What is the Glow Plugs & Timer all about?
A diesel engine is different from a gas engine that relies on a spark to ignite the mixture of fuel and air that makes the vehicle run. With a diesel engine, the fuel ignites when it’s subjected to high pressure. The fuel temperature heats up to the point where it simply self-combusts. In warm weather, this works just fine, but when it’s cold, the diesel fuel needs help heating up. The glow plugs work to heat the fuel/air mixture so that the vehicle will start in cold weather. Glow plugs are, quite simply, small heaters. There are usually two glow plug timers. The first one sets the preheating time, and the second tells the auto start module when to crank the engine.
Keep in mind:
- Your vehicle has to reach optimal cylinder temperature in order to start.
- The faster your vehicle starts, the less wear on your battery.
How it's done:
- The vehicle's hood is opened and supported manually
- The defective glow plugs and timer are removed
- The new glow plugs and timer are installed
- The hood manual support is removed
- The repair is verified and the glow plugs are tested for proper operation
Glow plugs are prone to burn out over time and will need replacement at some point. If you're having trouble starting your diesel engine, one of our expert mechanics can diagnose the problem and determine if it's in the glow plug system.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Glow Plugs & Timer?
- Vehicle is slow to start
- Vehicle will not start in cold weather
- Blue or white smoke coming from diesel exhaust system
How important is this service?
The glow plugs and timer are required to start a cold diesel engine, and if they aren’t working properly, you may be unable to start your vehicle. Have the glow plugs and timer checked out and replaced if necessary.