What to Do If Your Diesel-Engine Doesn't Like the Cold

Automotive Blog

Have you recently taken ownership of a diesel-engined vehicle and have been getting used to its idiosyncrasies? While it may seem to be very similar to your previous car on the outside, the method of combustion – or the way that the vehicle generates its power – is somewhat different. If you also happen to live in one of the country's colder areas you may definitely notice an issue that is peculiar to diesel vehicles. If your method of transportation won't crank into life in the morning, what could this be?

Glowing Problems

As you may know, a petrol-engined vehicle relies on a number of spark plugs to provide the necessary ignition. In short, the fuel and air mixture will explode when the spark plugs activate, and this turns the crankshaft. In a diesel-engined vehicle, however, the spark plug is not needed as the mixture will self-combust when it arrives in the chamber and is subject to a certain amount of pressure.

This is great in normal circumstances but not when the temperature outside is a lot colder. In this case, the fuel may not be hot enough and will not generate enough pressure to activate. To counterbalance this issue engineers developed the glow plug, which includes an individual heating coil to make up for the deficit.

Your vehicle may be fitted with one or more glow plugs and they can be self-regulating or designed to cope better with high temperatures. Generally, they are very reliable. However, if they do begin to play up you may not be able to start the vehicle or may notice erratic behaviour.

Trouble Afoot

An early sign of trouble could be first thing in the morning. You may be able to start the vehicle, but it may take some time and you may notice that the engine seems to misfire for a few minutes when you drive away.

If this tends to clear while you are on your way to work, then you should definitely check the glow plugs. You may not also notice a warning light on the dashboard, which should be another prompt for you to take action.

What to Do

If you're mechanically minded you can check the functionality of the glow plug by using a multimeter, as it should illuminate a test light if you connect everything properly. However, in most cases, you will need to take the vehicle into your mechanic so that they can replace your glow plug or plugs and get you on your way. Consider checking out a DENSO authorised dealer in your area.


20 August 2018

Automotive Fun and Advice

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