Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Is It Safe to Drive With the Glow Plug Light On?

Glow Plug Light

Your diesel vehicle is equipped with glow plugs, and also with a Glow Plug Light that will either come on and stay on, or flash or blink when a fault is detected by the ECU (engine management unit). When the Glow Plug Light comes on, the ECU stores information about the condition that has caused it to come on. A qualified mechanic who has a code reader that is suited to your particular make and model of vehicle can retrieve this information, and then make a diagnosis of the problem and recommend a course of action.

So, can you drive safely with the Glow Plug Light on? It depends on the nature of the problem. Sometimes, when the Glow Plug Light comes on, the engine in your vehicle will go into “safety” mode, in order to prevent any damage to the engine. If this should occur, you might perceive a drop in performance. This is likely not a big deal if you’re just booting around town, but it could present a safety issue if it occurs when you are performing a maneuver like passing or merging on the highway. Here is what you need to do.

  • Get a diagnostic check as soon as possible in order to find out just what the problem is and how to correct it. You don’t want to leave this to guesswork. Much of the time, the problem can be attributed to faulty crank sensors or cams, but there are also other things that can cause the Glow Plug Light to come on.

  • If you must continue to drive, make sure to take it easy. It would probably be best to avoid highway driving.

  • Do not assume that the problem will just go away on its own – it won’t. The Glow Plug Light came on for a reason, and until you find out what that reason is and have it corrected, it is going to stay on.

You can probably drive safely with the Glow Plug Light on as long as you take it easy. But you do need to get it checked out. Always remember, your warning lights are trying to tell you something, and determining whether the message is serious or of little consequence is best left up to a qualified mechanic.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...


Related questions

Q: Engine reduction after lower intake gaskets replaced.

If a wire harness was pinched then it most likely got damaged. There may be a wire that is broke or two wires interfering with each other. Have the harness checked where it was damaged to see if they are...

Q: Glow plug 5 3 and 2 have open circuits.

Hi there. The glow plug module will effect all the glow plugs not just 2, 3, and 5. I recommend replacing the glow plugs and the harness to the glow plugs. This is similar to replacing plugs and wires (same...

Q: When parking lights activate, left turn signal independently stays on

Hello there, thank you for asking about your car. If the turn signal stays solid on the dash instead of blinking, that typically indicates a failed bulb. If the bulb is not the issue, check the connector at the turn...