Diesel engines operate at high temperatures, and glow plugs keep your diesel engine’s operating temperature sufficiently high. Should your diesel glow plugs begin to fail, the engine won’t run as efficiently and may not even start.
What Are Diesel Glow Plugs?
Diesel glow plugs are a heat-generating element found in diesel engines. Your vehicle’s engine has a glow plug for each cylinder. The plug may be in the pre-chamber (for pre-chambered diesel engines) or in the actual combustion chamber (for direct-injection engines).
What Do Diesel Glow Plugs Do?
A diesel glow plug might be thought of as a spark plug on steroids. The two are different components and can’t be substituted for each other, but they perform a similar function. Diesel glow plugs do the same thing as spark plugs but to a much higher degree (pun intended).
The function of a spark plug is to create a spark and heat that will cause ignition within an engine’s combustion chamber. These plugs work well in gasoline engines, but they don’t create enough heat for diesel engines.
Diesel glow plugs likewise create heat, but they generate much more than a spark plug does. This extra heat is necessary because diesel engines operate at much higher pressures than gasoline ones do.
Diesel glow plugs are absolutely necessary when starting a diesel engine in cold weather. If you’re driving through the Rockies during winter, for example, a diesel vehicle likely won’t start if glow plugs aren’t working.
These plugs aren’t just for cold-weather driving, though. Even when driving in Nevada during summer, the cylinder block and cylinder head draw a significant amount of heat away from the combustion chamber because they’re metal. Diesel glow plugs replenish the heat that is lost through conduction.
What Are Signs of Failing Diesel Glow Plugs?
Should one or more of your vehicle’s diesel glow plugs begin to fail, there are four main signs that you may notice:
- Engine misfires are often the most common sign that a glow plug has failed, but a failed glow plug isn’t the only potential cause of a failed glow plug. When a glow plug doesn’t produce sufficient heat, misfires can occur within engine chambers.
- Any engine misfire will result in a loss of power because at least one cylinder doesn’t combust properly. Loss of power is most likely to be noticed during acceleration, and you might also see a decrease in fuel efficiency.
- Hard starts can also develop if a glow plug isn’t functioning properly, for the glow plug is instrumental in heating up the cold engine. You’re most likely to notice this during cold temperatures and when your vehicle has sat unused for some time.
- Black exhaust smoke can also emit from your exhaust when a glow plug fails. This is a sign of a problem within the combustion chamber.
Diagnose and Replace Failing Diesel Glow Plugs
If you’ve noticed signs that your diesel glow plugs are failing, bring your car, truck or van to J&S Diesel. As diesel specialists, our team will know how to properly diagnose any glow plug issues and replace the plugs if necessary. Contact today at 702-736-8526 to schedule service.
The Duramax diesel engine is now a historic diesel engine that has powered many General Motors vehicles. Some of the brand’s most popular pickups, including the Silverado and Sierra HD, have run with this under their hood over the past two decades, and it’s been in several other models as well. GM recently announced that it [...]
During the mid-2007 model year, Dodge began equipping the 6.7L Cummins with a new variable-geometry turbocharger, or VGT. Although it adds great features like fast spool-ups, reduced lag, adjustable output, and exhaust braking, this 6.7 Cummins turbo is far more complex than fixed geometry-turbos. This leads to more maintenance issues, as well as premature failures. What [...]
Whether you are taking your Ford truck out for a weekend drive or you are hauling tools and equipment between jobs, you depend on the power and performance of your Power Stroke engine. If your truck begins losing power or running abnormally or fails to start altogether, one possible culprit is the FICM or fuel [...]
A diesel fuel injector will deliver the proper amount of fuel to the engine cylinders for a long time if the injector is well-maintained. If your vehicle needs a new fuel injector or you’ve recently purchased this part, here’s a look at how it can last when maintained at a reliable service center that’s seen [...]
No matter how young or old your diesel truck is, you undoubtedly want it to be in the best possible condition. Here’s how to keep your diesel truck both looking and working like new: Wash Your Diesel Truck’s Exterior Regularly While regular vehicle baths are most important in cold climates during winter, you should still wash your [...]
Nevada isn’t known for having the harshest winters, but the chilly nights of the Mojave Desert can create some problems for diesel vehicle owners in the region. If you have a diesel vehicle, here’s how to maintain optimal diesel performance in Las Vegas during the cold weather:Tips for Ensuring Reliable Winter Diesel Performance in Las [...]
The color of your diesel exhaust smoke can reveal a lot about the condition of the engine. If your smoke is an abnormal color, the issue shouldn’t be ignored. Here’s what some abnormal colors might mean:Diesel Exhaust Smoke Colors You Shouldn’t Ignore White Smoke: Little Fuel Burning A white or other light-colored smoke indicates that your diesel [...]
Diesel fuel injectors wear out over time and eventually need to be replaced, preferably before they cause misfires or other issues. While it may seem economical to replace only a single fuel injector when one fails, replacing all of your engine’s diesel fuel injectors at once is usually the wiser choice. There are three reasons [...]
Federal law requires diesel vehicles to have an EGR cooler in place, and drivers must replace this unit if the one in their vehicle fails. Should you need to replace this part, upgrading to a Bulletproof EGR cooler could keep you from having to install a new one down the road.EGR Coolers Perform an Important [...]