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Glow Plug Timing

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With the cold mornings I've started to find the car reluctant to start again. As I'd replaced the glow plugs last year I didn't think that could be the problem. The indicator lamp only comes on for less than a second and I thought maybe there was a fault in the supply to the plugs so I clipped a test bulb across them. I found, to my surprise, that the supply was actually active for 5 seconds. It turns out that if I turn the ignition on and count to 5 before starting it fires up fine. Try sooner or leave it too long and it struggles.

So the indicator is totally useless as a guide to operating the starter. How stupid is that? I'm seriously wondering whether to wire in a permanent indicator.

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very odd! That normally indicates that the engine temperature is sufficient to start the car, which technically it might be, but its not ideal to start the car.

Maybe wiring in an indicator is not a bad problem!

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Well, it might be when it's still reasonably new but after ten years and with just over 100,000 on the clock maybe not. It's likely lost a bit of compression and probably not spinning over quite so fast. It seems to crank ok but I wouldn't be surprised if the starter motor's beginning to get a bit tired. I could have sworn I'd replaced the battery in the 5½ years we've had it 'cos I'm sure I remember thinking I have to make sure it's Silver Calcium but I can't find any record of it. This one of the things that irks me about diesels - they are a lot less tolerant of such things when the weather gets cold.

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Diesel is good for emissions testing, as you dont get tested, they are good for mileage and torque and ease of power improvement.

Like you say though, when winter comes and you have things like diesel thickening and problems with the filters, turbo's dying etc then you can get rather irritated by them!

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