Glow Plugs: Diesels Combust Differently


 As diesel engine vehicles are becoming more common on the roads these days, there is a new way of thinking that must accompany these increased MPG vehicles.  As cars become more advanced, so do the electronics and a host of other things.  One such advancement is the glow plug.  We had a 2011 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI in the shop this week with pressure sensor codes.  Introduce:  the updated glow plug.  Today’s glow plugs have the pressure sensor built into them so the look is a bit different than the days of old.  

Quick glow plug overview…Diesel fuel is not flammable like gasoline so it needs a little help igniting.  Diesel relies on pressure to force fuel to spontaneously combust.  A glow plug’s job is to increase pressure and temperature by heating up air in the cylinder.  When diesel fuel is introduced into the piston, it ignites and starts the engine.  As a comparison, gas vehicles use spark plugs for this process.  When you crank a diesel, the glow plug light on the dash will illuminate for a few seconds and then turn off, letting you know it is okay to start the vehicle. 

Trust your German vehicle to Das Autohaus, Lexington and Columbia’s Volkswagen and Audi specialist.  Call us at 520-8523 to schedule an appointment.