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How Faulty Glow Plugs Affect Your Diesel Engine's Performance

How Faulty Glow Plugs Affect Your Diesel Engine's Performance

Glow plugs are specially designed heating devices that help start diesel engines in low temperatures. Taking care of your glow plugs can go a long way toward preventing costly diesel truck repair in San Diego and avoiding diesel engine breakdowns.

In previous articles, we discussed the benefits of regular oil changes, and told you about the correct way to start a diesel engine. Now we'll inform you about the importance of glow plugs, and how they can help you avoid expensive diesel engine maintenance.

What happens if glow plugs fail?

Like all machinery that is exposed to heat and movement, glow plugs become worn down over time and eventually break down. Since they help warm up diesel engines in cold temperatures, it becomes obvious that, without functional glow plugs, you may have problems starting your truck in winter, or even be completely unable to do so.

It goes without saying that this can cause both frustration and monetary losses. You should always make sure that your glow plugs are in good working order, especially if you're planning to drive in icy temperatures (-40 degrees Fahrenheit, or lower).

Why do diesel glow plugs fail?

A glow plug is a heating element. This means that, during normal operation, glow plugs reach extremely high temperatures. No matter how rugged a component is, excessive heat will eventually damage it and cause it to short out, lose/gain resistance, or otherwise suffer an internal failure.

Even when it's possible to repair failed glow plugs, you should still consider glow plug replacement. The truth is, heat damage over time is often extensive enough so as to make repairs unreliable, as well as possibly hazardous to the engine's long term health.

What will bad glow plugs do?

Glow plugs aid in the sensitive diesel combustion process that a diesel engine needs in order to start. When bad glow plugs aren't supplying the extra heat the engine needs to ensure proper diesel combustion, it can result in a number of engine malfunctions.

These malfunctions include:

• Engine misfires.

• Loss of fuel efficiency.

• Black exhaust smoke.

• Decreases in acceleration and power.

Even if you're not a professional driver, you should always make sure your glow plugs are in good working order before embarking on a long trip. Engine issues aren't something you want to be running into during your long-planned San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum family trip.

Are glow plugs expensive to replace?

During regular use, glow plugs will generally last between 90,000 and 110,000 miles. However, this can vary depending on the type of driving you do. The average cost of glow plug replacements can be anywhere between $120 and $500, depending on vehicle type and glow plug manufacturer.

When one glow plug fails, it's often best to replace the whole set. Driving your truck with a burnt-out glow plug may not result in a malfunction all by itself, but if it's left unaddressed for a long time, it can cause damage to the starter and the battery.

Always remember that glow plug diagnosis must be performed while the engine is cold, as glow plugs play no role when the engine is warm.

Have your glow plugs checked by first-rate diesel truck repair in San Diego 

If you've read this far, you obviously care deeply about the health of your truck. Here at PCE, we boast more than four decades of experience in diesel engine repair, maintenance, and replacement. Our expertise has even been recognized by the US Navy.

Are you experiencing issues with your truck's glow plugs, or any other engine-related problem? If so, get in touch with us today and take advantage of our premier service.

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San Diego, CA 92113
Phone: (619) 235-0961
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