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There are not many parts in this system. You have Glowplugs, a timer, and a power relay.
Check the glowplugs. To check you take battery cables and place the fixed connection on the case of the glowplug, avoiding the threads. Then touch the top of the glowplug with the other cable. You can MELT them if you hold the top cable too long.
If you take at least 1 bank of glowplugs out at a time, you can compare them. They should glow equally bright. A dull glowplug is bad. If you do it one cylinder at a time, you will not be able to compare them.
If all check out okay, then it only leaves the timer or the power relay. The timer is a good candidate because it controls how long the pulse will be and that can be what is shorting out the system.
You can get a wiring diagram free at Autozone.com for most cars. You need to register on the site free and then scroll to the bottom of the Web page.
There may be a reference to how the Glowplugs are wired and it is possible that they are wired as pairs from the Timer box. This would mean that 1/2 the Timer box is shorted out or that a Relay that controls just that pair of glowplugs is a bad Relay. If there are 2 Relays for the Glowplugs, just swap them and see if the problem moves to a new pair of cylinders. This would confirm a bad Relay.
You may also have a bad ground. Look to see the wiring for the ground circuit. This would be a good bet if each pair is separately grounded. You could also have a problem with not replacing all 4 as a set. I do not know what VW recommends for this.
Perhaps you should test the Glowplugs. You test them by fixing a battery jumper clamp to the bottom of the casing of the Glowplug avoiding the threads. Then briefly touch the top of the Glowplug with the power cable of the Plus charge. Be careful not to melt the part.
The Glowplug should glow equally between the set. They should not stay dark. And remember, the Timer only has seconds to work. That is all the time the Glowplugs have to vaporize the fuel.
This is not to hard to solve. The outside airtemp determines how long the Glowplug timer works for absolute cold starts. Starting a warm engine is affected by underhood temps.
The Timer Relay will pulse power to the glowplugs. If the glowplugs are good, it is enough to preheat the cylinder for firing.
To tell if a glowplug is good is a matter of comparision between a new glowplug and a worn glowplug. YOU CAN MELT A GLOWPLUG WITH THIS TEST, but you remove the glowplugs, get a set of battery jumper cables and place one jumper to the base of the glowplug USING CARE not to ruin the threads on the glowplug.
You do not want to arc the spark on the glowplug threads. You want your fixed jumper connector locked on the base of the glowplug. The other battery cable jumper is touched to the top of the glowplug where the arcing occurs. This will not hurt the contact point if done properly.
You compare the "glow" of the old glowplug to the "glow" of the new glowplug. Bad glowplugs stay dark or operate at a darker color.
The Timer Relay gives you pulses and that is all the glowplugs get to heat up. This is what you simulate in your test. If a glowplug operates in a dull or dark condition, it is bad and throw it away. You want all glowplugs to readily light up when power is applied.
The other 2 parts to the system are the Timer Relay and the Power Relay. The timer gets its power from the Power Relay and the Power Relay is like a starter solenoid. The Power relay gets a tickler charge when the keyswitch is held to Start.
There are sometimes extreme cold Timers that hold the power longer tothe glowplugs. I do not have the Specs to tell you if your Timer is kicking out to soon.
I hope my solution helps. I have told you how to test your glowplugs. The timers are affected by air temperature and that makes it difficult to say if it is working long enough. If you know the glowplugs are good, and the timer shuts off before the glowplugs heat up, then you need a new or different type of timer.
Hello, The diesel engine relies on Glowplugs for the first start in the Morning or a cold start at anytime.
The Glowplugs themselves can be bad, but there is a Timer which determines how long the Glowplugs will stay on. Before the Timer is a Glowplug Relay which gives the Timer its power to operate. The Ignition switch provides power to the Glowplug Relay.
You disconnect a Glowplug wire, put on a test instrument (either a testlight or Voltmeter) and look to see what happens when you initiate a start. If the testlight lights and cycles a few times like a pulse, then the power supply is good. If not inspect the Timer and Glowplug Relay for continuity
If all the pulses seem to reach the Glowplugs, then most likely the Glowplugs are worn out. Test by removing then and connecting battery jumpers. Briefly touch the top terminal of the Glowplug with the Hot cable after grounding the negative cable on the base of the Glowplug, avoiding the threads.
You can melt a Glowplug. But if you find the Glowplug staying dark, then it is bad. Do this for all the Glowplugs and replace the bad ones. Remember the Glowplug only has the amount of time the Timer gives it to work. So if a few pulses do not make it Glow, then replace it. This should fix you up.
Hello, Most likely your Glowplug Relay is bad, and it supplies power to the Glowplug Timer which also may be bad.
Just follow the wires that are on the Glowplugs up to the Glowplug timer. Use a Voltmeter and check if the power wire that goes into this Timer has fire when the Ignition is turned to the RUN position. If there is fire going into the Timer from the power Relay, pull off one of the Glowplug wires and ground 1 end of a testlight and put the other end on the Glowplug wire.
The Timer itself will kill the power after a predetermined time based on Temperature. The colder the engine, the longer the Glowplugs stay lit. If you have power reaching the Glowplug, your power Relay is fine. You just have to observe how quick the Timer stays on.
The Glowplugs only have 1 or 2 chances to do their job at the Start-up. They are needed to make a Diesel start cold. Cold meaning at outside AIR temperature, and engine block temperature. There should be clicks under the hood and the lights should flicker in rhythm to the clicks if the Timer is working.
If you find that both the Timer and Power Relay are working, the Glowplugs need to be tested. They come out like sparkplugs. But you test them either on a special machine or use battery jumper cables. To test, hook one battery cable to the Glowplug base, avoiding the thread. Then take the other cable and arc it on the top of the Glowplug.
Caution, you can melt the Glowplug. If you get a bright glow, the Glowplug is good. If the Glowplug is dark or very slow to glow, it is bad. This should be all you need. Would appreciate a note after you fix it.
Its either one of 2 things. A shorted glowplug is backfeeding and shutting off the timer or the timer is bad. You should start by removing the glowplugs and testing them.
The glowplugs can melt with this test so don't overdo it. Use a set of battery jumper cables and put the NEG on the metal case without damaging the threads. Then take the POS cable and touch the top of the glowplug. Its a matter of comparision. A dark glowplug is cold or dead. When you get a good one you will see an intense glow. Replace the bad ones.
After reinstalling the glowplugs try starting your car. If it still does not work well trace all of the glowplug wires up to a timer box. There should be a Power source going into the Timer. Measure the Voltage going to the Timer. If it is less than Battery Voltage follow the Power wire to a Relay. The Relay may be in the blackbox full of Relays under the hood or independently hung next to the Timer. Sometimes thoughtful Engineers put labels under the lid for each component. Check the plugin sockets for corrosion or replace the Relay for the glowplug Timer.
If you had battery Voltage at the Timer most likely the Timer is bad. The Timer should keep your glowplugs on longer the colder the outside temperature is. The exception is a warm engine. Good luck on your repair. I hope you find my solution very helpful.
You should check the Glowplug Timer. Most likely it is the Timer because the Diesels need the Glowplugs working to start. Then they fire from compression.
So even though the Starting Fluid reached the cylinders and the Fluid has a better Ignition point, it still needs hot Glowplugs.
You can check a few wires on the Glowplugs by using a voltmeter or Test light. Unplug each wire and then turn the key to On and observe if the Tester pulses a few times before your Ready Indicator goes out on the dash. If the Timer is not firing the Glowplug, test the power wire TO the timer. There should be a Relay for it.
You can jump the Power lead to the Timer and let the Timer heat the Glowplugs. Remove the jumper after the "Clicking" stops. Then repeat. Now hit it with a spray of Starting Fluid and see if she will run.
Then backtrack the Power wire to the Relay and see if the Relay is getting power. There could be a fusible link to the Relay that is burned out.
Would be interested to learn what you found. Autozone and Oreillys can sometimes pull up locations for the components they sell.
I would test the glowplugs themselves...Just hook a test light to the positive side of your battery and touch the probe to the top of the glowplug. It should ground out through the glowplug and turn the light on. If it doesn't then you have a bad glowplug.
the power to the glowplugs is sent from a relay that by the picture i have is near the radiator.this relay is fed by a 12volt fusible link and is activated by the engine control module grounding it. try to locate this relay and make sure you have power at 2 of the terminals and a ground when the key is turned on