Most vehicles today are categorized, according to the type of engine, into three common groups: diesel, electric, or gasoline-powered. Though some aspects of the three engines mentioned have similarities, one engine may have parts that are not in others.
An example of such part is the glow plug in diesel engines.
What are glow plugs?
Yes, they do glow, and they are the part responsible for pre-heating the combustion chamber in older cars. Unlike gasoline, diesel fuel has lower volatility levels, which means it cannot easily burn.
Simms Diesel & Turbocharger Service, leading diesel parts specialist, explained that most diesel engines have difficulties with the ignition, especially in the cold months. Coupled with faulty glow plugs, it may be impossible even to start the car.
Latest diesel-powered cars
Many of the newer vehicles feature high injection pressures that generate enough heat that can pre-warm the air and help start the engine. Nevertheless, even newer cars cannot do away with glow plugs because they are still there to help in fuel emissions control.
The extra heat generated by glow plugs helps in burning diesel fuel more efficiently.
Do diesel-powered vehicles each have one glow plug in their engines?
A typical diesel engine has four glow plugs installed in its cylinder head. When you turn on your ignition switch, all of them will burn simultaneously. The purpose of this is to pre-warm the air inside the cylinder for a much quicker engine start.
If one or two of the glow plugs fail, it is still possible to start your diesel engine with two working glow plugs. In fact, it is even possible to start the engine with only one working glow plug.
How long will your glow plug last?
Most glow plugs, particularly those that came with your brand new vehicle, are built to last for a long time. The extreme conditions where your glow plugs operate, however, may cause it to fail after some time. At some point, you may need to replace it, so you will not have much difficulty when starting your engine.
It is, therefore, important to buy quality glow plugs for your diesel-powered car. Always give your vehicle a smooth start.