If you own a diesel engine, then you have probably heard of a glow plug. But what exactly is a glow plug? A glow plug is a small heater installed inside a diesel engine that helps it start. Glow plugs are most commonly found in older trucks and large off-road vehicles such as tractors, construction equipment, dump trucks, and fire trucks. They are sometimes called glow plugs, ignition starters, electric starters, heaters, diesel starters, starter relays, electrical starters, auxiliary power units, auxiliary fuel systems, and auxiliary power supplies.
Unlike the gasoline engine, the diesel engine does not require spark ignition. Rather, the diesel engine relies on compression to ignite the mixture of air and fuel. Similar to spark plugs which are used in gasoline engines, the glow plug is the ignition source in a diesel engine.
How Do Glow Plugs Work?
Glow plugs work by heating the air in the cylinders to a high temperature, which ignites the fuel. Glow plugs are usually made of ceramic or metal and are located in the cylinder head. They are powered by electricity, and they work by resistance heating. When the glow plug is turned on, an electric current flows through it, and this causes the plug to heat up. The heat from the glow plug ignites the fuel in the cylinder, which starts the engine.
Glow Plug Installation
Installing glow plugs is a simple process that can be completed in a few minutes. The first step is to remove the old glow plug. This can be done by unscrewing it with a wrench or using a glow plug removal tool. Next, clean the threads in the hole where the glow plug was located. This will ensure that the new glow plug will screw in smoothly. Finally, screw in the new glow plug until it is tight. Be careful not to overtighten it, as this could damage the threads.
How to Determine if a Glow Plug is Bad
A bad glow plug can cause several problems, including poor engine performance, starting difficulties, and increased emissions. There are a few ways to tell if a glow plug is bad. One way is to check the resistance with an ohmmeter. The glow plug is most likely bad if the resistance is not within the specified range. Another way to tell if a glow plug is bad is by looking at it. If the tip of the glow plug is black or burned, it needs to be replaced.
If you suspect that your glow plug may be bad, it’s important to have it checked by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.
Why You Should Have Your Glow Plugs Checked
If your glow plugs are not working properly, it will be harder to start your engine in cold weather. This can lead to a lot of frustration and wasted time and potentially damage your engine. Glow plugs help preheat the air in the cylinders so the fuel can ignite more easily. If they are not working properly, this process does not happen and can cause serious damage to your engine over time.
Having your glow plugs checked is simply good preventative maintenance. If you delay changing your glow plugs because of the cost, you should know that glow plug replacements are affordable, call us today to get your vehicle serviced.