Can You Replace Just One Glow Plug? Important Things To Know

Can you replace just one glow plug?

This is a question we get asked a lot by those who are looking to do a glow plug replacement. So, do you really need to change all or can just one piece be replaced?

When you are confused about the right way to go about it, here are some helpful tips and guidelines to help you out and to make sure you make no mistake about it. Let’s begin!

can you replace just one glow plug

Can You Replace Just One Glow Plug?

For the most part, it is ideal to replace glow plugs in a complete set, just like with spark plugs. Not all of the plugs may be acting up or failing, but since all of them are pretty much the same age, then all of them should fail one after another.

With this in mind, it makes sense to know if you can replace just one or all needs to be changed.

Basically, glow plugs provide extra heat in your vehicle’s combustion chamber. When the desired temperature is not achieved because of faulty glow plugs, this impacts the performance of your engine. The engine will work very hard just to meet the intense demands of driving on the road. Moreover, the efficiency of your vehicle will go down.

Now, diesel engines need only a single glow plug for each cylinder. They also use as many as 10 plugs. Over time, glow plugs tend to wear out. Other conditions that impact the wear and tear of glow plugs include temperature and weather conditions. When it is colder, glow plugs deteriorate at a much faster rate than when it is warm.

Hence, it is very important to ensure a regular service for your glow plugs and have them replaced when damaged.

When you fail to replace your glow plugs, this can most certainly take a toll on your engine and fuel efficiency. Your engine will work much harder, and this can impact its lifespan.

How Often To Change Glow Plugs

how often to change glow plugs

Generally, glow plugs last up to 100,000 miles. This is the average lifespan on a typical diesel engine. Thus, it is not exactly something that you worry too much about and too often. But there are instances when your glow plugs can fail sooner than later. This is the case with frequently hard-starting your vehicle or using a poor quality glow plug that is not recommended for your vehicle.

When you have a vehicle with a four-cylinder engine, just a single glow plug that is damaged will make it harder for you to start the car. And when there are two glow plugs that are faulty, it is even tougher to start the engine. Add one more to these damaged glow plugs, and that makes it next to impossible to start it.ư

With this in mind, you need to replace your faulty glow plugs immediately. They do last long but once they have reached 100,000 miles or even before then and they failed, then a replacement is a must.

Among the factors that impact their lifespan include:

  • Using the wrong type of glow plugs
  • Excessive overheating of your engine
  • Damaged pistons
  • Broken valves
  • Too long power supply because of a stuck relay
  • Engine operating at high voltages
  • Seized piston rings

Moreover, when injectors dripped onto your glow plugs and caused them to erode, this also shortens the lifespan of glow plugs. The same holds true with battery chargers that have a high amperage used for improving the process of starting your engine. When too much voltage is used, the tips of the glow plug can even explode.

This is why it is important to invest in a good quality battery charger. Otherwise, your glow plugs run the risk of premature damage.

Is It Time To Replace Your Glow Plug?

is it time to replace your glow plug

There are certain signs and symptoms evident when it comes to replacing glow plugs. Here are among the signs you should look out for to make sure you get this issue remedied by a simple glow plug replacement:

  • Rough idling
  • Engine misfiring
  • Slow engine starting
  • Excess white smoke
  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Failure to start your engine

When you observe any of these signs, you need to make sure that you get your glow plugs replaced – and fast. This is why it helps to have a set of spare glow plugs to be prepared when on the road. By having these on hand, you can get back on the road the soonest possible time. You can either do the replacement yourself with the right tools or have a mechanic get the job done.

Just be sure to have the right type of glow plugs that are compatible with your vehicle. Otherwise, you may have some issues with it.

New plugs typically improve the performance of your vehicle. When your engine misfires or starts hard, then it means your glow plug needs a replacement. Thus, this can prevent such symptoms that affect how your vehicle performs.

Even with a bad glow plug, you should still be able to drive – as long as you get it started, that is. After all, glow plugs are merely used to start and warm the engine up. So once the engine starts, it should be good to go. There are no safety issues to worry about.

Glow plugs also aid in getting your engine started. There are many engines that don’t have glow plugs and some diesel engines, especially newer ones, can start even without the help of glow plugs.

Read More: Parking Lights Come On By Themselves? Try These Tips! 

Wrapping It Up

When it comes to full-sized engines, glow plugs are designed for starting. But in certain conditions, these components tend to fail because of many factors such as broken valves, damaged pistons, and too much carbon buildup in your pre-chambers. Overheating and shorting may occur, and so the tip can burn out.

But for the most part, glow plugs should be fine for up to 100,000 miles. They deteriorate over time because of wear and tear. Yet, they are cost-effective to replace, so it is best to pay attention to signs that a replacement is needed and get it done sooner than later.

Leave a Comment

Read more