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1.6 Tdci P0380 - Glow Plug/heater Circuit A


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Hey Guys and Gals,

Stopped the car other day then restarted the engine a few minutes later, and got the "Engine Malfunction" message, no other lights, apart from the red "i" light, and the car was in limp mode; limiting to 3,000 RPM and taking an age to get there.

This intermittently reappears, sometimes more often than others. The only sure way to get rid of it is to start moving, then restart the engine. This has not failed me yet, and the car drives perfect once it's running without the message. Message hasn't yet come on while driving.

Plugged a code reader in today, and got:

P0380 - Glow Plug/Heater Circuit A

Cleared it, and it came back straight away.

The car starts absolutely fine, and has done all winter (so it's not like something's been on the way out), although saying that it's parked indoors overnight so never gets that cold, and I realise it's warm now!

What's the best place to start looking at with this? I realise the plugs are a nightmare to get to on these engines (stupid French thing!), so was wondering if there's any mileage in checking fuses/relays? I did find a 10A fuse listed as "Glow plug control module" or similar, and the car behaves the same with that in or out. It also hasn't blown, as I tested it in the horn fuse location!

I've been googling all day but haven't come up with anything concrete in terms of what to do next. My local Ford's (OMC in Rochdale) seem disinterested as soon as I mention I've read the codes myself, so may be looking for another good garage in the Manchester/Rochdale area that don't want £100 off me just to tell me the same thing as I already know.

Car has done just over 45,000 miles, and it's a 2008 mk 2.5. Any suggestions would be welcome!


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Just to follow up on this, I've swapped a few relays around in the fusebox under the bonnet, and it's still coming on (and nothing else has broken!). Luckily I can stop it happening by just turning the key all the way instantly, and not giving the glow plugs a chance to do anything!

Got a quote of around £175 for diags and a new set of plugs (if it needs it!). This sound reasonable?

I would try and change/test these myself, but it sounds very involved on the 1.6D. Stupid French thing!

Also, if anyone has any suggestions of good indies in the Manc/Rochdale area, that'd be appreciated.

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Had this problem on my car although it's a dif engine .eventually it's gonna come on and won't go off,mine was intermittent for a while.

You can get a set of plugs for like a tenner from eBay and they don't take long to fit although I've never done em just read about it.

Would be better of gettin the plugs yourself and asking em to fit them

Sent from my iPhone using Ford OC

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I agree with Ben, change your plugs.

I had the same issue with the same code, changed the plugs and the issue has never returned. You will need a deep 10mm socket.

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  • 1 month later...

Update on this in case anyone stumbles across it. Took it into the dealers to get the diagnostic done at the same time as the service, needed new plugs so got all 4 done for £138. Happy with this, as they look like an absolute nightmare to change on the 1.6, and the risk of me snapping them is just too high.

The "Engine Malfunction" started to come on a lot more often - pretty much every time I started, if it was idling when cold (i.e. at traffic lights just outside where I live), and once on Woodhead Pass - that was interesting! The en-route activations seem to be when it was trying to do a DPF regeneration, as the rad fan would be on.

This does seem to suggest that modern diesels do use the plugs not just for starting, but potentially when the engine is cold and idling. Think I always knew that they come on for a regen.

Happy now, and also have new oil/filter and brake pads - 46K on the original set, not too bad.

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  • 4 years later...
  • 8 months later...

If you think glow plugs have failed disconnect them and test resistance. It is unlikely all will go at same time. Also check voltage is getting to them when engine cold with ignition on. Do not unscrew them unless absolutely necessary to make car usable as they can snap off in the hole and then you have real problems

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  • 1 year later...

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