Monday, 17 September 2012

A glow in the dark before you start.

Glow plug not working. Note the reading on the meter.
The glow plugs are a preheat device allowing the engine to start more easily from cold. There is an icon on the dash to show that this is in progress when the light go's out the van is ready to start. This sign does not tell you that the glow plugs are in working order. Most people only notice there is a problem when they have trouble getting the engine to start and stay running first time which is something I have been experiencing with the van.


It is a quick and easy test to do with a volt meter if you have one. The air filter housing needs to be removed first.  Set the volt meter to resistance (ohms) on the meters dial. Touch the two probes to gather, this will give you a reading which will also show that the meter is working. Remove the wire connection from the top of the plug place one probe on the top of the plug where the wire was attached. It does not matter whether it is the black or red probe. Then touch the other probe to the hex nut that is part of the plug. Be careful not to touch the same area the other probe is already attached to as it will give a false result. If the meter gives a reading the heater element is OK. No reading means that it is a dud and needs to be replaced.
Working glow plug. note the reading on the meter.


Be careful when removing the glow plugs from the engine. Remove any debris from around the base of the plug before  removal otherwise it will fall into the cylinder. If you have trouble loosening the plug try not  to be to heavy handed you can round the nut off or snap the top off (they are made from aluminium) leaving the rest of the plug stuck in the head - which will be a whole lot of trouble. If the glow plug feels that it is over tight, spray some easing oil on the plugs thread and try again. If it still will not move, put it all back together and run the engine till it is hot and try again.
Tool for the job


To remove the glow plugs you will require: a 10mm deep socket, Wobble head extension bar - at least 150mm long, a ratchet and or tee bar. The glow plug at the front of the engine (left hand side) may need the top engine mount removed to allow proper access to the plug this depending on engine fitted. The torque settings for the glow plug are Fifteen to Twenty Newton meters.

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