removed the glow plugs and when I tested them only one works. The others are completely dead. My question is, how does an engine even start with only one glow plug, and is this likely to cause general bad starting? Also what are the ebay ones like at £20 a set?

    Thanks

    Phil
    A diesel engine will start without any of the glowplugs working if you could turn it over long enough - eventually by repeatedly compressing the diesel air mixture in the cylinder head it will get hot enough to ignite the fuel and run the engine - which is what happens when your engine is started when warm and your glowplugs aren't required to operate. All the glowplugs do is glow white hot in the cylinder head and ignite the fuel straight away - as soon as the engine is running and starting to warm up they switch off and do nothing until required again.
    Obviously to start the engine without glowplugs would put a massive strain on your battery and starter4 motor which wouldn't last too long. Get a set of good quality plugs, and ensure your battery and alternator are in first class condition for trouble free starting.

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    Default Glow Plugs

    In the summer a diesel engine will start without glow plugs working.

    In the winter is a different matter. This last winter on my old Landy disco on the very cold mornings, I used the heater plugs twice before starting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alcutler View Post
    A diesel engine will start without any of the glowplugs working if you could turn it over long enough - eventually by repeatedly compressing the diesel air mixture in the cylinder head it will get hot enough to ignite the fuel and run the engine - which is what happens when your engine is started when warm and your glowplugs aren't required to operate. All the glowplugs do is glow white hot in the cylinder head and ignite the fuel straight away - as soon as the engine is running and starting to warm up they switch off and do nothing until required again.
    Obviously to start the engine without glowplugs would put a massive strain on your battery and starter4 motor which wouldn't last too long. Get a set of good quality plugs, and ensure your battery and alternator are in first class condition for trouble free starting.
    Thanks all for the info, it makes lots of sense. Interestingly the battery had seemed a bit sluggish recently. I'll get that replaced and buy some decent glow plugs.
    Thanks again
    Phil

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    Regular Member Penfold101's Avatar
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    If I recall correctly they don't even function till it's less than 4 degrees...

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    Isnt the coolant temp sensor part of the glow plug circut eg if the coolant isnt less than 5 degrees or something like that the plugs dont even get engaged its just air and pressure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roswell View Post
    Isnt the coolant temp sensor part of the glow plug circut eg if the coolant isnt less than 5 degrees or something like that the plugs dont even get engaged its just air and pressure.
    I always thought it was based on Outside Air Temperature...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Penfold101 View Post
    If I recall correctly they don't even function till it's less than 4 degrees...
    Most diesels have a temperature sensor that takes the engine temperature and governs how long the glowplug circuit operates before starting the engine ie how long the coil is displayed on the dash before going out. I'm pretty sure the system operates every time you start the engine from 'cold' even on a very warm day but the length of time it operates is governed by the outside temperature. On most cars this system operates when you turn the ignition key and wait for the coil light to extinguish before you turn the starter - but on some models the glow plug circuit is operated as soon as you open the drivers door so you don't have to wait for a coil light to go out and have instant starting (Ford Transits have this system)
    Sorry if I sound a clever ******d but I once had loads of hassle with an Astra diesel starting system and did a bit of research.
    Another thing to bear in mind is that I once bought a set of 4 Bosch glowplugs fitted them and still had starting problems - checked everything connected to the starting system and eventually found that 2 of the new plugs weren't working - so test them before fitting

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