The diesel engine is a complex system with different parts than the standard engine. Among those parts are the glow plugs, which are a heating device used to start up a diesel engine. They are usually activated when the temperature of the diesel engine is too low to start up. The glow plugs will raise the temperature inside the cylinders to help in pressurizing and detonating the diesel fuel. It should only take about 10 or so seconds for the glow plugs to do their job and get the engine going.
If the glow plug light is on, this just indicates that they have been activated to warm up the engine. However, if this light flashes, this means your vehicle has detected an issue with the glow plugs. Glow plugs do need to be replaced over time just due to normal wear and tear, so this could be an indication that a replacement is due.
However, an issue with the glow plugs could also be caused by surrounding components. For example, the issue could be with the timer. The timer is the component that turns off the plugs once the correct temperature has been reached. A faulty timer can keep the plugs on for too long, or cause them not to turn on at all. The best way to understand what is causing your glow plug warning light to flash if for a mechanic to run computer diagnostics to read the error code.
You may wonder, is it safe to drive with this warning light illuminated? In some vehicles, you may not even be able to start your engine if this light is stuck. However, if you are able to turn on your engine, we recommend bringing your vehicle into Service First Automotive Centers and getting it checked out before driving too much. Driving with this light on can wear down the glow plugs quickly and can cost you a replacement before needed. We will ensure that the glow plugs are replaced or the issue with the timer is resolved so you can get back on the road with a properly operating vehicle.
If you need assistance with your diesel engine, give our experts a call here at Service First Automotive Centers or stop by our shop today!