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Old January 10th, 2019, 10:42   #1
ytk
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Default Glow plugs last a year and die

Hi, car is an older 96 VW Taro it has an IDI engine.
About every 30K miles all the glow plugs die at once, one morning it starts up perfectly and the other they are all dead and it takes a lot of cranks to start.
This has been the case for the last few years, all the glow system components (relays,resistor,timer) have been checked and are good.
I have my thoughts of what might be the problem but I add this photo hoping someone might be able to point out what usually causes this kind of damage to a glow plug and why do they all die at once?
Thanks!
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Old January 10th, 2019, 11:22   #2
Vince Waldon
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Most like those tips are being eroded by worn injectors that are streaming and thus acting like tiny cutting torches.

I'd be inclined to pull the injectors and have them professionally pop-tested... if this is in fact the case it will be easy to detect.
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Old January 10th, 2019, 11:40   #3
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Yep, injector health.
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Old January 10th, 2019, 12:25   #4
ytk
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Thanks guys , it does explain this erosion but why would they all go at once?
Is it possible that the first one to go somehow causes the others to follow?
In any case I will have the Injectors serviced...
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Old January 10th, 2019, 12:27   #5
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i can just imagine how the tops of the pistons look if the glow plugs are this jacked after a year.
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Old January 10th, 2019, 12:30   #6
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Maybe the glow plugs are too long and they melt because injectors are spraying them with fuel i heard from a few guys that that can happen.
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Old January 10th, 2019, 13:34   #7
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but the piston gets sprayed just as much! makes sense it would be a pattern like melting the piston stuff, but being to long? id like to see some data on this, never heard that one before but sounds plausible.
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Old January 10th, 2019, 13:44   #8
Vince Waldon
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A great example of a whizzing sideways injector here:

https://youtu.be/PLe75LDLP38

And look where the injectors actually spray on an IDI engine... the "I" in "Indirect":




Now all you need to do is imagine that all the nozzles are going to degrade at about the same rate over the years.
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Last edited by Vince Waldon; January 10th, 2019 at 13:47.
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Old January 11th, 2019, 18:06   #9
T-Roy
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I pulled these glow plugs out of my IDI Rabbit when I bought it about 7 years ago - the injectors were very worn.
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Old January 11th, 2019, 18:13   #10
Vince Waldon
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Well, those *are* Champions... chances are they were dead Year 1 anyways.

Great shot... thanks for posting!
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Old January 11th, 2019, 18:55   #11
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the crazy part, is that you dont need glowplugs unless its really cold outside, like anything lower than 35F. If i had issues like that, id pull the glow plugs and put the old dead ones back in, swap them in the winter and get 6x the life out of them!
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Old January 11th, 2019, 19:46   #12
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Unfortunately IDI engines need 'em pretty much year-round, depending on the climate.
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Old January 12th, 2019, 11:13   #13
ytk
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So at least we have a sacrificial glow plug and not piston
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Old January 12th, 2019, 12:32   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ytk View Post
So at least we have a sacrificial glow plug and not piston
Exactly.

That said, all that excess concentrated heat can loosen the inconel prechambers that are pressed into the aluminum head... and if they drop loose boom goes the head.

All this is to say... as you've already surmised... the sooner you service your injectors the better.
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Old January 14th, 2019, 04:55   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongler98 View Post
the crazy part, is that you dont need glowplugs unless its really cold outside, like anything lower than 35F. If i had issues like that, id pull the glow plugs and put the old dead ones back in, swap them in the winter and get 6x the life out of them!
Once again, a useless post that does not apply to the OP's problem.

The IDI VAG diesels MOST CERTAINLY need the preglow system functioning all year round.
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